Arrow: Deathstroke Returns S6 E5

Deathstroke Returns didn’t make any secret of its intentions. Oliver was once again teaming with Slade Wilson while Team Arrow-Digg dealt with an increasingly messy situation in Star City.

Manu Bennett makes Slade so dark and mysterious it’s almost easy to forget Slade killed Oliver’s mother. Being under the influence or not that seems like a hard issue for Oliver to get past to help him.

Arrow has used its flashbacks sparingly this season so the look back at Slade and his son, Joe, on a camping trip was a nice re-entry point. The only problem was it tipped off Deathstroke Returns’ big twist.

Influenced by his father, Joe (Liam Hall) is the boss of the Jackals. Easily foreshadowed twist aside I loved all the Teen Titans Easter Eggs. In The Judas Contract flashback, Slade has to rescue Joseph from a group of mercenaries led by The Jackal. And Joe’s alias of Kane Wolfman was a nod to New Teen Titans co-creator Marv Wolfman.

Arrow Deathstroke Returns review -Vigilante

Back at Star City, Vigilante is back and he’s gunning for the councilwoman proposing the anti-vigilante act. I can understand why he’d take this so personal. That also led to some personal revelations for Dinah as Vigilante was revealed to be her ex-partner. Looks like everyone got that wrong in the betting pool. Maybe because his identity is so underwhelming?

I appreciate the writers giving Dinah a subplot, but Arrow has milked the disappearing friend turned enemy gimmick too often. That’s especially noticeable when she’s talking to Diggle recalling him in a similar place with Andy.

Arrow Deathstroke Returns review -Dinah

It was really weird for Quentin to be gone for another episode especially with Oliver out of the country. This is exactly the kind of reason you have a deputy mayor.

I’m so over Watson. There’s absolutely nothing new to this character type on Arrow. It’s not like she’s going to do anything than be another authority figure providing a minor annoyance for the team. It’s not like Sydelle Noel is providing any nuance to the role either as she plays Watson like an angry black woman stereotype.

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Easily the highlight of Deathstroke Returns was the kick-tail fight sequence. This season keeps providing top level action. Director Joel Novoa really showed how dangerous Slade can be as he mauled through the Jackals. It felt a little weird for him to stop the carnage to take his mask off and chill as it made for an awkward transition to Joe’s surprise arrival.

Deathstroke Returns was solid in its bubble even if it didn’t advance the main arc. I like these more self-contained and two-part stories even if Dinah’s feels like a rerun.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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