Arrow: “Suicidal Tendencies” Season 3 Episode 17 Review

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A Suicide Squad mission, Arrow vs. ATOM, Deadshot’s backstory, and implications of H.I.V.E.? “Suicidal Tendencies” might as well have been a grab bag of DC fans’ wish fulfillment. Luckily, Arrow continued its trend of fun, story serving wish fulfillment.

Fun is probably the key word there. Arrow hasn’t delivered an episode this purely fun since the big crossover with The Flash. After Ra’s al Ghul put a sword through Oliver Queen, the show has rightfully be about rebuilding Team Arrow. Between Laurel, Thea, and Oliver himself, there really hasn’t been much room for fun. Well, it doesn’t really get more fun than the Suicide Squad.

After a short wedding service for Diggle and Lyla, ARGUS comes a callin’. The newlyweds are joined by Deadshot and Cupid. That last addition makes for an even more enjoyable dynamic than last year’s Squad-centered episode (because she’s nuts). But it was certainly a surprise when are first flashback of the episode showed a pre-Deadshot Floyd Lawton coming home from the war. When the villain first appeared in Arrow‘s third ever episode, who’d have thunk he’d be getting his own flashbacks in season three? There was a bit of awkwardness during the scene when Floyd threatened his family in a daze of PTSD. It was just over-written and over-acted. It’s an interesting addition to the Deadshot character, one I wouldn’t hate to see explored in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, but here it felt a bit forced.

But flashbacks aside, the Squad’s mission was a lot of fun. Turns out, a US senator hoping to be president staged the kidnapping so he could be the hero and raise his poll numbers. There was no shortage of reinforcements for the team to fight, with everyone getting a few great moments. It was also entertaining to have Cupid go head over heels for Deadshot after he took a bullet for her.

It all led to a planned escape where Deadshot supposedly sacrificed himself to get the team out. There’s no body, and the flashbacks indicate a large role for the fan-favorite foe next season.

Meanwhile, in Starling City, Ray is ready to show the vigilante what he’s made of. With League members posing as the Arrow and killing criminals, the ATOM intends to make his first appearance by taking down the vigilante. After a few tense meetings, with Felicity caught in the middle, the big fight finally happens, and it might have featured the best CGI Arrow has given us yet. By network TV standards, the ATOM looked great. Of course, the fight could have been a little more epic, but more superhero clashes will never be a bad thing (until they are).

After a stern talking to, Ray backs down on his mission to bring down the Arrow. Just as he announces his new allegiance, an arrow flies through the window and kills a public figure. Now the Arrow is public enemy number one. What an exciting season this turned out to be!

“Suicidal Tendencies” was a welcome break from the character drama-heavy season we’ve gotten since Ra’s “killed” Oliver. It serves as a nice reminder that superheroes can just be super fun. Grade: A-


Some Other Thought Bubbles:

– The final Deadshot flashback brought up H.I.V.E., which stands for Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination. Like, none of those words are good. My guess is the mention was here to put the organization as one of, if not the main villain of season four.

– Go ahead an make your ATOM and Iron Man comparisons now…

– Cupid filled a role in the Suicide Squad that Harley Quinn normally does as the crazy, lovestruck one. Like I said, this was a very fun episode.

– Seriously though, an Arrow, Flash, ATOM, Firestorm, and Canary team-up has got to be the works for sometime next year.


By Matt Dougherty

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