Category Archives: deathstroke
At last, we’re going to find out where Oliver got his Russian mob cred, and where he got that Bratva tattoo, as the crew takes a trip to Russia. Almost sounds like an “I Love Lucy” episode, doesn’t it? Just not as funny.
In our opening sequence, after some Lucy style secret identity shenanigans with Summer Glau’s Isabel Rochev, Arrow and his sidekick, um, snitch, um, sidekick, Roy Harper bust up some counterfeiters in short order. In the midst of it, and here’s where it gets good, Diggle gets kidnapped.
Diggle gets kidnapped by dudes namedropping Task Force X, the Suicide Squad’s official codename, and answering to Mockingbird, who gave orders to the Secret Six in the comics. When he comes to, he is confronted by, da da da dum, a very svelte looking Amanda Waller, played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who you might remember as Naevia from “Spartacus,” which also starred our Deathstroke, Manu Bennett.
Waller, who Diggle identifies as being with ARGUS, tells him that Lyla has vanished after following up some leads in Russia. Specifically Lyla was tracking Deadshot for Diggle. Waller, who also knows what Diggle and Oliver Queen do with their nights, wants Lyla extracted. So much for sightseeing in Russia, it sounds like it’s all business.
Back on flashback island, or more accurately, the Amazo boat, Professor Ivo interrogates Oliver with Sarah present. It seems that the island was where a Japanese World War II secret super soldier formula is, and Ivo’s looking for it. The formula, that gifts super strength and enhanced regeneration, is called Mirakuru – miracle.
Or is that Miraclo? With the recent announcement of an Hourman series possibly in development, I can’t help but wonder if The Flash isn’t the only back door pilot being prepped here… For those who don’t know your Golden Age comic lore, Miraclo is the drug that Hourman takes to gain super strength, super stamina, and yes, even regenerative abilities for one hour.
Dylan Neal’s dad next door portrayal of Anthony Ivo is extremely creepy when you think about this guy was up to in the comics, and what he’s probably up to here. There is just this very scary chord of quiet menace in his performance. Factoid: Neal played a character ironically linked to Amanda Waller back on the CW’s “Smallville.” And could the sadistic Captain of the Amazo… be the future Amazo??
Back in the present, Wendy and Marvin, ahem, I mean Isabel insists on tagging along to Russia with the Arrowcave trio. It’s like a sitcom setup almost, and infuriating. They have to avoid Isabel while trying to find Lyla and Deadshot. Let me tell you, this does not make Summer Glau any more likable or tolerable. She is even less likable drunk, and downright hatable as a one night stand.
We do get the goods on how Oliver is a Bratva captain. Anatoli Knyazev, known as the KGBeast in the comics, was his prison mate on the Amazo boat. Oliver saved his life, and was rewarded with tattoo and rank. Anatoli helps them find Lyla and Deadshot, beginning Diggle’s brief prison movie inside the show. In the end, everyone gets saved, but Diggle can’t kill Deadshot.
However Diggle does learn who hired Deadshot to kill his brother. In a reveal that may bring some loose ends full circle to a knot, Deadshot says he was hired by H.I.V.E. Not in the comics, but in the “Teen Titans” cartoon, the H.I.V.E. was run by a guy called Brother Blood. Da da dum.
On the subplot track, Jean Loring makes her third appearance as Moira Queen’s attorney. This is the first time however I was aware of her name. This is Jean Loring?? I was very surprised. Teryl Rothery is a beautiful but older woman, but based on the character’s previous mention (‘Ray and Jean’), I would have assumed she was younger, much younger, a contemporary, a peer, of Laurel and Oliver. Let’s just hope she’s not being paid in white dwarfs or black diamonds…
The Blood Rush mini-adventure starring Felicity and Roy, and sponsored by Bose, is dumb. There I said it. It’s out of continuity, confusing, and dumb. Just give the actors more screen time in the real show and give the audience a real Bose commercial. Otherwise, this is a waste of time.
Speaking of dumb and waste of time, it seems that Felicity is being groomed for the role of Oliver’s romantic interest, or worse than that, his fawning crush. She tells him he deserves better, regarding Isabel. I’d like to tell the producers that Felicity deserves better than this kind of crap. Come on. Make Felicity a strong female character on television, not another one of Oliver’s failed attempts at a relationship.
