Arrow Season 5 Episode 23 recap: Who will survive Prometheus’s revenge?

Spoilers for Arrow Season 5, Episode 23.

Last time:

Adrian Chase escaped. Oliver’s team, and his son, were kidnapped and taken to Lian Yu. Oliver recruited Malcolm Merlyn and Nyssa Al Ghul to help him take down Chase.

Onto the recap:

Oliver recruits his prisoners:

On Lian Yu, Oliver heads to his prison and asks Slade Wilson for help. Slade is now sane because the mirakuru has worn off. He agrees to help Oliver because Oliver spared him after Slade killed his mother. Oliver also takes Digger Harkness (Captain Boomerang) with him.

s05e23_ Oliver recruits Slade and Harkness.jpg

Oliver’s plane is blown up:

On the beach, Nyssa and Merlyn unload their gear. Merlyn tells Oliver that the guns and ammo, including an RPG, are still on the plane. He wonders if the RPG is overkill. Oliver says he doesn’t want a fair fight. Before they can unload the rest, an RPG blows up the plane.


Kovar finds out Oliver has escaped. He sends men after him, but says they are not to kill him. Kovar’s men corner Oliver.

Oliver finds some of the team:

Oliver, Slade and Harkness check out the location where the call from Oliver’s son originated. Merlyn and Nyssa head in the direction the RPG came from. Slade finds Felicity, Curtis, Thea and William’s mother in cages in the forest.

Talia ambushes Oliver:

As Oliver approaches the cages, Talia and Evelyn ambush him. Harkness betrays Oliver, and Talia offers Slade the opportunity to join them. Slade pretends to betray Oliver and takes out Harkness. Nyssa and Merlyn arrive, and Talia and Harkness flee.


Oliver kills Kovar’s men and flees. Kovar says he will end this himself.

Oliver divides the team:

Slade locks Evelyn, who Talia left behind, in a cage. Oliver tells Felicity that they will talk about Slade later. He tells Merlyn to lead the others back to the plane Chase brought them here in, and fly them to the mainland so Oliver can focus on Chase.

Thea talks to Oliver:

Thea is upset that Oliver is working with Merlyn and Slade. Oliver says he has no choice. Thea doesn’t want to go with Merlyn, but Oliver says he needs her to protect Felicity and Samantha.

The team part ways:

Nyssa tells Oliver that she can track her sister, who might lead them to the other hostages. Oliver gives Felicity a tablet with satellite imagery of the island. Felicity kisses Oliver: She is worried that they won’t make it through this. Oliver says they will. The team separate.

Black Siren escorts her prisoners:

Black Siren locks up Diggle and Quentin with Dinah and Rene. There is a sonic dampener, so Dinah can’t use her cry to escape. Diggle insists that Oliver will get them out.

Slade tells Oliver to forgive himself:

Nyssa goes ahead to find Talia’s trail. Oliver tells Slade that his past is coming back to haunt him, and he doesn’t know why. Slade says that Oliver has survivors guilt: He needs to forgive himself, because he blames himself for his fathers suicide. Nyssa finds Talia’s trail.

Merlyn sacrifices himself:

s05e23_Thea still hates Merlyn.jpg

As they head to the plane, Merlyn tries to talk to Thea, but she says he means nothing to her. Thea steps on a landmine: The trigger has rusted over so they can’t disarm it. Merlyn takes her place and says that all he wants is to protect her. Thea realises he plans to sacrifice himself.

Merlyn blows up?

Thea and the others leave. Harkness catches up to Merlyn, and the team hear an explosion.

Nyssa realises where Talia is headed:

As Nyssa leads Oliver and Slade, they see the downed plane they once lived in. Nyssa says there is no time to reminisce: She tells Oliver that Talia is heading for a structure in the distance.


Oliver takes out more of Kovar’s men. He is attacked by machine guns from a helicopter.

Slade betrays Oliver:

Oliver, Talia and Slade enter the structure. Slade suggests they split up. Oliver sends Nyssa away. Slade knocks Oliver out and tells Black Siren he has a gift for Chase.

Oliver is captured:

Oliver is led to the team to be chained up, but William is not with them. He tells Slade he never should have trusted him, and the team that they need to escape and find William.


Oliver shoots the helicopter down.

Curtis finds the plane:

Felicity comforts Thea and says she understands what it’s like to have a father who does nothing but let you down and then sacrifice himself for you. Curtis finds the plane.

Felicity finds a bomb:

With Merlyn gone, there is no one to fly the plane. Felicity says her and Curtis will figure it out. Thea says they won’t. There are bombs around the plane and across the island.

s05e23_Felicity realises there are bombs all over Lian Yu.jpg

Team Arrow escape:

Oliver gives Dinah the device Curtis made to bypass sonic dampeners. Dinah frees the team.

