This article contains spoilers for the Arrow season six episode – Promises Kept.
Promises Kept is the second half of the Deathstroke Returns arc. It gives us a lot of backstory on Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) that we hadn’t seen before, even though the character was a regular for two seasons. The main story has Slade and Oliver (Stephen Amell) in Kasnia trying to find Slade’s son Joseph (Liam Hall), who is now a gun for hire named Cain Wolfman and leading his own crew. Slade tries to join with his sons crew in hopes of saving him, but it goes south when it becomes clear that they’re going to hurt a lot of people.
Slade thinks the Joseph is following in his footsteps from when he was affected by Mirakuru, and we get to see the slaughter Slade carried out when he first got back form Lian Yu and stared seeing Shado (Celina Jade) in his mind. But Joseph saw Slade kill a man on a father/son camping trip many years before the Mirakuru… he wanted to be like his father, and carried out his first kill a few months later. Needless to say, Joseph is really screwed up. Oliver and Slade stop the Jackals’ plans, but Joseph gets away. Slade goes off to find him — and discovers that he has another son named Grant.
The second story involves the team and the experimental steroid John Diggle (David Ramsey) is using. Turns out the guy making it is Ricardo “The Dragon” Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), and he’s not good news. When Diaz pulls a job to get an industrial 3D printer to make his drugs and kills the guards to get it, the team intervenes. Eventually, John has to choose between using his information to take out his drug source that allows him to be Green Arrow, or to keep wearing the hood and turn a blind eye. He eventually does the right thing and they take out Diaz’s lab, leaving John without much of the drug left. He comes clean to Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) and the team. Curtis (Echo Kellum) is offended that John didn’t come to him in the beginning, since he did make a chip to help Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) walk again.
We’re now set up for Oliver’s return to the hood. Even though he specifically said he was glad he gave it up, we know he suits up to fight the Nazis from Earth-X in two weeks — so either something happens during the Thanksgiving episode or early in the crossover.
I hope the executives over at the CW and Warner Bros. TV take a look at these two episodes and see the potential. The Arrowverse has grown so much that they’re doing animated series to explore characters on the side. In January it grows again with Black Lightning, and there doesn’t seem to be a reason not to keep growing. But I’d like to see them try a different format and do a World’s Finest or Brave and the Bold series that rotates through some of the characters that aren’t getting a lot of time on other shows.
How much more could they’ve done with this story had they focused solely on Deathstroke/Green Arrow in Kasnia and the flashbacks? Maybe even take it a third episode and deal with the other son. This is the type of thing they could do now with the Arrowverse — an anthology series pairing up two or three characters that don’t normally get to star. Explore the JSA more, the Human Target, Hawkman, Jonah Hex, Guardian — maybe even a Rogues special with Captain Cold and Heatwave. And it would be a great place to introduce new characters, as well.
The name drop of Grant Wilson is interesting in that in the comics, Grant Wilson becomes the first Ravager, with Rose Wilson becoming the second. We’ve already seen Ravager in the series, but it was Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau). The interesting thing is that Joseph in the comics is the Titan Jericho, who is also mute. The television version is far closer to what Grant Wilson is in the comics. Will they pull a switch and make the television Grant more like the comic Joseph/Jericho?
The previews below shows that Agent Samanda Watson (Sydelle Noel) is back and arresting Oliver Queen. I’m really curious what evidence she found. And with folks thinking Green Arrow is in prison, it’s time for Cayden James (Michael Emerson) to make his move and quote Shakespeare. Okay — anytime is a good time to quote Shakespeare. But if you’re going to bust out the Cry Havok line, you need to be doing something intense… not just making a bologna sandwich.
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