Arrow S2x16 “Suicide Squad”
I’ve been waiting for this episode with great anticipation ever since the title was announced. After all, what DC fan wouldn’t want to watch a Suicide Squad centric episode? There was no way I was going to miss this episode of Arrow and it didn’t disappoint, delivering an action packed, fun and enjoyable look into the latest addition to the Arrow-verse, with plenty of fan favourite moments.
It’s been a while since we last had a John Diggle-centric storyline and now the character finds himself recruited into the Suicide Squad, given the codename “Freelancer” and assigned to work with his ex-wife Lyla by orders of Amanda Waller. However, his ex is not the only person he’ll be teaming up with, as Diggle finds himself partnered with all former rogues that he and Arrow have put in prison – Deadshot, Shrapnel and Bronze Tiger. And this episode really is the first mission of the Suicide Squad – with the end result being a great action packed fest that will please pretty much every fan, especially with an awesome easter egg from a fan-favourite Batman villain. The highlight of this episode was seeing the Suicide Squad in action – and they could easily host a spinoff series with John Diggle as the leader, and from what we’ve seen here, could easily be just as interesting as The Flash and Gotham. If they manage to make Deadshot a sympathetic character (which they do, with this episode) surely the writers can handle him and his fellow teammates in an ongoing series?
The flashback sequences were pretty good as well, as for a change we got a switch from the Island to Afghanistan. However, the storyline focused around Diggle’s friendship with Gholem Qadir, a wanted terrorist in the flashbacks, but suddenly a wealthy character in the present. However, the friendship wasn’t given the chance to really develop. However, when you have to make room for not only the Suicide Squad but also Oliver Queen’s subplot as he investigates Slade Wilson in the present, there is always going to be some shortcomings.
Speaking of Oliver’s investigations, this was the part of the episode that actually felt weaker than the Suicide Squad episode. I wouldn’t mind having more Diggle-centric episodes as the series goes on, mainly because he’s just such an awesome character. However, Oliver’s dealing with the problems that come when you attempt to shut out your friends, and whilst it was only a small part of the episode it was still a fairly interesting well-handled one that could potentially have a big impact in the future.
There were plenty of awesome cameos/references in this episode – the Ostrander Suite at a Hotel where Diggle reunites with Lyla is named after the creator of the Suicide Squad, John Ostrander. Several fictional DC Universe nations were also added to the mix as well, Kahndaq, Qurac and Markovia. It makes an interesting touch – especially when you consider that this means that there’s always a chance to potentially reference Black Adam even if he may not show up in person. However, one thing’s for sure – the biggest inclusion of the week was one of the briefest – Harley Quinn. She gets one line, voiced by Tara Strong – following her inclusion of the Suicide Squad in the New 52 ongoing series and the popularity of her own ongoing series, but it’s something that will really please fans.
On the whole, aside from a few minor problems, Suicide Squad was a great episode. It doesn’t quite live up to the previous excellent The Promise episode, but it’s at the better end of the Arrow episodes for sure and should allow for an excellent Birds of Prey episode next week. Regardless of quality though, I hope this isn’t the last that we’ll see of the Suicide Squad – and a return before the end of the season would be more than welcomed.