Friday, November 10, 2017

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 5 - Deathstroke Returns

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


Slade Wilson returns to ask for Oliver's help in rescuing his long-lost son, Joe, from a Kasnian prison. And for once he needs the help of Oliver Queen - not the Green Arrow. Meanwhile, Vigilante returns to Star City and is apparently out for the head of the councilwoman leading the push against masked crime-fighters. And Agent Watson begins questioning the other members of Team Arrow in her bid to bring down Mayor Queen.


The Teen Titans comics of Marv Wolfman and George Perez.


Manu Bennett is as amazing as ever as Slade Wilson.

Juliana Harkavy blows away her naysayers with her performance here. This is the Black Canary we've been waiting for for six years.


The scene of Slade fighting the Jackals works rather well, despite making use of the famous sped-up/slow-down editing trick.


The leather jacket Dinah wears in the opening scene is the same style worn by The Black Canary in the comics.

The main plot of the episode follows Slade Wilson's efforts to find his son, Joseph. In the comics, Joseph Wilson was the superhero and Teen Titans member Jericho, who had the power to take control of the body of anyone he made eye-contact with. He was rendered mute as a child after having his throat cut while being taken hostage by a terrorist called The Jackal.

Joseph "Jericho" Wilson was reportedly the first comic book character George Perez designed entirely by himself.  The codename Jericho and the fact that he was Deathstroke's son apparently came from Marv Wolfman, but Perez came up with his real name, personality, powers and came up with the idea of Jericho being mute.

Slade says that his son, Joseph, was now using his wife's maiden name - Kane. In the original comics, Slade Wilson's wife was a woman named Adeline Kane.

The idea of Slade Wilson being devoted to his work and putting his job over his family is taken directly from the classic Teen Titans comics. His wife left him after Joseph was rendered mute - an action that occurred because Slade put his professional code of ethics regarding his work ahead of everything else - and took all of their children with her, going into hiding.

Slade says that Joseph is being held in a prison in Kasnia. The nation of Kasnia (or Kazina) first appeared in the DC Animated Universe. It was located somewhere in the Balkans or Eastern Europe and its history was loosely based upon the nation of Yugoslavia, suffering from a number of civil wars through its long history.

One Justice League episode - Maid of Honor - focused upon the nation of Kasnia and involved Vandal Savage and his attempts to take control of the country (and then the world!) through an arranged marriage to the country's princess.

Nylander addresses Slade as "The Terminator". This was indeed Slade Wilson's nickname in the comics, given to him before the name became synonymous with a certain murderous brand of time-traveling robot.

Joe Wilson refers to a friend whose dad is a pilot for Ferris Air. In the comics, Ferris Air is the company owned by Carol Ferris - a.k.a. Star Sapphire. An aeronautics company in the original comics, Ferris Air is an airline in the DCTVU.

We find out later that Joe Wilson's full alias is Kane Wolfman. This is a nod to Marv Wolfman - the writer responsible for creating Slade Wilson in the original Teen Titans comics.

The mercenary group that Joe Wilson was investigating was called The Jackals. This is a nod to The Jackal - the terrorist in the original comics who was responsible for slashing Joe Wilson's throat and leaving him mute.


Vigilante either hacked his visor so Team Arrow couldn't track him through it or switched to a new visor technology unlike the one he'd used the last time he fought them.

Bullets can become magnetic if they are stored in an environment with a strong magnetic field.

Dialogue Triumphs

Agent Watson: Excuse me! What are you doing here? You are not SCPD.
Dinah: No. He's not. And this is not a federal case.
Agent Watson: Still doesn't explain what John Diggle, who works personal security for the mayor, is doing at a crime scene.
John: I have relevant experience. And the mayor thought this could use a fresh set of eyes.
Agent Watson: What type of experience?
John: Sniper.
Agent Watson: I don't recall reading that in your military file.
John: I'm sorry. Tell me again why you're reviewing my service jacket?
Agent Watson: Mayor Queen didn't mention he's under investigation?
John: Of course he did. It has nothing to do with -
Agent Watson: But you've been working with him for the past six years. Which makes us overdue for a chat.

(Nylander gives Slade the information he asked for.)
Slade: This should work. Thank you.
Nylander: That's it? Just thank you? No extravagant dinner? No pints?
Slade: Maybe next time. When my son isn't rotting in a third-world prison.
Nylander: He is lucky to have you as a father.
(Slade stops in mid-step.)
Slade: My son wouldn't be in this mess if anybody else was his father.
Nylander: Just be careful, Kamrat. Your boy was snooping around some private-ops mercenaries. Some... not so nice guys.
(Slade turns around and gives Nylander an honest smile.)
Slade: Under certain circumstances, I'm not so nice a guy.

