Wednesday, April 2, 2014

REVIEW: 'Arrow' - Slade Forces Oliver to See that He is the Harbinger of His Own Destruction in 'Deathstroke'

The CW's Arrow - Episode 2.18 Deathstroke

Slade makes his move against Oliver and the repercussions are enormous. While Oliver scrambles to protect his family, a key player in his team starts to question Oliver's decisions. Meanwhile, Isabel makes her move to take Queen Consolidated away from Oliver.

"Deathstroke" is a great episode of Arrow because a lot of stuff actually happened. But it was elevated even further by being this great self-realization by Oliver Queen and how he himself is more dangerous to the people close to him than Slade is. He spends so much of his time and energy trying to stop Slade from physically hurting his family. However, Slade proves himself to be a mastermind villain by using Oliver's own secrets to destroy his relationships with those close to him. It's such a strategic way to undermine everything that Oliver has been on this show. It forces him to reexamine the choices he's made since returning to Starling City. Slade could torture Thea and that would destroy Oliver. Instead he exposes the truth about her paternity which completely destroys her entire trust in Oliver aka the one thing she could always count on. We all knew that concept was a fantasy because of his extracurricular activities. But it's so upsetting and devastated seeing Oliver as the one behind his own pain.

It all stems from a moment of clarity from Moira during Thea's kidnapping. She's worried that she'll never see her daughter again just like she once thought she'd never see her son or husband again. It brings up all these old feelings in new ways that makes her take a good hard look at herself. Oliver may not have a nice thing to say to his mother at this moment but it's so clear that he is her offspring. He falters in the exact same way - keeping secrets as a way to protect the people close to him. Slade exploits that concept - first with Thea and later by telling Laurel that he is the Arrow.

Both the show and Slade Wilson have a clear endgame for this season. It's been a slow build for sure but in such a methodical way that makes the big reveals in "Deathstroke" feel so satisfying. It's so great to see Summer Glau be the badass genre fans know she can be. She's been working with Slade to take over control of Queen Consolidated. That makes her 100 percent more interesting. Slade is manipulating Oliver into reacting the exact way he wants while exposing his various secrets. It's all apart of his machiavellian plan to crush Oliver the same way he was devastated after Shado's death. He exposes himself as an evil force to Starling City but he's also assembled an army for Sebastian Blood to take over the city. These villains are smart and have things well planned out. They've broken Oliver down. And that means he will have to dig deep in the next few episodes in order to stop this trio of bad guys before their plan can be fully executed. I can't wait.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Deathstroke" was written by Marc Guggenheim & Drew Z. Greenberg and directed by Guy Bee.
  • When is Roy going to get more of a costume than just his red hoodie? He stands out when he goes out to confront Slade alongside Oliver and Slade who are dressed as the Arrow and the Canary.
  • But more importantly it's nice to see someone amongst Team Arrow disagreeing with the way that Oliver does things.
  • Fierce Felicity telling Oliver to go after what he wants to do was such a great character moment.
  • Also, Quentin Lance was arrested for helping the Arrow. That may be important later?
  • Lastly, the Mirakura causes Slade to see Shado all the time which just makes him even crazier than before.