Arrow season 8 has introduced viewers to a new Deathstroke in the fourth episode "Present Tense" - but while Grant Wilson (Jamie Andrew Cutler) may be new to most fans, he ties back into the first season of Legends of Tomorrow. One of Arrow's ongoing storylines has been the Deathstroke gang, primarily from the perspective of the 2040 flashforwards. In the future, J.J. Diggle (Charlie Barnett) is the latest person to carry the mantle in 2040 while leading the terrorist group in Star City. Since the start of the final season, Future Team Arrow has been busy taking on the Deathstroke gang before getting sent to 2019.
Once they arrive in the present with Oliver (Stephen Amell) and the rest of Team Arrow, it doesn't take long before they are clashing with the gang again. But as they're now in the past, they're encountering the first generation of the Deathstroke gang. In "Present Tense," Mia (Katherine McNamara), Connor (Joseph David-Jones), and William suspect that the new Deathstroke is J.J, believing he came with them from 2040. But when Deathstroke unmasks himself, it's none other than one of Slade Wilson's (Manu Bennett) sons, Grant. In Slade's last appearance on the show, the villain-turned-hero discovered that he had another son out there in the world.
In the season 6 episode "Promises Kept", Joe Wilson/Kane Wolfman (Liam Hall) revealed to his father that he actually has a brother. Although Joe got away, Slade revealed that he would go looking for both of his sons. While "Present Tense" may have been Grant's first Arrow appearance, the character appeared on another Arrowverse show several seasons ago. In the Legends of Tomorrow season 1 episode "Star City 2046". the team actually took on Grant in the future before that timeline was erased.
Grant is still the leader of the Deathstroke gang, as he was proudly keeping his father's legacy alive. It's in this episode that viewers got to meet Connor Hawke for the first time. With the Legends changing the timeline after defeating Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), those versions of Grant and Connor got erased. "Present Tense" reveals that Grant took on the Deathstroke title earlier in his life by appearing in 2019 rather than 2046. Despite Grant's big role in "Present Tense," little is revealed about this version of him compared to his 2046 counterpart.
The biggest takeaway is that he ends up being the one who trains J.J. in the future to take over as leader for the Deathstroke gang. The events of "Present Tense" echo what Slade was trying to accomplish back in the second season as the first Deathstroke. Whether or not Grant and Slade have met offscreen is unclear, and with Grant defeated in the end of the episode, the future of the Deathstroke gang is up in the air. Following this episode of Arrow, if Grant remains incarcerated then perhaps J.J.'s future as a villain will never happen in the first place.