Arrow season 8: Why Manu Bennett should return as Slade Wilson

Manu BennettIt’s no secret to anyone that Arrow season 8 is going to be the final season on the CW. It’s also no secret that there’s not exactly a lot of time in order to wrap up the story. Think along the lines of just ten episodes. There’s going to be a lot of story that inevitably gets left behind because the writers are going to have to fit so much in such a small amount of space. It’s almost like what happens when you try to save money on a moving fan and get one that is half the size you actually need.

We recognize the challenges that face Beth Schwartz in the entire creative team with season 8, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are certain elements of the past we really hope are included for at least one last time. That includes some of the iconic villains that we’ve seen here and there along the way.

Admittedly, there are some that have fallen a little bit by the wayside. Ra’s al Ghul from season 3 isn’t exactly mentioned all that often, and even Prometheus feels somewhat like a distant memory, as excellent as that whole storyline was.

Yet, we do still think that the shadow of Slade Wilson, otherwise known as Deathstroke, looms very large. Manu Bennett’s role, especially on the second season of the show, was absolutely incredible, and the backstory of both this character and his relationship with Oliver Queen set the stage for an epic battle. There was vengeance, there was rage, and there was excellent fight choreography. There was a period of time after season 3 when we actually did question whether or not Slade was going to be coming back at all, but we did see the character again not that far in the past. We got a chance to see some pretty significant backstory when it comes to his son, and the most important thing coming out of that was that Slade Wilson is still alive and is somewhere out there in this world. The question you just have to wonder now is how you find a way to bring him back.

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What we know is this. Even if it is just a small appearance or a subtle nod to the legacy of this character, it’s still important to get one more Slade sighting before Arrow comes to a halt. How can it happen? That is an incredibly good question, given that the entirety of Arrow season 8 and its story feels just akin to dust in the wind. We don’t know what direction it’s going to blow, and we don’t know when all the pieces are going to land. All we know is that Oliver Queen has been taken away from Star City and potentially from all of Earth-1. Can you find a way for him to meet an alternate version of Slade wherever he ends up? Sure, but the more interesting possibility could be that The Monitor finds a way to recruit Slade just as he has recruited Oliver. Presumably, we gotta think that The Monitor has been communicating with other people and we just haven’t been seeing all of it. Slade could be a valuable force one way or another leading up to Crisis on Infinite Earths. We know that the guy can be a complete and total killing machine if he has to.

What we just love about Slade Wilson as a character is his moral complexity. He can be incredibly evil one season, but still try to find some sort of path to redemption on the other side. With a lot of villains in this world, they’re often either cheesy or rather black and white. There is so much gray area within this man, and still so many demons to battle. That’s one of the reasons why we have advocated for a Deathstroke spin-off in the past.

We do recognize that the character is being the other properties at the moment, including Titans, so we don’t exactly envision that Slade is going to be around for a long period of time. Yet, for the sake of celebrating Arrow, it feels best that you to at least consider bringing Manu back into the fold. One last time, and one last opportunity to see him and Stephen Amell collaborate.

Do you want to see Manu Bennett back as Slade in Arrow season 8? Share in the comments. (Photo: The CW.)

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