ARROW S6x05 – DEATHSTROKE RETURNS

The Arrow’s greatest threat – and at one time his closest ally – asks Oliver Queen to help him find his son while Team Arrow battles The Vigilante.

Previously, on ARROW

After the events that ended season 5, Slade Wilson – Deathstroke – and Oliver Queen have established a détente as Oliver has offered to help Slade find his son, Joseph. And here, the assassin calls Oliver in for help after finding his boy. Slade brings Oliver along with him to Kasnia, to have the former Green Arrow use diplomatic means to get his son out of prison. This is the ARROWVERSE, though, so nothing like this goes easy.

Oliver is told on first attempt that Joseph Wilson died in a prison fight, but that doesn’t pass the smell test, so Slade comes along for a second round of questions. The prison guard admits Slade’s son didn’t actually die, he’d just been taken by The Jackals, a criminal organization comprising “the worst of the worst.” Slade is led to find the group by his old pal Nylander, who turns out to be one of the Jackals. Oh, and surprise! So is Slade’s son.

This won’t end well for anyone.

The Slade storyline is supplemented by Arrow’s signature flashbacks, this time looking at Slade and his son on a camping trip, before Deathstroke got stranded on Lian Yu. The camping trip, though, is an excuse to get close to someone who has information the assassin needs, and we get hints to what led Slade to the island.

Manu Bennett’s portrayal of Slade was one of the highlights of the first two seasons of ARROW and it’s good to have him back here, as Slade and Oliver play well off each other. It’s good to have him back for a few episodes this season.

While Oliver is out of the country, the rest of Team Arrow is dealing with the return of another loose thread from Season 5 – the Vigilante. Introduced last season as a feint to the identity of Prometheus, but left lingering without a resolution, the Vigilante here is hunting the city councilwoman who introduced the anti-vigilante bill. The team tries to stop him, but is hampered by the presence of FBI agent Samanda Watson, who has expanded the scope of her investigation into Oliver’s ties to the Green Arrow to include the rest of the team.

Honestly, that thread is getting tiresome, and I hope they finish with it soon.

While Diggle, Rene and Curtis can’t really confront the Vigilante with the FBI there, police officer Dinah Drake – the Black Canary – can be on scene, and she confronts the killer, hitting him with her sonic scream, shattering his visor. And it turns out, the Vigilante is her old partner Vincent Sobel, who she thought died in the STAR Labs explosion that gave Dinah her powers. Turns out, it just gave him superhealing abilities.

Canary keeps the Vigilante from killing the councilwoman, and after telling her his back story, she let’s him go, so of course he’ll be back to cause problems.

Show Notes

• The Vigilante’s main alter-ego in the comics, Adrian Chase, was used as the identity of Prometheus last season. There have been seven other people who have used the name in DC Comics series, so I expect a reveal of some sort coming eventually.

• Slade Wilson’s son Joseph eventually becomes the hero JERICHO, after he was muted by a villain named The Jackal, who was revealed to be an old ally of Slade’s (see what they did here?).

The Super Cinco

  1. Deathstroke / Slade Wilson – This WAS Slade’s episode, after all. From the flashbacks to the present day, seeing Deathstroke back in action was an absolute pleasure. He went head-on into a potential suicide mission and tried to keep Oliver from going back on his promise to put Green Arrow behind him. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)
  2. Dinah Drake / Black Canary – More and more, Black Canary is taking point on missions for Team Arrow, since she has the easiest access to crime scenes as a member of the Star City Police Department. That access put her on the front lines this time, confronting the Vigilante and knocking him on his ass a couple of times. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)
  3. Samanda Watson – The FBI agent effectively has neutered Team Arrow this episode, showing up with a team of federal agents hunting anyone wearing a costume. She may be unlikeable, but you can’t say she’s not effective. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)
  4. Oliver Queen – The only person from last week’s rankings to make the list, proving that ARROW has one hell of a deep bench of characters. Using diplomacy to resolve conflicts instead of fists can be difficult, but Oliver gives it his all here. Points deducted for getting drugged by Slade, though. (Last Week’s Ranking – 2)
  5. Vigilante / Vincent Sobel – Serving as a highly-effective assassin for the last four years apparently doesn’t give him the ability to kill a city councilwoman. The Vigilante had a heavy affect on this episode, but he basically spent the episode being knocked around. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)

That’s all for this week, be sure to check out my recaps of SUPERGIRL, along with Joe’s looks at both THE FLASH and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW! And be sure to come back later for week 5 of the ARROWVERSE POWER RANKINGS for the 2017-2018 season.