‘Arrow’: Slade Runs A Real Tight Ship

Published 1 year ago by

Manu Bennett in Arrow Season 2 Episode 18 Arrow: Slade Runs A Real Tight Ship

[This is a review of Arrow season 2, episode 18. There will be SPOILERS.] 


When an episode of Arrow is titled ‘Deathstroke,’ the assumption is that there will be a great deal of Queen family infighting, right? Well, no. The assumption rightly is that Slade Wilson will be taking center stage in rather dramatic fashion, doing his best to bring Oliver Queen to his knees – presumably before ending the young man’s suffering with his bare hands.

As season 2 gears up for its run into the finale, Arrow has instituted a laser-like focus when it comes to plot, and in that regard, the depiction of Slade Wilson plotting his mildly disproportionate revenge against the Oliver Queen and his associates. But with a handful of episodes left until the finale, ‘Deathstroke’ doesn’t merely pit Oliver against a physically daunting villain; the episode reveals the level of dedication, intelligence, and development Slade’s willing to put into his master plan.

The magnitude of Wilson’s scheme is revealed to be so large, and so all-encompassing that it plainly tells the audience two incredibly important details about the illustrious Mr. Wilson: 1) He’s not just an unstoppable killing machine; he’s a master tactician, 2) Slade Wilson may be just a wee bit obsessive when it comes to detail. Now, that’s certainly an understatement, but it is one that does great things with regard to demonstrating the depth and breadth of Slade’s plan, primarily by the fact that it incorporates all the key cast members into one compelling, cohesive storyline.

Last week left off with Thea unknowingly falling into Slade’s hands, and when proof of her abduction is broadcast during the Blood-Queen mayoral debate, it sets off a Team Arrow scramble to find Slade and thereby his abductee. Being part of his master plan, Slade makes the first part easy for them, and winds up taking a punch from Roy with a level of nonchalance that demonstrates just how difficult it will be for Oliver and his associates to hurt him – physically or otherwise. Thea is eventually released without a physical scratch on her, but while her abduction was meant to rile the Arrow and elicit a rapid, perhaps poorly thought out response, it naturally served another purpose and carried with it ramifications that went well beyond the Slade-Oliver conflict.

Stephen Amell and Summer Glau in Arrow Season 2 Episode 18 Arrow: Slade Runs A Real Tight Ship

In essence, the value of ‘Deathstroke’ was that it successfully altered the Arrow landscape in terms of where nearly every character stood. Thea is told the truth about Malcolm Merlyn being her father, while Slade personally stops by Laurel’s apartment to unmask the Arrow, so to speak. Meanwhile, Det. Lance is brought up on conspiracy charges, and, unsurprisingly, Isabel Rochev makes known her allegiance to Slade, by conning Oliver out of his ownership of his family’s company. The impact of Slade’s machinations is deeply felt, as the first salvo briefly appears to rob Oliver of his confidence, convincing him he’s “his own worst enemy.” In true hero fashion – and with the help of Diggle and Felicity – Ollie vows to fight back, however.

It’s a fantastically paced episode that puts its heroes through their paces, and establishes the primary antagonist as someone who isn’t merely a physically intimidating adversary, but also a cold, calculating one with the ability to permanently upset the series’ status quo.


Arrow continues on Wednesday, April 16 with ‘The Man Under the Hood’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below:

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  1. Freakin fantastic episode, excited for the next one. The season is wrapping up in spectacular fashion. The “Deathstroke” episode felt like a season finale.

  2. This was one of the best episodes of Arrow I have seen this season. Slade is a freaking Bad@*#!!! He’s a really fordimable enemy. Deathstroke is defintely one of my favorite villians noe.

  3. As I was watching the episode, which I also thought was really great, I couldn’t help but think of the Knightfall story line when Bane set about to disrupt and finally break the Bat. It works exceedingly well in the show, but I just wonder if that particular story was the inspiration for this arc on the show.

    • @Justin
      I suspect you’re right. This season has borrowed heavily from Batman mythology, The Dark Knight Trilogy in particular.
      Brother Blood (Scarecrow) is the face of the evil at first, focusing his efforts on creating some sort of drug, but eventually our hero learns that the real mastermind is his former mentor/trainer Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Ras Al Ghul).

      Instead of just killing him outright, Slade (Bane) imprisons our hero in a cell and promises to make him suffer before he’s allowed to die.
      Isabel Rochev (Talia Al Ghul/and whatever her alias was) befriends our hero, sleeps with him (I wish I had a female who was so obsessed with bringing me down that part of her plan was bringing me to orgasm first) and eventually earns his trust, and with it, control of his company, Queen Consolidated (Wayne Enterprises).

      Female in question is, of course, in league with our main villain. I also suspect that she’s The Ravager, which would make her the daughter (or daughter-like character in the show’s universe) of Slade’s (Talia being the daughter of Ras).

