Well, here we are folks. After an exceptional year, Arrow‘s second season has come to a close, in one of the most action-packed television episodes in recent memory. The show made good on the promises and foundations its been laying all season long, which have all led to an epic final showdown between Oliver Queen and Slade Wilson, with the fate of Starling City hanging in the balance.
There were a lot of expectations heading into the finale, after some terrific build-up over the past few months. The show has been on a stride lately, delivering solid episode after solid episode, and luckily, “Unthinkable” is no exception. Admittedly, I wouldn’t consider it the best episode of the season, and it didn’t end on the bang that many of us were hoping for. In fact, once all is said and done, the conclusion to the long-gestating Slade/Oliver battle felt a little anti-climactic, and the episode failed to reach the emotional depths that recent outings like “Seeing Red” managed to travel to.
That being said, “Unthinkable” did manage to live up to the challenge of wrapping up the season’s various plot threads, and gave each character a chance to shine. What the episode manages to do so well is to bring the character of Oliver Queen to a new level, taking him from street-level vigilante to full-blown superhero; without ever feeling forced or campy. In many ways, Oliver’s journey has come full circle, and the finale has managed to leave him in a new, exciting place that I wasn’t quite expecting. Usually season finales deal a few death blows and throw a few jaw-dropping cliffhangers into the mix in order to keep fans interested between seasons. Arrow, however, doesn’t need to do that, and instead puts Oliver’s characterization and status as a hero first; which is why we watch this show to begin with.