Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 18 - Deathstroke

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Slade Wilson has made his first strike against Oliver Queen, kidnapping Thea Queen on the eve of Moira Queen's first debate with Sebastian Blood.  Within a span of 24 hours, Oliver Queen will come to realize just how far Slade Wilson has gone in the name of revenge and who his worst enemy truly is.

In the island flashbacks, Sara prepares a deadly trap for Slade as the two agree to make an exchange of Oliver for the one man who can fix The Amazo's engines.


Green Arrow: Year One (the island sequences), Dennis O'Neil's Justice League of America #75 (the idea of Ollie losing his company to a corrupt business partner), Green Arrow: Into The Woods (Isbela Rochev taking over Oliver Queen's company) and numerous stories by too many writers to list that explore the idea that Oliver Queen is his own worst enemy.


There is one stunning shot before the final commercial break, where The Arrow stands in the warehouse where he thought Thea was being held.  We see him from above standing in the light - a perfect circle witha  brighter circle in the middle... and Arrow standing right on the edge of the bullseye.


What little we learn of Deathstroke's healing factor in this episode matches up with the character in the comcis quite well.  In the comics, Slade Wilson has been able to heal from most injuries - up to and including being impaled through the chest on his own sword - far faster than a normal human.  This ability is limited, however, as it could not save Slade's eye when he was shot in the face nor has it proven capable - in various Elseworlds and alternate future stories - of regrowing severed limbs.

This is not the first time Oliver Queen has lost his business to a corrupt business partner.  In Dennis O'Neil's legendary Justice League run, Oliver Queen lost his company to a business partner named John DeLeon.

In J.T. Krul's Green Arrow run, Oliver Queen's company - long out of his hands - was taken over by the comic universe's version of Isabel Rochev.

Isabell Rochev's unspoken motivation for helping Slade is cryptically expressed as "The sins of the father are the sins of the son."  In J.T. Krul's Green Arrow run, Isabel Rochev has an affair with Oliver's father and became obsessed with taking over his company and property, seeing herself as Robert's rightful "queen".

Quentin Lance's full name is Quentin Larry Lance.  The character in the comics he was based on was originally just named Larry Lance.

Dialogue Triumphs

It would be embarrassing for us both if you couldn't at least appear to be my son tonight.
Ollie: I've gotten pretty good at pretending to be someone I'm not.  I learned it from you.

Diggle: We're going to find her Roy.  We're going to get her back.  She's a tough girl.
Roy: If she's even alive when we find her.
Diggle: You can't think like that.
Roy: I can't stop thinking like that.

Oliver: They're calling you Deathstroke.
Slade: It's a bit flamboyant.  I like it.
Oliver: How did you get off the island?
Slade: THAT is your first question?
Oliver: Well, you've made it pretty clear you aren't going to tell me where my sister is, so yeah - that's my first question.
Slade: I swam.

(As Slade is being released by the police)
Lt. Pike: You should know Officer Lance is facing some very serious charges.
Slade: Well, don't pursue them on my behalf. *looking at Oliver* I'm not one to hold a grudge.

Sara:  Alright, let's all just calm down here.  Slade outplayed us.  It happens.
Roy: It only happened because the police let Slade go.  AFTER we turned him in, because Oliver told us to.
Diggle: What were we supposed to do?
Roy: You're Special Forces.  She's an international assassin.  You'd think between the three of us we could have gotten answers out of Slade ourselves instead of turning him in to the police.  And here's what really sick - is that we didn't even question him because HE said it was the right thing to do.  Just like he said that I needed to break up with Thea, one week after telling me that it wasn't safe for me to leave her alone!
Sara: Wait - do you think it's Oliver's fault that Slade took Thea?
Roy: I think it was his fault that I wasn't there to stop Slade.
Sara: And I think you're just blaming Oliver because you lost Slade.
Roy: Well, of course you'd take his side.  You're screwing him.

Moira: I've told you that these lies were to keep our family safe.  To keep us all together.  But that was the biggest lie of all   And I told it to you.  To Thea.  To myself.  Because I was too weak to face any kind of truth.
Ollie: What's happening now isn't your fault.
Moira: From the moment your children are born you worry what the world might do to them.  But you never stop to think what you might do to them.  That we could be our own worst enemy.

Roy: (to Oliver) I believed in you.  There's nothing left for me here.

Thea: How could you not tell me Malcolm Merlyn was my father?  I believed in you!
Ollie: We were trying to keep you safe.
Thea: Do you have any idea who you sound like?  *glaring at Moira* You sound like her.

Ollie: Roy was right. At every turn I've made the wrong decision.  With him.  With the company.  And now Thea.  I was so focused on what Slade might do to me that it never even occurred to me what I could do to myself.  I am my own worst enemy.
Diggle: That's Slade talking, Oliver.  Don't let him in your head.
Ollie: I can't keep him out of my head, Diggle!  I can't stop him from doing anything!
Felicity: Yes, you can.
Ollie: What makes you so sure?
Diggle: Because you're not alone, man.  Now what, boss?
Ollie: Now we fight back.

Slade: Don't worry.  I'm not here to harm you.
Laurel: Go to hell!
Slade: All in good time, I'm sure.  But before then, I've come to Starling City to see Oliver Queen suffer.
Laurel: Oliver... what?  Why?
Slade: Because he's not the man you think he is.
Laurel: And how would you know that?!
Slade: Because I know Oliver Queen is... The Arrow.

Dialogue Disasters

Not really dialogue as such, but Katie Cassidy's expression at the end of the episode is less "I've just found out my ex-boyfriend is a violent vigilante" and more "This burrito is escaping my stomach and I need to find a bathroom NOW!"


Sara makes a mixture using Tibetian Pit Viper venom to knock Slade out - presumably a weaker version of the poison used in 213.

Anatoly Knyazev is confirmed to be an ex-KGB agent.

Slade apparently escaped the island by swimming.

Somehow, Slade is able to scramble Felicity's tracking signal and lose multiple physical tails.

It is unclear precisely how but Slade Wilson uncovered the truth of Thea Queen's parentage.  He reveals said truth - that she is Malcolm Merlyn's biological daughter - to Thea before releasing her.

Thea loved coloring and drew on the walls.  Moira could never be angry at her, though.

Isabel Rochev takes control of Queen Consolidated.  She is revealed to be working with Slade Wilson and to be fully aware that Oliver Queen is The Arrow.  She tells Ollie she thinks its sad he doesn't know her reasons for helping Slade before cryptically adding "The Sins of the Father are the Sins of the Son".

Iron Heights reopened the wing damaged during the earthquake at the end of Season One.  Slade hijacked the bus carrying the inmates to be held there and has apparently recruited them for his army.

Roy is seen watching Thea leave the police station.  His car is then seen leaving the Starling City limits.  It is unclear if Thea is with Roy or not.

At the end of the episode, Quentin Lance is arrested on multiple charges of aiding and abetting a felon after he proves unable to lead his superior to The Arrow.

The Fridge Factor

Granting that Thea is upset, you'd still think she'd have more common sense than to get into a car with a strange man she's only met once before, who just happens to be driving past in the worst part of town.

Laurel is a little too quick in opening her door without seeing who is there first.  Particularly given how many times she's been attacked in her apartment or been kidnapped over the past year...

The Winick Factor

Apart from calling the police to try and expose Slade Wilson to the world, Ollie doesn't do one thing right in this episode.  And even that was all according to Slade's plan!

The Bottom Line

Practically perfect in every way.  There's a number of glorious fake-outs and honest surprises with not one note wrongly played.  Possibly the best episode of the series to date.

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