We interrupt your regularly scheduled episode of Arrow to create a team of super-powered bad guys. Do I smell spin-off? (No? Just dinner burning? Alrighty then)
Let’s bitch it out…
The show hits pause on the Slade Wilson (an unseen Manu Bennett) search to feature the debut hour of the Suicide Squad, a fun side-step that unfortunately would have played out better if it didn’t feel so randomly inserted. As it stands the timing of this non-Starling City adventure effectively stalls the momentum of Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) story, but if you can put that aside, it’s actually kinda fun.
One of the reasons that ‘Suicide Squad’ works is because it feels like a pilot for a spinoff featuring a host of characters we’ve briefly met in supporting roles over the last season or so. Much like Mission: Impossible, A-Team or Alias, we’ve got an unlikely group with diverse strengths who come together (in this case, unwillingly) to pull off a heist. Selected by uber-beyotch Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), Diggle (David Ramsey) and his ex-wife/current sex buddy Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) are the de facto leaders of a bunch of convicted criminals, including Shrapnel (Sean Maher), Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White), and – most controversially – Deadshot (Michael Rowe). Naturally there’s residual tension between the latter and Diggle, though the iciness between them melts as they come to understand each other over the course of the episode (as expected). Why there’s even a bit of love thrown in for Diggle and Lyla, to boot.
As a throwback to simpler times (or a DC equivalent to Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.), the episode is fun, albeit a little campy. Could the case have been a little more substantial? Absolutely. But as a standalone adventure with a group of mostly memorable villains and a chance for David Ramsey to shine, this is pretty good. I just wish it had of taken place at a different point in the season when it didn’t feel so out of place.
- Wow, those drones look fake. Dear Arrow: please do not use any more drones unless you can afford the quality CGI.
- It’s fun to see Diggle’s old army buddy, Ted Gaynor (Ben Browder) again. Of course, he only appears in flashbacks since he died back in 1×11 ‘Trust But Verify’. There’s a suggestion that there are plenty of other flashbacks that Arrow can draw from during Diggle’s service, however, so maybe we’ll see Ted again.
- It’s less fun to see Shrapnel again, but that’s only because he’s so misused. Shrapnel is basically only in this episode to show what happens to those who try to escape (which in turn allows Diggle to feel morally indignant with Lyla and they can talk about their feelings and stuff). Either way, it sucks to be Sean Maher.
- The majority of the principal cast sit the episode out, aside from Sara (Caity Lotz) who Oliver shuts out because he worries that she’ll be targeted by Slade. 1) Duh – obviously she’s at the top of the list (and virtually guaranteed to die before the end of the season) and 2) How does telling her to stay away make her any less vulnerable? Must be the lack of sleep that’s affecting Oliver’s judgment.
- Finally, the coda finds the Arrow requesting Waller’s help to take down Slade. Apparently they go way back because she thought he killed Slade, so clearly we’ll see Waller in the flashbacks at some point. In any case, she mentions she’s been following a mercenary named Deathstroke. Hmmm…who could that be?
- Diggle (to Lyla when she exclaims they’ve had so much fun these last few months): “It’s because when we talk we tend to get divorced.”
- Oliver (when Sara notices Moira lying about his childhood passion for swimming): “My mother sometimes enjoys a casual relationship with the truth.”
Your thoughts on ‘Suicide Squad.’ Do you hope the surviving members come back for a second round (it seems inevitable, no)? If so, what case should they tackle next considering how unmemorable this case was? Did you care about Oliver’s B-plot with the Russians? Do you understand his rationale for trying to push Sara away? Sound off below.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW