TV Review: ARROW Season 2, Episode 18 'Deathstroke'

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Pollard

As the episode title suggests, this outing for Arrow is very much housed around Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), aka Deathstroke the Terminator. Near enough as soon as the episode opens, Slade abducts the youngest of the Queen clan, Thea (Willa Holland). From the moment the eye-patch-wearing badass channels his inner Kurt Russell as he asks the younger Queen to simply “call me Slade”, things start take a turn for the worse for Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell).

Whilst Thea is held hostage, Deathstroke also sees the return of Kevin Alejandro’s Brother Blood. If Slade trying to ruin his life wasn’t bad enough for Ollie, he has the explosive rage of Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) to deal with as well. When Oliver finally gives the orders to go after Slade, the gloves are firmly off, so much so that Ollie even encourages Roy to use his anger and rage against the man now known as Deathstroke. Despite having not given himself the moniker, it appears that Slade quite likes his new title, proclaiming to Oliver that “it’s a bit flamboyant… I like it.” That’s round about the time that the Arrow fires a chest right into the torso of his former ‘brother.’

Caught up in the race to find his sister and to protect those around him, Oliver just has no time to handle the day-to-day running of Queen Industries. Enter Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau). Having been inactive for the last several episodes, Rochev is back. A former conquest of Oliver’s, this episode sees Rochev’s true motives come to the fore, not to mention her becoming a very serious threat to the Emerald Archer. When he’s left with his sister kidnapped, his company under threat, and being questioned by those close to him, Deathstroke leaves Oliver Queen a broken and beaten man. Just as Thea has it revealed to her by Wilson that her father is really Malcolm Merlyn, the episode’s climactic scene sees Slade’s words shattering the world of another close ally of Oliver’s.

Yes, this episode, as suggested by its title, sees Slade Wilson take centre stage. Whether it’s his early snapping at Thea Queen, his crazed visions of former object of affection Shado, or his taking none too kindly to be called an ass-hat, Slade Wilson is a legitimate badass that is just a tad unhinged. Not to mention, he’s given all of the show’s best lines by this point. All of which are delivered with enough gruff attitude to impress even Clint Eastwood.

With Deathstroke prepared to target Oliver’s friends and family, plus unleash his fists, feet, katanas and guns, it seems as if this episode ends with Oliver Queen at his lowest. His company is out of his hands, his once-tight team has plenty of cracks, his family are at odds, and Deathstroke is riddled with the unstoppable mirakuru serum. As we head towards the final five episodes of Arrow's Season 2, the scene has been set for the Arrow to step up to the plate and get his revenge against his former friend. Just how he is going to do so, that's what we'll have to wait to find out.

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