I would have to say that this week’s episode, titled ‘Promises Kept’ was hands down one of the best episodes of Arrow that I have ever seen. The entire episode contained spectacular acting from the entire cast, Manu Bennett in particular. It was absolutely fantastic to see Oliver and Slade team up once more.
‘Promises Kept’ picked up right where we left off last week, with Slade finally coming to face with his son Joe. You can definitely see the father and son relationship beyond a resemblance, as Joe commented that ‘the apple doesn’t fall from the tree’ – meaning that Slade could not wrong or question Joe’s decisions, Joe became the ‘strong man’ that Slade wanted him to be.
Joe pointed the gun at Slade, as if to shoot him. Slade then made the comment that he traveled all across the world, and he had nothing else… just Joe. He would kill anyone who got in his way of having just one conversation with his son. When Joe still wasn’t persuaded, Slade offers to join forces with Joe and the Jackals. Unbeknowst to Slade, Oliver listened from behind the corner.
After being persuaded by one of his henchmen that they could benefit from having the infamous ‘Deathstroke’ on their team, Joe agrees.
We then saw a Flashback of Slade in an ASIS recovery ward. He had a bandage over his right eye, which indicated that this was just after his time on Lian Yu with Oliver. Slade awoke from his slumber to see Joe standing there. Joe told Slade that they found him off the coast of the Phillipines and he kept muttering a single name – Oliver. Slade then promised Joe that he would never leave him again.
Meanwhile in Star City, Team Arrow found themselves facing off against a new group of bad guys. These guys didn’t just aim to rob, they also killed anyone who got in their way. Team Arrow managed to thwart the robbery, but were unable to bring in the group of thieves when a man emerged from behind a building and dropped some smoke grenade, allowing the bad guys to escape. Diggle had an opportunity to shoot at the man, but his hand began to tremble once more preventing him from firing his crossbow.
Felicity pointed out that they were after a military grade 3D printer, capable of printing weapons and drones. Dinah entered the Arrow cave to inform the team that there was a new player in town, named ‘The Dragon’.
While Team Arrow dealt with their new big bad, Slade had a discussion with his son Joe back in Kasnia. Joe handed Slade a bottle of his favorite authentic rum, stating that their mission was ‘reassigning resources’, but doesn’t tell him anything more than that. While Joe walked off, Oliver made himself known to Slade. He asked Slade why he was doing this, and that the point was to save both of their sons.
In Star City, Diggle headed home and met up with Lyla. After a very intimate reunion, Diggle headed to his cabinet to find out that he was out of injections – his hand trembling once more. His dealer texted him back, stating that he wasn’t getting any more drugs for the rest of the week.
The next day, Diggle headed to the dealer himself and asked to meet with the supplier… who wound up being a man by the name of Ricardo Diaz. After sizing Diggle up, he gave him another batch of the drugs and cured Diggle’s tremor.
As Slade geared up to head out with his son Joe to take out some members of the Kasnian Army, he radioed to Oliver and told him to locate the ‘receiver’, so that Oliver could disrupt communication between Joe’s men and the mission as a whole so that no one would get killed. Joe brought Slade his Deathstroke helmet, stating that ‘I always knew you would one day wear this’.
Slade follows Joe and his men to their designated site, and they open fire on some of the guards. Slade shoots the one in the leg, wounding him. Joe merely scoffed, stating that they ‘don’t leave witnesses’, before executing him. Slade, completely taken aback, had no way to respond.
In a flashback sequence, a year after he was found off the shores of Lian Yu, Slade and Joe trained in an ASIS facility. During their training, Joe showed Slade a mock up of the Deathstroke costume he was working on. While Slade continued his training with Joe, he began hallucinating Shado and seeing flashbacks of himself training Oliver to fight, just like he was with Joe in that moment. Slade then heard Shado state ‘You made me a promise’, talking about the promise he made to make Shado’s killer suffer. In this case, Oliver.
Team Arrow headed to Palmer Tech, where they got a bead on the Dragon and his men. During a firefight, Diggle came to the realization that ‘The Dragon’ was Ricardo Diaz, the sole supplier for the drug that would stop Diggle’s tremor. Rather than firing his crossbow and stopping Ricardo, Diggle took a bullet to the vest and Ricardo escaped.
