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Arrow #216 - Suicide Squad Review

4

Deathstroke continues to torment Green Arrow. Meanwhile, Diggle teams-up with the Suicide Squad!

*Contains some spoilers*

Arrow has been teasing the Suicide Squad for quite some time. Hell, I remember it being promoted at last year's SDCC panel. Well, the day has finally arrived and the TV show is prepared to show us how its version of the DC team operates. Luckily for us, it's a pretty good episode!

Despite being a fan of several characters on the roster, the show hasn't made some of these villains all that compelling in the past. However, when they're now put together and we're treated to smaller doses of them, the characters flourish and become way more enjoyable. For example, Deadshot missed an absurd amount of times when previously fighting Oliver and he came off as somewhat campy at times. Here, he's actually given a bit of depth and has some solid bits of dialogue with Diggle. Truth be told, he's the Suicide Squad character that received the biggest amount of attention in this episode, but they pulled it off well and I can definitely see this approach working with someone like Bronze Tiger and the other individuals on the roster. The opportunity to watch them work together is a pretty big treat and it's great to see they've pulled it off. Oh, and there may or may not be some major fan service if you like a certain Batman rogue.

Obviously, the idea of using bad guys for operations and planting explosives in their head (that really shouldn't be a spoiler for anyone here, right?) brings up some moral questions. The episode addresses these in a direct and concise manner; having Diggle on one end and his ex-wife/current girlfriend on the other end. Nothing here will give you an epiphany on the subject, but it's effectively handled and good to see they're not blatantly casting the discussion aside.

On top of the Suicide Squad's debut, the episode also juggles Oliver's inability to cope with the stress of Slade Wilson's reemergence. Fully aware that Slade wants him to suffer every bit as much as he has, this creates some predictable yet still enjoyable bits of drama between Oliver and Sara. I can't shake the feeling that they're giving us a stronger emotional bond to her just so they can try to break our hearts by killing her in the finale. It would be great if they didn't go that route -- especially since so many of us think that's what'll happen -- and instead hit us with something no one sees coming. But only time will tell, right? This plot also created some really cool scenes that showcase how long Slade has been planning this and how he's getting into Ollie's head. Additionally, this plot begins what I'm going to call "Laurel's road to redemption." She's not in this episode for very long, but her moments are sincere and goodhearted. What a wonderful change of pace for the character, yeah? It's nice to actually agree with what she's saying instead of wanting to groan after she speaks her mind. Felicity's also in this episode for a quick moment or two. Her appearance may be swift (can't help but recall that Diggle is no longer watching her...) although it's nice to see her remain strong in such a scenario. The series continues to make her likable even if she's in just one bit.

I'm happy this episode shined a strong spotlight on Diggle, but the flashback scenes felt like a missed opportunity. Who out there doesn't want to see the follow-up to Slade taking over the ship? Yes, it's cute seeing how Diggle and his loved one met, but, truth be told, it really didn't add anything to the greater picture. Minor gripe: did that feel like an awkwardly long handshake to anyone else? Plus, much of these jumps into the past were dedicated to establishing the arms dealer that played a relatively minor role and we may not even be seen him after this episode. I was expecting some act of heroism to justify his mentality, too. Instead, the way it played out left me questioning how he even knew he was in someone's sights and why he viewed that as being saved instead of someone shooting at their enemy. It's not a big deal, but I expected something a little bigger. Maybe something cliche like Diggle shoving him out of the way and taking a bullet to the leg or something along those lines.

Honestly, this was feeling like an episode that would earn 5-stars until the last few acts. I have quite a few personal gripes with the mission's final course of events. For the sake of keeping this review spoiler-free, I'll just say Amanda Waller's plan had some very questionable and frustrating decisions. There was no apparently justification for the "now or never" play. Lastly, can we please stop with the "Deathstroke reveal" cliffhangers? The meeting that took place prior to it would have been a perfect note to end on, but instead we get yet another cliffhanger where it just blatantly teases Slade instead of actually making any development with him.

Suicide Squad was totally worth the wait. Not only do the writers do an able job constructing the team and sending them off on their first mission, but it also does a talented job balancing the Oliver/Deathstroke story. I won't lie: as a Deadshot fan, it was great to see the marksman utilized so well, too. My complaints began to pile up as the episode started racing towards its conclusion, but overall, it's still a very entertaining episode and covers a whole lot of ground.

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Posted by Farkam

Watching this now!!!

Posted by Gotham331

This episode was great! I totally geeked out over the big cameo in the beginning! I agree with the Deathstroke cliffhangers. Enoughs enough already. We know he's alive, Oliver knows he's alive, let the ass kicking commence

Edited by TehStranger

I wonder if Harley will make any other appearances besides this cameo.

