Arrow: “Deathstroke” Season 2 Episode 18 Review

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Secrets are revealed in a big episode that put us closer to Season 2’s endgame.

The moment early on where Thea realizes she’s gotten in the wrong car probably cemented Deathstroke as the best villain Arrow has given us yet. Sebastian Blood, although a pawn, might be a close second though.

This episode made one thing very clear, Slade is building a worthy team of adversaries to take on the Arrow, the Canary, Roy, Diggle, and Felicity. We’re gearing up for a final showdown not just between Oliver and Slade, but their respective teams as well. Hell, maybe even Lance will lead the Starling City police force against the criminals Deathstroke freed. Slade isn’t just out for revenge, he’s waging a war.

Now, the end of last season was fantastic, but we could be headed to something way bigger and better.

The tension in this episode was always present. Thea’s capture led to the startling video threat at Moira’s debate with Blood for the mayorship of Starling City. Just what would Slade do to her? The team behind Arrow has shown they’re willing to kill characters (we still love you Tommy), which put things on a whole other level. Could Thea really die? Could Laurel? No, at least not yet. But now Thea knows who her real father is and Laurel knows who the Arrow really is.

Another big reveal was that Oliver’s partner in running Queen Consolidated, Isabel, was also working for Slade, and that she’s had some training (Summer Glau clearly hasn’t lost her luster since Firefly and Serenity).

But beyond the big reveals, Deathstroke had a ton of moments that worked really well emotionally. Oliver and Moira reconciling. Oliver begging Slade to put the past behind him and tell him where Thea is. Roy getting one last look at Thea before driving off.

Throw in the Arrow taking out at least a dozen of Slade’s men at the end and you have a near perfect episode of Arrow. Too bad the island flashbacks just didn’t have it this week. This storyline is obviously just treading water at the moment as it builds to its own climax, which might as well be titled “Why Slade Wears the Patch”.

But some boring island scenes weren’t enough to ruin what was a masterfully crafted episode. Filled with rich characters moments and ever-escalating tension, Deathstroke is another high point of this excellent season. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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