Arrow has fast become one of the best live-action superhero shows in television history (not that there are a whole lot of those), thanks in large part to the raised stakes of season 2. Whereas season 1 saw Oliver Queen face just a few villains – and a primary villain in the form of Malcolm Merlyn – season 2 has introduced so many more: Bronze Tiger, Sebastian Blood, the League of Assassins, Professor Ivo, Clock King, Isabel Rochev, and last but not least, Slade Wilson a.k.a. Deathstroke the Terminator.

But while Slade has been a constant presence as a good guy in the flashback episodes – and there was even a guy who dressed like Deathstroke in season 1 –  we’ve yet to see him don the Deathstroke mask and become the villain we’ve known he (eventually) would. Well, Arrow fans who watched the most recent episode already know that his debut is likely right around the corner, and the promo for next week’s episode teases just that.

Of course, Slade’s appearance in Starling City was not the first we’ve seen of the character in the present-day. We’ve known since the midseason finale that he was pulling Sebastian Blood’s strings and that he was the source of the Mirakuru superhuman serum being tested on people in the city. Now, in the promo above, Slade has taken a meeting with Oliver’s mother – to send Oliver a message? – and The Canary seems to believe that “he’s going to kill Oliver and his entire family.

So, just another Wednesday for Oliver Queen and his ragtag vigilante squad.

It’ll be interesting to see Slade’s power level as compared to Arrow’s. Slade has all the hand-to-hand combat skills that Oliver possesses – if not more – and he’s fueled by a serum that gives him incredible super strength and berzerker rage, so to speak. In fact, his abilities in the show differ quite a bit from the Deathstroke of the comics. Comic book Deathstroke was basically an alternate universe version of Captain America. He had enhanced mental and physical abilities, but he wasn’t as strong as, say, Spider-Man (or even the current retconned Captain America).

The CW also released a producer’s preview of the upcoming episode, which goes into more detail about what we can expect from Slade/Deathstroke. Watch below:

Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim, who speaks throughout the preview, explains what makes this episode so special:

“This episode is the biggest episode we’ve ever done on the show. It makes the season [1] finale look like a student film from the 1980s. Our incredible stunt department went all out.”

That sounds familiar. Could this be the episode that Stephen Amell talked about a few weeks back? An episode that would feature “The biggest fight scene in the history of TV“? Or is that one being saved for the season finale?

Guggenheim goes on to say that we’ll be seeing two iconic flashback moments for the show in next week’s episode:

“This episode […] features two iconic moments in the life of our series – it’s the first time Oliver Queen puts on the green hood and it’s the first time we see Slade Wilson put on the Deathstroke mask [in the past]. It’s the beginning of the relationship that will define the end of season 2.”

With only seven episodes left in the season, one wonders how they’ll wrap up all the loose ends and story threads from this season (John Diggle’s “H.I.V.E.” arc, the Suicide Squad, Merlyn’s survival, Sebastian Blood, Isabel Rochev, Deathstroke, et cetera). Or maybe they won’t? Maybe they’ll leave some of these for the officially announced season 3? We’ll have to wait and see.

What say you, Screen Ranters? Are you looking forward to seeing Oliver Queen and Slade Wilson go head-to-head in the present for the first time? Are you looking forward to finally seeing Deathstroke in costume? Drop us a line in the comments.

Arrow airs Wednesdays @8pm on The CW.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.