‘Arrow’: Keeping An Eye On The Target

Published 1 year ago by

Manu Bennett in Arrow Season 2 Episode 15 Arrow: Keeping An Eye On The Target

[This is a review of Arrow season 2, episode 15. There will be SPOILERS.]


Early on, the island flashback sequences on Arrow largely served as a sort of novelty; a clever way of tracking Oliver’s progression from spoiled rich kid, to the hero is today. Generally, they were best used as a supplement to the present day storyline, matching the emotional tenor of Oliver’s adventures in Starling City with some similarly resonant event from the past. But when the show served up ‘The Odyssey‘ last season (a bottle episode that effectively turned Slade Wilson into a major player in the Arrow universe), and when it was revealed that many of the individuals from the island weren’t simply relegated to being flashbacks themselves, the significance of the sequences went from being a simple additive, to finally being the other half of the story.

In fact, in ‘The Promise,’ the narrative of the episode is closer in structure to the aforementioned ‘The Odyssey,’ in that the present day element serves to supplement the action that’s taking place on the island. As has been seen before, doing that requires a significant event to take place. Last season, it was Oliver and Slade’s team up to take down Edward Fyers; it was the first step in Ollie’s progression toward becoming Arrow, and here, the episode demonstrates just how quickly things go from bad to worse once Slade is made aware the truth behind Shado’s death.

That affords the episode a thrilling set piece, involving Slade, Sara, and Oliver storming the Amazo, in order to eliminate Dr. Ivo (Dylan Neal) and hopefully secure his vessel as a means of escape from the island. Naturally, despite Sara thinking far enough ahead to provide Ollie with a mixture to combat the effects of sodium pentothal, things don’t necessarily go as planned. When Oliver corners Ivo, the doctor goes into a frantic speech about Oliver choosing Shado’s death when he opted to save Sara, attempting to shift the blame from himself. When Slade overhears the conversation, he immediately turns on Oliver. Slade manages to take control of the ship, make Oliver his prisoner, and separate Ivo’s right hand from the rest of his body. Meanwhile, Sara finds herself separated from Ollie, after she winds up back on the island and in rather strange company.

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in Arrow Season 2 Episode 15 Arrow: Keeping An Eye On The Target

It’s never a good sign when it takes as much verbal gymnastics as it did to demonstrate Ivo’s shifting of the blame for Shado’s death onto Oliver, so the less the series says about that in the future the better. Thankfully, though the impetus for his rage doesn’t feel as compelling as might otherwise be , at least the writers can blame the majority of Slade’s unhealthy preoccupation with meting out revenge against Oliver and his family on the mirakuru in his bloodstream.

Some tricky characterization issues aside, ‘The Promise’ works terrifically on an action level, while also serving to arrange the next phase of Arrow‘s dual storylines. While Slade’s touring the Queen art collection (and setting up a system of spy cameras), the rapid response and assembly of Team Arrow winds up being one of the more tension-filled components of the episode. As the title suggests, the events are merely a warning of dangers yet to come, but the sight of Roy, Sara, and Diggle coming to Oliver’s aid suggest those dangers may be bigger than anything Arrow has previously encountered.


Arrow continues Wednesday, March 19 with ‘Suicide Squad’ @ 8pm on The CW. Check out preview below:

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  1. That has to be Harley in the trailer had to be and I think the doctor on the boat who killed shadow his wife he was doing all this for I think might of been harley as well.

  2. The problem with using the island as major plot points is it starts getting harder to keep things straight and the details get muddy. I think I found a continuity problem. When sara first comes to arrow’s lair and sees the hood in its display case she says the last time she saw that, shado was wearing it. Now this episode has Oliver wearing it on the island with sara. Continuity fail?

    • Pretty sure she says that the first time she saw the hood Shado was wearing it – which is how it played out

  3. Am I the only one that was waiting all day for this to post up so I can geek out about it with everyone else?

    And yes I yelled THATS HARLEY QUINN! when I saw the preview. My wife even got excited because she loves Harley Quinn

    So heres hopin. Happy wife, Happy life. Help me out alittle here Arrow

    • What if – and I’m just tossing this here, you don’t even have to consider it because it’s probably nonsense – but what if, it wasn’t Harley Quinn but Felicity Smoak instead? :O

      Also, no, you’re not the only one waiting to geek this out. I’m not sure how will I survive ’til March 19th… :(

      Alsox2, your wife is amazing.

      This is becoming awkward, isn’t it? :D

      • My wife certainly is amazing. She let me do my son’s nursery in full marvel comics, including old 70′s and 80′s captain america and hulk comics framed and hung up, masks, curtains, etc. Its epic. But she supports my love of the comic-verse even though she isnt a nerd like me.

        I was wondering if it was felicity but that would be another storyline, as to why she went nuts, they would have to add to the already spiderweb of storylines this season has created. But that might also open it up for Felicity to become a harley quinn character which would be sad.

