This week’s episode picks up right where last week’s left off…Oliver crashes through the window of his mother’s office as The Hood to confront her. Moira begs for her life, showing pictures of Oliver and Thea. Oliver lets his guard down and Moira shoots him with a hidden gun. Seriously wounded, Oliver takes refuge in the back seat of Felicity’s car and has her take him back to his abandoned factory lair where Diggle and Felicity operate on him to remove the bullet.
While Oliver is unconscious, we get flashbacks to the island. Oliver has met Slade Wilson (AKA Deathstroke), an Australian intelligence agent who came to the island, along with his partner Brian Wintergreen, to rescue Yao Fei. They caught by Fyers and his mercenaries and were offered the chance to join him. Slade’s partner took the offer while Slade declined. Slade begins to train Oliver further and intends to take over a supply plane that is arriving in a few days. Slade then plans to call in an airstrike to wipe out Fyers’s base. With Oliver’s help (such as it was) Slade wipes out a group of guards to take over a control tower. Oliver refuses to leave Yao Fei behind to be killed and against Slade’s wishes, Oliver tries to rescue his friend from the mercenaries.
Most of this episode takes place in flashbacks and that was fine by me. More of Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson can’t be anything other than a good thing. It’s a brilliant casting choice and has moved the show up a notch or two on the strength of his presence alone. The episode also fleshes out Slade’s background a little and you can see his eventual progression into the character we know from the comic books. We also saw the exact point when Oliver changes from rich, spoiled playboy, to a determined man of action.
Besides Slade Wilson, I’m also enjoying the character of Felicity who brings a nerdy sexiness and humor to her role. She’s always fun to watch. The island sequences are becoming even more intriguing with Slade’s arrival, and the revelation that Yao Fei is being blackmailed into helping Fyers. Who is the person who hired Fyers and what is their ultimate goal?
There were a few things that didn’t work because they were just too clean. Oliver is surrounded by mercs at the end before Slade rescues him, somehow knocking out or killing all of the guards except for Fyers and Wintergreen. And Oliver, fresh from a bullet in the chest that caused his heart to stop beating, is shown up and around just after Diggle operated on him. Yeah I know…comic book show, but there was no real need for Oliver to return home, seemingly no worse for the wear, and learn about his mother shooting him…I mean the Hood. And again Felicity, hacking the police database to destroy the sample of Oliver’s blood? A little contrived to say the least.
Despite those misgivings, this was a good episode and it certainly looks like Slade Wilson is a character we can count on seeing more of in the future.