Edited by longbowhunter

I thought the team worked really well together. I love the character in the comics but I've never cared much for Deadshot in the show. He's totally devoid of personality. Giving him some character development helped me warm up to him a bit.

Edited by JakeN7

"This ain't no task force...lets call it what it is. Welcome to the Suicide Squad."

So cool!

Posted by k4tzm4n

This episode was great! I totally geeked out over the big cameo in the beginning! I agree with the Deathstroke cliffhangers. Enoughs enough already. We know he's alive, Oliver knows he's alive, let the ass kicking commence

Yeah, it feels like they could have concluded things with the excitement over Oliver being in Waller's facility and approaching her about working together. The Deathstroke thing could have been saved for the beginning of another scene with them in the next episode or something along those lines.

Staff
Posted by RedhoodFlashLantern

Loved Deadshot in this episode i thought he was great and would love to see him and Diggle interact more overall i agree with you 4/5

Posted by Saren

Deadshot's reaction to the drone strike might be my favorite line of the entire season. "How contemporary."

Moderator
Edited by JakeN7

"Do ya kiddies need some counseling? I'm a trained therapist."

Was a great line as well. She sounded and looked exactly like Harley, and I hope to see more of her in the future. They really need to address Batman's existence now though. They really hit the threshold, and they just can't wait any more.

Posted by Wolverine08

Deadshot was a boss as per usual. Got to love that guy in any form of media.

Edited by Rixec

Suicide Squad was amazing! They really worked well together and even brought in a red shirt. With Arrow continuing and Flash coming along I think we should get a Suicide Squad spin off. Imagine how cool it'd be to see these guys going on high action or stealth missions. Plus, being the Suicide Squad would leave no guarantee on who comes out alive. It'd create great suspense as we warm up to these villains.

Posted by Gotham331

@k4tzm4n: that would've been an awesome cliffhanger and a great lead in to the next episode. Them concluding an episode with a Deathstroke teaser is really starting to beat a dead horse. I do admit I like they actually used the name Deathstroke. That was cool, but at the same time it was like come already, let's step this confrontation up!

Edited by Guardiandevil83

@rixec: I actually think that's DC 's plan.

Edited by CF12793

This episode was just okay for me. I like Diggle but I feel that he can't carry an episode on his own. I feel as if he should really despise Lawton when he's in his presence; kind of like how Ollie acts around Slade post-Island, but we didn't really get that. That being said, I love how Deadshot is portrayed on this show and it was great to see a part of his backstory opened up. I just felt like there wasn't enough tension between these characters, though. I mean, did Deadshot and Tiger interact at all? The HQ cameo was great, and that was the type of cameo I expected. Short and sweet, just to let you know that she exists but not she isn't that big of a presence. This begs the question of course, will we ever see a direct reference to Batman on the show? Only time will tell, but I really hope that he at least exists in the Arrowverse. I don't want him to show up or anything, though.

And of course the episode ends with yet another Slade tease. At least it's cool that we find out he's still active as a Mercenary, but yeah, I felt the exact same way as what's described in this review: Let's just skip the Set-up and go straight into Slade's plan. Here's hoping that he actually, I dunno, DOES something next week.

Good review btw.

Edited by Saint_Wildcard
@jaken7 said:

"Do ya kiddies need some counseling? I'm a trained therapist."

Was a great line as well. She sounded and looked exactly like Harley,

All we saw was her hair.

They really need to address Batman's existence now though. They really hit the threshold, and they just can't wait any more.

They can never use Batman, Fox owns him when it comes to TV shows. I doubt they could even say Gotham.

Posted by ColoredLantern

@jaken7 said:

"Do ya kiddies need some counseling? I'm a trained therapist."

Was a great line as well. She sounded and looked exactly like Harley, and I hope to see more of her in the future. They really need to address Batman's existence now though. They really hit the threshold, and they just can't wait any more.

Hearing Harley's voice was more than I expected to get.

Edited by JakeN7

@saint_wildcard: Have you seen official pictures of the actress? It's ridiculously uncanny.

If that were true, then the whole rogues gallery would be off limits. I'm pretty sure Fox is just the channel that DC is airing Gotham on. I don't think they own any rights at all. Just like I doubt NBC has exclusive rights to Constantine.

Edited by Saint_Wildcard

@jaken7 said:

@saint_wildcard: Have you seen official pictures of the actress? It's ridiculously uncanny.

If that were true, then the whole rogues gallery would be off limits. I'm pretty sure Fox is just the channel that DC is airing Gotham on. I don't think they own any rights at all. Just like I doubt NBC has exclusive rights to Constantine.

Picture yes, show no. I wanna see the whole outfit and makeup.

Contracts don't always cover everything. Just like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch appearing in both movies. Besides Batman didn't appear in Smallville either, if not in Smallville I doubt in Arrow.

Posted by JakeN7

@saint_wildcard: I do too.

