Arrow Season 6, Episode 5 Recap: Deathstroke Returns

This article contains spoilers for the Arrow Season 6 episode 'Deathstroke Returns'.


This week's Arrow brings back everyone's favorite anti-hero/villain Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke the Terminator. The main story focuses on Slade asking for Oliver's help to find and free his son Joseph, who is now going by Cain Wolfman and is in a jail in Kasnia. Slade needs Oliver Queen — not the Green Arrow — and Oliver owes him for helping out on Lian Yu.

Intermixed with those scenes we get flashbacks to a younger Slade having a camping weekend with a teenaged Joseph, but the reality is he is hunting down someone who knows where Yao Fei is being held — which ties into him going to Lian Yu in the first place. In Kasnia, Oliver is told that Wolfman was killed in prison, but when he returns with Slade to see the body, we find out that he was actually taken by a group of criminals called the Jackals. Felicity tracks where they are while Slade gears up and drugs Oliver to make sure he doesn't try to get involved.

Deathstroke tears through a bunch of men — the problem is that the Jackals have many more, and eventually they outnumber him. Oliver wakes up and follows. He's hiding around the corner when we learn that Joseph/Wolfman wasn't taken by the Jackals; he was rescued by them and he's their leader. Slade's son has taken after his father.

Meanwhile, back in Star City, the Vigilante returns and is hunting Councilwoman Pollard, who is trying to pass the anti-vigilante bill. While this is happening, Agent Samanda Watson is pushing hard against the team and bringing them in one at a time to question. This makes it difficult for them to help with the Vigilante — except for Dinah Drake, who is a cop and can be at the crime scenes, etc. She interferes with the Vigilante's next attempt on Pollard and uses her sonic scream to shatter his visor. He pulls off his mask and we see that he is Vincent Sobel, Dinah's ex-partner/lover that she watched die the night of the particle accelerator explosion.

They have another confrontation where he is shot in the head by a uniformed officer — a shot that should've killed him. But instead, he pulls the bullet out and heals instantly. It seems the explosion also turned him into a super-healing metahuman — except he can't seem to fix his jacked-up eye. He also talks about being on a mission and how they had wasted time as cops. Dinah lets him go and he leaves a token of affection from their past, a rose in a matchbox, on her dashboard. But because Black Canary showed up when she did, Agent Watson now thinks Dinah is Black Canary.

This was a very good episode for Slade, Dinah, and Oliver. We see how dedicated Slade was to his mission and the strain he had with his son growing up, but he really wanted their to be a connection. And we see how guilty he feels about it now. We also see how much Oliver really wants to keep his promise to his own son, but his honor makes him help Slade. As for Dinah, we really see her pushed by her emotions and a bit of the edge she had when the character was first introduced. It will be interesting to see how this reveal affects her going forward, as well as seeing if Vigilante/Vincent ends up as part of the bad guy team.

The trailer for next week doesn't give us any hints on what the team will be up to or how things will unfold with Agent Watson. The focus here is on Joseph and Slade and trying to make us feel like Slade will betray Oliver. The synopsis for the episode tells us more:

As Slade continues to uncover clues about his son's last few years, Oliver makes a big decision. Meanwhile, the Green Arrow leads the team into battle against "The Dragon," a villain who is stealing valuable tech in Star City. 

Looks like we get to meet another member of the bad guy team (they need a name), Richard Diaz, AKA Richard Dragon. Now, I wonder what Oliver's big decision is?

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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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