Review: Arrow 6×05 – “Deathstroke Returns”

by Reigh Carlo
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Director: Joel Novoa

Writers: Ben Sokolowski & Spiro Skentzos

Starring: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Paul Blackthorne, Echo Kellum, Rick Gonzalez, Juliana Harkavy, Katie Cassidy



Slade asks for Oliver’s help to free his son Joe from a Kasnian prison. But things don’t go as planned. Back home, Team Arrow again confronts Vigilante who is targeting the officials passing the Anti-Vigilante law. We also see a flashback to Slade’s past on a camping trip with dark secrets.



Slade is back! Yeah! In this episode, Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, is in Star City and not to terrorize or kill anyone close to Oliver, but instead he’s here because he needs Mayor Queen’s help. This episode is one of the best episodes so far this season. We see Oliver and Slade working together. It has been a very long time since we saw these two get along. It’s such a treat if you are long-time fan of the show and know the history of the two. It really brings back memories, back from season one when they first met.

The flashbacks showcased that Slade is actually a very loving father. He cares for his family and can be an outstanding father of the year. However, Slade has some business to take care of. The reason why he took Joe camping is because he has a mission. He can be a great father, but he is too focused on his job. Also, in the flashbacks, it is revealed that Slade is looking for Yao Fei and when he interrogated the Chinese informant, he tells Slade, who is in his full Deathstroke gear, that he is in Purgatory; a reference to the island of Lian Yu which in the future will be his home for a few years where he’ll meet Oliver Queen and Shado.

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Another great point for this episode is the fight sequence with Deathstroke when he was hunting down The Jackals. This is the first time where such violence in a DC/CW show has ever been featured. You can feel Slade’s anger as he stabs and shoots goons one by one. It was bloody and at the same time amazing (I know, I sound like a sick psychopath). Also, the final minutes were breathtaking, revealing that Joe is the leader of The Jackals all along. It was awesome! It never gets old.

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Deathstroke-on-a-Rampage dc comics news

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One heart-warming moment in this episode was when William called his father Oliver when he was still in Kasnia. He was checking in on his father and even asked if he had helped Slade find his son. William even asked if there’s any way Oliver can help his friend. Here we can see the innocence of William. He is starting become a great character in the series. Somehow, before Arrow aired its sixth season, I was worried. Would William be a thorn in Oliver’s side? Would he be whining all the time? But no, his character is slowly growing and becoming mature. It also ignites Oliver’s passion to help no matter what and that is the essence of being a hero.

Finally, one last great thing that happened this season is the continuation of the investigation of Agent Watson into the identity of the Green Arrow. She begins to interrogate members of Team Arrow which makes sense because they are the people closest to Oliver, so this is a logical move for the FBI Agent. She interrogates Felicity, Diggle and even Dinah and you can see that Watson is really keen and suspicious of their actions. I have a feeling that she is close to zeroing in the identity of the Green Arrow. Hopefully this becomes a key point in this season. This can open a lot of possibilities like Oliver being incarcerated in Iron Heights and facing people he placed in prison. That is one heck of an episode.



For this episode, the negatives cannot escape. I know almost everyone was shocked when they revealed the identity behind Vigilante. When Dinah was pursuing Vigilante as Black Canary, she let out her sonic cry which shattered Vigilante’s visor. He then removes his masks and we see that it was Dinah’s presumed dead partner/boyfriend Vincent Sobel (Clayton Chitty). This is a great reveal but somehow it was overshadowed with the fact that it’s a Deathstroke centric episode, although it made an enormous impact with Dinah because all these years she thought that her partner was dead and now seeing him alive and killing as the Vigilante. It is also revealed during the episode that Vincent was also affected with the particle accelerator four years ago in Central City. It then gave Vincent metahuman powers which allows him to be invulnerable, with a great healing factor.

Personally, I think they should’ve placed this story at the mid-season finale. It would bear much more weight when it comes to the story and people would wonder how he survived the execution that happened four years ago. It would be a great cliff-hanger for the mid-season.



It gave us a viewpoint on Slade’s backstory, which is why I loved this episode. It even made us feel that Slade wants to be a father again to his son Joe. The only set back is the Vigilante identity reveal. It was good, it gave Dinah a motivation for this season but still they should’ve placed it, in my opinion, as the mid-season finale.

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