Comic Vine Review

65 Comments

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.

65 Comments
  • 65 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by Koays

I marked out for Quinn

Online
Posted by A_wahab_

Deadshot is pretty fuckin sick and overall the episode was awesome, this season just keeps getting better

Posted by Lurkero

@k4tzm4n said:

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

The route being obvious doesn't mean it won't be good. Slade wants Oliver to suffer. If Slade doesn't kill people Oliver cares about then I don't think he can be taken seriously. It would be perfect for Slade to kill the woman that Oliver "saved" when he "let" Shado die. If the writers don't want to kill Sara then the only other options are Oliver's mother or sister.

I can see Slade killing Thea and inspiring Roy to become Speedy. That is another direction the story can go. As I said, just because I am predicting it doesn't make it bad.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@lurkero said:

@k4tzm4n said:

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

The route being obvious doesn't mean it won't be good. Slade wants Oliver to suffer. If Slade doesn't kill people Oliver cares about then I don't think he can be taken seriously. It would be perfect for Slade to kill the woman that Oliver "saved" when he "let" Shado die. If the writers don't want to kill Sara then the only other options are Oliver's mother or sister.

I can see Slade killing Thea and inspiring Roy to become Speedy. That is another direction the story can go. As I said, just because I am predicting it doesn't make it bad.

I... uh... never commented on how I think the quality of that option would be -- that's obviously something neither of us can discuss unless we see it actually unfold. I'm simply saying I hope they surprise us instead of taking the most obvious option. That's all.

Staff
Edited by TheAcidSkull

Finally, some focus on Diggle. He's been a cardboard cut out for most of the season.

Edited by Farkam

Amanda Waller actress is terrible. They should have gotten CCH Pounder or someone respectable like that. Or someone who could act better.

Diggle is a good character but his relations with Deadshot make no sense. He is way too laid back with the man who killed his brother. Even going as far as advising Deadshot about being a father. Wut.

I'm tired of Sarah and annoying Laurel.

Otherwise, ok episode.

Posted by War Killer

Deadshot was probably my favorite character in this episode. Loved how he was handled here and would love to see a Suicide Squad spin-off with him as one of the main characters.

Edited by redleader1

@paul2814: well when waller asks Bronze tiger to join the suicide squad a few episodes back they focus on her red shoes which are alike to the ones that the woman on the island has. Also the queen in a shot before had the same shoes. They are making a list it seems of people that it could be to keep us guessing.

Edited by godzilla44

I completely agree with your review

Posted by AmazingWebHead

Now that Harley has appeared, I want nothing more than an episode where the Joker breaks her out, followed by an oddly sweet reunion, and then the two of them unleash hell on Starling City!

Maybe her costume could look something like this concept art I found:

Arkham City concept art (I think)

Edited by k4tzm4n

@farkam: Did you also think it looked like she was holding back tears when Ollie approached her? I thought that was a little odd.

@godzilla44 Huzzah! Thanks.

Staff
Posted by Jphu8414

I really did like this episode

Deadshot is just great, absolutely love his character

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@farkam said:

Amanda Waller actress is terrible. They should have gotten CCH Pounder or someone respectable like that. Or someone who could act better.

Diggle is a good character but his relations with Deadshot make no sense. He is way too laid back with the man who killed his brother. Even going as far as advising Deadshot about being a father. Wut.

I'm tired of Sarah and annoying Laurel.

Otherwise, ok episode.

you get one cookie.

Posted by Farkam

@farkam said:

Amanda Waller actress is terrible. They should have gotten CCH Pounder or someone respectable like that. Or someone who could act better.

Diggle is a good character but his relations with Deadshot make no sense. He is way too laid back with the man who killed his brother. Even going as far as advising Deadshot about being a father. Wut.

I'm tired of Sarah and annoying Laurel.

Otherwise, ok episode.

you get one cookie.

Just one?

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@farkam said:

@theacidskull said:

@farkam said:

Amanda Waller actress is terrible. They should have gotten CCH Pounder or someone respectable like that. Or someone who could act better.

Diggle is a good character but his relations with Deadshot make no sense. He is way too laid back with the man who killed his brother. Even going as far as advising Deadshot about being a father. Wut.

I'm tired of Sarah and annoying Laurel.

Otherwise, ok episode.

you get one cookie.

Just one?

fine, you get two, but just because you dislike both laurel and sara.