Arrow: Deathstroke and Birds of Prey

After a brief break, Arrow rolls back tomorrow night with the first of its final five episodes of the season.

When we left off, Slade had whipped everyone into a frenzy, and set the stage for Oliver’s friends and family to implode with the reveal of a few secrets better left unshared.

In “Birds of Prey,” the Huntress returned to kill her father and ran smack into Oliver and Sara, who was pulled in to rescue Laurel after she was rehired at the D.A.’s office and was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Helena’s dad was brought in for trial (all part of an elaborate ruse by the assistant D.A.). Sara swoops in disguised as the Canary and hysterically drops her voice a few octaves so Laurel doesn’t twig to her identity, and she keeps her from breaking her sobriety.

Helena and Laurel have their own chat when Laurel tries to talk her down and Helena taunts her about Tommy only to find out Laurel’s been in exactly the same dark hole she’s in.  Helena’s dad is killed in the crossfire of a botched escape, and Helena is arrested–but she’s most upset that she wasn’t the one to finally kill him. Oliver comes to see her to tell her she’s not alone.

In the middle of that we have a confrontation between Oliver and Sara where he tries to explain that he’s responsible for who Helena became because he failed her and she turns the knife a little when she tells him he’s responsible for Slade, too. Oliver upsets Roy when he can’t get a handle on his aggression and tells him to stay away from Thea. So Roy makes out with a girl where Thea will find them and then she has a cringey scene with Oliver where she thanks him for being the only one who doesn’t lie to her (I know).

Then she starts to walk home, which conveniently puts her on Slade’s path and he offers her a ride home.

When we begin “Deathstroke,” none of the Queens can find Thea and then her ransom video pops up during an event for Moira’s campaign. Slade plays the cops and the press by coming forward, and Oliver confronts him about why he’s doing all this and gets the same song, different verse about vengeance. We also see that Slade is hallucinating Shado. And we get flashbacks to the island from when everybody made it off the barge but then Sara had to trade one of the guys who came with her to get Oliver back.

Back in the present, Slade is released by the police, and returns to the warehouse to let Thea go, but he dangles that he knows a secret–just not the one we expect. She turns up at the police station safe and sound and tells her family that Slade took her and told her about her paternity, and hen she rages at Oliver instead of Moira (which made zero sense to me). Also in there, Papa Lance gets arrested for conspiring with Team Ollie.

While Oliver hunts for him, Slade causes a diversion that allows him to commandeer a bus of convicts, and Oliver realizes he’s being played and isn’t any closer to getting rid of Slade or protecting his family. And Roy finally walks away from him. Oliver also seems to start killing again when he takes out a warehouse of guys while searching for Thea.

And we found out that Isabel has been part of Slade’s plan from the jump. She manipulates Oliver into signing over CEO duties during Thea’s abduction and then takes over Queen Consolidated by calling an emergency board meeting.

Finally, Slade pays a visit to Laurel and tells her Oliver is the Hood.

So, I’m fine with the run up but as I said a few months ago, I’m also inclined to skip right to the part where Oliver just burns everything down to save his tribe. I’m not read in on the comics, so I don’t know who Laurel and Isabel are supposed to shake out as, but it’s an interesting twist that Isabel is a baddie–casting there said Summer Glau had to do more at some point. She also drops a taunt on Oliver about the sins of the father so I don’t know who she’s supposed to be related to.  And Laurel tells her boss, when she threatens blackmail to keep her job, that the darkness will never leave her, so I’m curious to see which emotion she channels as she sorts through who and where Oliver has been every time she was in peril.

That all leads us to “The Man Under the Hood,” which airs tomorrow at 9/8c on The CW and CTV. Here are a couple of sneak peeks:



Photo courtesy of Diya Pera/The CW

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