ARROW Season 5×23, “Lian Yu” recap

25 May

Welcome back, Arrowheads! It’s season finale time, and last time we were all here, we got quite a setup.  Ollie was put in the unenviable position to free our season’s big bad, Adrian Chase, when Adrian’s associates kidnapped all of Team Arrow, even his hidden son!  Discovering Adrian had made his way to Lian Yu to setup some final confrontation between the two, Ollie knew he had to get some help, and enlisted Malcolm Merlyn and Nyssa al Ghul.  But once they all got to the island, he still had to get one more hand to help him in this fight: the imprisoned Deathstroke/Slade Wilson!  How will this wobbly team-up going to fare against all those bad guys?  Well, before we get to the shocking result, let’s check in on another ticking clock…

On a Clock.  In the last flashback of the season (series?), Kovar has discovered Ollie has escaped his prison cell on Lian Yu, and wants him found and returned alive.  Ollie checks the time and realizes the plan to reintroduce him into the world is running out of time, so he starts pulling a full on Rambo and starts murdering Kovar’s men.  Kovar gets a helicopter to chase Ollie down, but Ollie manages to send the helicopter crashing to the ground.  At the crash site, he finds Kovar still alive and still strong enough to fight.  After a vicious one on one brawl, Ollie is finding himself out of time to pull off his plan, so he neck snaps Kovar dead (apparently for good this time), and takes off to the shore.

And in almost a retread of the opening of the very first episode, Ollie gets on his disguise and signals the fishing boat to collect him.  After he’s taken away from the island, he calls his mother, Moira, to let her know he’s alive.  And we kind of know the rest of the story, so let’s get to where we are now…

“Hey mom! What happened to me? Well, I ended up on a mysterious island, got off it to Hong Kong to fight a deadly virus, then ended up back on the same island to fight supernatural stuff, then ended up in Russia and joined the Russian mafia, and just today I got back to the island and killed Ivan Drago! No, I’m not high, mom!”

Out of Purgatory.  At the ARGUS cell, Ollie is at Slade Wilson’s holding cell when the guard asks what’s happening.  Well, Ollie tells the guy to get off the island right now, because he’s springing Slade and Digger Harkness (Captain Boomerang from season three) for a special mission.  When the guard refuses, he gets knocked out by Ollie (which may be not for his own good, as we’ll see much later).   Slade seems way more normal thanks to all that Mirakuru from their last encounter being out of his system, almost content to serve his time imprisoned, and asks why he would ask for his help (this is the guy who murdered Moira, you know).  He explains he needs help to find his friends and family on the island, and to sweeten the pot, offers info on where Slade can find his missing son.  It looks like we got a team-up! On the shore, Malcolm and Nyssa are getting gear out of their plane (and sniping at each other for obvious reasons), as Ollie returns with Slade and Boomerang.  Before they can sit down to discuss what to do, a missile comes out of nowhere and blows up their plane.  I guess Adrian found out the party guests have arrived.  The group makes their way into the island, and Boomerang laments to Ollie why he doesn’t have any weapons, but the guy who murdered Ollie’s mom does.  Ollie reminds him that if he doesn’t play ball, he won’t allow him to leave the island.  Fair enough.

Choosing Sides.  While Nyssa and Malcolm are scouting around, the rest of faux-Team Arrow spot several cages, with Felicity, Curtis, Thea, and Ollie’s baby mama Samantha.  They start working on getting them out when it becomes clear they aren’t being guarded.  Yep, it’s a trap, and Talia and Evelyn appear with weapons on them.  Oh yeah, and it turns out Boomerang was also in cahoots with Adrian too (!), and offers Slade a chance to join up.  Well, he declines and our heroes (plus a returning Nyssa and Malcolm) send Talia and Boomerang packing.  There’s no sign of anyone else, and the caged Evelyn isn’t talking, but hey, Ollie will come back for her after taking down Chase (which again, may be a problem later).

“Just like old times, eh, kid? Except for the fact I murdered your mom while I was super high. My bad there!”

Thea’s a little shocked by both Malcolm and Slade helping Ollie, but she eventually agrees to help Malcolm get Felicity, Curtis, and Samantha off the island via a plane they found (probably the one they were transported to the island in).  Oh and Felicity kisses Ollie, you know, just in case.  The rest of them head further in, and in that time, Slade takes a minute to ask about why Adrian is trying to kill him.  And during this talk, Slade comes to a conclusion I’m surprised Ollie never had before, that all that guilt he’s carrying is born out of one thing he wasn’t able to do: save his father from shooting himself on that life raft 10 years ago.  Hey, an Ollie/Slade bonding moment.  Who would’ve thought we would get there?

Taking Your Place.  Meanwhile, our other group with Malcolm and Thea is making their way to the plane.  Felicity and Samantha talk, while Thea tries to blow off crazy daddy Malcolm–and then Thea steps onto a land mine.  It can’t be disarmed, which means if she steps off it, she’s dead.  But Malcolm catches her off guard and very quickly, takes her place on the land mine.   She may hate Malcolm, but even she doesn’t want this.

