Arrow: 3.17 Suicidal Tendencies
For an episode opening up with a wedding, it went surprisingly well. Sure the minister didn't turn up and Oliver was a terrible best man, but Diggle and Lyla actually made it all the way to the wedding reception. Given their allegiances to Team Arrow and ARGUS, it wasn't a surprise when Deadshot was waiting for them in their limo. They were being drafted into another mission for the Suicide Squad.
This time Deadshot, Lyla and Diggle were joined by Carrie Cutter, aka Cupid and she was no less crazed here, still obsessed with how she was 'seeing' the Arrow and how they would make strong beautiful babies. Interestingly though, that changed the moment Floyd Lawton / Deadshot saved her life. Those crazy eyes were on him in an instance. I imagine they would make even crazier babies.
Talking of Deadshot, the flashbacks this week were reserved for him - the story of Oliver encountering a still-alive Shado was put aside - as we came to learn just what turned Floyd from a normal man to a killer for hire. As it turns out the horrors of war, something he could not escape when he returned home from his duties as a soldier to his wife and a daughter who didn't recognise him. I genuinely felt from him, though I was equally horrified when he pulled out a gun at his wife after he failed to connect with his child. There was a moment when I wondered if he would murder his entire family; thankfully he wasn't completely a monster.
What we did witness however was the first on screen appearance of HIVE, the DC HYDRA to SHIELD's ARGUS. They had been mentioned before, but this was the first time we saw how he was given the mission to Diggle's brother. The end of the episode saw him seemingly die in the explosion that destroyed the villainous Senator Cray, ending his mad plans for Presidency. The flashbacks to Floyd's life pre-Deadshot helped to humanise the character and bring his story full circle. If this is the end of him, then the on-going story within Arrow would have served him well. I doubt he is dead though. I am enjoying these annual Suicide Squad episodes as much as the annual Arrow / The Flash team ups and with the movie coming out next year, the show will want to capitalise on that. Deadshot is surely key to that.
But while the mission to save the unknowingly traitorous senator might have provided the main focus of the episode, it was everything else happening back in Starling City that provided the greatest drama. With Ra's Al Ghul and his men dressing up as the Arrow and going through a killing rampage, Ray Palmer joined Captain Lance and the mayor in the fight to bring him down. From the moment Ray, as Atom, discovered he was Oliver, everything came crashing down, including his relationship with Felicity, leading to the battle between the Arrow, Arsenal and Iron Man - sorry Atom. I couldn't help but feel Atom is a little too similar to that big Marvel hero, even down to the sounds his suit makes in flight, but then I guess there is going to be the equivalents across DC and Marvel.
Poor Felicity; Ray felt betrayed by her lying about her allegiances to team Arrow while Oliver felt betrayed by the fact that she had helped Ray build his suit. At least their shared love for her helped them see reason at the end and allow Ray to confirm to Captain Lance and the mayor that the Arrow was being set up. I wasn't sure what good that did in the end as Maseo - dressed as the Arrow - fired a shot killing the mayor and allowing all hell to break loose.
I am excited to see where this is leading. Last year the war between Oliver and Deathstroke resulted in the death of his mother. This year Ra's Al Ghul is an even greater foe and I can't see him allowing Oliver's friends and family to live. Now that Ray is seemingly on Oliver's side - and he knows Laurel is Black Canary - there is a strong enough force to fight him. But it is not going to be pretty. The Flash might be raising its A game (this week's episode aside) but when Arrow is firing on all cylinders, it makes for some thrilling TV indeed.