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‘Arrow’ Season 2 Episode 18 Recap: “Deathstroke”

Last time on Arrow, Roy broke up with Thea because Oliver told him to…in order to keep her safe. How’s that working out for ya?

Immediately afterwards, Thea hitched a ride with one Slade Wilson, who plays concerned adult, asking our crying teenager (she’s still only 19) what’s wrong. “My mascara’s running…” she says, and I can’t help but think of the awful refrigerator joke (“you better go catch it…!”). She complains about her boyfriend, excuse me, ex-boyfriend…and then she realizes that Slade isn’t taking her home at all. “You’re not going home, Thea.” What? “GET OUT!” Thea follows the barking order and starts running, right into the arms of the long absent, but still creepy Brother Blood.

At the Arrow lair, Roy practices his bowmanship (is that even a word?), and hits exposed power lines with his shot. Clearly the targets were positioned poorly. Ollie and Sara console their love lorn sidekick, promising him that he’ll get better at archery. Of course, since he’s hopped up on Mirakuru, I don’t know if it’s really necessary. Roy’s uncertain about what he did to Thea:

Felicity has the best response, as always:

Roy’s stuck in the stupid, dated, always frustrating “Spider-Man conundrum.” It’s unsafe to tell MJ/Thea/whomever the truth…YET they’re already in danger day and night BECAUSE OF YOU. It’s too late; Ollie’s in denial, and if anything, Arrow proves continually that telling the truth is important. Naturally, no one does it.

Ollie apparently has a big board meeting today, one that he can’t skip. “In case you forgot, you’re the CEO,” Felicity points out, and I think everyone might’ve forgotten, or at least forgotten how unlikely and unreasonable and laughable that prospect is.

On Cobra Island, the transfer of Hendrick (Artine Brown) is underway, as Anatoly and Sara plot ways to kill Deathstroke during the swap. Spoiler Alert: it doesn’t work. Anatoly and Sara prepare a bomb. During that scene, Anatoly openly wonders “What kind of island is this?”, an increasingly fair question.

Back in the present, Ollie arrives to the board meeting to find…SUMMER GLAU! She’s back/alive/still on the show after all. Oliver had hit it and quit it, literally, wayyy back when, and Isabel Rochev hasn’t been heard from since. Apparently she’s been holding the company together in his absence, which is convenient. Moira arrives, worried that Thea isn’t returning her calls, while (more importantly) also seeking assurances that Oliver will be a doting son at the Mayoral Debate. Ollie gruffly promises, “I’m good at pretending to be someone I’m not.” I know Arrow likes to be “clever” with its dialogue, but wouldn’t hearing that strike you as odd? What do you mean, son? Who are you pretending to be? The Arrow? A businessman? You’re not good at pretending to be one of those things.

It’s the eve of the debate, and Thea’s still missing, but no one’s concerned, until the debate begins, and it’s interrupted by a video feed of Thea taken hostage, being held for some sort of ransom. In between this, Laurel sees Sebastian and apologizes for her (dead on) accusations, as Arrow picks up on that forgotten thread. They were “dating” at one point. Ew.

The Queen family and Arrow’s team is on red alert, but Queen Consolidated waits for nothing: there’s a supremely important board vote that needs to happen, one that requires the CEO to be present. Or something, it’s not important, just plot flotsam (plotsam?). Oliver hastily signs over the company temporarily to Isabel Rochev (that was way too easy), a stupid friggin’ decision that totally won’t backfire by the end of this episode.

Oliver’s ready to take it to Slade, so Sara has naturally made some Tibetan pit viper venom, as one does. Ollie, ever the hypocrite, plans to unleash Roy and his rage, because he gets to pick and choose when Roy can be angry, especially after Ollie’s advice is what brought us to this point.

Roy, Sara and Ollie arrive at the location they (too easily) track Slade down at. He merely sits there calmly, because they can’t kill Slade without endangering Thea. Plus, they probably can’t kill Slade regardless. Oliver shoots him with the sedative, and brings him into police custody.

