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Arrow

Arrow Round Table: "Deathstroke"

by at .  Updated at . Comments

No need to panic, TV Fanatics. There may not be a new installment this week, but we are still dissecting Arrow Season 2 Episode 18 with the new round table!

Below, staff writers Nick McHatton, Hank Otero, Kate Brooks and Carissa Pavlica discuss "Deathstroke," touchong on Slade's long-con of Oliver that's lead up to capturing Queen Consolidated and spilling his secrets.

Join the debate now...

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After "Deathstroke," what are your thoughts on Slade?

Nick: I'm simultaneously laughing at him and absolutely loving him. Slade has the mirakuru coursing through his system and it makes him a powerful, powerful man, but he's more interested in enacting complete emotional hell for Oliver -- which is why I am absolutely loving him. Oliver has never lacked the physical skills to take on his greatest foes, but he is still developing into a hero and getting into that mindset. Slade is using that weakness to his advantage.

The idea that there's a shadow of Shado following and dictating every move Slade makes like he is some kind of puppet just makes me laugh. It's an interesting idea, but I can't accept it as anything more than a laughable plot device because what on that hell-forsaken island ever led us to believe that Slade had such deep, intense feelings for Shado? There was a jealous look for all of fifteen minutes on Slade's part during one episode. This idea should have been building for months, if not seasons, to have properly paid in the eyes of the audience.

Hank: I'm extremely impressed at how well thought out his plans are. From the moment we met Isabel Rochev and Brother Blood, that was all Slade. He's been a sort of "phantom menace" (yes like Palpatine in the Star Wars prequels only much cooler). I could not agree more with Nick though, there wasn't enough of a connection with Shado to warrant all this revenge and hatred toward Oliver. Of course, the Mirakuru heightens everything so that might have something to do with it. I just wish the writers had given us more Slade/Shado if this was their endgame.

Kate: He's crazy. Not only has he started a vendetta against Oliver for a women he loved that didn't love him back, he's created a crazy version of her in his head. Shado wasn't about fighting and killing, she was about peace. Slade's mind has lost sight of who she was. He needs to be medicated.

Carissa: Everything they said!! Considering how swiss-cheesed Slade's mind is, he's really cool under pressure. Crazy and cool are a very intriguing combination. Additionally, Slade can carry the hour. Easily. There wasn't a moment his character was on screen that I wasn't entertained. Whether that was Manu Bennett or the writing, it worked.

Why do you think that Slade doesn't seem interested (right now) in physically hurting anyone Oliver loves?

Nick: Slade's already tried to physically break Oliver on the island, and he's ultimately unsuccessful in doing so. Moira mentions to Oliver when Thea is still missing that secrets have a tendency to wreck the very people they are trying to protect with those secrets. Telling Thea about Malcolm is going to send Thea into a spiral, and the development gives Thea the breaking point from her family that Slade wants to happen.

Ultimately, Slade sees that Oliver is best when he is surrounded by support, and Ollie has the unique ability to inadvertently bring people to his cause. By physically separating Ollie from those that give him strength, Slade is doing to Oliver what killing Shado did to him: bringing about isolation, pain, and loneliness (even if he has Shadow Shado following him around). Laurel is a bit different, but I'll talk about my thoughts two questions down.

Hank: It's all mind games at this point. Slade is toying with Oliver by revealing very specific secrets to his loved ones. I was completely shocked he let Laurel know Ollie is the Arrow. I was not expecting that at all... if I was afraid for Sara before, now her days are seriously numbered. Laurel will become the Canary. Yep they're going there, I can feel it.

Kate: I think he's playing with his head, making everyone turn against him before he hurts him permanently. He's going for the mind games first and then the physical damage. It's a nasty game Slade is playing.

