'Arrow' react: I am the captain now

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Image Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

It has officially begun. Slade found out the truth about Shado, and five years later, he’s introduced himself to Oliver’s entire family in order to keep the promise he made Ollie on the island: “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.” Let’s get into it!

We picked up right where we left off, with Oliver and Slade participating in the world’s firmest handshake. Slade had just made a sizable donation to Moira’s campaign and seemed to be all about eliminating that pesky wage gap. As Slade put it, he and Moira have something in common — they know how difficult it is to pick yourself up when other people have written you off. And with full glasses of Slade’s authentic Australian rum, they all drank to friendship. Seconds later, Slade asked about the boat accident, and more specifically, the island that must’ve been hell for Oliver.

And to hell we went! The majority of the episode took place on the island, where Oliver was perfecting the art of training shirtless in preparation for the big takeover. The first step in their plan involved burning what was left of the Mirakuru so that Ivo would never get his hands on it. And the second step involved a toast, not dissimilar to the one we just watched at the Queen mansion. Slade had been saving some booze, but considering this might be their last night on the island, they raised a glass to taking the freighter, getting off this island forever, and to Shado. That night, Oliver dreamt of Shado, but it wasn’t nearly as pleasant as it sounds: She was asking “why didn’t you choose me?”while repeatedly stabbing him. So perhaps the better word to use there would’ve been “nightmare.” However, some good came out of it: Oliver woke up and put on Shado’s hood for the first time. At the same time, Slade grabbed that Deathstroke mask. It was game time.

Oliver went to shoot a flaming arrow to cause an explosion, but missed on the first try. This interaction was everything:

Slade: “Well, we don’t have all day.”
Oliver: “There’s a breeze.”

Seeing Oliver suck at something is nothing if not fun. But the second time was the charm. After Slade gave Ollie a great speech about how the last time they tried to get off the island they were strangers and now they’re brothers, Ivo’s men hit the beach and captured Ollie. Of course, it was staged. Sara knew that Ivo would take Ollie and inject him with a truth serum, so she created some sort of herb mixture that would counteract it. Ollie told Ivo’s men that Sara and Slade would be in the engine room. Instead, they parachuted onto the main deck.

Back in present day, Slade was telling Moira how he wasn’t married because his someone special had passed away years ago. Oliver went right at him, explaining that the Queen family knew loss, and “you just have to move on.” But Slade didn’t believe that. As soon as Moira stepped out of the room to see about opening up the house to show off the art collection, Oliver tried to stab Slade. He failed. “Not yet kid. I’m still to meet the rest of your family.” Just like that, Thea walked in and began Slade’s art tour.

Oliver dialed Felicity, who was busy bringing takeout back to the cave, where shirtless Roy was working on his horrible archery skills. Felicity thought it was a butt dial so she put the call on speaker. Sara recognized the voice. I have to pause here because I found Sara’s reaction to be very eh. Is she panicked? Because she seems calm. And she could be a little more shocked. Or maybe give her a second to not believe it and be all, “No no, it’s impossible,” only to have Diggle pull it out of her? Instead, she went from sort-of shocked straight into mission mode. She told Diggle to get the biggest gun he had, made Roy put on his hoodie, and the team went out the door. Precious Felicity called after them, “Please save Oliver.” [heart skips a beat]

Back to the island! Ivo was attempting to call his wife and tell her he’d found a cure when Oliver got to him. Ivo immediately brought up Shado and how Oliver was blaming himself for her death. Oliver knew what he had to do. But as Ivo put it, the question was, “What will he do?” Oliver turned around to see Slade standing there. Slade removed his mask to reveal tears. And that was the official moment when this friendship died. 

Moments later, Sara and Ollie agreed they had to get off the ship, but when Ollie tried to jump overboard, Slade caught him by his ankle and threw him back on deck. And yes, it was as badass as it sounds. Slade locked Oliver back up in a cell, before explaining to Ivo’s men that he was the new captain. Want proof? Well, he just crushed the captain’s skull; how does that work for ya?

And Slade’s first order of business as captain? Revealing that he hadn’t burned the Mirakuru after all before chopping off the hand Ivo used to pull the trigger on Shado. He then made Ollie the previously mentioned promise about suffering and all that good stuff. All in all, this was one of my favorite Slade moments. Watching him threaten Ollie with tears in his eyes gave me chills (and made me really wish he hadn’t lost one of his beautiful eyes).

Flash forward five years, and Team Arrow was at the mansion. Roy introduced himself to Slade, and the two shared a firm handshake of their own. Seconds later, Sara was by Ollie’s side, which did not help the situation. Guys, I love you — but you shouldn’t wave the girl you chose over Shado in his face and show him how you get to be a happy couple when the woman he loved is dead. But I digress. When Sara informed Oliver that Diggle was set up to take a shot on Slade outside, Oliver offered to walk Mr. Wilson to his car Lamborghini. But Slade was here to fulfill that promise he made to Ollie, which meant he had already taken out Diggle. Or rather, he had someone take out Diggle. And by take out, I mean knock out. He’s not dead. Although this is just the beginning of Slade’s plan. The one-eyed villain returned to his office where he was watching everything that was happening in the Queen mansion. You know, the house that Oliver had just been kicked out of for bad manners. Slade’s art tour, as it turned out, was more about planting cameras throughout the mansion than admiring art. Insert Sara’s not-so-shocked face here.

So what did you all think of the episode? Personally, I have no idea how Ollie can defeat Slade, but I look forward to watching him try. Although, does Slade know about Sara’s League of Assassins training? Because she’s definitely more helpful now than she was on that freighter, though I have a feeling Slade’s going to make sure she dies. What’s next for Diggle and the Suicide Squad?! And lastly, did anyone else think of this when they saw Slade’s empty eye socket?

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