‘Arrow’: Old Enemies Or New Allies?

Published 9 months ago by

Stephen Amell in Arrow Season 2 Episode 16 Arrow: Old Enemies Or New Allies?

[This is a review for Arrow season 2, episode 16. There will be SPOILERS.]

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With the introduction of the Suicide Squad, Arrow welcomes back a discussion of the fairly tricky moral gray area that Oliver, and the series as a whole, has been splashing around in since the illustrious Mr. Queen snapped a would-be kidnapper’s neck in the series premiere. Rather than simply sift through the issue of whether or not the Arrow should be killing those he comes up against, the episode takes a look at the kinds of vigilante activities Oliver, Diggle, Sara, and Felicity get up to on a regular basis and place them in a much larger, global arena, thanks to Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and her crew of forcibly obedient convicts.

Suicide Squad‘ is not just another welcome Diggle-centric episode that affords David Ramsey his own flashback sequence from John’s time in the military (complete with an appearance by Farscape‘s Ben Browder), it also helps to expand the Arrow universe in dramatic fashion with, among other things, the unmistakable vocal stylings of one Harley Quinn. While Quinn doesn’t factor into the actual mission Waller has tasked her team of dead men walking with, the implications of her presence wind up being one of the show’s more significant nods at the world beyond Starling City in quite some time. And with Oliver well past the point of worry over Slade Wilson’s sudden reemergence and his vow to exact revenge for Shado’s death on Oliver and his family, the aptly titled ‘Suicide Squad’ is the perfect time (for the purposes of the story, anyway) for Diggle to step away from Team Arrow, even if it means he’s halfway around the world when the most deadly assassin in the world is passively aggressively taunting Starling City’s resident Emerald Archer.

But sometimes, these things can’t be helped. Amanda Waller’s influence is impressive after all, and besides, with Diggle getting more than friendly with his ex-wife Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) in the Ostrander Suite, any idea that he’s not already committed to seeing Waller’s reckless plan to stop a deadly nerve agent through to the end is as unlikely as Oliver suddenly hanging up his bow. Just because he’s taking point on the mission doesn’t mean Diggle can’t have serious moral reservations about Waller’s methods, however.

Cynthia Addai Robinson and David Ramsey in Arrow Season 2 Episode 16 Arrow: Old Enemies Or New Allies?

By juxtaposing the acceptable level of risk those tasked with doing “the right thing” are willing to put people other than themselves in, ‘Suicide Squad’ runs a nice parallel between Diggle’s misadventures with Deadshot, Shrapnel (briefly), and Bronze Tiger, and Oliver’s realization that pushing Sara away isn’t going to keep her safe from Slade. It’s a complex decision that, from Waller’s perspective is only one step removed from personally killing the members of her own team – as she apparently does when Shrapnel attempts to go AWOL mid-mission. Meanwhile, Oliver’s decision to let Sara in carries with it a similar level of danger, but it’s one that is reached far less reflexively, and with his partner’s consent.

In the end, ‘Suicide Squad’ finds Oliver turning to Waller for help locating Slade, while Diggle not only finds himself back together with Lyla, but also questioning his need for vengeance against the man who killed his brother. It’s a step forward in both character’s development that demonstrates the kind of man Diggle is, and just how serious of a threat Oliver perceives Slade/Deathstroke to be.

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Arrow continues next Wednesday with ‘Birds of Prey’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below:

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  1. Loved it. Entertaining as always. Especially the head nod to fans with the one line from Harley Quinn. I realize that the Huntress is the next episode but I can’t wait for the episode following that, “Deathstroke”

    • I’m really worried about the next episode. It shows Huntress fighting (and seems like winning) against Sara. She was trained by the league and huntress has no where near that level of training. Even Diggle who is military was trouble keeping up with sara (from the few sparing scenes we’ve seen). Not understanding how she’s suddenly a threat to someone on Oliver’s level of skill you know?

      • I’m with you on that. But didn’t she make, like, great strides in a rather short period of time – by the end of which she was able to catch Ollie’s arrows? So it could be explained somehow. If she’s in cahoots with Deathstroke, I just hope, she didn’t get injected with Mirakuru.

