Arrow 2×18 – Deathstroke

"From the moment your children are born, you worry what the world might do to them. But you never stop to think what you might do to them."


How was that not a season finale? And we still has five episodes to go? Yep, I’m in love.

This year, Arrow‘s writing team has done an immaculate job of juggling a number of compelling storylines that are now slowly approaching collision. Slade’s ascension into the role as the show’s Big Bad has been an absolute highlight (Manu Bennett kills every scene), and with Brother Blood and Isobel Rochev by his side, we’ve got an awesome team of baddies to clash with Team Arrow as the finale draws near.

A hero is only ever as good as the obstacles he faces, and I loved that Deathstroke managed to break Oliver down to his core. This emphasized the importance of Ollie’s core team (Felicity and Diggle) and it was enormously satisfying to see the trio bonding again. And with Roy seemingly off on his own (he leaves town at the end of the hour), and Sara starting to butt heads with the gang, things are bound to get thrilling.

I’ve always been astounded at the rate in which Arrow reveals Ollie’s secret to the cast (Tommy discovering the truth was a particularly epic moment), so imagine my surprise when Slade walked up to Laurel’s door and dropped the monumental bombshell. I have a feeling that is the moment Laurel becomes a truly integral part of the show, and really starts to come into her own as a character. Writers, that was incredibly well played.

Willa Holland hasn’t gotten much to do this year, but that all changed with Thea’s kidnapping. Holland pulled off her character’s predicament perfectly, and it culminated with her finally learning the truth about her paternity. I can’t wait to see where this development takes us now that Thea has lost faith in absolutely everyone in sight. Could a villainous turn be in the cards for the little Queen? Somehow, that doesn’t sound like the craziest of ideas (particularly with her daddy being the show’s first true Big Bad). Speaking of Malcom, is it too much to ask for a return appearance before the season is over?

Bits & Arrows

– Chilling “Get out!” scream by Slade as Thea runs out of the limo and into Brother Blood’s arms. What a teaser.

– Brilliant move by Slade to have Thea appear during the debate video.

– I wasn’t totally captivated by the island stuff this week, although I liked Sara’s idea of rigging up Hendrick with a bomb (a plot that surely failed). But hey, at least she has Ollie now.

– The cinematography and the use of shadows as Canary, Arrow and Roy surrounded Slade was top-notch. And Ollie tranquilizing Slade and getting him arrested was pretty smart.

– Stephen Amell was exceptional during the jail scene. You could totally see the desperation in Ollie’s eyes as he practically started begging and pleading with Slade for Thea’s return. Plus the whole scene was bookended by Slade hilariously announcing that he’s not one to “hold a grudge.” Ha!

– Loved the whole team trailing Slade through different methods. Super cool.

– Gem of a sequence: Roy’s anger at Ollie “the king” for making all the big decisions. He accuses Sara of screwing him and then attacks Diggle before being held off by the Canary. It’s an outstanding scene with a great sense of urgency.

– Moira’s “Is my baby still alive?” moment broke my heart to a million pieces. I can not love Susanna Thompson more.

– I wish Ollie’s face-off with Isabel was longer. Didn’t he apprehend her a tad too easily? Still, finally Summer Glau has something to do; she was woefully underutilized in the first half of the year. And what grudge does she hold with Papa Queen exactly? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

– Epic moment with Felicity (contrary to Sara) telling Ollie to do what he has to do. I don’t think Miss Lance is long for this world.

– Superb fight scene as Arrow beats up countless thugs and Deathstroke intercepts the prison bus. The musical score was extremely rousing.

– I love that Thea doesn’t even look at Moira when she feels betrayed. It’s Ollie who’s hurt her by keeping the truth from her.

– I wonder where Detective Lance’s journey is going to take him next now that he’s been arrested.

– Adored the scene with the Trifecta of evil in Queen Consolidated. It illustrated Slade’s intriguing plan to build a super-powered army using Queen’s Applied Sciences Division (which Isabel now has control of as CEO).

– So basically, Slade sees Shado everywhere and she kind of gives him orders. Creepy and so very appropriate.

– Katie Cassidy killed that final scene. Everything hinged on her reaction shot, and it was a perfect combination of surprise along with a healthy dose of “it fall finally makes sense now”.

Starling Quips

Moira: And how is Miss Rochev these days? Still angry that Dorothy dropped a house on her sister?

Oliver: Use that rage.
Roy: You’re always telling me to hold back.
Oliver: Not tonight.

Sara: What?
Ivan: Just wondering.. when did you become so scary?

Oliver: They’re calling you Deathstroke.
Slade: It’s a bit flamboyant. I like it.

Oliver: It was five years ago.
Slade: It was yesterday. Oh I tried to let go of the island, but it’s still got a hold on me. And if that hood that you wear every night is any indication, it’s still got a hold on you kid.

Sara: What did you do to him?
Slade: Not enough.

Diggle: Now what boss?
Oliver: Now we fight back

A riveting and climactic hour of Arrow. Excellent.

Nad Rating

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