Jessie Robertson reviews the seventeenth episode of Arrow Season 3…
We’ve got a wedding on Arrow; never thought we’d see this. And it’s actually really nice, despite the fill in minister and strangest wedding vows you’ve ever heard. But, there’s a 3rd party in their limo waiting to wisk the Diggles off to Fiji; Deadshot. The Squad Rides Again!
I love that Diggle has these side adventures with the Suicide Squad, and what better way to spend a honeymoon than treading into a foreign land to rescue an American politician? It’s a small team, Diggle, Layla, Deadshot and Cupid, who does get in some girl chat with Layla about her wedding in a funny scene. This was the least interesting Squad story yet though. There’s a double cross that leads to the team believing this is a suicide mission until Lawton (Deadshot) rises up as this sacrificial hero. I wouldn’t point out the obvious strangeness coming from this , but we’re served with “Lost-esque” flashbacks from scenes in Lawton’s life about him returning home from combat with PTSD, and not dealing with it very well. I wondered if all the media coverage a few months back about Chris Kyle spurred this storyline. In the flashbacks, Lawton is suffering, and doesn’t think anyone can understand his plight; but all we have to go on from past episodes is the guy likes to kill. He saves Cupid (big mistake; she’s found her new beau) and empathizes with Layla when she unequivocally asks, outloud, “What are we doing here, John?”. It’s a question that is completely on the nose, but the bluntness of it is refreshing amongst usually reserved, follow the rules soldiers like herself and Diggle. Layla leaves the agency (although we know Waller doesn’t let many people leave voluntarily) and probably relegates herself to a background player even more now.
Our other big storyline was the continuation of the Arrow being framed for murdering hapless thugs all around Starling City. Ray Palmer, just because he’s rich, interjects himself into the situation and publicly announces he will capture the Arrow on TV (like this hasn’t happened before.) What this story turns into is a tug of war for Felicity, or the rights to Felicity. Palmer flies to the latest Arrow sighting in his ATOM suit and uses X-Ray tech and facial recognition software to confirm that Oliver Queen is the Arrow. Once the Arrow is identified as a man, and a man who is clearly friends with Ray’s girlfriend, this issue becomes personal. Palmer quickly turns a little on edge, so when Oliver tells Felicity he’s coming at this from the wrong approach, we’re inclined to believe him and see his point. Felicity condemns Oliver for knowing he never wanted to see her with Ray, after one look at the wedding, which I certainly didn’t pick up on, and Oliver states he just wants her to be happy.
Oliver’s meeting with Ray turns into more of a father (figure) meeting a new boyfriend and determining if he’s good enough for his daughter. Ray is sizing Oliver up as the ex-boyfriend and measuring himself against what he sees. It’s an interesting dynamic, one that puts Ray and Felicity’s relationship against their first trial of trust. I was glad to see that they passed with flying colors, and it assures Felicity that her gut was right by going for Ray in lieu of Oliver after Oliver’s declaration that he can’t be both partner and lover to Felicity. When he uses this logic, where does he see Felicity fit into all of this though? He even tells her at the wedding, he only wants her to have a normal life; but she’s an integral part of their operation, which in no way constitutes a normal life.
Our episode ends on a bang, as Palmer and Laurel now side with each other and defend the Arrow as a necessary entity for the city, right as Maseo (as the Arrow) puts sharpened tip through the Mayor’s heart. We cut to black with him aiming at Felicity, then hearing an arrow swoosh; but this is as false an ending as even when Oliver was killed. This wasn’t a flashy episode, even though we got to see the ATOM suit in action for the first time, which, to most people’s approximations, would be an Iron Man-lite venture, but it leaves things in a good place going forward as the season heads towards it’s always cataclysmic finale.
– No Thea or Malcolm this week except cutting a rug on the dance floor with Roy, which looks like a thing again.
– You have to love Diggle threatening Ray if he hurts Felicity! He’s truly the big brother of this show.
– When I heard “Love is a bullet to the brain” as the gotcha-phrase over commercials this week, I thought what a crass quote; What we don’t hear is when Deadshot is first told this quote, it ends with “for people like you.” And who says this to him? Someone from a HIVE, if you will? Could there be another secret group working against ARGUS?
– Anyone else wonder why one of Brandon Routh’s eyes was bloodshot? Or did I miss something?
– The huge drug smuggle was going down at Meltzer Building; reference to one time Green Arrow scribe Brad Meltzer perhaps?
– For any Justice League fans (the animated series) Kasnia was the setting of a very famous episode where Wonder Woman befriends the Princess of Kasnia right before she’s about to duped into marrying Vandal Savage. Look it up.
– Did Ray fry Roy like a chicken finger or what? Holy S***! And why did Oliver just walk off after shaking hand with Ray without even checking on Roy????
– Lastly, let’s address Deadshot’s apparent “suicide”; one of the older traits of the character was that he wanted to go out in style, and by his own doing. I don’t think he’s actually dead; I think this was a way of getting out of his service contract from Waller, but I liked the nod. Also, this episode was in service of the Wounded Warriors project, who does amazing work with soldiers coming back from the front lines, suffering as Lawton does here, from PTSD and other war syndromes. Am I reading too much into the title of this episode as distasteful or was it just catchy wording?
Back next week!