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Suicidal Tendencies | Arrow Season 3 Episode 17 Review

Written by  Published March 26, 2015 11:21
In case you missed last time's episode of Arrow, here is a recap for you. Oliver Queen/Arrow and John Diggle managed to bring Malcolm Merlyn back to Starling City from Nanda Parbat alive after Oliver refused Ra's Al Ghul's offer to name him the next head of the League of Assassins. Unfortunately, Oliver started to wonder if his refusing to accept the offer was a bad decision when the League of Assassins leader's prediction of  the Arrow's tragic fate started to come true, especially with the part where Captain Quentin Lance of the Starling City Police Department ended up cutting ties with the Archer super-hero himself out of bitterness over his daughter Laurel's and the Arrow's decision to hide the truth about Laurel's sister Sara Lance's death from him.

Ironically by the end of the episode, Oliver chose to continue protecting his home town as the Arrow despite Quentin's now hatred for his super-hero alter ego. Meanwhile, Oliver's half-sister Thea Queen still continued to struggle to move on to happier times despite the fact that Ra's' daughter Nyssa made no attempt to kill her for assassinating Sara. And lastly, Ra's Al Ghul appeared in town impersonating the Arrow to begin the next phase in his plot to get him to give in to the offer made earlier. Well, that is all you need to know about last time's episode, and now we look into this week's episode "Suicidal Tendencies".

Arrow Episode 3.17 Suicidal Tendencies Promotional Photos

John Diggle finally ties the knot with A.R.G.U.S. agent Lyla Michaels for the second time, but the joyful day for the newlyweds and Team Arrow gets cut short when word comes out from news reporters about the Arrow's alleged return to his murderous way, a fate that confirms that Ra's Al Ghul has begun phase 2 of his plan to tempt Oliver Queen into accepting his offer to make him the next head of the League of Assassins.

To make things more problematic for Diggle and Lyla, their attempt to start their honeymoon vacation ends up becoming another deadly mission as they get drafted back into the Suicide Squad by A.R.G.U.S. director Amanda Waller for a mission to rescue U.S. senator Clay from a kidnapping crisis. During Diggle's mission, Ray Palmer begins his first adventure as The Atom, except this time, he plans to capture the Arrow on the same allegations the SCPD have about the archer hero himself, and Team Arrow faces bigger problems after Ray learns off Oliver's double life.

Two episodes ago, Ray Palmer began using his Atom suit, and this time, his suit got to have a major role in the story plot. While I always looked forward to seeing what The Atom would look like in costume in live-action since Ray's Arrow debut, this episode left me with mixed feelings on how the character was being handled. I was disappointed that he did not use shrinking powers during his fight with the Arrow because come on, the ability to shrink from human size to the size of a tiny particle has been the essence of Ray Palmer since his first appearance, marked by Showcase No. 34 (cover date: Oct 1961).

It is either A) the writers working on this show did not spend enough researching the character's publication history (not even to watch any of the DC Universe character-based animated productions like Batman: The Brave and the Bold), or B) they were forced to betray the character's essence by executive meddling despite the risk that it might offend long-time DC Universe fans (and I am among the offended). On the bright side, this episode provided a step in his development within Arrowverse continuity as his being deluded by Ra's Al Ghul was a trial he needed to overcome to not only avoid letting the villain win, but also making peace with his company head predecessor Oliver Queen, who showed enough mercy in their duel with each other to free him from delusion.

Arrow Suicidal Tendencies Header Image

Regarding the Suicide Squad, the team had much of a major role to play in this episode as Team Arrow in terms of action. Suicide Squad member Floyd Lawton Deadshot even had his own flashback moments, revealing us the tragic story of how he ended up joining the team.

The disappointmentI had regarding the team's involvement in this episode of Arrow was how small the roster appeared to be this time; there was only Diggle, Deadshot, Cupid, and Lyla. I was hoping more Suicide Squad characters from DC Universe lore would appear, like say Captain Boomerang (who appeared on Arrow several episodes ago), The Penguin (whom I wouldn't expect to be played by Robin Lord Taylor of Gotham fame in this show), King Shark, Captain Cold,  and Harley Quinn. Heck, I was even hoping Slade Wilson/Deathstroke would be have a role to play since DC Universe canon stated that he is a part of the group, but that did not happen.

Call it a hunch, but it was likely budget restraints forced the writer team to maintain a short list on what Suicide Squad members to feature in this episode.

This week's episode of Arrow may not be one of its best episodes, but it has some fun moments nevertheless. Although it sucks that The Atom does not get to shrink himself on Arrow (or at least not yet), at least this episode is worth watching for his first adventure within Arrowverse continuity, and keep in mind that this is the first time Ray Palmer battles as The Atom in live-action since the infamous 1997 live-action Justice League of America pilot, which still has not yet officially turned up on DVD.

Arrow 317 1 600x419

As for Suicide Squad, this episode is worth watching for Deadshot's backstory, but it is a let down for having only a few members on screen, but here's hoping the makers the show learn from the makers of the Suicide Squad movie to do better for the next Suicide Squad centric Arrow episode.

As for the Arrow himself, tune in on Wednesday at 8 PM ET/7 PM CT on The CW or CTV to watch the show to see how far he will go to foil Ra's Al Ghul's plot to trap him with his offer or if he will succeed.


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