      I didn’t comment on the obvious rich playboy by day, powerless gadget using vigilante by night thing because that’s unavoidable. He may lose his fortune, which is what happens in the comics, but if it comes at the hands of Rochev and Wilson, then it’s also reminiscent of Wayne losing his fortune in ‘Rises’.

      If you guys see any other similarities that I either forgot or never noticed, feel free to add them in there.

  4. I’m liking how they are using Shado as Slade’s inner voice to urge on his “revenging” rather than Slade just being calm and calculating. It shows that Slade is still crazy from the mirakuru and will never be over the effects it has on the mind.

    • Which bodes ill for Roy.

    • I don’t think Slade is crazy I feel he is fully aware of all the things he is doing but he is being seduced by the Mirakuru in the form of Shado. He accepts the Mirakuru for the power it gives him and for him to see Shado as if she is right in front of him. I also think if Shado didn’t die and she was absent from his hallucinations I feel by that time the Mirakuru would have drove him mad with him being torn on the kind of person he was becoming.

    • To be fair, Oliver is frequently haunted by her ghost (among others) as well. My wife and I joked that she must’ve been amazing in bed because she’s driving everyone mad.

  5. Soo freakin good- Glad to see Arrow back on top after the last two episodes didn’t deliver in the usual Arrow fashion.

    And Mr. Slade Wilson seems to love it when a plan comes together.. if the deathstroke gig doesn’t pan out I know of another team he could join.

    • “if the deathstroke gig doesn’t pan out I know of another team he could join.”

      Homeland Security? He has the nose for it. :)

  6. Good episode.. Love how Crixus, errr… Slade attacks Oliver on so many fronts. Unfortunately Oliver showed that he can be very dumb and make decisions that hurt everybody when you threaten the people he cares about. Hopefully he can pull his act together, and just start whooping ass. That is what he’s supposed to do. His ineptitude on the business side of things – running his family’s company – is a little troubling.

    Thea’s anger at Oliver for not telling her about Malcolm being her father was way to over-focused on Ollie and not the Mom. Didn’t make a lot of sense. Looking forward to the season 2 conclusion over the coming weeks.

    Part of me really wishes that Malcolm Merlyn would show up and save the day or play an important role against Slade… Strictly because Slade threatened and kidnapped Thea.

    • The only reason thea was more mad at oliver was because she said in the last ep or two that ollie was the only one who never lies to her.

    • This episode was i think the start of a rebirth of The Arrow, just like when Tommy died he changed, but it wasn’t really for the better, he was way to cautious with things, kind of like what Roy said in this episode. They also hinted at how he doesn’t kill anymore. I think that now that things are getting a lot more personal, and not just random thugs and names in a book, that it will really turn Oliver in to the full blown Super Hero we know and love.

  7. Anyone still holding out hope that Isabel is actually a comics character? Working with Slade makes Talia AlGhul less likely. But there are plenty others she could be.

    • Isabel is an actual comic book character. She goes by the name The Queen in the Green Arrow comics.

      • She’s ravage

    • Isabel is a character from the comics.

  8. Slade’s revenge is a slow burn. Totally agree with Knightfall comparisons. It’s also like how Ennis’ Punisher used take people down. Break them, then kill them. Have I said how much I love that Deathstroke outfit. Spot on.

  9. beefalo makes an awesome point, because I was thinking the same thing. Oliver has a secret, & it’s that Merlyn is Thea’s father? I thought that made no sense either, like Oliver was the only one who knew this. Can’t wait til the 16th. Merlyn coming back would be so dope, & still waiting for Ras Al Ghul to make his appearance.

    • It’s not that Oliver was the only one who knew the secret. It’s that Oliver – prior to the revelation – was the only member of her family who was honest with her (from her point of view, at least). She took it out on him because she expected her brother to be the honest one in her family.

  10. What a great episode!
    Plot really picked up some steam after the last couple of episodes, which felt less connected to the season story arc

    The characterisation of Slade on this show just keeps getting better and Manu is totally owning the role brilliantly
    Really enjoyed how that added a layer to his mirakuru gifts with the mention of how it heightens all of his senses and the thing with Shado showing just how crazy it has made him – and the level of tactical expertise he is showing with the execution of this plan is magnificent

    Roy leaving the city – will he return after doing his own training or maybe with some friends
    Laurel knows Ollies secret
    Thea knows who her real dad is
    Slade building an army – really enjoyed seeing the villains all meeting in Ollie’s office as well
    What are the ‘sins of the father’ (Robert) that Isabel what referring to?
    The knightfall-esque thing with the prisoners will be cool to see – setting up some really awesome fight scenes over the coming episodes

    Also while I don’t think the show ‘needs’ to answer these questions this episode did make me wonder a couple of things
    How does Slade know that Merlyn is Theas father – has Malcolm teamed up with him to save his daughter after Moira told him to stay away? or did Slade just figure it out?
    Shouldn’t officer Lance be ok now since Thea told people who kidnapped her vindicating his decision to arrest Slade in the first place?

    • Lance was arrested because he’s been working with the Arrow.

