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And that, kids, is exactly why you don’t get into cars with strangers. They end up tearing apart your family and endangering everyone who is remotely close to you. At least, that’s what happens in ‘Arrow’ when you’re Oliver Queen and your long lost nemesis has come back to town finally seeking his extremely intricate and diabolical revenge.

During our last visit to Starling City, the Arrow had his hands full when his ex-girlfriend Helena Bertinelli AKA The Huntress came back to town to take out her father once and for all. But not only was Ollie waiting for her to take her down, Black Canary AKA his new (also old?) girlfriend Sara Lance was by his side ready to take out the ruthless mafia princess, while attempting to avoid becoming as cold as she is. Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows was Slade Wilson about to make his presence known.

In this week’s episode, Slade struck Oliver in a big way. While he didn’t harm him physically, the villain managed to systematically take apart nearly every aspect of the Emerald Archer’s life, starting with kidnapping his sister. Throughout the episode, Deathstroke managed to get Ollie’s allies either locked up or arguing with each other, unveil long-hidden family secrets, and assemble an army for the next time he confronts the masked vigilante. Basically, Oliver Queen’s life is in shambles thanks to Slade Wilson.

Arrow Deathstroke stillI’ve been throwing the phrase “game changer” around a lot this week, but it’s applied to everything that I’ve referenced with it, including this week’s episode of ‘Arrow’. After last week, we all expected some kind of confrontation between Deathstroke and Arrow, but what we ended up getting was much more exciting and less straightforward. Regardless of how we got it, we got a battle tonight and it was pretty epic. Slade has had five years to plan everything out and it’s all starting to get to Oliver’s head. This is a very cerebral plot and seeing it all unfold is just so interesting that it’s hard not to be hooked to the screen as the episode rolls on.

One of the most interesting twists of the episode was the true motive of Isabel Rochev, a businesswoman who was brought in to assist in running Queen Consolidated. When it had been revealed that she was in cahoots with Slade all along, that was definitely a hands on head “NO WAY!” moment. And as an added bonus, we got to see Summer Glau tussle with Stephen Amell a bit. She put her experience in ‘Firefly’ and ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ to real good use here.

Finally, towards the end of the episode, Slade declares, “Oliver Queen needs one more distraction”. In this week’s final moments, he appears at Laurel’s door saying that he knows the identity of the Arrow. Now that is one hell of a distraction and I’m excited to see this play out, but I’m almost more glad that Laurel is being involved in a worthwhile storyline after being tied up in a super clichéd (and kinda boring) alcoholism story.

Overall, this is probably one of the best episodes of ‘Arrow’ to date in my opinion. I mean, nothing in Oliver’s world will be the same after this episode and this whole ordeal isn’t even close to over. Team Arrow is up against their greatest threat yet and it really shows in the quality of the episodes as of late. I wonder how they’ll top it in two weeks when the show returns from another short break.

Final Score:

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‘Arrow’ starring Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Katie Cassidy, and Manu Bennett airs every Wednesday at 8:00pm on The CW.