Arrowverse: 15 best Arrow moments of all-time

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3. Arrow Battles Deathstroke

Episode: “Unthinkable” (Season 2, Episode 23)

After facing the loss of his mother, his city’s destruction, an army of super-powered Mirakuru soldiers and the near-deaths of the two women that he loved – all at the hands of Deathstroke – there was only one thing left for Oliver Queen to do, and that was to defeat his friend-turned-enemy in one final showdown.

Having tricked Slade by using Felicity to administer the Mirkauru cure, Oliver seized the opportunity and engaged in battle with him. Though he was losing his super-powers, Slade was still a highly skilled swordsman and a formidable fighter. So bringing their exceptionally long story to an end wasn’t going to be easy for Oliver, but that didn’t stop him from trying.

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about this graphic fight scene was that it was intercut with the pair’s final fight on Lian Yu from five years earlier. So, as the Emerald Archer was fighting Deathstroke to save his city, a young Oliver Queen was trying to survive against a rage-induced Slade Wilson.

These flashbacks were the final pieces of context that we needed in their well-documented rivalry and, in being so, they allowed us to see how Oliver’s mistake (attempting to kill Slade instead of curing him) influenced everything that came next and how it ultimately changed him.

Visually, it was, without question, the most impressive fight scene in Arrow‘s history. With uncomfortably close angles of every violent shot that these two men exchanged, it was every bit as brutal and bloody as the final fight between the two longtime enemies should have been.

It was gritty, hard-hitting and everything that defined the first two seasons of the show. With that in mind, the final time that Arrow truly felt like Arrow.

The Oliver vs. Deathstroke saga was a masterpiece. Quite frankly, it couldn’t have ended any other way. What a triumph.