Arrow: Suicidal Tendencies

Lyla: "Let's not fight, Johnny. It's our honeymoon."

Well this was both unexpected and a lot of fun. Who knew Deadshot had a soul?

There's a lot to talk about in this episode, because it was freaking jam packed. Not only did we get some forward movement on the fake Arrow plot, the Ray plot and the Felicity love triangle, we also got some major Diggle/Lyla action, Cupid kicking ass, Deadshot being all heroic, and a freaking flashback staring Floyd Lawton that actually gave him some depth.

What's really cool is that the episode worked. It didn't feel disjointed or unbalanced. Perhaps because it was all about character. Well that's kind of standard on this show, but usually not for the secondary characters. Here it was all secondary characters.

Starting with Deadshot who has probably had about a couple of hours of screen time over the course of three seasons. He's had a rather cool character arc, starting as totally unsympathetic and an antagonist for Diggle, he's turned into someone I actually like. Whatever his reasons for that sacrifice, whether it was to atone for killing Diggle's brother, or because he didn't want to see another family torn apart, it was a great end to the character. That is if he is really dead: see Billie's rules of Television #10 (Josie's Law).

The flashback was an interesting choice, using the all too real story of a soldier coming back from war and not being able to cope, making Lawton even more sympathetic. He may have threatened his wife and child, but I'm not sure he can really be blamed since he didn't actually hurt them, and was horrified by his own actions. Even though he didn't have a ton of choice in becoming an assassin, it is clear that his motivations were due in large part to losing everything, including his humanity.

The rest of the Suicide Squad story was a bit more by the numbers: they were in an impossible situation, with a very over the top villain, and had to improvise to survive. Mostly we got to see Diggle and Lyla go through the process of realizing this line of work isn't for them any more. A turning point in their lives, just as they committed to one another again.

Their wedding was also a hoot, even if the 'the priest can't come, I have a friend who can officiate' plot device is beyond cliché. But I did like the way Ray held the service, it was short, sweet, and very much in character for Diggle and Lyla. Also, Ray is a minister? Huh. The wedding also played up the growing love triangle thing between Oliver, Felicity and Ray.

Funny how things kind of blew up for the three of them. Ray finding out that Oliver was the Arrow was inevitable, and Felicity really should've facilitated a meeting when Ray started down the path of the hero. But it was kind of awesome seeing them face off. The A.T.O.M. suit is impressive, complete with an electro-gun and x-ray visor (the later of course is a cheeky reference to Brandon Routh's turn as Superman). What was even more impressive was how Oliver managed to beat Ray with relative ease. Clearly Ray has some training to do.

Much like Laurel, who sprained/broke her wrist training with Nyssa. She had some good scenes too, covering for Oliver and trying to play up the fact that there was no conclusive evidence that the Arrow was involved in the recent murders. Which unfortunately brings me to Quentin. I truly hope he doesn't go too far down the witch hunt path, he's been there before and it didn't look good on him. With the Mayor getting an arrow through the heart, I'm guessing that's a false hope. Of course if Felicity is killed, a lot of things will go off the rails, because damn that was a nasty cliffhanger.

Bits:

There was a card at the end of the episode directing viewers to the Wounded Warrior Project, which is a charity that helps serve the needs of injured veterans and their families.

Brandon Routh was clearly sick during the production of this episode. At one point his eye was pink and his voice was strained.

Um, what happened to Roy when Ray shot him with that blast from his suit? I assume he's okay, but even a small throwaway line would've been nice.

So Andrew Diggle was Lawton's first assignment. Commissioned by the Hive. I bet this is a set up for next season's big bad.

Cupid kicked so much ass. I loved how she transferred her affections onto Floyd, and even better, she survived the episode. I guess she is kind of the only member of the Squad remaining for now.

Felicity caught the bouquet, I hope that doesn't mean that she's going to marry Ray. Are they setting her up to move to the new show? Hmmmm.

Quotes:

Oliver: "That whole 'best man' thing, it's more like a 'not so good'--"
Diggle: "No, that's all right. We'll Photoshop you in, brother."

Diggle: "You really want to do this?"
Lyla: "Even more than the first time."
Diggle: "Good. Because I'm not letting you get away from me this time."
Lyla: "I'm holding you to that."

Felicity: "No sign of Evil Arrow."
Roy: "This is exactly the kind of thing that fake Arrow would go after."
Felicity: "We really need a better name for him."

Felicity: "What's going on? Ray?"
Ray: "Oliver Queen is the Arrow."
Felicity: "What?"
Ray: "I have a 140 IQ and three Ph.Ds. It's pretty hard to insult my intelligence, but I think you just did."

Roy: "Wait, Ray built a supersuit? That's kind of awesome... and reckless."

Ray: "Arrow."
Oliver: "Supersuit."

This was another solid episode, and hey, Oliver didn't annoy me this time.

3 out of 4 Heroic deaths

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

First rule of comic books: No body? Not dead.


If he does end up dead, it would be total bullshit considering Oliver survived being stabbed in the lung and kicked off a cliff.

Josie Kafka said...

Thanks for the shout-out, JD!

Marianna said...

I loved the Deadshot flashbacks. Yay 3-dimensional villains! I think he definitely doesn't get all the blame for the incident with his family because he was clearly suffering from PTSD, but he might still get some blame for refusing to seek treatment.

So Lyla quit her job. I wonder how the Diggle family is going to pay the bills. I don't think Oliver is paying him to be his body guard anymore.

So Ray has a 140 IQ. That's not especially impressive.I would have guessed at least 170.

Anonymous, second rule of comic books: everyone comes back from the dead. =)