Next week: The return of (The) Count (and) Vertigo!
Deadshot has been a growing threat in the world of “Arrow.” While a minor Batman villain and Suicide Squad superstar in the comics, here he is a one-eyed super-assassin for hire. His most twisted attribute, besides the weird red eye piece, is his penchant for tattooing the names of his victims on his body.
His biggest claim to infamy on the series is that he killed John Diggle’s brother. Diggle is now obsessed, perhaps ever more so than Oliver. Not only is revenge biting his ass, but Diggle’s can’t really move his relationship with his sister-in-law (his late bro’s wife) until Deadshot is dealt with.
We open on Diggle training with Oliver, while Deadshot makes another hit. Felicity has hacked into ARGUS and is tracking Deadshot. I really have to wonder where this is going with ARGUS. Is there a Justice League in Oliver’s future? Probably not, as this ARGUS acronym isn’t the same as the comics.
Diggle’s contact in ARGUS has a little more fire. Named Lyla in the show, she’s given the surname Michaels in the Arrow companion comic. Lyla Michaels is the real name of Harbinger, a power player in DC Comics’ Crisis on Infinite Earths way back in 1985. Harbinger was missioned with the task of collecting the superheroes who would then save the universe/multiverse. Harbinger is even her codename in the show. What an interesting connection.
The opening shoves a whole lot of plot, subplot, and information into a very short amount of time, so much so, my head began to spin a bit. The current dynamic of Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity is counterpointed by the flashback dynamic of Oliver, Deathstroke, and Shado. We also learn Oliver is lunchdating Laurel even though he’s on the outs with Tommy. Bad, Oliver, just the first of many bad decisions this episode.
This is all under eight minutes, before the credit sequence. We are also introduced the main plot/subplot of this episode. Laurel is working with a family who were testifying against a bad man, List-worthy, but surprisingly not on it – it could be his dumb name, Edward Rasmus. His hired killer, Mr. Blank, gets the parents but misses the seven year old son. Laurel takes the kid in. Don’t think the thought hasn’t crossed my mind that most times when you add a kid, you’ve jumped the shark.
This is all in about ten minutes. The episode hasn’t really even started. It doesn’t get less complicated as the episode continues. After a few awkward moments between ex-friends Oliver and Tommy, some bonding between Tommy and the kid, and a fairly cool scene where Mr. Blank attacks Laurel, the couple and the kid move in with the Queens to enjoy the heavy security there. I found that puzzling. Besides Diggle, Queen security has seemed extremely lame. Obviously it’s The Hood who will protect them, but Quentin Lance shouldn’t have agreed to it.
It gets very predictable at this point. There are newborn kittens who knew Oliver will be distracted with Deadshot the next time Mr. Blank attacks, letting everyone down, duh. Or the other way around, although it should have been the former. As one would expect, Oliver makes the bad choice. The worst choice, and we lose Diggle over it. At this point, the only thing that could make this worse would be an appearance by the Huntress.
Speaking of bad choices, on the island, while being trained in archery, Oliver kisses Shado. For comics fans, we know how that works out. The cliffhanger here finally means forward motion on the island at least.
Mr. Blank is an intriguing villain, played by J. August Richards, formerly of “Angel.” He reminds me a lot of Chiwetel Ejiofor as The Operative in Serenity. He’s very calm, very precise, and likes to make conversation with his prey. He was a very suitable foe for this version of Green Arrow. His clash with Oliver is perhaps one if the best of the series so far.
As if there’s not enough going on, Roy Harper, who is apparently dating fellow Speedy, Oliver’s sister Thea, is trying to track down The Hood. There is a good scene where finally it’s addressed that The Hood is a murderer. Finally. Thea agrees to help Roy find The Hood. More shark jumping in the form of idiotic 1950s secret identity protection? I hope not, cuz that’s what breaks up Tommy and Laurel. Worst case scenario – Oliver takes on a teenage sidekick (or two) to replace Diggle. I know it’s the natural progression, but damn it, I liked David Ramsey’s Diggle a lot.
