Deathstroke is back on Arrow.
No, Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) isn’t returning for the final season. There’s a new face taking on the supervillain mantle in the future flash-forward storyline, and he’s got a complicated connection to some of Arrow‘s best heroes. Charlie Barnett (Russian Doll) has joined the Arrowverse series for the final 10 episodes as the adult version of John Diggle Jr., a.k.a. J.J., the son of Diggle (David Ramsey) and Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson). Last season, the future timeline revealed that there’s a war going on between J.J., who’s now leading the Deathstroke Gang, and his adopted brother Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones).
EW has your exclusive first look at the new Deathstroke making his debut in the season 8 premiere, and the sneak peek clip reveals just how chilling this new villain is going to be.
In “Starling City,” fans get to see the new Team Arrow in action, featuring Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity’s (Emily Bett Rickards) kids, William (Ben Lewis) and Mia (Katherine McNamara), plus Connor and one of the Canaries, Zoe Ramirez (Andrea Sixtos). But a simple bodyguard job turns into something more lethal when J.J. infiltrates the compound and outsmarts Mia. His calm demeanor after committing murder is downright terrifying, especially since we know who raised him. How Diggle and Lyla’s son turned out to be this cold-hearted sociopath is baffling when their other son Connor became a hero, but Arrow boss Beth Schwartz promises that answers are coming soon.
“That’s all going to come out this season, because I know we teased it last season,” Schwartz tells EW. “We’re going to have a bit of sibling rivalry in our future storyline.” Expect J.J. and Connor to come face-to-face for the first time onscreen as soon as the season 8 opener, but get your first look at J.J. in action above now.
Arrow‘s final season premieres Tuesday, Oct. 15 on The CW.
-Additional reporting by Chancellor Agard