Nyssa vs Talia:

Nyssa confronts Talia as she heads towards the prisoners. Talia calls Nyssa a fool for disbanding the league of assassins. Nyssa is upset that Talia left her to grow up alone. The sisters fight each other. Nyssa wins and knocks Talia out. Slade takes out Talia’s men.

Oliver finds Chase:

Oliver and the team join Slade and Nyssa. Diggle realises Slade pretended to betray them so Oliver could get Curtis’s device to Dinah. Slade couldn’t find Oliver’s son, but they find Chase.

Confrontation with Chase:

The team confront Chase. Chase refuses to tell Oliver where William is. A fight breaks out.


Oliver confronts Kovar at the wreckage of the helicopter, but his gun is out of ammo. Kovar fights Oliver, with the intention of stopping him getting on the boat home.

Dinah fights Black Siren:

Black Siren and Dinah fight. Dinah is downed and Black Siren approaches. Quentin hits Black Siren from behind to save Dinah.

Felicity tries to find the trigger for the bombs:

s05e23_Felicity realises what Chase is up to.jpg

Curtis tries to get hold of Oliver, but it doesn’t work. Felicity says she can’t disarm the bombs without better tech: All she can do is try and find the trigger. Thea tells them to sort it out.

Kovar dies:

Oliver beats Kovar and breaks his neck.

Oliver fights Chase:

Oliver beats Chase but refuses to kill him. He is not a killer any more, and he is done blaming himself for his fathers death. Chase tells Oliver his son is dead. Oliver refuses to believe him and says that if it is true, Chase will never get what he wants from Oliver.

Chase escapes:

Felicity contacts Oliver and tells him that he can’t kill Chase. Chase has rigged the island with explosives that will explode if Chase dies, and he wants Oliver to kill him so that it kills his team. Chase escapes. Oliver tells Diggle to get everyone to the plane and leave.

Oliver chases Chase:

Oliver goes after Chase to find William, unable to believe his son might be dead.


Oliver runs to the gear Anatoli gave him, pulls on a wig, and covers himself in mud.

Oliver finds Chase:

Oliver finds Chase on a boat. Chase drives off, but Oliver jumps aboard.


Oliver shoots an arrow at the bonfire he built on the beach. The fishermen find him.

Chase taunts Oliver:

Oliver punches Chase and asks where William is. Chase tells Oliver that he should be more worried about his team, on an island about to blow up. Oliver says they can take care of themselves. Chase mentions his plane, and Oliver realises that something is wrong.

Chase sabotaged the plane:

Diggle says the plane won’t start. Nyssa shows them the hydraulic system she found under the wing. The team can’t leave, and they don’t have the tools to repair the plane.

Oliver tells Felicity about a boat:

Felicity tells Oliver that Chase sabotaged the plane. Oliver says there is an ARGUS supply ship on the other side of the island, and Slade can lead them there.

Chase uses William:

Chase says the team will never make it. He produces William from the boats cabin and promises to kill William if Oliver doesn’t kill him. Chase reminds Oliver that, if he does kill him, his friends die. Oliver shoots Chase in the leg. William escapes and Oliver holds him safe.

s05e23_Oliver rescues William, but at what cost


From the fishing boat, Oliver calls his mother. He begs her not to hang up, and she is overjoyed to hear from him. Oliver says that he loves her, and he’s coming home.

Chase shoots himself:

Chase tells Oliver that he won. William knows exactly who his father is now, just like Oliver found out who his father was on these waters. Chase says it’s good Oliver and William have each other, because it’s going to be lonely. He shoots himself, and Lian Yu blows up.


People I think won’t make it off the island:

  • The security guard at Oliver’s prison, who Oliver knocked out.
  • Slade Wilson, to give his son a reason to come after Oliver in future.
  • Felicity, since Oliver dismissed her worries that they won’t make it through this.

I’ll discuss theories about season 6 and who survives over the summer!

Other comments:

  • No one saw Merlyn die, so I don’t believe it. John Barrowman’s characters have 9 lives!

  • Oliver’s story has come full circle now. Something I look forward to discussing in my season 5 review.

  • I was screaming for Oliver to knock Chase out, before he did something like, oh I don’t know, kill himself to win!

Next time:

That’s it for Arrow Season 5. All throughout this season, I have been adamant that Arrow wouldn’t have a cliffhanger ending. Arrow never has a cliffhanger ending. I’m stunned.

Coming up over summer:

  • Flash Season 3 Review

  • Arrow Season 5 Review

  • Flash Season 4 speculation

  • Arrow Season 6 speculation

  • Flash vs Arrow: Which was better this season?

  • The Flash fan fiction: either an attempt at a crossover, or an attempt at season 4

  • Sunday Scribbles: Heroes, villains and fantasy themed short stories.

  • Dragons: Reviews on TV, film and books which contain dragons.

  • A vanilla Minecraft server,

    s05e23_Who will survive Lian Yu

    I’ll be back with Arrow recaps in October for season 6. Which members of Team Arrow will join us? 🙂

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