'Arrow' Season 2 finale: Love, death and the end of Slade Wilson in 'Unthinkable'

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It's possible that the "Arrow" Season 2 finale is called "Unthinkable" because just about everything that happens in it is a little different from what you think. Declarations of love are about more than just feelings. Survival takes surprising turns into possible doom. And motivations? Well, good luck guessing those.

A beginning in which many people shoot each other with little effect

The beginning of the end of "Arrow" Season 2 involves a lot of violence to no effect.

Team Arrow is in the clock tower, hiding out while waiting for Roy to either wake up or die from the mirakuru cure. Fortunately, Roy does wake up (not dead) just in time for a mirakuru-goon attack on the location. Thus, with an assist from Lyla and her rocket launcher, the party moves to the old lair.

Not the greatest idea. There is evidence of either a concerted attack on the location or a wild party held by people unhappy with Verdant upstairs. Whatever the case, it's a mess and not at all secure. With Diggle and Lyla sent to ARGUS so that Amanda Waller doesn't blow up the city, it's left to Oliver, Felicity and Roy to sort through the mess and find the weapons.

It turns out that the mess holds a bunch of medicine-delivery arrows, so that's cool. Less cool is the fact that Roy really doesn't remember that whole Hulk-kill episode. That is going to be awkward to explain. Speaking of killing, this is the point when the League of Assassins, led by Nyssa al Ghul, shows up in the lair.

They're pretty much ready to kill -- thanks to Sara agreeing to go back with them -- and have proven this by darting Laurel at the police station.

In other ineffectual shooting news, Thea thinks she has killed Evil Daddy Merlyn until Malcolm pops up, positively gleeful that his little girl took the shot. Yes, Malcolm Merlyn is still a homicidal nutcase. But now he's a proud papa as well!

A middle in which all action includes an 'Oh, about that ...'

Now it's time for the fight to begin -- back on the ship as well as in present-day Starling City. Oliver and his band of assassins (who are under strict orders to NOT KILL everybody) head on over to Queen Consolidated to face Slade, Isabel and the faceless minions.

Obviously, neither this nor any of the fights in "Unthinkable" can go entirely according to plan.

Take the ship, for example. With Shado shouting "Kill him!" orders into Slade's mirakuru-affected ears, the madman is ready to shoot just about everyone. He doesn't though, mostly because Anatoliy shoots \the torpedo into the boat.

It's messy -- Slade and Oliver fight and fight and fight, while poor Sara gets washed out to see. She's gone at this point, presumably off to get found by the League of Assassins.

Back in the present day, Lyla and Diggle sneak into ARGUS and proceed to free the members of the Suicide Squad. They need that backup too, since Amanda has all sorts of arguments about why she won't be calling off the drone strike. In addition to the whole save-the-city issue, Amanda points out that Lyla is going to have a heck of a time explaining all of this to her unborn child.

Yes, Diggle is going to be a daddy! But that's a plot for next season.

Over in the Thea plot, she agrees to meet with Roy and then to run away with him. It's just that Roy has this one little thing to do first ... Maybe leaving Thea alone in the apartment filled with weapons wasn't the best idea. But do we really have any evidence that Roy is smart?

Finally, we go back to the siege on Queen Consolidated. Oliver and company take the building with little problem, but Slade isn't there. Isabel is though, making her a prime target for Sara and Nyssa to take down together. Oliver isn't a fan of this killing, but he (understandably) doesn't object much either.

An ending in which everything you believed is not what it is

The big climax begins when Lance shows up at the office building with the news that Laurel has been kidnapped by a goon. Oliver isn't much interested at the moment -- what with his whole "I have to save the city now" thing -- and instead takes his itty-bitty army out to face the mirakuru goons in the streets.

But first, Oliver needs to make a pit stop. He takes Felicity to the now-empty Queen Manor and tells her she has to stay there. When the girl objects, Oliver pulls out the sharpest weapon he could ever have: love. Yes, Oliver tells Felicity that he loves her and that Slade would want to take her as a result.

It's quite a moment.

This is not, however, quite the moment you think it is. That becomes very clear when Oliver gets a call from Slade right after beating all of the goons into non-mirakuru submission. Slade informs Oliver that he is to come right now if Felicity is to be saved.

Obviously, Oliver does just that. Laurel is there too, because Slade needed to cover his bases on the people-Oliver-loves front. But threatening Felicity is all part of Oliver's ruse -- the girl actually has a mirakuru-cure syringe in her hands and stabs Slade in the neck.

That was what the "love" was about. Since Slade had bugged Queen Manor, Oliver knew that he could bait the man into taking Felicity. So he slipped the syringe to her during that declaration of love.

Sure, it's a little cold. But it's also way clever.

Without the mirakuru, Oliver has a chance against Slade and the two rush into a rather epic fight to the maybe-death. The scene is intercut with their earlier fight on the sinking ship, thereby showing the audience the moment when Oliver stabbed Slade through the eye with an arrow.

It doesn't end quite so badly in the present. Oliver has his cool rope arrows to tie Slade to a post while he calls Amanda to inform her that the threat is over. No bombs today!

What can Oliver do with Slade? ARGUS has convenient prison hatches back on that awful island, and Oliver happily drops Slade into one of them, probably forever. He then saunters back to a plane waiting with Felicity and Diggle. Since it's well past time for Oliver and Felicity to have "the talk," they kind of do. But not really. A shy girl and an emotionally screwed-up boy are not going to work out something like love anytime soon, after all.

See you next season!

A few brief moments at the very end of "Arrow" Season 2 pave the way for plot points in Season 3. One is about Thea -- once she found Roy's stash of suspicious weaponry, she didn't really want to stick around. Having few other options, Thea throws her lot in with Malcolm Merlyn and disappears into a big, black limousine of death and killing and psychologically unhealthy family relationships.

Out at the docks, Detective Lance and Laurel say goodbye to a rather empowered-seeming Sara and the League. Laurel gets a jacket, and Lance gets some assurances. But those aren't enough to stop him from collapsing and coughing up blood. It seems that the Detective took some nasty hits during the fighting and never bothered to tell anyone. Is he dead? That's for next season to answer.

Then there's the Oliver moment: Thanks to Felicity questioning where and when Oliver learned to fly, the audience finally learns what happened after the freighter sank. Oliver woke up in a very civilized room where men with guns waited to escort him outside.

Amanda Waller was waiting -- on the streets of Hong Kong.

Photo/Video credit: The CW