Arrow S2 Ep15 – The Promise

Arrow S1 Ep15 - The Promise

Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, Ollie’s former friend from his hellish island days, has finally made his presence in Starling City known to Ollie. He does this by planting himself where Ollie is most vulnerable: at home. Ollie is clearly not happy to see Slade, but why? Why are they now archenemies? What is motivating Slade to go against Ollie? All these questions are answered as most of “The Promise” takes place five years in the past. We find out why these once good friends are now mortal enemies.

Arrow S1 Ep15 - The Promise

Moira and Thea have no idea.

Present-day Slade has disguised himself as a political supporter of Moira Queen. This has allowed Moira to invite him into her home. Ollie puts on his worst poker face ever as he pretends to meet Slade for the first time after Moira introduces them to each other. It’s all very tense, and awkward for Moira as she has no idea Ollie and Slade know each other and thinks Ollie is just being rude. At any moment Slade could reveal Ollie’s biggest secrets or take his revenge and dispose of Ollie’s family. Ollie can’t do anything but take a home tour admiring the art in the Queen residence with Slade, Moira, and Thea, hoping Slade won’t suddenly decide to take action. Fortunately Ollie is very handy at using his cellphone without looking and dials the Arrow Cave. The gang’s all there. Felicity, Diggle, Roy, and Sara. Felicity answers the call assuming Ollie butt-dialed, but her assumption is quickly suppressed when Sara recognizes Slade’s voice on the other end. Now it’s up to Team Arrow to come to Ollie’s rescue.

Arrow S1 Ep15 - The Promise

Slade is not happy.

Meanwhile, we are given a whole lot of back-story as a lot of this episode takes place 5 years ago on the island. Slade, Ollie, and Sara have a plan to take Doctor Ivo’s ship, The Amazo, and use it as their ticket back home. Their plan requires Ollie to get kidnapped while Slade and Sara use a parachute to make their way to the ship’s main deck. It all works out well for the most part. They’re able to free the prisoners on the ship and take down some bad guys in the process. There’s only one problem: Ollie still hasn’t told Slade that he chose to save Sara instead of Shado back in the episode “Three Ghosts”. In that previous episode Doctor Ivo had given Ollie the choice of who Ivo would shoot to kill; Shado or Sara. In Ivo’s eyes, Ollie chose Sara thus making Ivo kill Shado. Ollie really had no choice at all but has felt guilt over it ever since. Now, Ivo has the chance to use this as a wildcard and make sure Slade knows the truth that Ollie could’ve saved Shado and didn’t. Slade finds out, and while he is still determined to kill Ivo for pulling the trigger, he now has a vendetta against Ollie.

Arrow S1 Ep15 - The Promise

Slade and Roy share a firm handshake.

Moving forward to the present, Team Arrow has gathered around the Queen residence. Sara and Roy are on the inside while Diggle points a sniper rifle from a distance. Fortunately for all of them, Slade decides not to take any action against Ollie, his team, or his family. He politely says goodbye to the Queen family and decides to leave. Ollie walks him to his car. Diggle has him in his sights, but is then knocked out by someone off frame. Slade assures Ollie that Diggle is fine, but lets Ollie know that soon he will have his revenge and promises Ollie will feel the same pain Slade felt when he lost Shado. After all is said and done we see why Slade decided to step in Ollie’s home. Throughout Moira’s tour he planted cameras all over the place. He now has the Queen residence under complete surveillance.

As far as technical aspects and scripting go I have no complaints against “The Promise”. Overall, it had a good blend of excitement during the action-packed flashback scenes and tension during the present-day scenes. Ollie was on edge the entire time Slade pranced around his home and actor Stephen Amell played that nervousness and uncertainty very well. I thought seeing Team Arrow take the initiative to try and save Ollie was a nice touch. They’ve never proven themselves to be poor team members, but I enjoy getting that reassurance that if Ollie is ever in trouble his team is there to back him up without hesitation. During the island flashback scenes we get a taste of Doctor Ivo’s motives. It seems his reason for finding the Mirakuru was to obtain a cure for something that may be affecting his wife, with whom he has a sad conversation with before revealing Ollie’s secret guilt to Slade. I’m glad the writers fleshed him out a little more before Slade went and chopped his hand off.

Lately, the island flashback scenes on Arrow have just felt like filler. You could probably fast forward through the majority of them and still have a full understanding of an episode. This was not the case with”The Promise” as these scenes not only explained the reasons for Slade’s current state, but reinforced the fact that Ollie and Slade were once like brothers. I appreciated seeing the contrast between present day Slade and past Slade

While I did enjoy “The Promise” I’m still not pleased with Slade’s motivation for turning against Ollie. I realize he’s hurt that Ollie didn’t tell him the truth and feels betrayed that Ollie chose Sara over Shado, but Ollie still isn’t the person who killed her. Ivo is. Now Slade has a vendetta to take out Ollie’s entire family just because Ollie failed to save Shado? What did he do to Ivo? Slade’s actions can be somewhat justified if he has even worse plans for Ivo and his family. That being said, I think we can chalk up Slade’s wacky logic to the Mirakuru in his bloodstream messing with his head. Either way I’ll be looking forward to seeing Arrow face off against Deathstroke in an epic final battle before the season’s end.


Watch “The Promise” on Amazon Instant Video.

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