How will the team feel about Slade Wilson’s return?
Thursday’s Arrow kicks off the two-part return of Deathstroke (Manu Bennett), in which he enlists Oliver (Stephen Amell) to help find his son (Liam Hall). Though their former foe technically aligned with Team Arrow in the finale, their distrust of Slade still runs deep — particularly for OTA members Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Diggle (David Ramsey).
“Felicity has an interesting perspective on it, or lack of perspective on it,” Rickards says. “Slade Wilson has been such a pillar of their success in putting evil to bed, and having him not be in rest anymore, it’s like, ‘Oh, do people change or have we messed up?’ He’s present and I’m not sure where he’ll fall. It’s like one of those people who needs you, he’s there, and if he doesn’t, he’s against you.”
Now that the dust has settled following the island explosion, will Team Arrow finally have a chance to weigh in with their misgivings about letting Slade back into their lives? “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,” Ramsey says. “Some of that hasn’t quite played out completely yet because we’re just now getting into the Deathstroke story. But as far as I know, yes, we have to some degree already and we will get to display more of our distrust of Slade Wilson.”
Oliver and Slade will also be somewhat wary of trusting each other. But Oliver feels obligated to fulfill his finale promise to Slade. “Oliver and Slade, it’s quid pro quo,” Amell says. “I came to you, I let you out of prison, I asked you to help me find my son, you did. Something is wrong with his son, I’m on board to help him. The dynamic is that I don’t question for a second that the real Slade Wilson is the Slade Wilson that I met on Lian Yu; the one that I became friends with, the one that I trusted with my life. I understand that the Slade Wilson that did all the things he did to Star City and murdered Moira, that was the Mirakuru Slade Wilson. I understand that. It doesn’t mean I forgive him, and it doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten. We are allies now. We’re going on a trip to help him find his son, I don’t think we’re sharing a beer on the flight there.”
“Oliver trusts Slade enough to put his life in his hands,” Amell continues. “Him going on a trip with Slade Wilson, he has to assume that he is, in effect, putting his life in his hands and vice versa. He trusts him because he knows that once upon a time, he was an honorable man and at his core, unless he decides to shoot Mirakuru again, that he’s an honorable man. But you can’t erase the past, you can’t, so I wouldn’t even call them uneasy allies, I would just call them allies for the time being.”
The question of trust, however, is overshadowed by big reveals via flashback in the hour, specifically about the time before Slade showed up in then-Starling City back in season 2. “I’m so excited with the flashbacks that they’ve picked for those episodes that are Slade-centric, especially in 606, because I think it informs a lot for people who saw Slade in the flashbacks on the Amazo in 223 and then didn’t see him again in the present day until episode 209,” Amell teases.
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. Check back for our interview with Manu Bennett on Slade Wilson’s return soon.