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Arrow season 6 has not been shy when it comes to delivering some surprises (temporary, but still) early on in its run, and now the series is finally ready to deliver on its long-held secret of just who is behind the visor of Star City’s deadly Vigilante. Episode 5, titled ‘Deathstroke Returns’, wasn’t exactly coy when it came to letting the audience know exactly what to expected from the hour, as it is indeed a Slade Wilson-heavy hour, especially in the final moments, which delivered one of the most thrilling (and violent) sequences for the character since he was first introduced. It also teased a huge twist of its own, with the revelation that Slade’s son Joe is not at all the victim his father thought him to be.
The Deathstroke twist may have been something of a given considering the title, but buried within an already loaded hour is the unmasking of Vigilante, who, as it turns out is Dinah Drake’s formerly deceased partner Vincent Sobel, who was killed the moment Dinah became a meta-human while working undercover. Confused? Well, it’s not too much of a stretch. After all, Arrow isn’t exactly shy when it comes to bringing characters back from the dead. But given what a small role Vincent has played in the series so far, the surprise may go down as one in The CW’s favor, and not just because the network managed to keep it a secret until the episode aired.
As far as the execution of the reveal (no pun intended) ‘Deathstroke Returns’ handled Vigilante’s unmasking in a way that was not only surprising but also forced Team Arrow newcomer Dinah into an uncomfortable position, where she must not only deal with the news that her former partner and lover is still alive but also that he’s now a meta-human who’s adopted perhaps the most unimaginative moniker in the Arrowverse. Dinah’s potential embarrassment at her former partner’s on-the-nose codename notwithstanding, Vincent’s reemergence is bound to put her in hot water with her new teammates the longer she keeps it to herself and the more she covers for him, as she did here.
The big question now is just how big of a role Vigilante will play in the series and season 6, in particular, moving forward. The character has been around the Arrowverse (albeit mostly in the background) for quite some time, with his secret intact. The reveal of his identity, his connection to Dinah’s past, and not to mention his official status as a meta-human, concretizes Vigilante to a certain degree and puts him in the running with Cayden James, Deathstroke, and the upcoming Richard Dragon as a problem for Team Arrow to deal with.
Vincent’s story is certainly a little more complicated than most, and considering his fate prior to becoming a meta-human, a little more sympathetic as well. His activities as of late might negate that sympathy to a certain degree, so it will be interesting to see how the series plans to let his story arc play out, and just what kind of role Dinah will have in Vigilante’s future.