  4. Just had a nerdgasm, that was Harley f’ing Quinn!!!! This show is reaching legendary status EARLY!

  5. Bring Shado back. She is a much better actor than either of the two sisters. Felicity and Shado would make a great duo, but the other two can take a hike.

    • And how do you suggest they do that….? She’s dead, and I think Sara is a better character than Shado and Laurel.

      • More than likely they are bringing her back. How else did Oliver get the dragon tattoo?

  6. While I do think that the female character is Harley Quinn, I don’t think she’s apart of the Suicide Squad, she’s probably just one of A.R.G.U.S.’s permanent prisoners(i.e. to unstable to in prison or on the Suicide Squad). Laurel is a S%*#ty character, but this is Laurel we’re talking about, she’s a bossy b*%$#. They should made her be manipulated by Blood and form a relationship with him, and have her become one of the villains. Oh, and they really need to give Felicity a nickname(maybe Oracle, Watchtower, or something new). Original Idea: I remembered how some people thought Diggle should be Arrow(I was on the fence on that idea), but since it was revealed that the Green Lantern Movie and Arrow are in the dame universe(look it up, the logo on the plane Oliver, Slade, and Shado save is the same logo for Ferris Air as in the movie), I think he should be Steel.

    • I agree that the blonde character in the trailer is Harley but it doesn’t seem like she goes on this mission – could turn up in a later episode involving the Squad or maybe she engineers a break-out to lead the team herself in the future – either way very happy with the inclusion

      I did think last episode that they should give Felicity a code name cos the guy kept hacking into their radios and everyone was still like ‘hey Felicity do something about this’, not terribly smart from the team

      While I would like Arrow to become part of the movie universe that is being built I would prefer that they keep the number of characters who make the jump with Amell to a minimum (would like to see Slade in the movies as well since Manu is absolutely killing it IMO)

      But they have yet to confirm or deny whether they are part of the same universe – the Ferris logo is hardly conclusive – the inclusion of the logo does suggest that there is quite possibly a Hal Jordan somewhere in the Arrow world who might/could make an appearance way way down the line
      - I don’t expect anything to come from it for a good long while though – fortunately the current story is good enough that they don’t need to use that thread making it a nice Easter egg at the moment but nothing more

      Also the Green Lantern film does not seem to be in the same universe as MoS which seems to be marked as the starting point of DCs movie-verse

      • I just want to second that Manu is killing it as Slade. Just a great villain and he is doing it so well!

      • It’s interesting that John Diggle has a lot of the same similarities as John Stewart.

  7. “When we first met, we were strangers. Now, we’re brothers”. I don’t know you guys, but I actually teared up a bit hearing that. Love this episode. Seeing Oliver in the flashbacks don the hood and Slade wearing his mask is symbolic. I’m quite excited for the Suicide Squad and future episodes.

    • Yea, unfortunately when he put the mask on it didn’t fit at all. It was floppin around on his head like an old pair of underwear. Geez that pissed me off. Also, why they hell did they include an ending in which Slade was not wearing his eye patch if they were going to get a kid in middle school to develop the special effects. I mean that looked awful.

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed this episode
    Even if it did effectively do exactly what I expected it to – which was set up things up for the finale run in and make all the characters aware of Slades presence in Starling

    This episode did remind me of ‘The Odyssey’ – which is one of my favourite episodes from last season

    Something that I was curious about was – Who took out Diggle? Just a hired thug or someone more significant like Merlyn or Huntress? As Slade was talking about having his own allies when it happened

  9. Well done episode. Action sequences were well executed and the story line was nicely progressed. I am wondering who all the villains will be. I love that we have Slade and Brother Blood.

    I do hope they tie up the Oliver and Moira story line where Moira sacrifices herself for the family, and the truth gets revealed to Thea and we can move past this story line.

    Love the show but if we have to sit through every episode of Thea asking Oliver why he isn’t talking to mom and him avoiding the the question, it will grow old.

    Looking forward to Roy stepping it up!

  10. I still don’t see how one can think Ollie chose Sarah over Shado.

    Ivo asked him to choose, he refused, so *Ivo* chose to point the gun at Sarah and Ollie jumped in front of it. If Ivo had pointed the gun at Shado, Ollie would have done the same thing.

    Such a big hole to me. Slade should just fess up, it’s not because Ollie *chose* Sarah over Shado, it’s because Shado loved Ollie and not him and he’s jealous.

    And who took out Diggle?

    Dead is not dead on any show. Shado can come back… her father can come back too. We can just call it a “mirakuru”.

    • I believe Tommy Merlyn is also alive.

    • Slade is under the influence of the Mirakulu, so his judgement is clouded. The main reason for Slade to be mad is not he’s jealous, Oliver “chose” Sarah over Shado.

      Dead is not dead on any show? Untrue. As for Arrow, Shado and her father are died, they should stay dead. The only character I can see possibly coming back from the dead is Tommy. It’s a LONG stretch that’ll ever happen though.

      • Malcolm Merlyn came back from the dead. Plus Raz al Ghul exists in the Arrowverse, so it is not to much of a leap to think that the Lazarus pits do as well.

