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'Arrow' recap: Slade's promise to Oliver

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"Arrow" season 2 airs its "The Odyssey" episode on Wednesday, March 5, with "The Promise," which is all about Oliver and Slade, both in the past and the present.

Unwanted houseguest This "Arrow" episode picks up right where last week's left off, with Oliver shocked to see Slade in his living room, meeting with his mother. Slade has made a contribution to Moira's campaign, and he's done a pretty good job of charming her. Tensions are high, and Slade even dares to propose a toast "to friendship." He also asks if the family spends a lot of time on water after pointing out a boat on display and then calls Oliver a brave soul and understands that the time on the island must have been hell for him. Ouch.

While Moira asks Slade about his personal life, Oliver sits quietly, giving him a death glare. When Slade says he lost someone a few years ago, Oliver tells him to move on and comes across as just plain rude to his mother, who apologizes for his manners. Oh, if she only knew. Oliver's death glares continue as Thea begins giving a tour of the art in the house, and Oliver calls Felicity's cell so everyone in the lair can listen. That's when Sara realizes Slade's alive, and everyone springs into action. "That might work," Sara says of the biggest gun Diggle can find in the place, and she makes sure she can trust Mirakuru-powered Roy out there. "Please save Oliver," Felicity calls after them.

Diggle gets in position with the gun, while Sara enters the house through the second floor and Roy walks in the front door to get Thea and Moira away from Slade as calmly as possible. That just leads to a battle of the handshake when Roy and Slade meet, and when Sara joins them, claiming she didn't want to interrupt the tour, Slade calls her the girl who came back from the dead and gets in another comment about having a special someone. Slade chooses to leave, and Oliver walks him to his car, but someone takes out Diggle before he can take the shot. So what does Slade want? He's there to fulfill a promise he made to him five years ago. As the episode ends, he sits in front of computer screens, watching Queen mansion, thanks to the cameras he set up on the tour. Oh, and he doesn’t have his eyepatch on, so there's a nice visual of his empty eye socket.

About that promise… Before they can take the freighter, Oliver needs to get some archery practice and training in, and he does get better. The night before they put their plan into action, Oliver and Sara burn the box of Mirakuru before joining Slade for a toast – to taking the freighter (Sara), getting off the island (Oliver) and Shado (Slade). Oliver makes Sara promise to tell his family he wasn't the same stupid kid who got on the boat if he doesn't make it, and she asks him to tell hers that she died on the boat so they'll remember her the way she was. Oliver's guilty conscience invades his dreams as he prepares to kill Ivo so he doesn't tell Slade what happened, and he sees Shado attack him for not choosing her.

The next day, Oliver lights an arrow and lets it fly, but misses his target and blames the breeze. Take two, and it's a hit. Slade tells Oliver that when they first tried to get off the island it was as strangers. Now, it's as brothers. Oh well, too bad that doesn't last long. The bonfire is lit, Ivo's men know he's there and Oliver's captured. After a brief return to a cell, Oliver ends up in Ivo's chair and is given truth serum to give up Sara and Slade's location. He tells Ivo they're in the engine room, but once there, a flashback shows that Sara had given Oliver something to counteract the truth serum, so all he had to do was recall his pre-island self and act stoned to sell it.

Slade and Sara parachute onto the freighter while everyone's busy below deck looking for them, and Sara gives Oliver his bow and arrows. He had the hood, Slade has the mas, and it's time to get to work. But Slade makes sure to tell Oliver not to kill Ivo; he wants to do it himself.

All hell breaks loose, there's gunfire and there are explosions, Sara frees everyone from the cells and deals with a guy who’s not exactly happy to see her, and Ivo radios Jessica to tell her that he found a cure. (Too bad for Ivo she needs that cure to follow the conversation.) Oliver interrupts that conversation, but Ivo knows it's harder than it looks to kill an unarmed man. When Oliver brings up him killing Shado, Ivo tells him he had a choice. Oliver may hold himself responsible as well, but that doesn't mean he won't kill him. But what will Slade do since he's behind Oliver and now knows? Uh-oh. Trouble.

Oliver tries to explain himself to Slade, but it's too late. Ivo runs while Slade and Oliver fight, and while Sara's able to get off the freighter and back to the island with other escapees, Oliver isn't so lucky because Slade actually grabs his leg as he's jumping overboard and pulls him back onto the freighter. It's back into a cell for Oliver, and the freighter is now Slade's – and after what he does to the captain, no one's about to argue with him.

Slade has Ivo and Oliver brought out in front of one another and forces Ivo to show him how he killed Shado by pointing the gun at Oliver. But he doesn't have him kill him. Instead, he cuts off his hand. As for Oliver, "Killing you now would be a mercy," Slade explains to his former "brother." "You cannot die until you have suffered the same way that I have suffered. Until you have known complete despair and you will. I promise."

"Arrow" season 2 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 15 "The Promise"?

Read more about Arrow.

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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