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|“||The Chinese own enough of our national debt to decimate our economy, and all without firing a shot. Or, they could destroy us with the largest army in human history.||„|
|~ Matthew Shrieve|
General Matthew Shrieve is the main antagonist of the flashback storyline in Season 3 of the TV series Arrow.
He is a corrupt and delusional United States Army general who saw China as a military and economic threat to his country and plotted its downfall by the means of genocide. He is partially the cause as to why Maseo Yamashiro became a member of the League of Assassins and why Tatsu Yamashiro became Katana.
He was portrayed by Marc Singer.
Not much is known about Matthew Shrieve. The U.S. general first appears after Oliver Queen and Maseo Yamashiro, under the command of A.R.G.U.S. head Amanda Waller, successfully stop Chien Na Wei from selling a deadly toxic weapon called the Omega virus in Starling City. He has Oliver return to China to be debriefed. Afterwards, he lets Oliver go, promising him that he can go wherever he wished to go. However, he had to go to Japan with the Yamashiro family first.
While they were leaving, Oliver and the Yamashiros were attacked by Shrieve's men and they were separated while running from them. Thinking that they were Waller's men, Oliver infiltrates the A.R.G.U.S. facility only to find Amanda Waller held prisoner there by the general. It is then revealed by Waller that General really planned to wipe out China with the Omega weapon as he saw the country as a threat to America and would bring about their downfall. After Maseo's son Akio was subjected to the virus, Maseo and Oliver tracked down Matthew where they forced him to procure the cure for Akio.
Unfortunately, there was never a cure, as Matthew revealed that Maseo had in fact took insulin for Matthew's diabetes. Upon revealing his trickery, he subdued Oliver with snipers. Due to Akio's death caused by the virus, Oliver furiously tortured Matthew for hours and left him unconscious until eventually, Maseo shot him in the head, killing him instantly.
Despite his death, Matthew's actions were what indirectly led Maseo Yamashiro to join the League of Assassins, becoming known as Ra's al Ghul's lieutenant, Sarab. Matthew's brutal death made Oliver believe he was torturing him for justice, but eventually realized it was vengeance and served as a vital growth point to help him distinguish justice from vengeance.
Matthew was a manipulative liar with little regard for the people he hurt, justifying it with the belief that he was serving his country. He attempted to kill Oliver and the Yamashiros in order to tie up loose ends despite the services they had done for him. He was probably as sociopathic and immoral as Amanda Waller was, if not worse, in his pursuit of his goal to wipe out China that he believes to be a major military threat using the Alpha-Omega bio-weapon that would kill thousands of innocent people. In his final moments, he had absolutely no guilt or remorse for his actions.
Despite his horrendous actions, he did genuinely believe his actions wold benefit the United States by crippling China. These negative traits of his were what led to Matthew's painful yet deserved torture at the hands of Oliver Queen, and justified death at the hands of Maseo Yamashiro, who even had the decency to kill him to end Shrieve's pain.
- "The Return" (flashback)
- "Nanda Parbat" (flashback)
- "The Fallen" (mentioned)
- "This is Your Sword" (flashback)
- "My Name is Oliver Queen" (flashback)
- In the comics, Matthew Shrieve is a military lieutenant who leads a paramilitary squad known as the Creature Commandos, comprised out of cinematic monster themed super-heroes.
- Matthew is portrayed in contrast to his DC Comics counterpart. In the comics, Matthew is a hero, but in the Arrowverse, he is an immoral, sociopathic villain.
- Matthew Shrieve was the only flashback main antagonist to not be killed by Oliver Queen. The other four (Edward Fyers, Anthony Ivo, Baron Reiter, and Konstantin Kovar) died at the hands of Oliver Queen. In Matthew's case, he was killed by Oliver's friend Maseo Yamashiro.