Carissa: Nick, you're on fire this week. First, you've given me a way to distinguish when Slade's talking to his ghost pal, as she's Shadow instead of Shado. Brilliant! Second, you brought up something that made me think that it might be more fun for Slade if Oliver's truths cause his loved ones to ultimately harm themselves to cause Oliver pain. If Slade does it, Oliver gets to blame him. He can't do that if Slade tells them truth and they hurt themselves or Oliver because of it. Interesting. BTW Hank, last season I was sure Tommy would be Oliver's Harry Osborn. Didn't' happen!

Slade Makes His Move
Despite the cuffs, Slade makes his move against Oliver on Arrow. "Deathstroke" is the 18th episode of the show's second season.

Talk about Roy's behavior and whether or not it was justified.

Nick: Roy's completely justified. He doesn't have the blind devotion to Oliver that the rest of the team does. Roy is a little immature, but he's right in that Oliver's instructions ultimately might have led to everything that happened with Thea. If Ollie didn't give those orders, then Roy may have been able to protect Thea from everything. Roy leaving town might end up being best for him. As we see with Slade and Shado, emotional attachments while on the mirakuru can be a bad thing, so Roy heading off on his own to do some soul searching or just escape it all might be best to quell his anger and find himself the keys he needs to gain control over it.

Hank: As with Slade the Mirakuru heightens everything, so Roy's behavior is a little more exaggerated that it might otherwise be. Still, Oliver's making terrible decisions and removing Roy from Thea's side was just another on a long list. Roy definitely needs to grow up, but I'm fairly certain he's on his way to becoming Arsenal (not Speedy)... and not quite yet though, perhaps once Slade trains him.

Kate: Roy gets on my nerves. SO MUCH! I don't really like Colton Haynes as an actor so I have a hard time liking Roy. I did, however, enjoy that what made him good was Thea. He knows that too and I think he is justified to be mad but he's taking it out on everyone. This annoys me. Roy needs to find peace and then come back.

Carissa: Kate, you crack me up. I found Roy's scenes thoroughly enjoyable and I was screaming for him to let it all out! It was also a shame to find out what Sara really thinks of him -- not much. Even knowing he's a kid with mirakuru running through his veins, she would skill kill him rather than try to restrain him or talk him down. Tsk tsk Canary.

What will Laurel do with the information she's gained about Oliver?

Nick: It gives her a lot of answers to many of the questions she is seeking, but gives her another point of contention with Oliver and The Arrow because Quentin is being sent to jail for helping him. It's difficult to predict how Laurel is going to take the news since she's been all over the map this season, but ultimately I think Laurel will veer to what she does in the beginning of the season: try to take him down. She'll subtlety work to connect the pieces of Oliver's double life, and perhaps along the way come to a different understanding of Oliver. The point of understanding, I believe, will ultimately pivot on Sara and her relationship with both Oliver and Laurel.

Hank: I'm sure she must be beating herself up that she didn't realize it sooner. Part of me thinks she knew deep down, but wasn't ready to deal with it. Will she become part of team Arrow? Probably not until Sara is out of the picture. Poor Sara, can't she stay Arrow writers?

Kate: Obviously it'll go one of two ways, she'll lure him in and reveal she knows or she'll act like she doesn't to see how long it takes for him to tell her the truth. Slade was using it as a distraction so I'm hoping it reveals next episode and Oliver reveals his shocked face.

Carissa: She's probably feeling pretty betrayed and lied to again and wondering why she quit drinking. She has to be questioning the chin on Canary. It would make the most sense for her to use the information to get Lance out of jail, even if it means turning on Oliver and Sara to do it. What more does her family have to do for Oliver Queen? I knew his lies would collapse in on him.

Our readers seem to be losing interest in Arrow. Can you speak to that?

Nick: I can understand where they are coming from. There's a lot more melodrama this season in comparison to last when the show is ultimately supposed to feel as "grounded" as possible, and I hope once Slade is exhausted that the show can begin to tell stories closer to its roots of Season 1. Much of this season has lost sight of the forest for the trees. Ultimately, the bigger picture is Oliver becoming a hero but with so much in the way of minutia some of that is lost, and Oliver becoming a hero, and watching that develop much like Smallville did for Clark Kent is why I ultimately invested in the show: to watch the Hero's Journey.