      • Well she could have easily been trained by Slade which would give her a good chance against Canary if anything else and that would make sense if she is giving canary a run for her money

      • I think that’s a concern you have to wait until the episode to voice. It was only a snippet. We don’t really know if Huntress had the upper hand for entire fight or just for the snippet that they showed. Imagine if they had showed only the snippet of fighting of Oliver vs. Merlyn where Oliver successful landed blows. I have faith that the writing staff hasn’t put Huntress on too far of an upgrade without an explanation.

    • Since Harley is there then that must mean “MISTER J” is out there somewhere. And that also means Bats is out there somewhere, so I was excited about that. Do you thing they would use Bat-Fleck to come in and make a cameo to promote the supes vs batman movie? kinda like Sgents of Shield bringin in lady Sif?

      picture it: Ollie , on a rooftop overlooking the city, all full of self doubt over something… and he hears a voice from behind him. ” This city needs you. You are their protector.”
      Ollie, surprised, turns around and see Bat-Fleck in all his Dark Knight glory ” nice outfit”
      ” I’m Batman ”

      End of season 3

  2. Good episode.. had some pretty cool moments.. Loved the growth of character… Diggle was awesome. Harley Quinn is definitely here…”I used to be a psychiatrist”…her voice… Maybe they’re saving her for next season…
    However… With Slade Wilson on the lose…hardly the time for this episode..

  3. I will say that I am one that actually really enjoyed the last two episode when it seemed like there were some who thought they were pretty weak. I actually didnt care for this one as much.

    Suicide squad was totally underused. I get that they’re supposed to argue and just be a band of misfits forced together BUT I think that it would have been better if the episode circled around one mission instead of going from the building to the party. Lengthen the situation like they do in the suicide comics (which are the only comics I have actually read) so that each member is shown using their particular skill to get themselves or the whole team out of a situation. Bronze tiger was barely a factor and shrapnels AWOL could have been done later in the episode to reveal the bombs in the necks.

    AS for the whole “Oliver going crazy” part, the whole episode he reminded me of Roy and while I really want them to develop Roy in the show, Colton Hayes constant pissed off mood is one of the low points of the show to begin with.

    The Harley Quinn cameo was nicely done in the end I guess I’m glad they didnt show her face. IMO someone who would be perfect to add in the upcoming season would be Jason Todd’s Red Hood.

    • Yes! Can’t believe I never thought of him with all this Nightwing/Bludhaven talk going on. Red Hood would be great as a gloomy character with moral issues. Also easy to do on TV without super powers.

    • Well, you just might always be on the opposite end. lol. But as for Bronze tiger, I agree with you. I think they have never really used him well, They need to develop him like they did China white.

      As for Roy, I don’t have an issue with his attitude. Coming from an area much like his, I can attest, You are always pissed off. Some are just better at hiding it than others. Roy isn’t. It’s not a low point of the show in any way.

      Red Hood would be cool!

  4. When I heard Harley Quinn’s voice I smiled and got so excited lol

  5. Loved it. I’ve always enjoyed the suicide squad in the comics so this was just golden for me. I totally geeked out when i heard Harley, she sounded so much like Arleen Sorkin, who voiced her in the animated series. I’m sure it wasn’t her but good job on the voice whoever did it. Nice B-story as well especially from Katie Cassidy. I know she gets a lot of heat from people, but for me i think she’s done a very nice job this season. can’t wait for the final string of episodes and what is bound to be a pretty epic showdown with Slade. Birds of Prey next week Can’t wait :)

    • tara strong voiced harley in this episode. she also voiced harley in the arkham game series

  6. Hearing Harley Quinn was the highest point of the series for me. I almost got goosebumps thinking they were gonna introduce her in this episode. The Arrow work is expanding and am so totally loving it. Wouldn’t mind if Batman came along some day ;-)

  7. Loved the suicide squad. This may have been picked up on before this episode but is Lyla intended to be form the comics or just a nod? I remember Harbinger (lyla) from one of the DC animated movies. I believe she was an amazon who could forsee the future and she befriended supergirl. I think she wore blue in the animated movie and at one point Lyla had on a blue dress that stood out to me. What do you think they are doing with this character?

