Even when Arrow has an off week, it’s still better than most shows on TV. Let me just begin with this. BUT, when you title an episode based on the current big bad, I expect a little more badassery instead of the villain creeping around telling secrets. I’m just saying. Mr Wilson, we’ve been waiting and waiting for you to go berserk and be Deathstroke but instead your master plan is to reveal secrets to Oliver’s framily. While this strategy can be appreciated, and it creates some major ramifications for our titular character, I guess this week was more of a tease of what’s to come. Look at this episode as more of a chess game than anything else. Maybe Team Arrow is saving the best for last and our big showdown will happen end-season, but after three episodes with titles that should have led to more, the last three weeks have been a little underwhelming, but hey maybe we just expect too much.
On the other hand, Slade Wilson is a sneaky guy. Kidnapping Thea, only to let her go but tell her the secret about her father being Malcolm Merlyn. But not only that, make it seem that Oliver has known the longest and make her hate him for it. Well played. Telling Laurel that he is the Arrow, kind of strange, I guess it makes sense. I’m sure that this is going to re-ignite the love triangle again, something that the show doesn’t really need. Slade should have told her about her sister and father being “in on it” as well, really stir up the old Lance family pot. Slade is conducting warfare on all sorts of fronts, and for those of us who expected more action, remember that there needs to be a psychological aspect to it as well. I find it really creepy that Slade has a “ghost” of Shado who follows him around and is telling him to do things.
Sebastian Blood returns this week to learn his place in all of this. Should anyone trust Slade Wilson, the answer is no. Everyone is a pawn in his master revenge plan on Oliver Queen and no one can tell him any different. You thought that he was your ally in all of this? Think again, Wilson cares nothing about Blood being Mayor, as Sebastian is starting to find out. Especially when Moira takes the lead in the running after all of the press about her daughter being kidnapped. Will we see a fallout between Wilson and Blood? Maybe, but as we found out tonight, Slade is building an army of thugs. He uses Thea’s kidnapping for another reason, a distraction. Slade hijacks a prison transport, in what I think was the biggest Deathstroke action scene of the night. But like I said, the way to look at this episode is more like a chess game. Slade is moving his pieces around the board, setting Oliver up for more down the road.
The best moment of the night is the betrayal of Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau). Just when Oliver thinks he has an ally in his own company and after sleeping with Isabel and building the relationship all season. She is working for Slade. I didn’t see it coming, and it makes things even more desperate for Oliver now that he has lost his company. How does this happen? Well being distracted by everything going on Oliver temporarily signs over CEO duties to Rochev and she takes advantage of it immediately. Ends up that she is working for Slade and has been manipulating Oliver all season. Great plot twist and what a great way to hit Oliver close to home. Another point for Team Wilson.
So to wrap things up this week, Slade hits Team Arrow one more time as Detective Lance gets himself into hot water when he is placed under arrest for helping the vigilante. This is another set-up courtesy of Slade Wilson as he breaks down Oliver’s allies. So please, if you are like me and want to be critical on this episode, try to look at it from a different point of view. Because even when Arrow has a lack-luster week, it’s still one of the best shows on TV. In two weeks Team Arrow takes the fight to Deathstroke in “The Man Under the Hood“.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pmEST on The CW