Arrow 1.18 Review: ”Deathstroke”

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One of the strongest shows this season is absolutely CW’s Arrow, and we can’t stress enough how powerful this second season has been. For us, there have only been a few hick-ups throughout this whole season, but none of them have necessarily decreased the quality of the season from a bigger perspective.

The episode picks up right where it left off last week with Thea getting taken by Slade and later on realizing that it was a trap. One of the reasons why “Deathstroke” was so strong was because it felt very comic book-y, in a positive way. The beauty about Arrow is that sometimes we can get these comic book-esque episodes without having it lose its grounded and gritty tone.  I could literally see the way that Roy, Sara, Diggle were chasing Slade on a comic book page because that’s what it felt like. Even the interaction between Slade and Thea was something that felt like a comic book arc.

It was only a matter of time before Thea would find out that Malcolm Merlyn was/is (since she doesn’t know that he is still alive) her real father. The scene when she confronted Oliver and Moira about it was emotionally charged. Even though we haven’t seen John Barrowman since his brief appearance in the first half of the season, it’s safe to say that we will most likely see him very soon. While we didn’t enjoy seeing Thea sad, we are intrigued to see where this takes her for the rest of this season as well as in season 3.

The flashbacks in this week’s episode had a great parallel with what was going on with Slade in the present as we see that Shado is affecting his mind to a big degree. It was so weird, yet, intriguing to see Celina Jade playing a twisted version of her character. Seeing Slade having Shado on his mind, managed to actually take the attention away from what we saw with Sara and the ex-prisoners.

We learn in this episode that Isabel has been working with Slade this whole time and because of Oliver’s impulsiveness, she now owns Queen Consolidated. This is just pure speculation on our part, but is there a chance that Isabel Rochev is perhaps Rose Wilson/Ravager, daughter of Deathstroke? Perhaps we are looking too much into this scene, but the way that she fought Oliver reminded us so much of a similar fight that I saw with her in an old comic. Maybe it was just similar fighting moves, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that actually is the case and with a talent such as Summer Glau, she would do the role justice, just like Manu Bennett has done for Deathstroke/Slade.

Something that we have seen in a certain capacity this season is the conflicts within Team Arrow and this week was one of those times again. This may sound weird, but a strong team does need to have arguments from time to time. If they never had any, then we wouldn’t really look at them as a real team. We were a lot on Roy’s side this week because he did some good points and this goes back to what we said last week with Oliver forcing Roy to break up with Thea.

With someone as dangerous as Slade Wilson running around in town, whose goal is to hurt the people you love: if you have someone like Roy (who has the Mirakuru in his system, meaning that he actually have a chance to go up against Slade), that is together with your little sister, you let him stay with her. While it wasn’t exactly Oliver’s fault that Thea got kidnapped, we do see where Roy is coming from. Because of their disagreements, Roy leaves Starling City which was an interesting surprise, any speculation on where he went? Maybe he went to Central City, Keystone City or perhaps Coast City? It would be fun if he actually went to one of those cities.

We knew that the final scene would have Slade doing something huge, but we never imagined that he would go and tell Laurel the truth about Oliver. Let’s not forget that by the time we reached that final scene, there had already been several jaw-dropping moments. Now who knows: who is to say that Laurel actually believed what Slade said? I guess only time will tell and that’s something for us to wait for when the show returns in two weeks.

Based on Marc Guggenheim’s and Drew Z. Greenberg’s powerful script, director Guy Bee brought out some of the best action scenes that we have seen on the show so far. Let’s not also forget James Bamford and his team for giving us movie level action on a weekly basis: not a lot of shows can do that. Bee also made this one of the most intense episodes of the show.

“Deathstroke” was a strong and game-changing episode with amazing performances from the entire cast, great writing and directing as always and once again makes the show feel like a movie. We can’t wait for the show to return from its final short-hiatus as these remaining episodes looks like it’s going to end season 2 on an enormous bang.

Arrow returns from its final hiatus on Wednesday, April 16, 8/7c on The CW.

[Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.]

Andy has contributed to sites such as KSiteTV, Across the Airwaves, and It's Just Movies. He has always had a big passion for writing. Follow him on Twitter @AndyBehbakht
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