At the precinct, there’s a hilarious interlude between Quentin and Sara, where Sara promises her Dad, “Oliver doesn’t know anything about the Arrow.” Cue Ollie’s entrance, along with his mother, asking after Thea. Unfortunately, no sign of her, and Slade has a rock solid alibi. That’s when Lt. Frank Pike (Adrian Holmes), Lance’s new replacement black partner, calls Lance on his $#*!. He was demoted because of his relationship with the vigilante…and the Arrow is who brought in Slade, so now Lance might be in deeper doo doo. Speaking of doo doo, Slade gets to walk on out of the police station. Oops. On the way out, he promises a $5 million reward to whomever finds Thea, and it’s clear he’s one of those famous rich guys…or has become one overnight…something you’d think that Oliver or Felicity or Amanda Waller or someone would’ve heard of.

Roy, Diggle and Sara fail spectacularly at trying to track Slade afterwards, as he arrives to talk to Thea. She’s free to leave…but before she does, Slade has a secret to share. Is it Oliver’s identity? Or the identity of Thea’s true father?

Back underneath Club Verdant, Roy questions Oliver’s judgment, leadership, and everything, which pisses off Sara and company, but he’s right about EVERYTHING. Involving the police was a stupid move, breaking up with Thea was dumb, and Ollie’s “don’t kill” mantra is only used when it benefits him to look self-righteous, so he can judge Roy, Sara and the rest when they want to break the BS “code.”

Meanwhile, Moira’s in poor shape, unable to bear the thought of losing another child. She’s probably legit in her emotions, but in doing so, gets a nice hand holding from her estranged son. Always manipulating, that one.

On Dinosaur Island, Slade brings Oliver and Ivo in exchange for Hendrick. While making the swap, Slade smells the TNT on Hendrick, sniffing out their plan. Uh oh. Slade has creepy/crazy visions of Shado, as she’s literally become his shadow, feeding him sadistic lines, promising Sara, Oliver and company that death is too good for them…that this island will be their prison.

Roy’s still pissed, promising it’s not the Mirakuru talking, which we believe, until he mentions the Mirakuru, then he hulks out and almost takes Diggle down, right when Oliver arrives. Roy’s finished, and stalks off, right before more bad news happens: Isabel Rochev has successfully kicked Oliver out of the company, in a unanimous vote.

It was obvious from the get go that Rochev was up to no good, and it’s not much of a leap when we learn who she’s working for: Slade. She twists a line from the Bible, in which she promises that the sins of the father land onto the son, so clearly she has some sordid history with Robert Queen that’ll come out later (or it was just a cool line). Oliver threatens to break her, but she gives him Thea’s location, making him promise to go alone.

Before he leaves, Felicity gives him a badass pep talk (below), so Oliver goes all out, taking out every henchman in awesome fashion. Of course, Deathstroke isn’t there.

Instead, he’s putting on his hockey mask and looking kinda dumb, and freeing a bunch of Iron Heights prisoners, soldiers for his new army (likely test subjects for the Mirakuru).

True to his word, Thea is safe, returning to the police. There, she reveals that she knows Oliver’s secret. That Merlyn is her father. She expects the lies from her Mother, refusing to even acknowledge her existence…but she can’t bear that Ollie has lied to her, “for years.” He’s only known for a few episodes, but I’ll let it slide, since he’s been lying for years about other things. As she stalks off, Roy is in a shiny red mustang (of course it’s red), looking after her. Did he steal the car or does Verdant pay that well? Either way, instead of consoling Thea, he speeds his way out of Starling City, setting himself up to be the Han Solo of this season.

Things get worse: Lance gets arrested for his behind the scenes dealings with the vigilante, Moira goes up in the polls (would you want Moira as your mayor? Especially when it’s part of Slade’s plan?) and Ollie’s a wreck, knowing that Roy was right, and that he’s been his own worst enemy. But, in true Harry Potter fashion, Dig and Felicity stand by him. “You’re not alone, man.” Diggle’s too good to Oliver.

Before we finish up, Arrow has one more dagger to plunge into Oliver’s damaged psyche. Slade has one more “distraction” in mind for Ollie…dropping by Laurel’s apartment. To share this bombshell:

Laurel’s reactions, as always, are priceless. Somebody’s lost:

GRADE: B+

All gifs come courtesy of Queen’s Arrow Tumblr, which is an awesome place.