As Slade Wilson uncovers the truth about his son's past, Oliver finds himself in exactly the sort of trouble he had promised he would avoid. Meanwhile, back in Star City, the rest of Team Arrow must contend with The Dragon -a new crime boss who stealing advanced technology for an unexpected end and one whom has a surprising connection to one of them...
The Teen Titans comics of Marv Wolfman and George Perez (plot involving Deathstroke trying to bring the son who emulates him under control) and the Green Arrow comics of Jeff Lemire (character of Ricardo Diaz).
Why doesn't Nylander recognize Oliver as the friend who was with Slade at their meeting in the last episode?
Why was the A.S.I.S. training room in Australia getting the Channel 52 news feed?
The whole "Diggle turning to mystery drugs" subplot doesn't make sense and both Lyla and Curtis point out why. Lyla rightly calls John the most moral man she knows and Digg's desire not to burden people would never outweigh his sense of duty to the team. Curtis points out that given that he was able to crate a microchip that could cure paralysis, John should have come to him first about his nerve problems instead of trusting a strange drug dealer.
Manu Bennett delivers his best performance yet as Slade Wilson. If this is his final appearance, he's ending on a high note. That still won't stop me from hoping for a Deathstroke series in 2018. Make it happen, CW!
Despite how random it was in starting and how quickly it's resolved here, David Ramsey sells the hell out of his performance here as John Diggle coping with drug abuse.
The final shot of Slade walking away through a steam-cloud is like something George Perez would have drawn, brought to life.
The first business the tech thieves try to rob in this episode is Cadmus Tech. Cadmus, in the original comics, is a scientific concern involved in genetic engineering. In the New 52 universe, they are tied to a business called Cadmus Industries. In the DC Animated Universe, Project Cadmus was an association of scientific, military and government agents who were concerned about the threat posed by The Justice League.
In the DCTVU, on Earth 38 - the world where Supergirl is from - Cadmus is the name of Lillian Luthor's anti-alien group.
Lyla makes a reference to the nation of Vlatava. In the original comics, Vlatava was a small eastern-European nation and home to the villain Count Vertigo.
The second business the thieves hit is the Bio division of Palmer Tech. This is, of course, Ray Palmer's company. They steal a second high-quality 3-D printer.
The character of Richard Dragon was originally created by Dennis O'Neil and Jim Berry for the novel Kung Fu Master, Richard Dragon: Dragon's Fists (1974). O'Neil, best known at the time for his work on Detective Comics and Green Lantern/Green Arrow, later adapted the character for the DC Comics Universe in Richard Dragon Kung Fu Fighter #1 (May 1975). As a teenage sneak-thief in Japan, a young Richard tried to break into a dojo run by O-Sensei. Bested and beaten by O-Sensei's prize student, the old master saw something worth saving in the young thief and took him on as a student. For seven years, Richard studied the martial arts, eventually deciding to use his skills for good. He went on to become one of the best (if not the best) overall martial artists in the DC Universe.
The character of Richard Dragon was introduced to The New 52 reality in Green Arrow #23 (October 2013) by Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino. This version of Richard Dragon was apparently a member of The League of Assassins and was killed by one of his students, Ricardo Diaz Jr., who took Richard Dragon's name.
Ricardo Diaz Jr. was the son of Ricardo Diaz Sr. - a corrupt Seattle businessman, who was killed by John Diggle who was, at the time, posing as Green Arrow. Seeking revenge, Diaz Jr. went off in search of The League of Assassins. After killing his mentor and taking his name, the new "Richard Dragon" returned to Seattle and began killing gang-leaders while posing as a vigilante. In truth, "Dragon" was cementing his control on the underworld with the ultimate goal of killing Green Arrow and taking over his city. To that end, Diaz formed a team - The Longbow Hunters - dedicated to killing Green Arrow.
The DCTVU version of Ricardo Diaz is a career criminal who goes by the street name "Dragon". Once part of a Glades gang called The Scorpions, he was sentenced to Life Without Parole twice for his extensive list of crimes. His convictions were overturned due to technicalities and he has only been out of prison for one month, according to Dinah.
Joe makes mention of a brother named Grant that Slade didn't know about. In the comics, Grant Wilson was Slade Wilson's oldest son, who followed in his footsteps to become the mercenary Ravager.
In one alternate future visited by The Legends of Tomorrow, Grant Wilson was the new Deathstroke who ruled over Star City 2046.
The video game Felicity and William are playing when Oliver returns home is Injustice 2 - a game which features, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Firestorm, The Atom, Supergirl, The Flash, Vixen, Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd and Deadshot as playable characters. None of these characters are seen, however, with Felicity playing as Blue Beetle and William playing as Sub Zero.
The thieves were after a military-grade 3-D printer, capable of printing weapons, drones or chemicals.
Semtex is a high-yield explosive.
The armor which Slade Wilson wore as Deathstroke was developed by the A.S.I.S and was in it's prototype stages in 2011.
"Double jolts of Life Plus One" is a slang term for "two sentences for Life Without Parole".
Curtis says that both the stolen 3-D printers could be used to simultaneously print inert polypropylenes and soft material catalyst composites. This would allow him to make reactionware - i.e. designer street-drugs.
The drug John is taking is an experimental steroid.
In pondering how to solve John's nerve damage, Curtis asks if he's had an electromyogram done, but then corrects himself and says he'll need to do an NCV Test first.
(Slade Wilson lies in a hospital bed, his head and right-eye bandaged. He twitches suddenly as we see, from his perspective, flashbacks of his battles on Lian Yu.)
(Slade looks up. His gaze focusing. He sees his son, Joe.)
