“Oliver thought he was facing one kind of enemy,” Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim had told TVLine of this week’s episode. “But the truth is he’s facing a very different kind, and that enemy will really surprise him.”
And that enemy is… himself.
For as revealed in Wednesday’s episode, titled “Deathstroke,” the execution of Slade Wilson’s endgame is every bit as “complicated” as Guggenheim foretold. Yes, he kidnapped Thea — but not to harm her, or lure Oliver into a honey trap. Instead, his goal was to A) reveal to Thea her shocking true paternity, while B) distracting his adversary from such things as a takeover of Queen Consolidated, and Slade’s recruitment of a small army to help Sebastian Blood “take” the city, if not necessarily as mayor.
But Oliver lost even more — potentially a lot more — than Thea’s trust, as she lashed out at her brother for “trying to keep her safe” with lies. For one, Roy has become disenfranchised with toeing the “King Queen” line and following Oliver’s perhaps questionable courses of (in)action. Hell, it got so bad that Roy Mirakuru’d out on Diggle, though cooler heads (sorta) prevailed. Yet by episode’s end, Roy was Speedying out of town, leaving behind a shell-shocked ex.
Oliver himself — and not so much his alter ego — sustained a massive loss, when in the heat of hunting down Slade/Thea, he appointed Isabel Rochev CEO pro tempore. After “balking” at the idea, she went on to use her new position to summon an emergency board meeting and take over QC outright, because she is working with Slade Wilson. Why? “It’s sad that you don’t know,” she scoffed, before busting out some martial arts on Oliver whilst rambling about “the sins of the father” and what not. Could she be Rose Wilson, Slade’s daughter? Or is Isabel, per DC lore, a onetime mistress of the late Robert’s? (Regardless, between the ninja moves and the way she was standing with ‘tude alongside Slade and Sebastian toward the end, she became 175% more interesting.)
The third reveal came at the very end of the episode, when Slade — now a most wanted criminal — stops by Laurel’s apartment, not to harm her but drop some knowledge: “Oliver Queen… is the Arrow.”
Meanwhile in flashback, we gained greater insight into the effect Shado had on Slade’s surly disposition. For he is haunted not by her death, but by her actual spectre. Shado is apparently “living” in Slade’s Miraku-addled noggin, years ago advising him not to kill Oliver but leave him, Sara at el to suffer a fate worse than death, imprisoned on the island. And in the here and now, Shado still looms, championing Slade in his Machiavellian mission.
Some notable quotables, then share your thoughts on “Deathstroke” and what might be ahead in the season’s finale five episodes.
* “I told a guy the truth and he got struck by lightning. To be fair, it probably won’t happen again. Statistically.”
* “I routinely bump all appointments 30 minutes in anticipation that you’ll be late.” “That’s good policy.”
* “How is Miss Rochev these days? Still angry that Dorothy dropped a house on her sister?”
* “Theyre calling you Deathstroke.” “That’s a bit flamboyant. I like it.”
* “Go on. I’m curious to know what sort of threat a 19-year-old girl can make.”