Arrow Preview: Manu Bennett Talks of Dual Deathstrokes, Slade Wilson's Shocking Endgame

The OdysseyTonight on Arrow (The CW, 8/7c), as Oliver flirts with the Grim Reaper in the wake of confronting his mother Moira about “failing Starling City” and all that, he flashes back to a different survival saga, shedding more light on the increasingly murky Deathstroke mystery.

“While Oliver (played by Stephen Amell) is on that table [in the Arrowcave] metaphorically fighting for his life, he’s remembering the things that he was taught on the island, in order to survive,” says Manu Bennett (Spartacus), who plays Slade Wilson.

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When last we tuned in, Slade was set to snuff island noob Oliver, deeming him an unworthy ally, until the billionaire brat showed his captor a glimpse of potential. Now, Slade is training Oliver to be capable enough to assist in overtaking the island airstrip and securing passage home.

This training regimen, however, is not your local fitness club’s Boot Camp class. Says Bennett, “Oliver definitely takes a beating.” The OdysseyBut he also absorbs key learning about what’s truly important when engaging in battle. “There’s a wonderful scene where he says to me, ‘Why are we learning with sticks? What good are sticks if somebody sticks a gun in my face?’ So I tell him to stick a gun in my face, and he quickly learns the gun is not the weapon; it’s the mind.”

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Once Oliver is deemed up to snuff, the men set out on their high-stakes mission. But when Slade lets slip his shocking actual endgame, Oliver balks, putting not just the plan in jeopardy but also their lives — especially when Slade is forced to go toe-to-toe with a friend-turned-foe.

“When Oliver goes off  to try to save the day, Slade knows this kid’s going to get himself into trouble, so he ends up going trying to stitch [their individual agendas] together — and in the process he comes face to face with his counterpart, the other guy in the gold-and-black mask,” Bennett shares. “The two Deathstrokes come face to face.”

So is what Slade claimed last week in fact true? That the masked assassin who tortured Oliver in previous flashbacks was not him, but a fellow member of an Australian special ops force?

Bennett chooses his response carefully. “I’ll put it this way: There are two masks. There are two possible Deathstrokes. And in this episode, you’re going to have a bit of a reckoning,” he teases. “The audience will realize which way the story is going. Who is the true man behind the Deathstroke mask?”

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  1. Michelle says:

    Having Crixus – sorry, SLADE – train Oliver is awesome. Manu and Stephen work really well together too.

  2. Quinn Mallory says:

    While some of the name changes such as Starling City rather than Star City and “Laurel” instead of “Dinah” are kind of dumb, Arrow has done a decent job of establishing a different mythology of familiar comic book characters. I have much better faith about how the Slade Wilson story would turn out now than back when the series first started.

    • Nellie C. says:

      In total fairness, Laurel does have the same name as the post-Crisis and pre-New 52 Dinah; she just uses her middle name. If her name was something other than Laurel, maybe it would bother me more, but that change doesn’t jar me nearly as much as the “Starling City” thing.

      Of course, I’ve also noticed that I’m not particularly bothered by a lot of changes since the New 52 mucked up so much of the DC universe. All the Black Canary and Green Arrow history has been poofed away, anyway, so now I’m just rolling with the changes on Arrow. :)

    • Alan says:

      i thought the changes would bother me but so far ive just been rolling with it and yeah the first time i heard starling i cringed a little but ive gotten over it. same thing with laurel, its already been confirmed her name is dinah laurel lance and thats good enough for me; i bet her mother is dinah drake lance and that she doesnt use her first name because she is angry with her for walking out, once she comes into the show i reckon she may start to use the name again.

    • Louis DellaLucca says:

      Laurel was Dinah’s middle name. But I agree, they have done a wonderful job in adapting to a modern audience. But, I wonder if other DC heroes will appear. Ever since Tommy mentioned taking a trip to “Coast City” My mind has been racing with thoughts of who else may appear.

      • Alan says:

        im thinking laurel uses her middle name because she hates her mother for leaving her father and doesnt want to be reminded of her every time someone says her name, i believe that this may begin to change when alex kingston shows up later in the season as her mother.

  3. “in the Arrowcave” hmm too 60s.

  4. AJ says:


  5. Alan says:

    really enjoyed manu bennet in last weeks episode, i was worried no one could do deathstroke justice but he was perfect. i hope he survives into the modern day story.

  6. Zak says:

    This episode was great. Most of the time, the stuff on the island is better than whats going on in the city

  7. Ben says:

    I really don’t mind the changes, I’m just rolling with them. They let me enjoy the show without wondering if they’re going to do this the same or that the same, I’m excited to find out what’s going to happen and so far with some of the major character changes I know that literally anything could happen.

  8. Dan says:

    FYI if you read some other tvline’s other post . Dinah will be played by Alex Kingston upcoming. Which is pretty awesome.

  9. Mikael says:

    Why is the Deathstroke mask gold? Shouldn’t it be orange? The one they showed on the pike in the pilot was orange. Did they change it or does Deathstroke get a new mask? I also don’t know how I feel about there being 2 Deathstrokes.

    • Alan says:

      most likely the fire nearby on the beach in the pilot gave it a different colour to the later episodes, or at least thats the excuse im going with.

  10. LOVE Manu as Deathstroke/Slade Wilson! Hopefully he’ll show up in present day Starling City soon!

  11. Marco says:

    The second deathstroke is Slade Wilson (the eye), not Manu Bennett

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  16. tristen says:

    Thank goodness they didn’t ruin deathstroke like I thought they were going to