Fresh off the announcement that Deathstroke would go toe-to-toe against the Dark Knight in Ben Affleck's solo Batman film, the ruthless assassin is also scheduled to make an appearance in Arrow's milestone 100th episode. (He's a busy man.) Now, fans of the CW vigilante know that Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), a.k.a. Deathstroke, was the show's primary Big Bad for two seasons until Oliver Queen finally put him away for good — or so we thought.
On Monday, actor Stephen Amell gave fans the tease they've been waiting for when he tweeted a photo of himself and Deathstroke sitting on a park bench. (If we didn't know about Oliver and Slade's storied history, we'd say this looks like the cover a superhero rom-com.) It makes sense that Team Arrow would resurrect the show's very first villain — and some might even argue its best — to celebrate the 100th episode. That being said, the last time we saw Slade Wilson in Season 3, he was still on Lian Yu in an A.R.G.U.S. supermax prison. So what is he doing in Star City?
Well, it might not actually be Slade. In Legends of Tomorrow, the Legends visited a dystopian future version of Star City where Slade's son, Grant Wilson (Jamie Andrew Cutler), had taken up the Deathstroke mantle. Given the fact that White Canary (Caity Lotz) will also appear in the 100th episode of Arrow — as evidenced by Amell's recent set photo — this theory seems likely. If not, Deathstroke's return could also be connected to A.R.G.U.S., because at this point in the Arrowverse what isn't connected to that government agency?
Regardless, Deathstroke's appearance in the episode surely represents a return to the more street-level storytelling of the earlier seasons. Arrow has always existed in a more grounded universe than its superhero successors The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, largely owing to the fact that Oliver is a human vigilante. According to Amell, Arrow's fifth season will reestablish the Green Arrow as a vigilante first and foremost.
"We had a discussion, and I said, 'Look, man. Arrow was set up as a very specific thing, and it's up to us to do what we do. And what we do, we do better than anyone else on TV,'" Amell told MTV News back in June. "Part of the price of success is that we've had to introduce other shows. We can always get around new powers and people from other planets, but it is important that when all that dust settles that we are focussing on what we do well."
And Deathstroke's mysterious reappearance is undoubtedly part of the plan.