This was a very uneven episode, save some great character bits, a throwaway Wonder Twins reference, and of course, Mr. Blank. Only three more episodes to go, I wonder how it’s going to go…
Oliver may need to step aside. It seems there a new vigilante in Starling City who calls himself The Savior, and he’s got his own list he’s checking names off of. In a present day twist on the Joker’s old MO, he announces (and commits) his crimes via every cellphone (almost Sherlock-ian) in the city. Apparently, he’s a department of transportation worker by day, but has some fighting and computer skills as a vigilante at night. I wonder what island he was stranded on?
The catch? Roy Harper is on the Savior’s list, and he nabs him right in the middle of one of Roy and Thea’s annoying anti-flirtations. From what we’ve seen of Roy so far, and what we know of his possible future, I can’t imagine how the Savior got the drop on him. So of course we get to see Oliver in another race against time. Ho-hum.
Oliver does some crazy almost bionic style jumps in this episode, as well as some insane parkour. Man, Deathstroke must have taught him well. Stephen Amell’s chest also makes a return as a cast member. The huge gay audience that I recently learned “Arrow” has will be pleased by that news.
The subplots roll on. Moira and Frank (Chen, not Bertinelli) continue to plot against Malcolm, with mixed results. Laurel and her folks continue to search for the thought dead Sarah, though also not with the results expected. On the island, Shado and Yao Fei join Oliver and Slade’s resistance.
Alex Kingston as Dinah Lance has the best line of the episode, “Got to get going to airport, that red eye to Central City. I should be home in a flash.” Love it! More, please.
Next episode, Count Verti-, ahem, I mean The Count returns. Same Arrow time, same Arrow channel…
We had a pretty fierce cliffhanger last time, the Hood confronted his mom, and with arrow nocked, he says his trademarked line, “Moira Queen, you have failed this city.” Da da dum.
We pick up this episode exactly where we left off, and find Moira rather resourceful. She uses her family as a shield, begging for her life as a mother. When the Hood lowers his bow and drops his guard – she shoots him in the chest. Damn… it would seem Mom is a bit more proactive than Vanch, Bertinelli, China White, or The Count. She’s hardcore.
Oliver escapes and finds Felicity, who after another identity reveal, takes him to Diggle at the Arrowcave. I guess now we not only officially have our Alfred, we have our Oracle. Oliver is hurt bad, and unconscious, so what better time for an island flashback, right, or even an all island episode?
Last episode, in “Betrayal,” it was established that Slade Wilson, at least one of the Deathstrokes in the TV continuity, trains Oliver to fight. Their goal is to take an airstrip on the island where a supply plane lands. That’s what he trains Oliver for.
We also get a bit of background. Slade is Australian special forces, and his partner, Billy Wintergreen is the Deathstroke who tortured Oliver. He was also the godfather of Slade’s son Joe. In comics, Wintergreen is the butler/valet of Deathstroke, essentially his Alfred. And Joseph Wilson is the Teen Titan known as Jericho, frequently in opposition to Deathstroke.
We get some nice albeit brief scenes with Diggle and Feicity, but we all know two things. One, Oliver will survive the bullet, and two, Oliver is not getting off the island this time, at least not in this flashback. Diggle tries to rationalize Oliver’s murders. I feel him, but it’s still not enough.
In the end, we learn a bit more about Yao Fei, one particularly juicy bit I’ll get to in a minute, Oliver goes up against Eddie Fyers and his men, and, yeah baby, Deathstroke vs. Deathstroke. What’s keeping Yao Fei under Fyers’ thumb is a young lady (his daughter?) named Shado, who is Fyers’ prisoner. Oliver and Shado share the same tattoo, and comics fans know who Shado is. This should be very interesting…
“Arrow” is at a point now where you need a score card to know what’s what and who’s who. I’m not sure that’s a place this show should be at right now. I’m sure there’s a core audience, but despite the handy elevator pitch origin story in the opening of every episode, I’m not sure that any new viewers wouldn’t be hopelessly lost. No matter how you slice it, even I was having trouble keeping all the balls in the air at the beginning of “Betrayal.”
Oliver confronts his mom about the notebook full of names that he got from Felicity last episode. She throws it in the fireplace, suggesting the only way the family can heal is to stop asking questions. Diggle tails her throughout the episode, discovering some nasty secrets. When Oliver confronts her later as Arrow, heh, well, that’s this episode’s cliffhanger.
