Reflecting back on what Arrow has accomplished over the years, it’s very difficult not speaking of Deathstroke when doing so. After all, Manu Bennett’s take on the world’s deadliest mercenary was among those first making the character a household name after decades of being known only to comic book readers and viewers of the Teen Titans animated series.
Strangely enough, Bennett has been altogether absent from Arrow‘s eighth and final season, most likely due to Slade Wilson currently being played by Esai Morales over on DC Universe’s Titans. Still, the Deathstroke persona itself has been permitted to be utilized on The CW – it’s just that other guys have been donning the iconic mask.
So far, we’ve seen Charlie Barnett taking up arms as John Diggle Jr. in the flash forward segments, so it was naturally assumed that he’d be the new Deathstroke terrorizing Star City in last night’s episode, “Present Tense,” which saw the Team Arrow of 2040 – Mia Smoak, William Clayton and Connor Hawke – transported to 2019.
I think the producers played on that very assumption made by both the characters and fans alike when they threw us for a loop by revealing that Slade’s son, Grant Wilson, had indeed taken up the mantle in the present day. Played by Jamie Andrew Cutler, he was the very same Deathstroke successor seen in Legends of Tomorrow’s standout episode, “Star City 2046.”
While this twist did function well, it’s beyond my grasp as to how Grant looked just as youthful in the now overwritten future of 2046. My suggestion is that you think about it no longer, as you may risk getting a nosebleed.
Suffice it to say, the united present and future Team Arrows thwarted the schemes of the modern Deathstroke gang, so it’s entirely possible that those thugs won’t continue their work decades down the line. Furthermore, Grant’s influence on J.J. was somewhat detailed through the means of exposition, although that’s not quite as rewarding as seeing it played out through performances. But hey, at least we found out why Dig’s son became a supervillain.
When it comes to seeing if indeed the heroes’ efforts were not in vain, we’ll just have to wait longer to learn how that pans out. On November 19th, “Prochnost” will see Mia and her pals remaining in the present, so we can’t be too sure if and when they’ll return to their native time period. Come to think of it, we may not get our answers until the Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff airs, so be prepared to play the waiting game.
Arrow airs on Tuesday nights on The CW.