“Promises Kept” is successfully the conclusion of an Arrow two-parter that started with “Deathstroke Returns,” which sees Oliver serving to Slade discover his son. At the tip of “Deathstroke Returns” we realized that Joe “We Leave No Witnesses” Wilson has develop into the chief of a mercenary group often known as the Jackals.
Let’s simply say it’s not precisely the type of future one hopes for his or her little one, and Slade is wracked with guilt over the function he performed in bringing his son to this sociopathic place. Desperate for a spot in his son’s life, Slade tentatively agrees to affix the Jackals, a lot to the chagrin of a still-lurking-in-the-shadows Oliver.
Slade’s reunion together with his son is framed by a collection of flashbacks that present us what Slade and Joe’s final reunion, a.okay.a. the one which occurred following Slade’s return from Lian Yu, was like. It seems that the mirakuru gave Slade a short respite for a few 12 months following his escape from Lian Yu, permitting him to reconnect together with his son and promise he won’t ever depart him once more. (Promises, guarantees…)
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It’s a set-up that works on the purely emotional degree, however begins to get a bit wooly whenever you begin asking questions on how mirakuru works precisely, or how nobody seen Slade was off his rocker earlier than he slaughtered a complete room of Australian Intelligence brokers.
Slade thinks this damaged promise is the rationale why Joe has was a heartless killer, however Joe informs Slade that the homicidal clbades he realized from his father began a lot earlier than that. As anybody who watched final week’s episode might need suspected, Joe noticed his father kill the Chinese intelligence agent throughout their father/son tenting journey. It was the second that impressed Joe into committing his first homicide, a reveal that ideas this episode into barely surreal territory. “Promises Kept” leans exhausting into the logic that being a foul father will flip your child into a foul particular person, and the argument that, in the event you’re a killer, then your child can be a killer. That doesn’t depart a complete lot of room for private accountability.
This is the type of simplistic logic the episode has to lean into as a result of it merely doesn’t have sufficient time to discover Joe’s character in any possible way. Instead, he comes off just like the type of one that might have killed kittens as a child? It’s an unlucky narrative looseness for a plotline that, once more, is emotionally sturdy, because it rests on the rock stable emotional basis that may all the time be the Oliver/Slade relationship. The viewers, or a minimum of this viewers member, will all the time care in regards to the dynamic between these two as a result of it hails from a unique, less complicated time in Arrow historical past when flashbacks served a story function. It stays one of the fascinating, well-constructed dynamics on the present.
I doubt that is the final time we’ve seen each Slade and his son. The storyline ends with Slade going off looking for Joe after Oliver barely stops Joe from pulling a Kylo Ren and he disappears into the Kasnian evening like an indignant David Copperfield (the magician, not the Dickensian character). In the imply time, Slade’s lengthy, unhappy story encourages Oliver to pay extra consideration to his child and, if he can presumably keep away from it, attempt to not kill anybody else in entrance of him. He returns to discover a completely satisfied William and Felicity enjoying video video games, a reminder of the issues which might be essential (his household, not the video video games — although these are cool, too) and that he ought to by no means take with no consideration.
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While the Slade/Oliver storyline continued to ship by way of emotional engagement, the Diggle drug saga left a bit to be desired (although, fortunately, was moved alongside fairly a bit on this episode). It facilities round that awkward second whenever you understand your drug seller can be your vigilante squad’s subsequent mark. (I can’t even rely the variety of instances this has occurred to me.)
The drug seller in query is Ricardo Diaz, aka the Dragon (aka Kirk Acevedo), and he’s manufacturing the drug that has been holding Diggle’s hand regular throughout Team Arrow missions. Sadly, particularly for Diggle apparently, the person can be killing folks, so he have to be stopped. Probably. Maybe. After Diggle will get his subsequent repair.
The conundrum does give Diggle an opportunity to reconnect with Lyla, whom he finally comes clear to about his drug drawback (although, fastidiously, not calling it an dependancy). It’s a pleasant excuse to see these two collectively once more (and John Jr.!), however the storyline walks a secure, complicated line. The plot continues to be out of character for John, who continues to threat Team Arrow’s lives by going out into the sphere whereas bodily compromised, whereas additionally not going all-in on what seems to be a drug dependancy for Diggle.
Drug dependancy can have an effect on anybody, and has nothing to do with somebody’s ethical fiber. This would have be an excellent likelihood for Arrow to discover a severe, typically misrepresented topic in a approach that additionally would have slot in with John’s characterization higher. Who is aware of? Maybe Arrow will go additional into this in future episodes. For now, John has come clear to most of Team Arrow. They’ve agreed to not preserve any extra secrets and techniques from each other, a promise that I’m badured will final a minimum of seven days.
Rating: ★★★ Good