      • I want to know whom Ivo was referring to when he was talking about a girl on the boat who was going through the tests. He definitely wasn’t referring to Sarah cause he was talking about the now and then and sarah was already on the island at that time.

        • @TheFume:

          I caught that too. Could be Shado… so yes… dead is not dead. :)

          • Gotta side with Slade here in presuming that Shado and Yao Fe are ‘dead’ dead and not coming back

            @JOJOMO – when did Malcolm die? in the finale he got stabbed sure but so did Ollie and he was well enough to get on his bike and go to the glades, surely if ollie can survive that then so can a member of the league of shadows

            @TheFume – given the phone calls he makes during this episode my understanding was that the girl connected to Ivo was a daughter or significant other who is suffering from some form of illness which is why he is so set on looking for the mirakuru as there isn’t a cure in modern medicine
            Ivo never took Shados body off the island since Slade and Ollie buried her so I’m inclined to think that she is as dead as Robert Queen and Yao Fe

            However I’m sure that if the writers were really set on resurrecting Shado they’ll find a way – after all Sarah was presumed dead for a long time – but it will take something very special to get around a bullet to the head

    • The Mirakuru is messing with Slade’s head. Any rational human being would’ve realized the impossible situation Oliver was in.

      Thing is tho, Slade is far from rational. Near the end of the episode when Oliver is explaining to Slade what happened, all Slade kept saying was “I don’t care”. That should indicate where his head is at.

      All Slade knows is that Oliver could have prevented Shado’s death and he didn’t.

      So while Ivo pulled the trigger, in Slade’s messed up head, Oliver is just as guilty.

  11. Another awesome ep. Man if they were ever to have Deathstroke in a justice league movie they better frikin have Manu Bennet his just too bad ass

  12. Absolutely loved this episode. The show just keeps getting better and better in my opinion.

    Can’t wait for Roy to eventually become Red Arrow.
    I almost want them to break from the canon, kill Laurel off and just keep Sara as Black Canary, she is such a better choice.

  13. Its either Sebastian Blood or Malcolm Merlyn that hammered out Diggle.
    Or it could be Sara.

    Any wild guesses guys?

    • Pretty sure it was the Huntress

  14. Hypemeter is over 9,000

  15. Was actually a little underwhelmed at first when we see slade in queen manor. But when he sliped the bugs in that was creepy epic.

    Also I’m actually hoping we see another member of the squad…captain boomerang. It would also be interesting to tie him to the flash. Maybe even hint that some punk who moved in the blink of an eye was the cause of his arrest…

  16. Know what? I think they should do a spin-off with Deathstroke. Have him be defeated but defeated in another sense. Sort of have a fight but also one that gets to him underneath. Like Ollie could beat him up while telling him if this is what Shado would want, if this is honouring her memory in any way. Then he could run off and be a mercenary with conflicted feelings about everything. He could try to find his place in the world. I’d love to see him just go around the world and be a mercenary but work his way to being a good one. Develop a sense of morality over time. They could test various things out too, test out different DC aspects/characters through Slade traveling the world. He could go into Gotham, and they could tease a lot of things there. Even to Metropolis. Cadmus, Star Labs, League of Shadows and Merlyn, etc. He has a lot of venues he could be used in to tease a grander a universe while having a good character journey as well.

  17. As much as I love this show, there were a couple of scenes where the actors seemed unconvincing in their deliveries. This was one of the few episodes where Canary seemed weaker than Island-Sara. That said, Slade’s reaction to seeing Canary walk down the steps at the Queen home was perfect. Manu Bennett walked away with this episode, as far as I’m concerned. Whether other shows are connected to the Arrowverse or not, it’d be great to see him play the character anytime he’s needed, be it Arrow, Flash, Gotham or otherwise.

    Also, I’m curious who it was that knocked Diggle out.

  18. I think Deathstroke is going to end up with the Suicide Squad as their leader.

  19. Naevia and Crixus will be re-united!

  20. The next Episode will be a great Birthday present, especially if it has Harley Quinn. So excited!!!!

  21. If Harley Quinn appears in the next Arrow episode, then we might as well expect Joker to appear in season 3.

  22. Amanda Waller must have recruited most of the team already when she talked to bronze tiger in prison I wonder where she found deadshot I remember him walking away after him and diggle broke out of that russian prison and I want to see Harley Quinn being recruited from black gate prison as Waller walks her through the prison they show other villains in their cells like penguin and two face and joker and when they get outside Jim Gordon says something like be careful she will kill you if she gets a chance and Harley should say I will force you to watch me blow away your family with my bazooka then crush your skull with my big ass hammer.

  23. I was disappointed in this episode. I was expecting a big reveal, but we didn’t get anything. I really liked Canary the first time around, but I can so do without Sara. I hate how they have let her take over the Arrow Cave and how she has shoved everyone out of the way to get all the attention. I am hoping that she won’t be around as a regular next season because I think she is ruining the show. I loved who Oliver was becoming, but I can’t stand Sara’s Ollie.