Down in the Arrow Cave, Felicity informed the team that ‘The Dragon’ used to run a group known as ‘The Scorpions’ in the Glades back in the day. Curtis then reveals that he uncovered some information, which indicated that Diaz was making his own designer drugs. The entire time his team ranted, Diggle remained completely silent – resulting in some suspicious looks from Dinah.
Joe confronted Slade about how Slade hesitated to pull the trigger for the kill shot, to which Slade responded that when he lost his eye he lost his depth perception. Joe then told Slade he had a little gift for him. To no surprise, one of Joe’s men brought out Oliver. Slade puts up a front stating that he has been ‘waiting for this’. Joe’s men tied Oliver to a chair, and left Oliver in the room with both Joe and Slade. Oliver began protesting, stating that Slade was a changed man and he was no longer the killer he once was like when he was on the Mirakuru. Just when you thought Slade was about to kill Oliver for real, he cut Oliver free of his bindings and the two of them knocked out Joe and escaped through a window.
In a flashback, Slade hallucinated Shado once more. She told him that Oliver was alive, and Slade turned to see the news report from five years ago when Oliver came home from being rescued on Lian Yu. Slade then stated ‘I keep my promises’ once more, before eyeing up the Deathstroke costume that Joe had made.
In Star City, Diggle and Lyla had a serious talk in which he told her the truth. About his tremor, the drug and the dealer. Though she was happy that he told her the truth, she still found it extremely hard to deal with.
Slade and Oliver had a discussion, and Slade stated that there was only one option left. He was going to have to kill Joe. Slade told Oliver that he almost killed Oliver for real, until he heard Oliver mention William’s name. Slade admits to Oliver that after Lian Yu, he went home and found Joe. He promised Joe that he would never leave him, and he broke that promise. Joe’s is driven by anger and resentment, not by Mirakuru. Oliver disagreed, stating that Joe can be redeemed just like Slade.
In a final flashback sequence, Slade killed multiple ASIS agents and knocked out Joe before escaping with the Deathstroke costume, on a mission to Star City.
Back at Star City, Diggle brought the address to Team Arrow where they could find the Dragon’s base of operations. After heading out, they managed to compromise Dragon’s operations. Before he escaped, Diaz set a fire to the place which completely destroyed all of the drugs.
In Kasnia, Oliver and Slade found themselves facing off against Joe’s group. While Oliver took care of all the henchmen outside, Slade went and attempted to talk to his son. The talk didn’t go over well, and the two engaged in a swordfight. Slade told Joe that he killed because of the Mirakuru, and he wasn’t a killer. It was then that Joe revealed he saw Slade kill the Chinese man on their ‘father and son’ trip when he was a young boy. He also revealed to Slade that he has a brother named Grant, a secret that he and his mother kept from Slade. Joe was disowned because he wanted to be just like his dad – like Deathstroke.
Slade knelt to his knees, stating that he wasn’t Deathstroke. Not anymore. Joe made to deliver the final blow on Slade, but Oliver quickly arrived on scene and shot the sword out of Joe’s hand. Joe dropped a grenade, giving him a chance to escape.
After the fight, Slade told Oliver that he should go home and be there for William. When Oliver asked what Slade was going to do, Slade stated that he was going to continue looking for both of his sons.
In Star City, Diggle told Lyla that Team Arrow managed to destroy the drug facility. He apologized for lying to her and promised it wouldn’t happen again.
Felicity and William were playing video games in Oliver’s apartment and had just finished a round right as Oliver walked in. The three of them headed to the roof to test out William’s science project as a family.
Diggle assembled Team Arrow and informed them all about his tremors and the drug usage. Thankfully, they all forgive him and Curtis even states that he wants to help Diggle find an alternative to a drug solution to cure Diggle.
After the team disbanded, Diggle turned to face the Green Arrow costume just as his hand started to tremor once more.
Arrow will return on Thursday, November 23rd at 9PM/EST on The CW.
I certainly hope this is not the last of Slade for us this season!