Arrow: Deathstroke Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, April 04, 2014
Now that’s timing! I was just thinking to myself, “Whatever happened to Summer Glau?”, and here she comes back with a vengeance this week. Honestly I thought perhaps the writers had lost interest in her character, Isabel Rochev, who had not been seen in months. But the Arrow scribes were more astute than I gave them credit for…to a point.
As we saw last week, Thea, after her break up with Roy, was walking the streets of the city when she is picked up by Slade Wilson, apparently to give her a ride home. But Slade has no such benevolent intentions, screaming to Thea to get out of the car at one point where she runs into the waiting arms of a masked Sebastian Blood. Later while Moira is having a Mayoral debate with Blood a segment reserved for video questions from residents of Starling City instead shows Thea bound up and crying for help.
Enter Isabel Rochev…with Oliver distraught and not thinking of the running the Queen Consolidated he “temporarily” names Isabel as CEO. We all knew that was trouble…While Isabel pledged all of the company’s resources to find Thea, there was no way you could overlook the contentious relationship that she and Oliver shared, despite their tryst earlier in the season. Bad move Oliver. Isabel uses her power to call for an emergency vote by the board of directors which allows her to gain permanent control of the company. And oh yeah…she has been working with Slade Wilson the entire time, leading right up to this moment.
Slade tells Oliver where to find Thea but when he arrives, after fighting his way through a swarm of Wilson’s lackeys, he find that Thea has already been released. Wilson has used Thea as a diversion. As Deathstroke, he stops a prison bus carrying a load of prisoners, killing the guards, and intending to use the inmates to build a new army of Mirakuru enhanced soldiers. If that was not enough, Wilson reveals to Thea that Malcolm Merlyn his her real father, blaming Oliver for keeping the secret from her. One other interesting revelation is that we now know that Oliver and Sara got off the island before Slade.
Now this is Deathstroke…a cold, but patient strategist who has been planning his revenge against Oliver for years. Deathstroke doesn’t want to just kill Oliver but destroy his whole family and everyone he cares for first; and he has been two steps ahead of Oliver the entire time. In less than one season, Deathstroke has established himself as one of the greatest comic book villains to ever grace the small screen. While his reason for hating Oliver is still flimsy, there’s no questioning his drive and Manu Bennett is killing it in his portrayal.
I haven’t said much about Stephen Amell this season since he has been so consistent but he also was superb this week. He is filled with such rage but for the first time he doubts himself. His handling of the Thea situation prompts Roy to bolt and even Sara questions his actions. This week’s episode was steeped in drama but it all played out beautifully. Slade has revealed Oliver’s secrets, abducted Thea, possibly ruined Moira’s bid for Mayor, caused Roy to split, and stolen Oliver’s company right out from under him. If you are keeping score its Deathstroke a bazillion and Arrow zero!
Mania Grade: A-
Episode: Deathstroke (Season 2, Episode 18)
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes, Caity Lotz, Manu Bennett, Summer Glau
Written By: Marc Guggenheim & Drew Z. Greenberg
Directed By: Guy Bee
Network: The CW
Studio: Warner Brothers, DC Comics, The CW