    • Harbinger showed up as The Monitors assistant in Crisis on Infinite Earths and used the name Lyla Michaels when she was working for him to set up the event. She was never an Amazon. She went on to become part of the short-lived initial incarnation of the New Guardians. Her power was being able to split herself off into duplicate bodies that could travel to any point in space / time. Needless to say, I doubt this version will venture into anything like that.

      • Thanks Chance! I think you’re right in that she will most likely be simliar to the comics in name only.

  8. Hands down, Harley’s cameo was the best part of this episode. I literally kept hoping that they would go back and actually give us more of her, but, it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe we’ll finally get to see her somewhere down the line?

  9. I like the episode. By far, nothing bad has happen since the beginning of season 2.
    Since I got that out the way…. I WANT a Suicide Squad series. Give them a mini series or whatever, I want more! Deadshot, oh man, they brilliantly good with that character. Deadshot has a daughter he cares about and wants to die in a honorable way, that’s coming from the comic books. Way better than Smallville’s Deadshot.
    Oliver is worried and frighten that Slade is back was a great side story in the episode. Slade is 10 steps ahead of Oliver and I loved that.

    • Waay back during Smallvile TV series, they introduced members of the Justice League on the show.
      I was having nerdgasm at that moment the episode aired. Did it get Justice League their own TV series? um, no.
      Sure as hell there won’t be a Suicide Squad TV series.

  10. The fact they got Tara Strong for that “I’m a trained therapist” line was just awesome. That’s why this snow is just so much fun

    • +1

      I also thought that was amazing! They are hiding easter eggs all over the place(show).

    • I loved that scene. Man the Harley Quinn cameo so good

  11. Are the flashbacks over or are they still doing them?

    • The flashbacks (The Island) won’t stop for a long time. Oliver has been in the island for 5 years. Season 1 in the island, that’s his first year. Season 2, it’s his second year. So, the island flashbacks will stop whenever they reached season 6.

  12. Really enjoyed this episode (as usual)
    The timing of a Diggle centred episode is really good as the development of the other characters in team Arrow had started to fall behind slightly

    the side stuff with Ollie was well done following Slades promise last episode
    I liked how Ollie was struggling with the threat of Slade and his realisation that Slade is so far ahead of him

    Deadshot was awesome in this episode, so good to watch
    Loved the Harley Quinn inclusion – never expected her to be on the mission this time, but a delightful Easter egg nonetheless

  13. This seems more like a synopsis than a review

  14. Totally loved this episode! Apparently I live in Markovsburg, Markovia (judging by the aerial shot they showed of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin).

  15. Just one nitpick, Deadshot has pictures of his daughter all over his cell, and he needs Diggle to remind him what he should be living for.

    Weak writing!

    Sorry, I don’t mean that, just wanted to see how that felt because so many commenters say that as if they are all award-winning writers for TV shows.

  16. Based on the potential of this episode, I’d watch a Suicide Squad series, even if it was an over-the-summer 8-12 episode format. Nice to see Ben Browder cropping back up, too.

  17. I liked Digg’s flashbacks and the Harley shout out. Was hoping the episode would be a bit more focused on the mission and how the squad is better that the sum of it’s parts. Liked Laurel too. Paitently waiting for the Arrow/Deathstroke duel. One thing that’s been nagging me is that we don’t know what the current public opinion is on the Arrow. Do people fear or hate him? Or are the citizens of Starling starting to warm up to him since his no-kill policy? After putting away a pretty decent rogue’s gallery during the second season you’d think he’d be on channel 52 more often.

  18. …Harley Quinn. I almost flipped!

  19. I am surprised how much I like this show. I bought the first season on DVD, and will undoubtably buy subsequent seasons as well!

  20. This was kind of a weak episode, but i only probably think that because the last few episodes were really good. But the one thing that bothered me was that they didn’t explain where diggle went and who captured him. It was kind of like, well im back and not gonna talk about it.

    The one thing thats intriguing is that Amanda Waller and Oliver have a history. I don’t remember them meeting before so hat will be an interesting story line.

  21. Is A.R.G.U.S. supposed to be the S.H.E.I.L.D. of this universe?