Hank: Really? Personally I don't get it because this season is killing everything attempted in Season 1. Maybe our readers are spending too much time on Instagram or playing Diamond Dash? ...Come back to us guys, there's so much to talk about!!!

Kate: No I cannot! If anything it's getting better and better! How is this happening!? As Henry said, Season 2 is better than Season 1 in every single way. What is wrong with people?

Carissa: When every episode is thrown out there as a game changer, I think it can get exhausting. There isn't enough time to buy into the changes before new ones are thrust upon viewers and I think that's hurting the momentum a bit. This is especially where it concerns the Lance sisters and their relationship with Oliver. Just like we can't understand Slade and his Shadow, it's difficult to see where the Oliver/Sara epic love affair was drawn from other than time on the island. We need more character screen time to get acquainted with the new dynamics. It's not happening or it's in very small doses.

Carissa Pavlica is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Fifty

I still watch it but too bored of it to post comments. Just too much happening. BTW loving Slade. He is one good baddie to make the show interesting like Lex Luthor in Smallville or T-Bag in Prison Break

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I love me some Slade Wilson. I agree with Nick. Slade's intent right now is emotional hurt. Oliver is only prepared for the physical abuse. He is in for a world of emotional hurt.
I think Roy was justified and I understood why he left. I hope he soon returns. I read on a spoiler blog that Roy may be trained by Slade as Arsenal. I want Roy back with Team Arrow.
Slade told Laurel that Oliver is The Arrow. I think Laurel will do some investigating to find the truth. I hope Laurel grows resentful and bitter of all the lies Oliver told her. I hope Laurel embraces her dark side and becomes a villain. I don't want her to take the place of Sara as the Canary. Sara is a great Canary and great at crime fighting. As for both Lance girls I am no fan of either in a romantic relationship with Oliver Queen. I believe the back and forth between the Lance sisters has had Oliver regressing back to playboy Ollie. I loathe this love triangle. It's this unbelievable outrageous triangle that hinders the overall story.
I'm glad Diggle and Felicity are there for Oliver whether he's in the right or wrong. I hope to learn more about Felicity and Diggle.
Oliver Queen finally realizes he's his worst enemy. Maybe now, the final episodes of season 2 and onto season 3, Oliver will defeat the enemy within and grow, progress to being a hero Arrow Fans will cheer for.

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I enjoy these discussions when I read them. 1/2. Slade is a good baddie - If I was sold on his journey to the dark side and why after 5 years he wants to make Oliver pay I would think he is a great baddie 3. I was looking forward to Roy adding tension and thought his reaction was totally justified. However how they have handled introducing him into the team and what causes the tension just not my thing. 4. Still don't care about Laurel 5. As you can tell from my answers, lack of reading and comments (and I only speak for myself) has everything to do with me being really frustrated with what I am seeing on the show and the occasional 2-3 minute segments that I do enjoy not being enough to keep me invested. This show is now on my Binge watch after I check out episode reviews/you tube snips to see if its worth it list.

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About that last question, the momentum of the stories is run so fast that there isn't time to adapt to the new developments before the ground shakes again. Take Roy, for example, he was brought aboard the team in Tremors, then in Heir, he wasn't present at all, then again in Time of Death. In the Promise, all of a sudden, he's in the cave training with Sara. Exactly when did he learn she was the Canary? Or on the team? This is a result of too much story in one episode. The producers didn't give us enough time to become invested in Roy's involvement. It seemed cheap. He's here one second, gone the next. It also served to devalue all the growth and conflict we saw in S1 that Diggle & Felicity went through to find their place on the team. I dunno. Like was said in the comments, the first half was spot on! Then it slowly began to decline. Storylines were left unexplained everywhere you looked. The romance was never justified or explained. Blood and Isabel were completely gone, Oliver was 'CEO', liquidating all those shares in Time of Death and no one said a word... Oliver never once acknowledging that Diggle was off with the Suicide Squad when in the first half of the season, he dropped everything to help him!... so many things just up in the air. Our hero had been neglecting his partners and his team... first for Sara and the Lances, to spiral further out of control... There were a stretch of episodes that weren't very good at all. Not consistent and not pleasant to watch either.