Smallville and Arrow are two completely different shows, and that was a notorious decision concsciously made by the Smallville show runners. I'm not expecting Batman to show up, but his existence needs to be at least acknowledged.

Edited by Wolverine08

And yeah, Slade is just hardcore trolling Oliver at this point.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

yawn......just my opinion.

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

@jaken7 said:

@saint_wildcard: I do too.

Smallville and Arrow are two completely different shows, and that was a notorious decision concsciously made by the Smallville show runners. I'm not expecting Batman to show up, but his existence needs to be at least acknowledged.

That are on the same network. Maybe they'll say more on the subject when Harley gets out of her cage, cus if she doesn't I doubt they ever will.

Edited by MrMazz
Posted by JakeN7

@tehstranger: I would assume so because we didn't see those shots that were shown in this episode's own preview, or the ones from the villains trailer. We barely saw the tip of her hair in this episode.

Posted by JakeN7

@saint_wildcard: So what? It has almost none of the same people behind it (as far as I know). CW is just WB's in-house network. Agents of SHIELD and Parenthood are on the same network...it doesn't mean jack diddly. LOL.

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

@jaken7 said:

@saint_wildcard: So what? It has almost none of the same people behind it (as far as I know). CW is just WB's in-house network. Agents of SHIELD and Parenthood are on the same network...it doesn't mean jack diddly. LOL.

But I doubt we'll be seeing Thor on Parenthood. Smallville and Arrow deal with the same pantheon of toys. No Batman on Smallville was a decision from up above, not the writers. So if the same note is passed they will not use him. Also from the sounds of it Batman will never appear.

Edited by Lurkero

I can't shake the feeling that they're giving us a stronger emotional bond to her just so they can try to break our hearts by killing her in the finale.

I don't think viewers should make it to the end of a season of a show like Arrow and none of the main characters die. Sara dying would definitely go along with Slade's plan of making Oliver suffer and I fully expect the writers to kill her character. If the writers decide to keep Sara then Moira dies. If nobody dies then Slade is a joke of a character - especially considering how well planned his schemes have been so far. Villains do tend to become less competent when they actually get a chance to hurt the hero though. Deadshot being a good example.

@rixec said:

Suicide Squad was amazing! They really worked well together and even brought in a red shirt. With Arrow continuing and Flash coming along I think we should get a Suicide Squad spin off. Imagine how cool it'd be to see these guys going on high action or stealth missions. Plus, being the Suicide Squad would leave no guarantee on who comes out alive. It'd create great suspense as we warm up to these villains.

A Suicide Squad spin-off series would have been much more interesting than a Flash spin-off series. I'm actually disappointed now that I know the Suicide Squad has officially made it to Arrow.

Posted by Sachmoo

@allstarsuperman: yawn......just my opinion.

Shared.

We all knew it was gonna be a 'Side quest' episode, would have liked a bit more to the mission. I don't know anything about predator missiles, but would a van really be able to out race one and it's shots?

Oh, and Arrow literally goes full circle in one episode? I give it a solid 'Meh'.

Edited by JetiiMitra

I feel like, with Arrow, each episode now is a blast. Each episode is really enjoyable, but then they draaaaaaaaaaaaag on with the reveals. It's gotten to a point where it's taking away from the quality (having a teaser when we already know what it is they're teasing is frustrating rather than exciting). That said, I loved pretty much everything else. Diggle-centric with an Ollie subplot was a nice change of pace, and the overall plot was advanced well too. All of the character interactions were excellent. The only problem is that more couldn't have gotten attention (by 'more' I mean Bronze Tiger and that's it). And yeah, the cameo was cool. Overall can't wait for next week.

Posted by JakeN7

@jaken7 said:

@saint_wildcard: So what? It has almost none of the same people behind it (as far as I know). CW is just WB's in-house network. Agents of SHIELD and Parenthood are on the same network...it doesn't mean jack diddly. LOL.

But I doubt we'll be seeing Thor on Parenthood. Smallville and Arrow deal with the same pantheon of toys. No Batman on Smallville was a decision from up above, not the writers. So if the same note is passed they will not use him. Also from the sounds of it Batman will never appear.

I said show-runners, not writers. Yeah, but in that same sentence the president acknowledged that Bats and Ollie exist in the same universe on Arrow. Now they just need to acknowledge it on the show...which is what I wanted in the first place.

Honestly though, this episode indirectly did that. You can't have Harley Quinn without Joker, and you can't have Joker without Batman.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

My biggest gripe is everyone knows and wants to see Deathstroke start making his moves.

Aside from that I loved this episode. Deadshot was a boss, and I expected no less. He came across a lot more like Deadshot here, and not a different character with the same name. All in all I'd give this 4/5 myself. Great episode.

Posted by The Stegman

Ugh, now next week I gotta deal it Canary/Huntress drama. Bring out Deathstroke already! !!

