Stephen Amell thinks Oliver is open to working with and even trusting Slade Wilson on Arrow season 6, but some wounds cut too deep to completely heal. It has been several seasons since Slade terrorized Oliver Queen, Team Arrow, and Star(ling) City as Deathstroke. Since then, the sword-wielding villain has been behind bars on Lian Yu, until his former fellow island internee came asking for help with Prometheus, a threat even more vexing for the now-veteran hero than Slade was for the nascent vigilante in season 2.
The season 5 finale team-up raised plenty of questions about Slade’s future (as well as actor Manu Bennett) in the Arrowverse, and especially what it meant for the future of his relationship with Oliver. As season 6 has progressed and Oliver has taken a step back from his vigilante persona to be a father to William, that distance hasn't kept Slade from knocking on Mayor Queen's door, asking for help. Last week's episode, 'Deathstroke Returns,' brought the two back together in a way that was reminiscent of the series' early days, but as far as Amell is concerned, the relationship between Oliver and Slade will forever be strained.
Speaking at a recent Arrow set visit attended by Screen Rant, Amell discussed the latest interaction between his character and Slade, and shared some insight into what Oliver thinks about the man who killed his mother and attempted to level an entire city while under the influence of Mirakuru. Amell said:
“Manu and I did a lot of work on where they are. I thought the early drafts of the script almost slipped them back into what you would see in the latter part of season 1 and maybe even the early part of season 2 back on the island. Oliver understands perfectly well that Slade was under the influence of something. He was not of his right mind. That being said, certain things cannot be undone. So... do I trust him when he's of his right mind? Yes. Do I rely on him? Sure. Are we going for a beer after our road trip to go find his son? Probably not. I mean there're just certain things that [Oliver] can't forgive, but I think that at his core, Oliver thinks that Slade is a good person.”
Amell's comments suggest that his character has learned a thing or two about why people do the things they do and whether or not they can every truly redeem themselves – something a Oliver has a great deal of experience with considering his take-no-prisoners approach in the show's early going. Speaking about Slade's return in season 6 and Oliver's willingness to help him also poses and interesting question about whether or not fans will see Deathstroke beyond this two-episode stint this season. It sounds as though the experience was good for everyone involved, and with any luck it means more Slade Wilson on Arrow in the future.
“It's great having Manu back. It really was -- both of these episodes, they really are his episodes. Between what's going on with him in the flashbacks – which continue on episode 6 – those two things and the ongoing storyline surrounding Vigilante back at Star City, those were two very, very quiet episodes for me, so it was great to watch Manu work.”
Arrow continues this Thursday with 'Promises Kept' @8pm on The CW.