(Slade says that he doesn't intend to see his son once Oliver gets him out of prison.)
Slade: It's better this way.
Oliver: For him or for you? (pauses) Are you... are you afraid that he's going to see you as Deathstroke and not the man you were? The man I think you are now?
Slade: I gave up my right to be his father when I stepped out of the light, into the shadows and became this monster.
Oliver: Your son will forgive you. The way that my son forgave me.
Slade: Joe knew that I was coming to look for him. So he contacted his mother. And she sent me a message to stay away. You got your second chance, kid. And I'm happy for you. Some fathers aren't that lucky.

John: Are you having as much trouble with Oliver working with Slade as I am?
Felicity: No. I'm having a lot more.

(Oliver is protesting Slade planning to take on The Jackals alone.)
Oliver: I am not letting you do this.. alone...
(Oliver passes out, collapsing into his chair. Slade looks at him and then to the water Oliver had been drinking as he moves to stand over Oliver.)
Slade: Alone is what I do best, kid.

(Vigilante pulls off his mask to reveal the bullet he took for Black Canary stuck in his forehead. He pulls it out.)
Black Canary: How?
Vigilante: You're not the only one dark matter did something to. Everything heals now.
Black Canary: I thought you were dead!  You let me believe it for four years!
Vigilante: I'm sorry. I couldn't let myself be-
Black Canary: Human?
Vigilante: Distracted.
Black Canary: Distracted?! From what?!
Vigilante: My mission. We were cops for 10 years. What did we ever accomplish?
Black Canary: A lot.
Vigilante: Not enough. Not nearly enough. (pauses) This is the only way.
Black Canary: You've lost your mind.
Vigilante: I'm not the only one wearing a mask.


Vigilante appears for the first time since 515, apparently having survived being thrown off a roof by Prometheus.

Slade says that his son, Joseph, is now using his wife's surname - Kane. He followed in Slade's footsteps and joined The Australian Intelligence Service.

Slade says that he tracked Joe from Calgary to Ibiza (an island off the eastern coast of Spain) then to Mombasa - the second largest city in Kenya.

Slade says that Joe is being held in a prison in Kasnia - the same country John Diggle led The Suicide Squad into in 317. It is also where most of L110 took place, in the year 2147. On Earth 38, John Corben - the man who became Metallo - was said to have ties to Kasnian terrorists in S201.

Felicity makes reference to the events of F405 and a metahuman criminal crashing Iris West's bachlorette party.

Aruba is Oliver and Felicity's special vacation spot. It's also the favored vacation spot of Mick Rory, as seen in L301.

Vigilante is revealed to be Vincent Sobel - Dinah Drake's former partner, last seen in the flashbacks of 511.

Nylander was an associate of Slade's when he was in the AIS. Slade describes him as a jackass who was never on time.

Agent Watson interviews John Diggle, Felicty Smoak and Rene Ramirez.

Joe Wilson was investigating a mercenary gang known as The Jackals.

Vincent Sobel used to make matchbox art.

John refers to Vigilante attacking Oliver's limo in 515 and how he had a chance to kill Dinah but didn't take it.

Vincent Sobel developed a metahuman healing factor from the STAR Labs particle accelerator explosion. It allowed him to heal being shot in the head when Dinah first saw him die and allows him to survive taking a bullet for her when a rookie cop tries to shoot Black Canary.

Nylander turns out to be part of The Jackals and Joe Wilson is revealed to be their leader.

Agent Watson noticed that Dinah was missing during the blackout when Black Canary showed up.

Vigilante leaves a matchbox with a rose inside it for Dinah on the dash of her car.


Milford Sound, New Zeland - Sometime in 2004.
A prison in the nation of Kasnia.
A hidden bunker in the nation of Kasnia.

The Bottom Line

The title of this episode may be lazy but its execution is anything but. Manu Bennett returns in style and it's like he never left. While most audiences could happily spend an entire hour watching Deathstroke be awesome, the Black Canary subplot more than equals it. Easily the best episode of the season to date and another contender for one of the best Arrow episodes of all time. Can we have a Deathstroke series in 2018, please?

No comments:

Post a Comment