Arrow's Manu Bennett: In Starling City to Fulfill a Promise, 'Slade Wilson Is a Killing Machine'

Arrow Spoilers The PromiseThere’s your garden variety “unwelcome house guest”… and then there is Slade Wilson cozying up to your mom.

The CW’s Arrow left viewers — as well as Oliver’s jaw — hanging at the close of last week’s episode, by revealing that He Who Is Also Known as Deathstroke has infiltrated the Queen mansion, passing himself off as an inarguably charming backer of Moira’s mayoral campaign.

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Tonight at 8/7c, the CW action-drama picks up where it left off, with Slade taking enormous pleasure in deftly taunting his onetime island ally in the course of seeming small talk, until at one point Oliver can take it no more and moves to kill his shockingly resurfaced frenemy.

But as Slade retorts, “Not yet, kid.” No, he has bigger, far more torturous plans in mind for Mr. Queen.

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“One thing is absolutely certain,” Manu Bennett told TVLine during our visit to the series’ set in Vancouver. “As of the point where Slade believes that Oliver was responsible for the death of Shado, coupled with the effects of Mirakuru, Slade Wilson is a killing machine — and he has come to Starling City to exact revenge.”

Yet as enjoyable as Oliver’s The Promisecurrent day conundrum is — seriously, Slade misses no opportunity lob veiled threats, while a handshake he shares with the similarly Mirakuru’d Roy makes for a can’t-miss TV moment — much of the episode unfolds in flashback, as Oliver, Sara and Slade plot to take the freighter and thus secure passage home. Aside from squashing Ivo’s small army, the only other question is: Can Oliver bring himself to kill Dr. Ivo before details about Shado’s death surfaces?

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Needless to say, one way or another, Slade will become privy to the truth. And much like another comics-verse’s Dr. Banner, he’s not a guy you like when angry. “Slade has a very pure objective: To find the person responsible for Shado’s death,” Bennett notes. “And when he discovers that it is Oliver, his temper spikes. And because of the Mirakuru, he becomes even more intense.”

Stoking Slade’s fire is the deep sense of betrayal he feels, especially so soon after he and Oliver talked of one another as being “brothers.” As Bennett explains, “He brought this kid through a world he would never have survived if it hadn’t been for Slade’s mentorship. It’s a scenario akin to, ‘What would Yoda have done if he thought Luke Skywalker had betrayed him?’ Or Liam Neeson in his Batman [Begins] role [as mentor Ra's al Ghul]. Slade’s feelings are so intense because of the camaraderie they had shared.”

In the here and now of Starling City, however, Slade manages to keep his composure whilst in Oliver’s company — and even while cheating death — knowing that to do so is critical in enacting his end game.

“If you look at the movie Inception, for example, people like to be in control of their reality — and that’s how Slade is in Starling City,” Bennett says. “He has learned to control the Mirakuru rage. Because he must control his past if he is to facilitate his future.”

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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13 Comments
  1. Rissa says:

    I am so unbelievably ready for tonight’s episode. Stephen Amell has yet to disappoint with his “best-episode-yet” proclamations, and I don’t see that trend ending now.

  2. James D says:

    can’t wait i have a feeling this episode will be watched in my household more than once this week. I keep saying this but seriously can Manu please be in every TV show and movie from now until the end of time he is so freaking good, kudos to the casting directors of this show because he is the perfect Slade Wilson. Let the Epicness Commence! :)

  3. Lena says:

    Definitely looking forward to this episode. Thanks Matt. :)

  4. Eliza says:

    Yeah, pretty excited for tonight’s episode.
    And an added bonus that Manu Bennett is a favorite of mine (thanks, Spartacus!)….

  5. kath says:

    I don’t get it. It was Ivo who killed Shado, not Oliver. Put the blame where it should lie.

    • Carla Krae says:

      That’s true. The blame should be on Ivo. Doesn’t stop Oliver from feeling guilty. But he loved Shado, so he’s not thinking clearly on the Island. Then Slade isn’t in his best mind because of the Mirakuru, so if Ivo says it’s Oliver’s fault or Oliver says it’s his fault, then Slade is going to go berserk. It’s all just very sad.

  6. kjmorse says:

    I love Manu Bennett- love that Slade is Australian- but as an Aussie- I can pick a New Zealand accent a mile off & Manu’s keeps putting me off a bit- its the way he says some words.

    • jbj says:

      I hear you, kjmorse. I was like that with Stephen Amell and his Canadian accent, too. To me, it was too adorable to be threatening, especially when he would give that “You failed the city!” spiel.

      But I’ve come to terms that perfect accents are a lot to expect from anyone, because everyone comes from somewhere with a regional accent. Which one is the correct one? And having lived in different parts of the States and Europe, my accent has become a bit of a hodgepodge American accent. So, Slade could just as easily be an Australian who has spent some time in or near New Zealand. Just let it go…

  7. Alia says:

    Is it a little weird that Slade and Ollie shared a love interest on the island, and now Slade is “cozying up to” Oliver’s mom?

  8. Jase says:

    Manu needs to be shirtless WITH that eye patch….

  9. azu says:

    Slade should chill. It wasn’t ollie’s fault!!

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