Arrow: “Deathstroke Returns” Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

This week’s Arrow was all about paying off on some long-simmering plot threads. On one hand, we got the much ballyhooed team-up between Ollie and Slade Wilson as Ollie repaid his friend-turned-nemesis-turned-friend again for helping him rescue William in the Season 5 finale. On the other, we finally learned the identity of Vigilante and his connection to a member of Team Arrow. Unfortunately, this episode left me wishing the writers had chosen to focus entirely on the Slade/Ollie storyline.

Vigilante is another example of a problem the Arrowverse at large seems to be grappling with a lot this year. These shows are devoting months to building up huge mysteries or letting viewers stew over major cliffhangers, but the payoff often isn’t worth the buildup. Season 5’s dramatic cliffhanger completely fizzled out when it became clear what little toll Adrian Chase’s final attack actually took on Team Arrow. And now, roughly a year after Vigilante first made his debut on the series, the reveal of his identity and motivations is sadly underwhelming.

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