Arrow Review: “Suicide Squad”

It can be interesting to see a secondary and tertiary characters take center stage, and Diggle has been one of the show’s best additions to the DCU. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of the season’s stronger episodes. Still, we have an impressive number of guest-stars in what may be a pilot for another potential spin-off.

Title: “Suicide Squad”

Cast and Crew
Director: Larry Teng
Writers: Kito Shimizu, Bryan Q. Miller

David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
Caity Lotz as Sara Lance / Black Canary
Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla Michaels
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Amanda Waller / White Queen
Michael Rowe as Deadshot
Sean Maher as Shrapnel
Michale J. White as Bronze Tiger
Lee Majdub as Gholem Kadir
Eugene Lipinksi as Alexi Leonov
Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson
Tara Strong as Harley Quinn

Full cast and crew may be found here.


Diggle leads the Suicide Squad on a mission against a man whose life he once saved. We learn a little more about Ollie’s connections to the Russian mob, and we’re reminded that Deathstroke remains our season’s Big Bad.

Even the flashbacks this week are Diggle’s, as we see a piece of his history.

High Points

Although the Arrow segments were an ill fit to this episode, they did point to the significant menace that the central character and his associates will soon face.

I also liked the episode’s exploration of gray areas, even if they were handled, at times, with the subtlety of a drone strike.

Low Point

It wasn’t the strongest episode, but I can’t think of a specific low point. Feel free to suggest one, or I’m going to start bemoaning once more the fact that Warner wants to spin its main DCU off Man of Steel. Do it from this show! You’re already supporting Flash! We’ve seen Harley! Let’s see a new Batman show, now that you’ve done the movies to death! Let’s see a fresh take on Superman, but without the contemporary angsty mopiness with which recent media has enparkered the character!

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6 We’ve seen sidekicks take center stage before, but Arrow did a decent job of the concept, and we saw a number of characters who haven’t made appearances for awhile.

Effects: 4/6 The CG1 effects used for the drone were, by the show’s standards, surprisingly poor.

Acting: 5/6 David Ramsay had the chance to develop his character, and he did a fine job.

Story: 4/6 The story involving the Suicide Squad was engaging enough, I suppose, and I accept that the multiple storylines will create problems with certain episodes. Still, the portions of Arrow that actually involved the Arrow were awkwardly integrated.

Emotional Response: 4/6 I didn’t feel connected enough to the people who we knew were really threatened (I was pretty sure Diggle was coming out of the mission alive). Kadir was a plot device rather than a meaningful character, and his connection with Diggle felt flat.

Production: 5/6.

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Suicide Squad” receives 30/42

Lingering Questions

How many people can know your secret identity before it no longer qualifies as a secret?

So Lyla’s codename is Harbinger; does she connect in some meaningful way to the original DCU character by those names, or is this a fan-service Easter Egg? Or is there a more recent character by that name of whom I am unaware?

I was going to ask if that was, in fact, supposed to be Harley Quinn whose voice we here, but the credits confirm it.

How many times will I make the same stupid “Support Flash” joke in my reviews? Or should I continue, and you guys develop a drinking game?

Will Markovia reappear? Will be see Kahndaq? It’s always handy to have imaginary countries in which to play.

How far are the Ostrander Hotel and Giffen Street from Kirby Plaza?

How much better would this ep have been if the final speech had concluded “He’s called… Deadpool“?

5 replies on “Arrow Review: “Suicide Squad””

  1. The low point was the absolute stupidity of having the drone follow the signal rather than continuing to target the original coordinates. It was a basement of a building. It shouldn’t have been moving, and the odds that Deadshot would run were not insignificant.

    Sean Maher was wasted in more way than one.

    The Harley Quinn “appearance” was good, especially the therapist bit. Would have been perfect if she worked in a way to call someone “puddin'”.

    Overall, it was an OK but fairly weak episode.

    • Have to agree that this was ok but not good. I did like that the flashbacks were not more from the island and about Diggle rather than about Oliver. This was a good change of pace but you could have left all the Oliver parts out all together and made a stronger episode about the Suicide Squad.

      • Definitely the two low points: the handling of the drones, and the poor integration of the Oliver parts. I agree: they should have developed the Suicide Squad / Diggle plot and left the Arrow unseen for a week.

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