As I sit here and reflect on “Suicidal Tendencies”, I can’t help but think one weird thought…the Suicide Squad just shouldn’t belong in Arrow. Not because they couldn’t work in the world of Arrow…but they haven’t so far. Which is sad, because I know how awesome they can be.
I recall the review I did for the episode that introduced the Suicide Squad into Arrow. I noted how didn’t depict the team like it should’ve been. Also, Waller wasn’t depicted in the right way, which made the episode as a whole rather sour. With “Suicidal Tendencies”, you had a similar feeling throughout. The only difference being, that the other material was WAY better.
But let’s start with happy thoughts shall we? The wedding scene was both classy and funny. As Ollie didn’t know they were going to take photos, Ray stepping in to be the minister, Felicity catching the bouquet and not getting what it meant, etc. It was a good thing. Especially since Diggle and Lyla are probably the only couple you can not only happy for, but know that a third wheel will most likely (hopefully) never happen to them. Especially with a little thing called Sara keeping them focused. This led to another good moment, the reports of the Arrow killing again, which led to a team panic…followed by Ollie willingly (and forcefully) letting Diggle and Lyla go on their honeymoon.
This was really good for me, because the fact that Ollie knows that sometimes a little happiness for his friends can go a long way. As he said, Diggle went into the lions den for him once, it was time to return the favor.
What was so intriguing about the Oliver/”Evil Arrow” storyline was that it kept taking some good twists and turns. First was the ambush on the cartel members that led to a 1 vs 3 fight…that Ollie totally one. Which led to Maseo all but revealing that the League was behind everything. Which unintentionally led to Ray Palmer finding out about Ollie…and you get the idea.
These stories compounded on one another, leading to a fun (though short) Arrow vs. Atom fight. I’m still not sold on the ATOM suit to be fair. Cause as many have noted, it looks like the DC version of the Iron Man armor, and the Atom’s suit in the comics had a very specific purpose…which was not to shoot lightning out of his hands. But, leave it to Ollie to pull a Batman and knock out Atom in the simplest way possible.
Though epic, I felt part of the buildup to the fight was off. Him finding out about Oliver was epic, then him getting shot down by Laurel was funny, which led to a fun interaction to him and Oliver pre-fight. What didn’t sit well with me was just how convinced Ray was that Ollie was guilty. After all, this is hardly the first time an imposter archer showed up in Starling and killed people. Heck, one of them was in this episode! So for Palmer to just go gung-ho, then almost kill Roy via electruction was off to say the least.
Thankfully, things did work out. Ollie knocked some sense into Ray, who apologized to Felicity, who subsequently broke the hearts of Ollicity fans all over the world.
Oh, and that final shot in the episode? Wow.
Back to the Suicide Squad, on the plus side, I dug how Diggle and Lyla were brought in almost immediately after their wedding. And I dug how Diggle refused to let Lyla go the mission alone. Til Death Do You Part…
Everything else though? Not so much. Again, I love the Suicide Squad. I loved their appearance in “Task Force X” in Justice League Unlimited, and their recent tag-team film with Batman in Assault on Arkham. Which obviously leads to the big question, “What do those shows have that this show doesn’t?” The easy answer is, a knowledge and appreciation of what the squad does. Mainly, a suicide mission.
Up until “the twist”, this was a standard special ops mission. Go in, get the ambassador, take out the “terrorists” if necessary, and get out. A mission that’s been done many times before. So why bring in the Suicide Squad? Heck, even when the twist came in, it still could’ve been a standard SpecOps mission.
The point of the Suicide Squad is the use of the team and their talents to do things without permission and without fear of turning coat or failure. It’s literally not an option. You either succeed or you die. With this mission, you didn’t really have that feeling of the need of some of these characters. Why was Cupid brought in? Was she really that important to the mission? Think about the “Task Force X” JLU episode. Every person on that team had a purpose on that mission. Lawton was muscle, Captain Boomerang and Plastique were the muntitions experts. Flagg was the leader. Clock King was the timing expert to ensure they knew when everything was happening. Was there a sense of that here? No. Lawton had a place as the sniper. John and Lyla were command and retrieval in a way. So why was Cupid there?
Also, though Lawton got some backstory, it felt rushed. Especially his induction to the HIVE. Also, now Arrow is saying that Andy Diggle was his first kill for the HIVE? That honestly just work with what we know. So what’s the truth here. And his change of heart half way through? Also forced. Oh, and you know Lawton survived, he’ll probably pull a Boomerang and do his own thing until he’s caught again.
The only true good thing to come out of this was Lyla and Diggle’s appreciation for each other. And Lyla’s leaving ARGUS could lead to some fun things in the future.
In the end, “Suicidal Tendencies” was a fun episode with plenty of winks and nods (did you count all the Superman references?). But in the end, while one half of the story was good, the other half was lacking. Hopefully, the ending scene will propel the next episode to much better heights.