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@ Jaimie

Excellent post. And yes to all of the above. My problem with Deathstroke was the EPs telling key things that were going to occur. Two items were such:
1. A 'key' team member was going to confront Oliver and the decisions he's been making. I see Felicity and Diggle as 'key' members. Roy has not been around long enough to be considered such
2. 'Team Arrow will suffer a devastating loss'. Like you said, Roy was succinctly dropped from the story once he had joined. He wasn't present enough to make me think that his loss would be, or is a 'devastating loss'. The EPs like to circle back around and TELL US what is important, what is key, but they have FAILED REPEATEDLY this second half to SHOW US. Everything from Roy on the team to Oliver's 'romance' with Sara and far beyond. I hope that all of this starts to come together once again. I am tired of being TOLD, and ready to WATCH it on screen.

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About that last question, the momentum of the stories is run so fast that there isn't time to adapt to the new developments before the ground shakes again. Take Roy, for example, he was brought aboard the team in Tremors, then in Heir, he wasn't present at all, then again in Time of Death. In the Promise, all of a sudden, he's in the cave training with Sara. Exactly when did he learn she was the Canary? Or on the team? This is a result of too much story in one episode. The producers didn't give us enough time to become invested in Roy's involvement. It seemed cheap. He's here one second, gone the next. It also served to devalue all the growth and conflict we saw in S1 that Diggle & Felicity went through to find their place on the team. I dunno. Like was said in the comments, the first half was spot on! Then it slowly began to decline. Storylines were left unexplained everywhere you looked. The romance was never justified or explained. Blood and Isabel were completely gone, Oliver was 'CEO', liquidating all those shares in Time of Death and no one said a word... Oliver never once acknowledging that Diggle was off with the Suicide Squad when in the first half of the season, he dropped everything to help him!... so many things just up in the air. Our hero had been neglecting his partners and his team... first for Sara and the Lances, to spiral further out of control... There were a stretch of episodes that weren't very good at all. Not consistent and not pleasant to watch either.

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@ Raine

My bad, double posted!

Ronald-simkins

I fully agree with those who felt that the first half of the season was much better than the latter half. And Felicity really shined in epis 8 & 9 she was smart and took charge and really sparked with Barry. Meh with Laurel and Sarah. I don't think that Ollie really recovered from his incredibly bad choices in 8 & 9.

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@ isoron

I don't know what it is with everybody and Felicity. I like her, but I don't like her for Ollie. She is like a child - but a beautiful child. Ollie is a man who needs a woman. As much as I don't like Laurel that much, if I had a pick, he would be with her. I don't like Sara. She stole her sister's boyfriend and to me that is unforgivable. That said, I do find that Ollie is making bad choices, the main one being how he told Roy to break up with Thea. I find that is not his call to make. You don't tell someone to break up with your sister and hurt her like that, and yet you go on and make your own stupid love choices.

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@ Stephie59

I think the problem is they gave Laurel and Oliver such a toxic backstory...and then they added Sara to the mix and made it a toxic love triangle. I can't ship Oliver with either of the Lance sisters. Felicity may seem like a child (Emily Bett IS something like 10-11 years younger than Stephen Amell) but he didn't cheat on her with her sister, declare she's the most important person to him, and then go off and screw her sister...again. I have a sister, so the idea of my husband having been with both of us...I mean...EWWWW doesn't cover it.

