Previously on Arrow, “Reversal”
This week saw the return of fan-favorite Slade Wilson, unfortunately accompanied by the fan-loathed flashbacks, which managed to accomplish in several plodding scenes what could have been accomplished with one line. As Oliver and Slade took a romantic getaway to a totally-real-country in pursuit of Slade’s long lost son, Team Arrow dealt with the (underwhelming) reveal of the Vigilante’s true identity.
Manu Bennett is always a welcome addition to the show, and his obvious chemistry with Stephen Amell adds a much needed weight to what is in essence a fairly rote storyline. Their complicated history is obvious in every word, with something as simple as his referring to Oliver as ‘kid’ dredging up a mountain of baggage.
Dinah hasn’t really been given a lot to work with this season (or ever, if we’re being totally honest), so it was a welcome change to see her anchoring the episode. Juliana Harkavy always does good work with what she’s given, so it was no surprise to see her rising to the occasion with aplomb, elevating a plot that the writers gave us very little reason to be invested in.
I understand the desire to draw parallels between Slade’s relationship with his son and Oliver’s newfound fatherhood, but there’s only so much sullen teenage boy I can handle, and William used all of my patience up at the start of the season.
I had hoped that we were done with the flashbacks for good, but in the absence of that I had at least anticipated that the show would save them for something really interesting or vital to the plot. Unfortunately instead we got to watch Slade cook a fish and pack a trailer, with a poorly thought out assassination tucked in the middle. (Seriously, why would he take off his mask while still standing over his victim’s corpse?)
After a season of suspense, the identity of the mysterious Vigilante was finally revealed to be Vincent Sobel, leaving the entire audience wracking their brains trying to remember who the fuck that is. The word underwhelming hardly covers the feeling I felt when he finally took off his mask to reveal the unfamiliar face of someone who we’d only seen once before, and only then in Dinah’s flashbacks.
As much as Diggle looks ridiculous in the Green Arrow outfit, they should really be giving him more to do before he is inevitably replaced by Oliver and relegated back to the sidelines.
Quote of the Week
Special Agent Watson: “You’re seeing Oliver Queen again.”
Felicity Smoak: “Yeah, these new prescription glasses are really working wonders.”
Arrow S6E5 Review Score
Arrow – S6E5 – “Deathstroke Returns” | Starring: Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickard, Paul Blackthorne, Katie Cassidy, Willa Holland, David Ramsey, Echo Kellum, Rick Gonzalez, Juliana Harkavy