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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Arrow Season 04 Episode 11: A.W.O.L.

January 28th, 2016 by Todd Black Comments

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After a very solid return last week, Arrow continued its season by not only putting focus on two of the main characters not named Oliver, but advancing certain stories in surprising ways.

First, with HIVE currently on hiatus (due to Damian’s promise last week) a new organization came to light in the form of Shadowspire. But fear not! This isn’t some random addition, but in fact a connection to the Diggle’s brothers past. More specifically, the younger Andy, and how he became a corrupt military man.

I’m happy to see another episode focused on John (aka Spartan!), as David Ramsey does a really good job with the character. And recently, with the arc involving Andy, we get to see even more depth with him. It was great seeing both the past and present version of John dealing with Andy in his various ways, as it shows how both of them had evolved since their time in the army.

Now, onto the fun, with Shadowspire on the loose, and several Argus agents killed in the process, Amanda Waller was again on call. And once again she was both very helpful…and not helpful at all. The true shock though was that they straight up killed her!…or did they?

Yes, it does seem that she’s well and truly dead, they shot her in the head after all. BUT, this is Amanda Waller, so could something we’re not seeing be in play? And yes, I know the (true) Suicide Squad is coming to the movie theaters, and that Waller (played by Viola Davis) will be joining them…but even then, that was a brutal way to kill Waller.

Though, as some have noted, this may give Lyla the reigns to Argus should she want them. You never know. Also, Andy truly saving the day was nice, as it shows he may be redeemed after all…hopefully.

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Then there’s Felicity, who was still going through a natural crisis of faith as she wondered whether she’d ever be able to do field work again with herself in a wheelchair. Quite ironically, this doubt, plus medication, brought back last years Goth Felicity! Didn’t see that coming in this context, I knew she was coming via the midseason trailer, but not like this. Anyway, I did like the two’s interactions with one another, and it did help flesh out Felicity’s motivations going forward. However, it ended a little too quick and cleanly, almost bluntly to a weird degree. She went from broken, to “it was a great speech!” almost in a few minutes.

Now, a few things that came from these storylines was the fact that Baron Reitzler from the flashbacks appeared and revealed he was the head of Shadowspire, and had gotten a map of Lian Yu. Maybe the flashbacks won’t be totally worthless if it continues to play out like this. Also, Felicity is now “Overwatch” which is not only a nice codename, but a fan suggestion apparently! I honestly hear that name on another show, so it’s cool to see here as well. Oh, and Ollie promising to bring Felicity back to walking was great, as he so eloquently noted, there’s a lot of weird and powers out there. Who’s to say he can’t heal her?

Overall, “A.W.O.L” brought great focus to the Diggles and showed a great resolve in Felicity. Things are continuing to go well for this season. Let’s hope they keep it up.

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians (guardians-comic.com). He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!

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