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Slade is really mad, cause I was thinking the same thing, that he and Shado never had a relationship, so where is this jealousy coming from? It has to be the miraku. I was also annoyed when Oliver made Roy break up with Thea. Yet he is now in a relationship with Sara and nobody can tell him what to do. I was so mad at that. I can't wait to see how Laurel handles her newfound knowledge of Oliver being the Arrow. I wonder why Slade told her that secret, yet told Thea a different secret, about her dad? I would have thought he would have told Thea about Oliver being the Arrow too.

Claire2014

1. I am loving Slade and the psychological havoc he’s wreaking on Oliver. It thought the their battle would be purely physical given Slade's obvious advantage, so this is nice surprise. It is also Oliver’s weakest point and Slade knows all to well. He has set up this masterful chess game, and so far Slade is dominating. He is definitely off his rocker, but that hasn’t affected his ability to play cat and mouse of the mind. 2. Nick and Carissa are spot on. By Slade exposing Oliver’s lies, Oliver himself is causing the damage, and he has no one to blame but himself. He has made some bad decisions and especially as of late, he IS his own worst enemy. He better hope there aren’t any more skeletons in the closet … Diggle? Felicity? 3. I think Roy’s behavior was justified and entertaining as well. For some reason, Felicity and Diggle have stopped confronting him with the error of his ways. They used to get in his face and tell him their thoughts, but for some reason they’ve taken to just standing by and watching. Maybe they felt the only way for him to realize his error was to have him fall on face and just be there to pick up the pieces. They did just that at the end — the original Team Arrow. Those that matter. 4. I honestly have no idea with her. I have become indifferent to her, and half the time don’t even notice when she on the screen. I would like to think she would stand by her father and help him. But I wouldn’t be surprised if she chose to be loyal to Oliver, the guy who cheated on her countless times, ran off with her sister, betrayed his best friend, and started up a relationship with the same sister with whom he ran off. Sure, she’ll probably choose Oliver. rme 5. Oh! Hot Topic. I think Cairssa hit the nail on the head. Let me begin by saying that I see when I came back to post what I had typed and even copied and pasted from other stuff I wrote, I saw Smoak and Arrow's excellent post. I was going to delete some of this as a lot of this duplicates what she posted; however, I decided sometimes it takes redundancy to get a point across and I want this point made clear. The first half of the season was AMAZING. Simply the best stuff on TV. It was being raved about across the boards, making headlines in the entertainment publications. THEN probably around the time of Blind Spot it started to decline. And then when the show returned, it threw consistency out the window and the show was no longer recognizable. This is just my opinion, but I think a great deal stems from the emphasis they were putting on the Lance family. I LOVE Quentin, but his family drains the life out of the show. I signed up for the show we got the 1st half of the season — Team Arrow, good stories, character development, action. I did not sign up for family drama and dinners gone awry. And with each episode we lost more of Team Arrow dynamic. The two people that made Oliver likable — Diggle and Felicity — were shoved to the side, so the screen could focus more on the Lances and in particular, Sara. You couple the above with too many lunges without meaning, plot holes and stories left hanging, and it all begins to weigh down on a once really good show, hence the audience begins to lose interest. This foray down memory lane has reminded me of one thing and brought to light another. Oliver + Laurel = meh (Yes, I remember all to well) Oliver + Laurel + Sara = disaster. The Lance sisters and the Lance sister storyline are just the worst thing ever for the show and the character of Oliver. The problem for me however is that Tommy isn’t there for me to pick up the slack. So all you are left with is an unappealing Oliver, and two sisters I don’t care about. Congratulations, the show has moved from the central story of Oliver becoming a hero with a great arc of arch nemesis Slade, to a messed up attempt at SOMETHING that in no way shape or form resembles the clean beautiful image of the 1st 9 episodes. There is a big splotch over the story and I can’t make heads or tails of it. I LOVED the show, and became critical of it because I wanted it to succeed. I knew what it could be, because it had already been there — it needed to get back there ASAP. That being said, like Smoak and Arrow, I set Deathstroke as my final straw. Do I continue watching, or let go and wait until the end of the season. Fortunately, with Deathstroke, Arrow seemed to have returned to a somewhat balanced environment. We had the return of Team Arrow at the end, we had a strong and sure of herself Felicity who was actually on screen for longer than 2 minutes and FINALLY some movement on the slow moving arc that has been sorely neglected. It is exactly as Smoak and Arrow stated, with the exception of a few scenes, you could dump the last few episodes and be none the wiser for the overall story. Sadly the only thing accomplished in those was wasted airtime.