    • Slade bugged the Queen mansion in the Promise. Despite the lack of action (though what was there is exceptional) this was my favorite episode of the entire series. I’m rooting for Deathstroke. Is this bad? Hopefully we get to see him redirect an arrow or two with his katana to demonstrate his reflexes before the season’s end.

      • While I know that it was working with the Arrow that got him arrested it was (wrongfully) arresting Slade at the Arrows request that started the discussion – they have not been aware of the other times he has worked with Ollie (although the SWAT guy from last episode might have something to say)

        The topic of Thea’s real father hasn’t been spoken about since The Promise (one of my favourites this season as well) so he can’t have known that secret from the bug

  11. Great episode. Slade is just awesome and this season has been just amazing so far. This show has been such a great surprised and has been on a roll since the last half of Season 1. Now this is how it’s done Marvel/AOS. Better take note because if Season 3 continues to improve then things are going to get crazy

  12. My hopes that Malcolm Merlyn will be the reason the Slade & Oliver will be “friends” again.

    I love Slade as villian, but I think he’ll be better rather as antagonist.

    My theory for season 3 is that some “off-camera-ville” Malcolm and Ra’s Al Ghul become allies again putting in jeapardy both Green Arrow and Deathstroke

  13. Arrow is gettng boring. Too much build up, probably the end will be a let down. All the power is on one side. Oliver is stupid. He has all this money and he relies on dumb luck. I started off loving this series. Now it’s boring. When ALL the weapons are on one side, it’s not fun anymore. There is no hero. There is no good. There are no victories.

    • That sucks for you as you are in the minority, give it till the end of the season I’m sure the pay off will be huge. As for all the weapond being on the enemies side, thats standard story formula as audiences will tend to side with the underdog and also it is not considered so herioc winning against even odds

    • there is always that one goober in the thread…..so you wait 18, 19 episodes to finally say arrow is boring………wow

      • Darrion, don’t know what a goober is, but if you read my comments, I said it was “gettin” boring. It didn’t start off that way. I really enjoyed the intricate storyline and how all the different characters were layered into the series. Right now it should be called “Slade” not “Arrow”. I readily admit that I seem to be in the minority. I wish everyone who enjoys the show good will. Personally, I will not be watching it any longer. Maybe when the series finishes, I will catch it on Netflix. Then I can pick out my favorite episodes.


        • So basically, you hate good stories that build to an exciting finish by stacking the odds against the hero until he/she figures out the one tiny chink in the armour?

          I take it you’ve hated most TV shows, movies and books since forever too since they all follow that exact formula successfully.

          Do you watch WWE? If so, have you seen how many people hate and despise John Cena? The reason is that he never looks weak, he always dominates the villains and always wins. People find that incredibly boring and horrendous writing and it doesn’t make for good TV at all. That’s why crazies like The Wyatt Family have people cheering them against Cena and singing along to “He’s got the whole world in his hands”.

          I imagine you sit in the cinema watching a film and then after they’ve established the plot and the characters and get to that crucial scene that builds to the climax, the big finale that sends everyone home happy, you suddenly declare “this is boring now” and walk out.

          Don’t you want to know how Ollie’s gonna beat Slade?

  14. This episode should be renamed “Mind Games by Slade Wilson”. This episode was stellar!

  15. I am going to say it, Slade’s costume is the best comic costume brought to screen

  16. That was an intense episode. Kinda disappointed that Malcom didn’t return to save Thea but overall…DAMN!! is all I can say. Between this and Person Of Interest(Batman the not animated series)along with CA:TWS, this is one good week of entertainment.

  17. ok what about those nightwing rumors?? any Harley Quinn inside news? This show is just incredible and gets better every week with some awesome TV fight scenes. I say TV because most fights on TV are horrible…(enter agents of shield joke here)

  18. Breaking News: Isabel Rochev will be donning the “Ravager” costume in Arrow!
    Ravager is Rose Wilson – daughter of Slade Wilson a.k.a. Deathstroke the Terminator.
    Is Isabel Rochev really Rose Wilson?

  19. The tight ship is the whole series…I am glad to see it is still afloat! Luvin’ it!

  20. One of the best episodes to date! The action in this episode was particularly awesome and something this season has been a little lacking in. I want to see the arrow kick a bunch of ass and he definitely did. I was skeptical about this show at first and still a little unsure after the first season, but this season has more than won me over. It has easily become one of the highlights of my weekly show watching. I’m still hoping that they will tie in with the DC movie universe, as unlikely as that is to happen.

  21. So they have a new actor playing that preacher character? That was so distracting.

  22. As i watched i felt a pit form in my stomach.

    Slade has always been a favorite of mine but im glad we are actually seeing the brilliant mastermind behind the muscle. Also like Shado as his inner devil whispering soft nothings of crazy in his ear.

    worried for Roy and his decent into madness…but im glad we are seeing another evolution of the arrow crew..

    Now lets see what Lauriel does with this new bit of information…also glad to see Barrys not forgottn!