Arrow Review: Deathstroke
That’s really all I want to write about this episode. I mean, what else really needs to be said? Slade Wilson has come back to Starling City with revenge on his mind and he’s been so cold and calculating I’m actually scared for Oliver and his loved ones. This episode was so good, I get why some folks were a little disappointed by the previous 2 episodes. It’s not that those episodes were bad, they were actually very good. It’s that Manu Bennett has been so good as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke that any episode that’s not focused on him and his revenge against Oliver is just not going to live up to what we want to see. Bennett has been SLAYING this role. I enjoyed him in Season 1 but this Season? He’s elevated his game. When someone asked me before how I would feel if they had Manu Bennett playing Deathstroke in a Deathstroke movie, I said I’d be okay with it. Now? I think it’s almost a requirement. Not saying another actor couldn’t work, but…Bennett has been owning this role this season and he is Slade Wilson in my eyes.
The way Slade breaks down Oliver in this episode makes me think that this season might end up ending on a darker note than Season One. Slade promised he would break Oliver and take everything he loved from him and this episode is pretty much the groundwork for that. Without laying a finger on Oliver, he’s removed him as CEO of Queen Consolidated, created dissension in the ranks of Oliver’s team leading to Roy leaving the city and revealed two of Oliver’s biggest secrets to people close to Oliver. Let’s address these one at a time:
Isabel Rochev Takes over as CEO of Queen Consolidated
I called it. Someone actually spoiled this for me last night by @’ing me directly (Please don’t do this people, I don’t want to have to start blocking people for faux pas. My policy on spoilers is pretty lax. All I ask if that you don’t send them to me directly unless you KNOW that I want to know or I already know. It’s okay to just ask me “have you seen the show yet?” first before sending me stuff) . Even with the spoiler, I loved HOW they did it. First, give credit to the writers for doing something as simple as explaining away Isabel’s absence on the show. Since Oliver has been busy and ignoring his duties as CEO, he really hasn’t been in the Queen Consolidated offices and it’s been Isabel doing all the work there. Slade just need to give Oliver that final push and kidnapping Thea was enough to make him do something as stupid as….signing Isabel as temporary CEO. As soon as I did it I said “GOT’EM” because I could tell where this was going. Slade Wilson is so far in Oliver’s head he can’t even see the most obvious traps. Also, give credit to Summer Glau. She comes off as so sympathetic and concerned for Oliver’s wellbeing. Even when she tells him “This is a bad idea” when he signs her as temporary CEO, you almost think this won’t backfire. Almost. When it’s revealed that she’s working for Slade and we get that little fight scene between her and Oliver? Maaaaan. Now I want to know who Isabel really is. She seemed really disappointed that Oliver didn’t know why she was doing this to him. She said “The sins of the father” or something like that, implying that we’re still not done learning about Robert Queen and what he’s been involved in. Last thing on this, the influence of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy on Arrow has always been noticeable but in this episode it really stands out. Slade Wilson taking over Queen Consolidated in order to use their Applied Science division to mass produce his mirakuru super soldiers is like when Bane took Batman’s armory at Wayne Enterprises and used it for himself. I’m not complaining one bit at all. If you’re going to seek influence from someone, Christopher Nolan isn’t a bad source.
Dissension in the Ranks
After the events of the last episode, I knew that Roy wasn’t going to be happy with Oliver. And you know what? I agree with Roy. Oliver was so blinded he thought Roy was more of a threat to his sister than Slade was. And Oliver’s decision making since Slade Wilson has revealed himself has been questionable at BEST. Sure, the decision to call the police and have them arrest Slade and then follow him back to Thea seemed like a good plan on the surface I guess. But 1. It was obvious Slade was prepared for Oliver and his team and had things figured out 2. Oliver continuing to use Officer Lance in matters like this was just reckless. Lance was already busted down from Detective to beat cop and Oliver doesn’t seem to care. Now Lance is arrested for working with and “protecting” the vigilantes. Roy’s anger at Oliver is justified. He’s just the first member of the team to really say anything out loud. When he says that “of course you agree with him, you’re sleeping with him” to Sara I was like
The Revealing of Secrets
The writers of this show are some assholes. They really had me thinking that Slade was going to reveal that Oliver was the Arrow to Thea. Instead, he tells her who her real father is. First off, the #SladeWilsonBars he laid on Thea when she threatened him and he asked her what a 18year old girl could possibly do to him…..man listen…that’s a cold man. But back to the secret reveal. In hindsight, it’s the perfect secret of Oliver’s to reveal to Thea. Revealing that he’s the Arrow, wouldn’t really do much damage. Thea might be mad at Oliver for lying, but I think she would understand why. But knowing that Oliver knew who her real father was and didn’t tell her? Now Thea doesn’t have Roy and she’s pissed at both her mother AND Oliver. That’s way more devastating, especially for Oliver who found out about his mothers’ lie and didn’t tell Thea to protect her. But like Thea said, that sounds like something his mother would say. But the biggest secret reveal to me though was Slade Wilson making one final stop at Laurel Lance’s just to tell her “Oliver is the Arrow”. And that’s it. He didn’t threaten her life. He didn’t kidnap her. He didn’t put a hand on her. He just dropped that bit of knowledge……turned around and walked off. Cold.Blooded. And just like the secret told to Thea was calculated, telling Laurel this was the perfect choice. Remember, beginning of this season, Laurel was still blaming the Arrow for Tommy’s death. She’s moved past that but I expect that to come back. In the immediate future, there’s the problem of her father being in jail because he doesn’t know who the Arrow is. And does Laurel put two-and-two together and figure out Sara is Black Canary? I think Laurel is more of the wildcard here than Thea is. I’m sure Thea will do something reckless and stupid. She’s young and dumb even though she’s been holding it together pretty well all season. But Laurel? I don’t know what’s she’s going to do or how she will react. The easy answer is to say she flips out confronts Oliver and her sister. But after the last episode, she might sit on this information and use it for herself. At this point I really can’t call what direction Laurel will go. I could even see her just coming to terms with it and saying “you did what you had to do.” The only thing this really does is confirm for me that Laurel WILL make it out of this season. Before I had her and Sara as a tossup but just like Slade’s plan wasn’t to kill Thea, I don’t think his plan is to kill Laurel. I think killing Sara not only hurts Oliver more at this point, but I think it also gives Slade more pleasure because she live and Shado is dead. So right now, Laurel is off my unofficial ‘Death Watch’ list and Sara is still on it. Either both Lance sisters make it out or only Laurel.
Another fantastic episode. We’re coming up on the end of a great season and I think folks won’t have to worry about any more ‘filler’ episodes. I didn’t mind those episodes because I thought they were still enjoyable and added to the show, but right now, we’re all about Slade Wilson/Deathstroke and what he’s going to do to Oliver. I have a feeling this season is going to end on a really fucked up note, kinda like how last season did. Remember, last season didn’t end in a victory for Oliver. Tommy died and half the city was destroyed and many lives were lost. Sure, he “defeated” Malcom Merlyn but, at what cost? I have a feeling this season is going to end even more fucked up. And I can’t wait (although I have to because this show is taking another break *shakes fist at sky*).