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...
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!
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 the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.