Arrow EP Previews Deathstroke's First Strike, His Complicated Endgame, Oliver's Surprising Enemy

Arrow Spoilers Deathstroke RevengeInside a dramatically lit Vancouver night club, Arrow‘s Manu Bennett repeatedly pitches himself backwards into the air, landing with a resonant thud in a leather chair that had just moments before been serving as cocksure villain Slade Wilson’s “throne.”

The actor will do this again and again for nearly 10 minutes before the cameras start rolling, determined to execute the move just right, seeing as it caps a pivotal scene in the Season 2 episode “Deathstroke,” airing this Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW.

VIDEO | Exclusive Arrow Sneak peek: Deathstroke ‘Recruits’ an Army!

“Manu does not do anything halfway,” affirms Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim, who, like TVLine, was on set in mid-February to help the cast celebrate the early Season 3 pick-up. “He is such a force of nature, such a force of talent…. He takes his craft very, very seriously and really embodies the role. And in between takes he’s feeling all those emotions. He makes this personal sacrifice to really get into character, and that can be hard to shake.”

Shortly after the intense scene is filmed, TVLine invites Bennett to reflect on the investment he makes. “I feel a huge responsibility with these characters,” he says, citing Spartacus‘ Crixius and the Hobbit films’ Azog as other examples. “Not necessarily being a person who was brought up on comic books, the necessity to get the characters of Slade Wilson and Deathstroke right has made me invest even more emotion into making him, into making every twist and turn, psychologically real.”

Surveying his alter ego’s motivation — the tragic death of Shado, plus whatever else subsequently transpired as Slade held Oliver captive on the freighter — Bennett cites the old saw of how no villain sees himself as one. “When you have empathy for a character, regardless of whether he’s the good guy or the bad guy, that’s when the story gets really rich,” he posits. “That’s when the audience can be put right on the edge, wondering which way this story will go.”

The Promise

DEATHSTROKE STRIKES 
Ever since Oliver’s onetime island ally-turned-fiercest foe resurfaced in Starling City, he has kept the ever-agile Arrow on his toes. First, he enlisted “Brother” Sebastian Blood in a scheme to experiment with the Mirakuru serum on local grunts. Then, in a quite audacious play, he sashayed into Oliver’s home, escorting Moira around on his arm unde the guise of a dashing political backer.

But when we last tuned in, Slade made his first inscrutable action, luring Oliver’s sister Thea into his town car. And it’s not to offer her a ride to Forever 21.

“Episode 17 ended with Thea getting kidnapped by Slade, and 18 deals with all the ramifications of that,” Guggenheim previews. “It’s basically about the manhunt for Slade, the search for Thea and the high stakes of what Slade is going to do. The episode is called ‘Deathstroke’ because this is the first huge move that Slade Wilson is going to make in his plan to exact revenge.”

The oh-so-dark details of said sinister plan have yet to be revealed — but this week’s episode will shed the first light on what all Slade has in store.

“His endgame is actually pretty complicated. It’s not one move, it’s several, and he hits a few of them in this episode,” Guggenheim allows. “At this point, Oliver knows that Slade’s plan is to basically take away everything and everyone he loves, including his city, and then kill him. DeathstrokeBut what Oliver doesn’t know are the specifics of how that plan will be enacted. And in this episode, he learns that the way Slade is planning on destroying him is completely unexpected.

“Oliver thought he was facing one kind of enemy,” Guggenheim teases, “but the truth is he’s facing a very different kind, and that enemy will really surprise him.”

OUT WITH A ‘BITTERSWEET’ BANG…?
With Arrow targeted for a one-week break after “Deathstroke” is unleashed — the next episode, “The Man Under the Hood” (featuring characters from the Flash pilot), airs April 16 — the plan was to end the hour “with a real bang,” Guggenheim says. “We wrote it to function almost as a season finale. Obviously, we’re doing five episodes past this, but this one is really, really epic.”

RELATED | Arrow Episode to Introduce Characters From The Flash Spin-Off Pilot

Asked to describe the episode’s denouement — while on set, we were witness to not just the aforementioned Slade/Arrow confrontation, but also a police station/media circus scene — Guggenheim first offers up the word bittersweet. “There are victories and there are losses,” he goes on to explain. “The victories are very unexpected, and the losses are equally unexpected. Moments that feel victorious are tinged with a kind of sadness, and even the sad moments, quite frankly, try to have a glimmer of hope.

“I’m really happy with the tone that we strike at the end of this episode, because it really does make you lean in for the final [run],” he continues. “You may think, ‘How can they possibly do five more episodes?’ But just wait and see. There’s a lot of story we have left to tell.”

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33 Comments
  1. nate says:

    its very hard to make me excited for an EPISODE of a tv show..but damn Arrow does it soo well

    • Deena says:

      Totally agree. This season it has become one of my favorite shows and one of the only I actually watch on the night it airs.

    • Oliver says:

      Episode 18, the death of Sara and her sister begins her journey to becoming the real Black Canary.

