Arrow Season 6 Episode 5 Review: Deathstroke Returns

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While he didn't suit up in the latest chapter of Arrow, Oliver did get some super-action as he joined Slade Wilson for a big mission.

But the mission goes a little unexpected in Arrow Season 6 Episode 5 because this is comic book television after all.

Dynamic Duo Back At It Season 6 Episode 5

Let's start with the single thing that didn't work in "Deathstroke Returns" which was the reveal of the Vigilante. Despite the fact that I didn't have any solid candidates for who it could have been...I was expecting the reveal to be better than this.

They said Vigilante was going to be someone we had seen before and I believed it. But was it wrong to assume that it would be someone who had been on Arrow for more than one episode?

Clearly, I was as Vigilante is none other than Dinah's partner/boyfriend who supposedly died the night she got her powers. Seriously?

I get that this is a way to give Dinah a larger arc within the series and to give her some obstacles. But if that's what Arrow wants for Dinah then I believe there are better ways than this.

Similarly to how they "planned" the death in Arrow Season 4, this was poorly executed. You can tell that they introduced this large player without knowing who would be under the mask.

For those who may not know, in the DC lore, Adrian Chase was the Vigilante. Obviously, that wasn't the case here as he took on the role as Prometheus.

Beware The Vigilante - Arrow Season 6 Episode 5

It's hard to connect with this storyline completely because of who it was. What is the point of introducing these masked characters and not have a good payoff when we get the reveal?

If it hadn't been for the connection to Dinah, I wouldn't have cared even 1%. What worries me is that this will compromise Dinah as a hero and a member of the team.

It felt out of character for Dinah to let him go after all the people he has hurt or killed. Perhaps Vince ends up joining the legion of baddies that Arrow Season 6 is putting together.

I can cross my fingers that this story evolves into something intriguing, but it will be tough. While it didn't take down the amazing quality of "Deathstroke Returns", it will mark as a major letdown in the whole series.

With that said, let's discuss what did work in this episode. Even though Manu Bennett is busy on another show, I do wish we could have Slade around regularly.

In fact, if there was anything "Deathstroke Returns" proved greatly it was that you can do a lot with Slade. Can we start the petition for a Deathstroke spin-off show? I'm sure that new DC streaming service has plenty of room for its upcoming programming.

What Is That Symbol - Arrow Season 6 Episode 5

If not a spin-off, maybe find a way to make Deathstroke the big bad of Titans Season 1? After all, Deathstroke is the most iconic villains for the Teen Titans in the mythology.

I was nervous about Arrow doing flashbacks again even for a different character. Fortunately, it worked! We got a look at Slade's past with his son that has been mentioned a lot of times on Arrow.

I'm expecting the following episode to fill in the blanks on whoever was tracking Slade. It was genuinely sweet to see Oliver and Slade side-by-side again after all these years.

At first, I thought I would be bothered by Slade's sudden move on going after the Jackals by getting Ollie drugged. But then I realized that he is looking out for him so that William doesn't lose his dad.

As a comic book fan, there were several neat Deathstroke Easter Eggs. Joe's "new" name Kane Wolfman was a nod to two things. Kane was a nod to his mom's middle name while Wolfman was a nod to Marv Wolfman who created Deathstroke.

Even the Jackals was a big Deathstroke reference to one of Slade's personal villains in the comics. They even had Slade's "old friend" refer to him as "Slade Wilson the Terminator."

Slade Not Impressed - Arrow Season 6 Episode 5

I didn't expect "Deathstroke Returns" to borrow so heavily from Slade's comic mythology. The only thing that didn't surprise me with this story was the revelation that Joe was the leader of the Jackals.

But at least it didn't bother me in the way the Vigilante reveal did. After seeing how Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 portrayed Grant Wilson (Slade's other son), I was concerned how they would tackle Joe. 

Fortunately, it was a solid introduction of Joe who I look forward to seeing more of in the next chapter. We can only imagine what Joe has planned for his dear old dad.

Overall, "Deathstroke Returns" was one of the stronger episodes of Arrow Season 6. The focus on Slade and his team-up with Oliver got off to a great start, with part 2 hopefully being a strong follow-up.

The reveal of the Vigilante was underwhelming on a massive scale. While it could be a strong emotional story for Dinah, I think there are better ways to give our new Black Canary deep stories.

Now it's your turn to let us know what you thought of Arrow Season 6 Episode 5! Did you enjoy seeing Deathstroke and Star City's mayor teaming up?

What do you think Joe is going to do to his dad? How did you feel about the reveal of Vigilante's true identity? 

Remember you can watch Arrow online right here via TV Fanatic! Get caught up with the Emerald Archer!

Deathstroke Returns Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (37 Votes)
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Arrow Season 6 Episode 5 Quotes

Oliver: I have an old friend in town that needs my help and I might not be back at the office for a few hours. Do we have any idea who the shooter was targeting?
Rene: We're working on it.
Oliver: Good. Be the mayor until I get back.
Rene: For real?
Oliver:'s a figurative speech. Just don't make any laws while I'm out of the office, OK?

Nylander: He is not that bad! [laughs] Slade Wilson, the terminator!
Slade: I haven't heard that name in a while.