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REVIEW: Arrow 2×16 “Suicide Squad”

Written by Scott Swartz

Can we just get the CW to become the DC/Supernatural channel now please? Like right now. I mean damn, if David Ramsey could not front an entire Suicide Squad TV show I would be entirely shocked because that was a damn fine hour of Ollie-light television. Yes, “Suicide Squad” was an excellent return from our brief hiatus which managed to bring back a few of the shows most well regarded villains, as well as a fun Diggle centric flashback. The squad was not only adequately balanced, but also provided a solid B plot which saw us dealing with a relatively unhinged Ollie. It is very rare that we get to see Ollie stressed to a breaking point, but it is truly nice to see exactly what Slade’s return means to Oliver and the people around him. This episode if anything proved that Slade is ready to make his play and he will hurt Ollie in unimaginable ways. So let’s dive in.

Can I just say Diggle centric episodes are proving to be some of the best of the entire series. “Trust But Verify” and now “Suicide Squad” when the writers choose to focus on Diggle they really do give him the credit he deserves. David Ramsey really brought his A game to this episode, playing Diggle as a smooth man of mystery was a surprising change of pace for everyones favorite not Alfred. Of course this is partially due to the role that Diggle has to fill in any given episode, but I do hope we see more of Ramsey’s range moving forward. What I also want to see is more of is Diggle’s “team.” Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Layla, and an all too brief return of Shrapnel made for some fun dynamics in how Diggle interacted with them. Of course Deadshot got the most screen time being that he is Diggle’s least favorite person in the world, but we did get some nice payoffs and all to brief team ups between the rest of the group. I do wish we had some more interpersonal time between the team as it felt like to little time was spent with Tiger and Shrapnel.

Of course with a Diggle centric story we get Diggle centric flashbacks which mange to provide a fleshing out to an early season one line. I was expecting a little more in terms of what we were going to get out of the flashback, but it was surprisingly bare bones and straight forward. I guess this is partially due to the fact I knew the material they would be talking about, but it was still a little to straightforward for my liking. It was fun to see Ben Browder return as Ted Gaynor but he really did not add anything to the overall story. I just would’ve liked to see more from this flashback as Diggle deserved it given this was his episode.

Speaking of adding to the overall story, for being in the episode so little Ollie sure managed to get a lot of stuff done for having a grand total of probably ten minutes of face time. It was a relief to see Ollie actually struggling/ being terrified by the fact Slade it back on his vendetta. Very rarely do we see Ollie off his game, but now we definitely have a strong motivating factor that will bring out a different side of Ollie. What was more surprising is that Ollie not only knows Waller but that she apparently is right near the top of his “put an arrow through you.” There has been a lot of theorizing that Waller was the one calling the shots on the island last year and that theory seems to be paying dividends right now. It will be interesting to see the interplay between the two characters moving forward as they are both incredibly strong willed.

Now for the moment you have probably all been waiting for, Harley Quinn seemingly being one of ARGUS’s prisoners. Yes, everyones favorite mentally scared/ deranged former Arkham psychiatrist has come to the Arrow-verse, but what does it all mean. I mean I doubt Mr.J is going to be stopping by anytime soon, but this does sort of lend itself to the theory that Batman seemingly exists in this universe. Hopefully if he every shows up it will be to recruit our favorite jolly green archer into a League of sorts, but as of right now I am just hoping Bludhaven has a certain vigilante protecting it’s streets. It was a glorious cameo anyhow.

Overall it was a fantastic episode.

 

Final Grade A-

+The Suicide Squad

+Diggle getting to show off

+Ollie knowing Waller

+Harley Quinn cameo was exactly what I wanted

 

-Diggle flashbacks were underwhelming

-Shrapnel brought back only to be killed off.

 

Extra Thoughts

-Yes, Tara Strong was classified tonight as “Deranged Squad Female.” We all felt our hearts flutter when Harley spoke.

-So the drug lord Diggle saved was the one who tried to buy Merlyn’s earthquake machine. That put a surprisingly nice bow on everything.

-I don’t know if I should be proud or sad that the Queen Mansion easily doubled as the Bad Guys mansion. I just wanted a little bit of effort.

-Second Markovia name drop this season. Please be leading to Terra or Geo-Force.

-Where did Slade get all that creepy footage of Shado? I mean was I the only one who found that disturbing

-I am maintaining since we did not see Shrapnel’s body he may come back. I need that Tam family reunion to happen, we all do.

About the author

Scott Swartz