      • Catarina says:

        Oh, I really, REALLY hope not…

      • Baimun says:

        They would be foolish to kill off Sara just to appease the comic detail that matches the first name of the character with the hero. Caity Lotz is so incredibly talented in her fight scenes (and dance background) not to mention the compelling origin element of being trained by Ra’s Ah Ghul. If one of them had to go, I’d rather see Sara take her slain sister’s name in tribute.

        • LittleTruckie says:

          I will be so disappointed if the writers are going to force Laurel into the Black Canary role simply because of her name. Sara survived hell on the island and her being trained by the League of Assassins is what makes her a believable equal with Oliver. Unless Laurel is going to join the LoA and disappear off the show for a few years, then no way. If all you need is a few self defense classes and a vendetta, anyone could be Black Canary!
          Even from a casting perspective it makes more sense; Caity Lotz (Sara) actually has a martial arts and dance background, while Katie Cassidy (Laurel) is a fashion designer. It just makes more sense for Caity Lotz to be the Black Canary.

      • Leo says:

        YES!!!
        who cares I’m the only living person who roots for laurel to be black canary…
        I dont have anything against Caity but i just dont like her whole arc.
        my guess is sara died. Laurel disappears, come back in S3 as black canary..booyah
        or Sin died…or Sin become canary to honor sara…

    • sarah says:

      Me too! The show had me from day one, I watched the pilot twice!

  2. CBWBDK1 says:

    This season has been fantastic!! Based on the promo for the next episode it looks like olliver will fight with summer glau’s character.

  3. Hodan says:

    All Hail Deathstroke!!!

  4. Trish says:

    Finally, something to look forward to on Arrow again! All Hail Deathstroke!!! Kill ‘em all!!! Except Felicity & Diggle. :-)

  5. jess says:

    MANUUUUU!!! LOVE THAT GUY

  6. amy says:

    KILL THEM MANU, KILL THEM ALL, stay away from dig though, and felicity, and thea, and sara (she’s been through a lot)

  7. Jared says:

    “Offer her a ride to Forever 21″ LMAO! I LOVE this site so much

  8. Joey Padron says:

    Excited for new episode of Arrow. It’s gonna be a great episode!

  9. queerbec says:

    I think Sara and the actress’s guest star billing will not make it past that episode. It’s the season for major deaths!

    • Priscilla says:

      I don’t think so, unfortunately. The actress is still filming the show. So unless she gets killed off in the present and is still alive in the flashbacks, she’ll plague the show with terrible acting for the foreseeable future.

      • Dominator of destruction says:

        Thats been Laurel she is an awful overactor Sara is way,way better

        • marla says:

          based on most of your comments (at least from what i’ve seen in this thread), you are obviously a sara/oliver shipper. lol. doesn’t really go well with your user name “dominator of destruction”. lmao

      • kath says:

        I think she’s good with the Black Canary/fight scenes. Not so much in the emotional stuff but acceptable.

        But she’s been way over-used since Sara got back to Starling City, I can’t care about the Sara/Oliver “romance” and it brings Oliver and the show in general down. I want more of Diggle, Felicity, Moira and Thea. Even Roy, who could have some good storylines except that it’s All About Sara and Laurel now.

    • I think Roy and Laurel might not make it through this season.

      • msnyder1985 says:

        Roy goes on to teen titans with Thea, at least in the DC comics world. They can’t kill him off yet.

  10. Mike says:

    My prayer: That they don’t kill Sara this season bc of all she’s been through, at least have her be a series regular for the next season and maybe the season after that, bc Laurel still has some growing to do if I’m gonna buy her as the Black Canary. She was a lot more Bad A– last season, and this season she’s just been blah. I’d also request they not kill Felicity, Diggle, or Slade. Just bc Manu is SO awesome and Deathstroke is a Bad A– character. Him and Oliver have a lot more sparring to do.

    • anon says:

      Don’t you think Laurel is too old to learn some serious martial arts. I mean she is already 29 and then she will need 3 to 4 years to become Black Canary, then 2-3 yrs of crime fighting and then retire!! I think she’s way past her prime to become Black Canary.

    • kath says:

      Sara has taken up too much time and story line on the show since she got back. I’d be okay with her being recurring next season but if she’s a regular and it’s like these last episodes have been, I’m gone. Which would make me sad because I used to love this show.

  11. Mark says:

    Whats the reason for another week’s break just as things are heating up >>>>

  12. J says:

    the reason for next weeks break is to give you, the viewer a chance to absorb what just happened in tomorrow nights episode. also, i hope sara dies… she makes me hate watching this show.. and no i am not an olicity fan.. i can’t stand oliver with laurel either.. i would rather oliver be with the Huntress

    • Dominator of destruction says:

      Huntress lmao she is nearly worse than Laurel if thats possible and she also like Laurel has no chemistry with Ollie i wish Sara killed her

  13. kath says:

    I hope it’s a good episode because I’m sick to death of the “Oliver And The Lance Sisters Show”.

    I want a reason to keep watching Arrow.

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