'Titans' Season 2 Episode 8: Slade Wilson was a good dad and a war hero before his descent into villainy
Esai Morales provides a memorable performance in the episode that really brings out the emotional side of Deathstroke, which is something we don’t really see too often with the character
The flashback explains how Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) Donna Troy / Wonder Girl (Conor Leslie), Hank Hall / Hawk (Alan Ritchson), and Dawn Granger / Dove (Minka Kelly) befriended Jericho Wilson (Chella Man), the son of Slade Wilson / Deathstroke (Esai Morales), in an attempt to get back at the assassin for killing their teammate Garth / Aqualad (Drew Van Acker).
The episode reveals some of Deathstroke's past as a war hero and a test subject for a supersoldier program through a conversation between Jericho and the team. "He said his dad was a war hero," Dawn translates for Jericho. "Before he was born, his dad was in the army. He was part of a special unit called H.I.V.E."
We see Slade (who still has both eyes) being injected with a serum that leaves him screaming in pain and turns his eyes marble-white. However, when his life is threatened, Slade's instincts kick in and he goes full commando on his enemies.
In the process, we get to see a really cool scene where Deathstroke effortlessly breaks the ropes holding him and goes on a rampage, killing multiple soldiers and escaping from his captors using just his bare hands, a few stolen guns, and a half-eaten apple.
After that, the flashback within the flashback skips forward a few years to Slade returning home from a mission during which he missed Jericho's birthday.
Jericho, who is clearly upset with Slade, brushes off his father's apology. However, Slade assures Jericho that he does want to be there for his son, gifting him a special wristband that Slade used to wear as a lucky charm.
"It kept me safe during battle," Slade tells Jericho. "Now it will keep you safe too."
The scene provides a stark contrast from the grim warrior that we're used to seeing and it gives us a rare glimpse into Slade's humanity.
Esai Morales provides a memorable performance in the episode that really brings out the emotional side of Deathstroke, which is something we don’t really see too often with the character.
In fact, we’re left wondering how differently things might have turned out if Slade hadn’t joined up with Wintergreen (Demore Barnes) and become a killer for hire.
Perhaps in another world, he could have become a hero and a good father to his children but unfortunately, that’s not how this story goes.
'Titans' Season 2 Episode 9 'Atonement' will arrive in the DC Universe on November 1.