Note to everyone, if a character every has emotionally compelling flashbacks don’t get attached to them because the death flags are a rising. Example this week’s Arrow, “Suicidal Tendencies” a double entry for the return of the Suicide Squad and the surprisingly emotional flashbacks we got on Deadshot. Meanwhile back in the city Oliver was forced to deal with attacks multiple fronts with the League masquerading as him and Ray attempting to hunt down and bring Oliver to justice. This episode strived to balance all of the various plots and drive home the right messages about trust and not jumping to conclusions in both the present and the past. If we look back Deadshot has primarily been an antagonist for Diggle where Ray has been a foil for Ollie, so to watch these characters evolve into something tangible really elevated the material that was being depicted. Also, it was a Suicide Squad episode and now we are two for two in quality episodes involving Task Force X.
So first off I am going to be the one who denies that Deadshot actually bit it this week as I have grown to like the character and we never saw his body post explosion. I mean come on, those Deadshot flashbacks were great and really helped to expand out everyones favorite sarcastic sniper. Michael Rowe really managed to grow into his role as Floyd Lawton and I was so happy to see his backstory actually add depth to the character rather than be a simple assassin background. Floyd’s PTSD was hard to watch and it was easy to see he cares about his family so much, and for him to physically remove himself from their lives was a tough but noble choice for the character. There were a lot of different ways that this episode managed to on Deadshot as a character especially in his interactions with Cupid and Diggle. The camaraderie between the former enemies was never stronger and I love that somewhere in his heart Diggle respects the crap out of Deadshot.
As for Oliver dealing with the fallout of turning down Ra’s I like the angle that the story has developed into. It would be easy for Oliver to simply take out the members of the league who are masquerading as him but it was so much better for Maseo to simply tell him that no matter how many Oliver stopped Ra’s would just keep sending more. This works on multiple levels as it helps to show just how much Ollie pissed off Ra’s as well as those vast resources Ra’s was offering Ollie last week. Oliver is an extremely prideful character so for him to realize that there is literally nothing he can do to stop Ra’s will take some time, but this was a great first step in that direction. It looks like Ra’s wants to escalate the situation as quickly as he possibly can and now that the police will be hunting the Arrow harder than before Ollie will have to either stop Ra’s or give in rather quickly.
The other big development this week was Ray not only finding out that Oliver is the Arrow, but actually going toe to toe with him. I say Oliver because Roy not only got electrocuted and knocked unconscious, but Oliver just leaves his unconscious body there after he is done yelling at Ray. Besides the point but I just needed to get that off my chest. Anyway, I loved that Ray not only managed to find out who Ollie is but also just how much everyone around him, and those who could actually bring Ollie down have colluded to keep the Arrow’s identity safe. Ray is a self proclaimed smart guy, so for him to have been duped so easily was a major blow to his pride in the best way possible. Luckily this will actually allow Ray to grow and possibly team up with Oliver now that they seemingly have an understanding of how things work.
During this entire situation we did manage to get a really cool Arrow vs Atom fight and we finally got to see some of the capabilities of Ray’s suit. Watching him shoot lightning and force blast Oliver and Roy was a nice quick demonstration that his suit is indeed powerful, but nowhere near ready to go up against someone like Oliver, and definitely not a member of the league. It was similarly great to watch Oliver fight an opponent unlike anyone he has fought to this point. Sure he has fought Barry, but Ray is an entirely different sort of power user and it is nice to see Ollie be forced to alter his strategy to fight hime. My only hope is that eventually Ray’s suit will actually gain Atom like powers and be able to shrink, because as of right now he is simply a Blue Beetle stand in as I have said many times before.
It was an excellent episode, but now the hunt for the Arrow really begins.
Final Grade B+
+Excellent Deadshot material
+Arrow Vs Atom
+Maseo laying down the law
-That can’t be how Deadshot goes out
-Oliver just leaving Roy’s unconscious body
-Felicity being angry at Oliver over her not telling him about the Atom
-“If you hurt her, they will never find your body.” Diggle proving he is the best person ever, although not the best idea to threaten your wedding official.
-Oliver’s look when everyone is laughing at Ray officiating the wedding, absolutely priceless.
-Now it makes sense why Deadshot remembered Diggle’s brother, it was his first mission.
-Roy’s joy at Ray building a super suit, also priceless.