Posted by TheBane2890

Am I the only one who caught the Khandaq reference? Amanda Waller clearly mentioned it! I was hopping Harley would join the team after what happened to Shrapnel. I'm glad to see more from Deadshot. I like that his background was filled in a bit more. I do think that a Suicide Squad spin- off would be amazing! I agree that the Deathstroke teases need to end. I'd rather see Arrow and Slade go at it for like 3 episodes then see another teaser! I'm not looking forward to next weeks episode. I hated the casting for Huntress, and really didn't want to see her return. I'm also not really a big fan of most of the female actresses on the show. I feel like their performances are forced, and that they don't really know how to act. I also hate that almost all any of the girls do on this show is cry, and I'm not looking forward to both Huntress and Sara cry over Oliver next week, and I'm sure Moira, Thea, and Laural will all find something to cry about aswell. I still think this is one of the best shows on network tv right now, and I do love the direction of the show right now, I just hope that some of these references start to become something more!

Posted by Cyborg6971

I like the Ostrander shout out.

Posted by webling

This episode felt like it had some pacing issues but I think I'm warming up to Sarah's portrayal, both of the Lance sisters still seem pretty wooden to me. I'm happy to see Ben Browder getting work, even if it as a sexist minor character.

Posted by Wardishy

An episode where Laurel wasn't a total b-word. I'm impressed.

Bronze Tiger got less action than I was expecting but Deadshot was handled well. I like the conflicted relationship he has with Diggle and the fact that Dig both dislikes and respects him.

Also, is Oliver knowing Amanda Waller a new reveal or did I miss a clue somewhere down the line?

Posted by Guardiandevil83

@wardishy: I think it's new because I haven't missed an episode from either season. He did say he wasn't always on the island, and technically, we are only at the beginning of year two.

Edited by Wardishy

@guardiandevil83: Yeah, the way the scene was written implied to me it was a new reveal, but I wasn't 100% sure if it'd been mentioned or hinted at before that he knew her or knew about her in some capacity.

Posted by The_Comebacks

This was my second favorite episode of the series so far (behind two ghosts). The episode finally gave some much needed attention to Diggle. Deadshot and the Suicide squad were very entertaining. I excited for the flash spinoff, but I would also definitely watch a suicide squad spinoff as well. And of course, the Harley Quinn egg was hilarious.

Posted by Fresh Prince

@jaken7: She was actually voiced by Tara Strong who voices Harley in the video games.

Great review! I think the ending was still a really good one though. At least now we know that others (ARGUS) are also looking for Deathstroke plus the possibility of the Squad also encountering him. They're gonna throw down pretty soon for sure!

Edited by brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie

Wait a sec -- Harbinger?!

Edited by mak13131313

Great episode!

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

@saren said:

Deadshot's reaction to the drone strike might be my favorite line of the entire season. "How contemporary."

Yea, Deadshot said exactly what I was thinking when I watched it lol

I know it's to much to ask but now I really want Catman to make an appearance

Posted by Bonzi161

I keep wanting to like this show, but every episode I saw just had Ollie crying about his friends and family issues... Plus no foppy mustache beard combo?

Edited by MatKrenz

I was a bit disappointed when they killed off Shrapnel. Not because I found him interesting or anything, because he was kinda lame and showed off that Suicide Squad wasn<t screwing around when it came to killing their operatives but because you had Sean Maher play him. In a tv show where Summer Glau also has a role, im not saying they were obligated to make a Firefly reference but you had Simon and River Tam and it would have been fantastic.

Also we haven't seen Summer Glau's character in like 10 episodes, where is she ? Are they just holding her over for season 3 at this point ?

Edited by Farkam

It was an okay episode. They need a stronger actress for Amanda Waller.

@bonzi161 said:

I keep wanting to like this show, but every episode I saw just had Ollie crying about his friends and family issues... Plus no foppy mustache beard combo?

Are you serious bruh?

Posted by k4tzm4n

@lurkero: I'm not saying they shouldn't kill someone. I'm saying they shouldn't go the most obvious route with it.

Staff
Posted by Fallen_Crippled

I wasn't that impressed. My expectations were way to high for this episode, so that might be why I didn't enjoy it that much. It was a decent episode.

Posted by Paul2814

Does anybody remember seeing a woman sitting at a table in a island flashback in S1 Ep 22? First I thought it was China White, but it would make sense if it was Amanda Waller was giving Fyers commands.

Posted by spidershamrock

I think with the Talia reveal and now the Harley cameo, they kind off squandered their chance for a Batman guest. I think they could have introduced a young Bruce Wayne maybe pre-League of Assassins and made it work with him needing help in Starling and figuring out Oliver is Green Arrow. Now that Harley has been introduced that kind of ruins that unless they go with an older Joker and older Talia, which they could do

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