Joe: How are you feeling?
Slade: How did I get here?
Joe: Evac found you washed upon the Philippine coast. They said you were barely conscious. Just muttering someone's name... Oliver. Who is he?
(Slade shudders as he remembers. We see flashes of his battle with Oliver Queen on The Amazo. He reaches up to his bandaged eye.)
Slade: ... someone that owed me a debt.
Joe: Everyone left you for dead... but I knew you'd come back.
Slade: I will never leave you again, Joe.
(Joe leans down and hugs Slade. Slade hugs him back.)
Slade: I promise.
Diaz: Until we get our FDA approval, we've got to be careful with the roll out. You understand?
John: I get it. I'm just trying to make it through the day.
Diaz: Aren't we all?
John: To be Green Arrow means that I have to be physically capable of protecting the city. No matter what! Lyla, you make the same choices at ARGUS all the time!
Lyla: Choices you've condemned me for making!
John: I know I'm wrong. But I couldn't let Oliver down.
Lyla: So you let yourself down instead?
(Oliver wakes up, tied up in a chair. He finds a sword point at his right eye. Slade is holding the sword, as Joe looks on.)
Slade: Years ago I made you a promise. Do you remember? I promised that you would suffer. The same way that I suffered.
Oliver: What are you doing? You're not this person anymore.
Slade: What I am is a father. Reunited with my son. I made him a promise too, And I'm not going to break it again.
Oliver: We made each other a promise, Slade. To save our sons! To save Joe. To save William.
Joe: He has a son? I'll make sure he suffers too.
(Slade moves around behind Oliver.)
(Slade starts to raise up his sword.)
Joe: Do it!
Oliver: Slade?! Slade!
(Slade grunts and slrikes down... cutting Oliver's bonds. Oliver is out of his chair with a shot, knocking Joe out with a quick strike.)
Oliver: (glaring at Slade) That was a little too convincing.
Slade: I spared your life back there.
Oliver: I know. But back there, it didn't feel like an act, the same way it did with Chase back on Lian Yu.
Slade: Because when I saw my son... I was tempted. I would have done anything to keep us together. But when you mentioned William... I realized that's not my boy. It's Kane. But what I fear is there's only one way to stop him.
Joe: "Trust begins with honesty." That's what you said to me. But you lied!
Slade: You know life is not that simple, Joe.
Joe: That's not my name! How could you forgive Oliver Queen after what he did to you?!
Slade: Because he forgave me for far worse. Sins that I have to carry to the grave. A curse that I didn't want to pass on to you! All of this anger and resentment - it's time to bring it to an end, son!
Joe: (drawing his sword) No. It's just the beginning!
Slade: It's time for you to go home.
Oliver: And where will you go?
Slade: I'm going to keep searching for my son. Both of them. (pauses) I can't give up.
Oliver: If you ever need my help again, you don't hesitate to ask.
Slade: You have your own son to protect and I'm not going to put that at risk again. You've seen what can happen.
(Oliver nods as Slade offers his hand. Oliver takes it and shakes it.)
Slade: Thank you, kid.
(Slade picks up his bag and walks off. Oliver turns and watches as Slade walks into an alley disappearing into a steam cloud.)
Once again, John freezes up trying to fire his weapon as his hands go shaky.
Both Slade and Joe have a taste for single-malt scotch whiskey.
Ricardo Diaz is revealed to be leading the drug-ring that is making the drug that is keeping Diggle's aim steady. Diaz claims they are keeping it on the down-low until the FDA approves it.
John confesses about his nerve damage and his drug use to Lyla.
Slade spent two years (from 2010 to 2012) with his son, training alongside him in the A.S.I.S.. The Mirakuru drove him mad, however, and he killed almost all of his squad, save Joe, before leaving to pursue his vengeance on Oliver Queen, after seeing a news broadcast declaring that Oliver Queen was alive and had been rescued.
Joe reveals that he saw Slade kill a Chinese spy while they were supposed to be on a father-son trip in 2004. (As seen in the flashbacks in 605.) He says he made his first kill six months after that.
Joe reveals that he has a brother named Grant who Slade never knew about.
The Jackals are in custody but Joe/Kane gets away.
William got an A on his science project - a bottle rocket that went further than anyone else in his class.
John confesses his drug use and nerve trouble to Dinah, Rene and Curtis.
They forgive him, though Curtis is more offended that John didn't come to him for help first and promises to find a way to cure John without the steroid.
John promises no more secrets between himself and Dinah. She agrees... as she handles the matcbox that Vigilante gave her 605.
An A.S.I.S. Medical Ward - 2010.
An A.S.I.S. Training Facility - 2011.
An A.S.I.S. Training Facility - 2012.
A secret bunker in the nation of Kasnia.
The flashbacks in this episode tell the story of what happened to Slade Wilson in the five years between when he fought Oliver Queen on the Amazo and when he turned up in Star City posing as a businessman financing Moira Queen's run for mayor.
The Winick Factor
The arbitrary introduction of a drug addiction and the swift resolution of it in one issue is very Winnickian.
The Bottom Line
Half great. Half okay.
The only reason the subplot for Diggle works on any level is because of David Ramsey's performance. Had the subplot been given more time to mature, it might have worked more effectively. On the other hand, that would have required us to spend more time contemplating how out-of-character John was acting and how stupid he was for keeping secrets, not turning to the scientist he works with for help, etc.
The Deathstroke subplot, on the other hand, is handled perfectly and it gives Manu Bennett the exit from the series that he deserved rather than the embarrassing way Slade Wilson was handled in Arrow's third season. I really hope this isn't the last we see of Slade, but if it is, it's a grand way to go out.