But they have no choice but to leave him as Boomerang and some goons seem to be coming their way.  Boomerang’s group stumbles onto Malcolm, who don’t know he’s standing on a bomb.  Well they learn that as the fleeing group with Thea sees an explosion in the distance.  Is Malcolm Merlyn dead?  Have my dreams come true?  I guess we’ll see next season…maybe…

“You think your boomerangs scare me? I spent this year traveling with an evil speedster and sarcastic frenemy across time! You make me laugh!”

Felicity and Thea have a talk about their disappointing dads before finding the plane.  Oh, and they find a device buried in the ground.  It’s a bomb, but with a transmitter.  Well, Felicity uses a computer tablet that Ollie left them and discovers it’s linked to several THOUSAND bombs that encompass the whole island!  Whoa, man!

Gift-Wrapped.  The trio of Ollie, Nyssa, and Slade stumble onto an old monastery, where we learn earlier the rest of Team Arrow is.  Nyssa scouts around, and then–Slade knocks out Ollie! Black Siren/Evil Laurel shows up and Slade says he has a gift for Adrian.  They take Ollie to where Quentin, Rene, and Dinah are, and after they leave them, Ollie reveals to his friends it was a ruse both guys thought up to get Ollie in to give Dinah some of Curtis’ tech that can disable the sonic dampeners keeping her powers in check.  Talia hears the result of that, but gets interrupted going to stop them by Nyssa.  And what better way can you settle sisterly issues then by getting into a sword fight?

Slade arrives to kill some bad guy ninjas as Nyssa gets the upper hand on Talia (but doesn’t kill her).  Ollie and the rest arrive, and Slade has some bad news: Ollie’s son, William, isn’t in the monastery.  Well, maybe they can ask Adrian, because he arrives with some ninja goons!  And meantime, Felicity is tracking down the transmitter source for the island bombs, and…let’s just say they need Ollie to know soon…


Show Them Who You Are.  Ollie wants to know where his son is, and Adrian says only killing him will reveal that.  Well, during a huge fight scene, Ollie finally gets Adrian in a headlock, and can end him right there.  But Ollie refuses to, saying he’s tired of holding all this guilt for the past, especially not saving his father.  Even after Chase baits him by saying his son is dead, he tells him he won’t be the monster Adrian wants him to be.This is actually good news, because Felicity reaches him on comms and tells him about the island bombs, and that they are linked to Adrian himself!  So if he dies, all the bombs go off!  Well Adrian takes this time to escape, and Ollie orders everyone to get to the plane and leave the minute they do.  He’s going off to finish things with Adrian!

Endgame.  Ollie finds Adrian getting on a boat to escape the island, but he gets on and starts fighting.  They end up a ways away from the island, as Adrian is beaten up and not saying where William is.  He also tells Ollie something everyone else figures out at the plane site: the plane is disabled!  Ollie gets on his comms and tells them to high tail to the ARGUS supply boat on the other end of the island.  During this, Adrian reveals he has William on the boat, and holds him in a headlock.  He gives Ollie a choice: kill him and let his friends die on an exploding island, OR Adrian kills his son.

Ollie makes his own choice and puts an arrow into Adrian’s leg, which lets William escape into Ollie’s arms.  Adrian concedes that Ollie has won this game, that William has seen the father Ollie can be as Ollie saw what his father was out on these waters ten years ago.

Then he shoots himself in the head.  And then…

Oh, nuts.

So, we all know all of Ollie’s friends and family didn’t just die right there, right?  RIGHT?  I guess we’ll see in the fall…

–Comic book connections: Deathstroke does have a few offspring, and almost all of them became heroes in one way or another.

–So are we to assume all of Chase’s other bad girls may have perished in that blast? In the case of Black Siren (because, SPOILERS, she is a regular next season), I’m leaning towards YES. Everyone else? Maybe.

–Speaking of Black Siren and that brutal fight with new Black Canary, Dinah, it’s nice to see Quentin work out his issues regarding an evil parallel universe version of his daughter by knocking her out with a pipe.  You get therapy where you can.

–RIP Malcolm Merlyn? Well, John Barrowman said he’s not returning next season, that doesn’t suggest he’s not going to appear in some capacity. Just how that landmine explosion didn’t kill him will be a long story. Maybe he has a cyborg leg next time we see him. Just a suggestion, Arrow writers!

–I’m sure Lyla will have a lot of questions regarding how the prisoners on the island escaped, and then THE WHOLE ISLAND going up in flames with her baby’s daddy on it!

–Really?  In all this time on the island, NO ONE noticed a damn monastery there?

–“Assumption is the mother of all failures!”

–“A child never needs to ask.”

–“Great place.  Is there a Big Belly Burger here too?”

And that’s it for this season of Arrow!  It’s been a great season, and I’ll see you in the fall when season six starts!

In the meantime though, starting next week and through the summer, I’ll be going back and recapping the first season of Arrow!  I’ll be doing two episodes each week in a less formal matter than these season recaps, starting next week with the very first episode!  Hope to see you then.

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