In the main story this episode, Cyrus Vanch, former muckety-muck of the Starling City underworld has been released from prison, Iron Heights specifically – nice shout out to the comics. He wants what’s his back, as well as the Triad’s and the Bertinelli family’s (I guess that means we haven’t seen the last of China White or the Huntress). And he also wants Arrow out of the way. Using his contacts on the police force, he learns Laurel knows Arrow, so he kidnaps her. This forces Dad to cooperate with The Hood.
In the attack on Vanch, I am again struck by the violence of this so-called hero’s methods. By my count, there are at least eight of Vanch’s men who take arrows right in the chest. Can you live through that? It’s what bothered me about previews of the show before it aired. Have they made Green Arrow into a serial killer? Man, give me an old-fashioned boxing glove arrow any day.
In the soap opera portion of the show, honesty gets between Laurel and Tommy. Disappointingly this coupling has yet to be used to its potential as far as being a plot complication. So much unused potential, but I’ll keep waiting. Laurel’s relationship with her dad is suffering from problems similar to hers with Tommy as well this episode. I wonder what’s next on “All My Arrows”…
On the island, Oliver meets Slade Wilson, played by Manu Bennett, Crixus of Starz’ amazing “Spartacus” series. Comics readers will immediately recognize the name Slade Wilson as the not so secret identity of Deathstroke. Again, for TV they have flipped things. Wilson is apparently one of two Deathstrokes, and not the one Oliver encountered earlier. Apparently Slade is who trains Oliver. I won that bet.
There are other cool shout outs this episode as well. Vanch’s lawyer worked for Wolfman and Perez, referencing the writer/artist team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez, who created the New Teen Titans, a team that occasionally featured Speedy. They also, most notably, created Deathstroke. Laurel wants to call DA Kate Spencer for help to put Vanch back in prison. Kate is of course the civilian identity of Manhunter. Arrow and Laurel meet atop the Winick building – Judd Winick, former MTV “Real World” wrote the Green Arrow comic for a while.
Be here next episode when Oliver tells his mom that she’s failed the city, same Arrow time, same Arrow channel.
In many areas this episode was pre-empted or rescheduled because of the 12-12-12 Benefit Concert for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I have no complaints about that, it’s a noble and just cause, and being right in the center of the devastation, I know how bad it was. My nit is with local CW affiliate channel 57 – it might have been nice to let viewers know what was up with your regular programming, that’s all, just a bit of courtesy. For the record, this episode of “Arrow” airs tomorrow night at eight.
Now on to “Year’s End,” the mid-season finale of “Arrow,” which I hoped was good because the Huntress two-parter was very lacking. I was at first surprised and excited by this show only to be let down by those last two episodes. Although, from ‘previously on “Arrow”‘ clips, this -could- be good.
We open on a member of The List, a Brian Michael Bendis lookalike (Marc Guggenheim?), being murdered by a shadowy someone who looks suspiciously like Oliver. The tool? Black arrows. Not green. Only one DC Comics character in the Green Arrow mythos uses black arrows. That’s Merlyn the Magician AKA Arthur King or as reimagined here on “Arrow,” Tommy and/or Malcolm Merlyn. On “Smallville,” he was called alternately Vortigan, and the Dark Archer. He is (or will be) played by either John Barrowman or Colin Donnell. Finally. Just wait.
In the first ten minutes, in quick, almost HBO style plot succession we get some wonderful interaction with Diggle and Oliver, a return to the island flashbacks, and at a Queen family dinner party, John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn names the vigilante “Green Arrow.” Yeah. Squeee. It seems this special Christmas episode might just be a gift for the viewers.
Things I like include that Arrow, ahem, Green Arrow is beginning a tenuous relationship with the police, or at least Quentin Lance; and that Felicity Smoak is turning into Oracle/Chloe. At this point, it’s a cliche character, but nerd girl Emily Bett Rickards is just so likable. Moreso than Laurel, and definite more than the cardboard Huntress. I also liked the shout out to Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, the comics creators who revitalized Green Arrow in the late 1960s.
The island flashbacks bring much revelation. Yao Fei and the still unnamed Deathstroke were the only two survivors of a prison that was the island. There’s even a quick rematch between the two. All fun stuff, but seriously, why does Oliver still have the top button of his shirt buttoned?? Maybe that’s why he’s always walking around shirtless since he got back to civilization.