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In response to the last question, I agree with Carissa. Arrow EPs have been saying they tend to do things sooner rather than later. The problem with this strategy is there isn't time to invest in the new plots or characters. It just makes viewers bitter because the reasons we tuned in in the first place get shoved to the side. I was loving the dynamics of the original trio when suddenly Roy and Sara were part of the team. I think that could have worked beautifully if there was a build up to their addition--just like the Buffy Scooby Gang eventually got bigger. I'm with all those who said the first half of the season (until Blast Radius) was fantastic. When "Blind Spot" focused on Laurel and "Tremors" focused on Roy, I started to lose interest. "Heir to the Demon" was fantastic until the lunge at the end, and then they brought Sara in and everything after that just sucked--"Time of Death" completely miscalculated everything I loved about Felicity's character, "The Promise" did nothing to move the story or character, "The Suicide Squad" was underwhelming (mostly because of the Oliver-Sara crap and Laurel dishing out relationship advice, when it should have focused on the actual Suicide Squad), and I didn't even bother with "Birds of Prey," because I had lost interest by then and I knew that an episode featuring the Lance sisters wasn't going to draw me back into the fold. That being said, "Deathstroke" was fantastic, but it also gave me everything I loved about Season 1 and the first half of Season 2--Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle, center stage. I think Arrow makes the mistake of relying too heavily on social media. Stephen Amell has said he and Caity Lotz had to come together to create a backstory for their characters, because there was nothing on screen to justify their kiss at the end of 2.13. They keep trying to push Slade's love for Shado, and they chalk it up to "it's the Mirakiru" because, again, there was nothing on the screen to justify his vendetta. And then, the things that we did see on screen (Oliver being jealous of Barry), they backtracked on and said "Oh, he wasn't jealous, just curious." They also keep trying to retcon Laurel's character, and all that did was make her more inconsistent (she went from angry and bitter--justifiably so--to apologetic and a relationship guru almost instantaneously...which makes her completely unbelievable as a character). I think her knowing about Oliver may ruin the show for me because it means more screen time and the possibility of joining Team Arrow. And if they kill Sara off to make her the BC, I'd be seriously pissed because it would further convince me that the Arrow writers/producers have no idea what is working in their show (I hate Oliver-Sara in a relationship, but as a crime-fighting duo, they work) and what viewers tune in for. Laurel has been the least liked character from the beginning of show, and the more they try to integrate her into the story, the more likely those ratings will continue to slip, in my opinion. They have said there will be more of the original trio coming up, and that's why I'm still watching...cautiously. I think Arrow has been moving story too fast to the point that they haven't focused on character development enough--whether or not they meant to, they turned Oliver back into his pre-island self with the Sara relationship; they turned a smart female character (Felicity) into a jealous, insecure child who needed Oliver's approval; they made Laurel interesting for two seconds with her turning into a b*tch (and, I was hoping, a villain so she could be one of those "love to hate" characters) to whoever it is she is supposed to be now (I can't keep track); and they relegated Diggle to the background with a handful of lines per episode. So I'm not surprised people are losing interest. I only want to see a story unfold if I'm still interested in the characters.

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About the last question... The story focused a little too intensely on Laurel and and Lance sister drama for too long (frankly even a little would've been too much) They knew how much Laurel was widely hated since S2 began... and yet they still expected people to stick around through the diving into the Lance drama. It just made us dislike everything... including our hero.

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@ Jaimie

THIS!