As with most confrontations on “Arrow,” and for that matter, the aforementioned “Smallville” (I seem to remember this being the case with both Doomsday and Darkseid), that don’t last long. Such is the case with Oliver (even though I’ve done it, it still doesn’t feel right to say Green Arrow) and the unnamed Dark Archer. For the latter, he’s called the copycat more than anything else. It’s a brief fight that ends with Oliver on the short end of the arrow, literally, and his foe escaping. More than unsatisfying.
Oliver defeated and the Other Archer on the loose (but finally revealed), that’s the note this episode ends with. Malcolm Merlyn has a master plan for Starling City that doesn’t look good, and has abducted Walter to keep Moira in line. None of this looks good. A bit of a downer, but an excellent episode. Can’t wait ’til after the New Year.
The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast features co-hosts Ed Evans, Allison Eckel, and Glenn Walker, as they discuss the new comics out this week! You can see the show here, or check it out below. Don’t know what to get on this week’s trip to the comics shop? Here we come to save the day!
Discussion featured in this week’s special Stocking Stuffer episode includes: Allison Deadpool cosplay, the Stuff Your Stocking Sale, The Walking Dead, Revival, dueling shows, Ed’s indies, and Ed’s hungry, Allison’s Zenescope, Danger Girl-less Army of Darkness, Death of the Family, Grifter #15, Deathstroke past and present, Super wardrobe changes, Green Lantern Corps #15, Glenn explains Duela Dent, Ed’s X-books, Glenn’s Avengers, Allison’s kids comics, and Ed’s trades and toys.
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Not only do we pick up on that great cliffhanger from last week (Lance discovering Oliver’s double identity and placing him under arrest), but this episode, we finally see Deathstroke. Big doings, big doings.
Six minutes into “Damaged” however, I had to stop the DVR and consult my attorney, The Bride, because something really stank in Starling City. Oliver insists it’s mistaken identity (and circumstantial evidence) when Lance sees security video of him with a green hood. Oliver then insists that Laurel defend him. What the what now?
If that’s not illegal, it’s certainly a conflict of interest, and stinks of impropriety. I really don’t think you can be defended by your ex-girlfriend whose father is not only the arresting officer but also has a grudge against the defendant and his family. I was really surprised to see this coming from executive producer Marc Guggenheim, a veteran of lawyer television. But there it is.
Nice to see that Oliver does think ahead however. I love that Oliver planned on getting caught. I equally love heroes who plan and think, as opposed to simply just punching, or in this case, shooting arrows. Nice touch. TV’s Arrow is more Batman than the most recent cinematic version of Batman.
It was also nice to see Diggle in action. Or rather, -not- see him in action. Sam Amell’s chest again features heavily, and there was much character development in this episode. There were nice call outs to Iron Heights, and to Laurel wearing fishnets, and the subplot with Oliver’s stepdad Walter Steel finding the Queen’s Gambit also continues, but let’s face it, all we really wanted to see in this episode was Deathstroke.
Before we see the Terminator, we meet Eddie (called Edward here) Fyers. On “Arrow,” he appears to lead the men who captured Oliver in the island, and is hunting Yao Fei, who had been helping Oliver. In the comics, Fyers was an adversary then unwilling ally of Green Arrow, and later a mentor of sorts to his son, Connor Hawke. Fyers here seems early in his career.
We learn it was Deathstroke who gave Oliver those scars flawing the real star of the show. And we get to see an absolutely awesome and far too brief combat between Yao Fei and Deathstroke. All in all, a disappointment that left me wanting more. I suspect we’ll be seeing more of next week’s special guest villains, the Royal Flush Gang, than we dud this week’s.
In the miscellaneous department, we find that Laurel’s father’s name is Quentin rather than the expected Larry. Starling City appears to be a conglomeration, probably through CGI, of several cities including Philadelphia. Some nice shots of Liberty One and Two in this episode. Does Oliver have a new Arrow costume? And boy, have the writers just forgotten about Tommy Merlyn or what? I think T-Dog got more dialogue in the first two seasons of “The Walking Dead.”
John Barrowman appears again. His lack of accent makes me wonder if he’s really Count Vertigo of not. Perhaps he’s John Deleon, or Maxwell Lord… now there’s something to think about… Bonus trivia points for anyone who can tell me who John Deleon was…