Palmer learns the Arrow’s identity and decides to go ATOM.
This week definitely delivered, especially after so much build-up from last week’s episode. It had love, action, death, all the hallmarks of a great ‘Arrow’ episode. Before I give anything away, let’s jump in.
The episode opens with Diggle’s wedding, which aside from the proposal and Diggle asking Oliver to the best man, I did not think would happen so quickly, and did not realize was that far along. Oliver shows up “early,” meaning he’s early for the ceremony itself, but still managed to miss the Bridal Party pictures, which turns out to be ok with Diggle as he claims they’ll just photoshop Oliver in later. Felicity arrives with Ray Palmer in tow, who meets the gang, with Diggle shaking his hand and whispering in his ear that he’ll kill the man if he hurts Felicity, which was somewhat touching, knowing how much Diggle cares about her after all this time. Unfortunately, the man supposed to marry Dig and Lyla, Lyla’s friend Rick (outside chance this might be Rick Flagg, the leader of the Suicide Squad in the comics?), cannot make the wedding, leaving the pair without a minister. Luckily, Felicity’s plus one is Palmer, and he happens to be ordained, and agrees to wed the pair. All is well until the group receives news alerts while out on the dance floor that the Arrow is killing again. The wedding reception is abandoned, and the group, including the bride and group, heads back to the Arrow Cave, abandoning all dates and guests. Fortunately, Oliver takes pity on the Diggles, and sends them on their way, saying he can handle the Arrow imposters with Roy and Felicity. No sooner do Diggle and Lyla get in their limo to take them to the airport than they realize Deadshot is within, saying Waller has a mission for the squad.
From this point, the episode is basically split between Diggle and Lyla’s mission in Kosnia, and Oliver’s search for the impostors in Starling City. I’m gonna start with the Diggle storyline. It seems that a US Senator named Cray was building a hospital in Kosnia, a “pet project” of his, when the building was stormed by terrorists, who are holding the Senator and all within hostage. Waller wants the Suicide Squad to save the day, and Diggle, not wanting Lyla to go alone when they are supposed to be on their honeymoon, decides to accompany her. And thank God he does, as the Squad is paired down in this episode, only including Lyla, Diggle, Deadshot and Cupid. And man could they have used the extra support. They arrive in Kosnia, and on their way toward the hospital they discuss marriage and family, with Deadshot extolling how people in their line of work cannot have families, how it is basically a liability. Which sets up the episode’s flashbacks, which refreshingly did not focus on the ho-hum exploits of pre-Arrow Oliver, but rather the life of Floyd Lawton (aka Deadshot).
The flashbacks open with Floyd returning home to his wife and daughter after being away at war for years, his young daughter not even recognizing him when he sees her. Flash forward a little bit, and we realize that Floyd has pretty severe PTSD, most likely because of all the people he killed due to his skill, which makes life unbearable for his wife and daughter, hitting the breaking point when he pulls a gun on his wife. She understandably feels frightened for her life and her daughter’s, and has Floyd thrown in jail, following that up with a restraining order to keep him away from them. While rotting in a cell Floyd is approached by a strange woman, who works for an organization that wants to make use of his talents. She claims to work for a “hive” (another ‘Arrow’ hint that they will be using the evil organization soon in the show, aside from David Ramsey’s comments during a recent interview that HIVE would play heavily into Season 4), and that hive wants to hire Lawton to take down Andrew Diggle, which is the assignment that first brings the man onto John Diggle’s radar. We don’t get any explanation for why, but we know that Lawton takes the assignment, and becomes Deadshot, and the fallout from that decision is why he is so skeptical of Diggle and Lyla’s family surviving in the present.
As for Senator Cray and the hospital, the Squad arrives to save the day, and learns that Cray is a slimy bastard, having hired the “terrorists” (actually mercenaries) in an attempt to create a situation he could gain political capital from, helping his soon to start campaign for the US Presidency. Unfortunately, the Squad’s arrival has turned the hostages into witnesses to his dire plans, and the Senator decides to blow up the hospital and destroy the Squad and the people within who could reveal his dastardly scheme to the world. The Suicide Squad comes up with a plan to get everyone out, but only Deadshot knows the price of that plan. As everyone escapes and Lawton covers them from the rooftop, easily taking out Cray’s mercs, Diggle realizes that Lawton has not given himself an escape plan. Clutching the picture of his shattered family, and wishing John and Lyla better than he had in keeping their family together, Deadshot perishes when Cray’s explosives go off, saving the hostages and the rest of the Squad at the cost of his life. Later on, we learn that Lyla has resigned from ARGUS, disgusted that Cray paid off the hostages to keep quiet, and that Waller allowed Deadshot to be portrayed as the villain in the hostage situation in the media. Diggle waffled about leaving Team Arrow again to ensure their child does not become orphaned, but it seems he will stick to it now that Lyla is no longer risking her life at her job. And FYI, Cupid helped in the mission, and held her own, but really had little to do in the episode besides shoot mercs with her bow, her only arc being to fall in love with Deadshot when he saved her from gunfire.
As for Oliver and the rest of the Quiver Crew, they begin to hunt down the impostors, with Oliver tracking them to a warehouse where he faces down League of Assassin men dressed as the Arrow, being led by Maseo, who had just mowed down about 8 criminals. He defeats them, but Maseo throws a smoke bomb which allows them to escape. Meanwhile, Ray Palmer is on the hunt for the Arrow, and tracks him to the warehouse, where he sees the man standing over the fresh dead bodies. Using the ATOM suit’s version of X-Ray vision, and Felicity’s face recognition software, Palmer learns Oliver is the Arrow. He confronts Felicity about the fact, knowing she had kept it from him, and their relationship is suddenly on the rocks, with Felicity unable to convince him that Oliver not a killer. Felicity tells Oliver about what has happened, with Oliver upset with her at first for not telling him that Ray was building the ATOM suit (which Roy apparently thinks sounds pretty cool). Felicity accuses Oliver of never really wanting to her to be happy with anyone else, which Oliver denies.
Ray next tries to go through legal means to get Oliver arrested. Unfortunately for him, his first meeting with the DA’s office is with Laurel, who shoots him down immediately, with Ray figuring out that she must be the Black Canary due to her friendship with Oliver and the fact that she’s helping to cover for him. It is then that Ray makes the decision to deal with the Arrow himself. Meanwhile, back at the Arrow Cave, the crew intercepts a 911 call to what appears to be an abandoned factory, and Arrow and Arsenal head out to see if they can find the impostors and/or save the day.
They arrive to find nothing unusual happening, discovering the ATOM has laid a trap for them. He shows off the abilities of the suit, using it to discharge an energy blast at Roy, knocking him out, and firing various weapons at the Arrow. And even I have to admit, for a TV show, the special effects were pretty good. Luckily, Oliver spots the power pack on the suit, shutting it down so he can beat on the ATOM without its high-tech defenses. After taking Palmer down a few notches, Oliver shows the man that he’s not a killer by letting him live, and demanding that he become a better man so he can make Felicity happy. And with that Oliver leaves, though I do hope he stopped to grab Roy, as it seemed a little strange to see Oliver exit the scene when we know his sidekick/partner had been knock unconscious and left behind not a minute or two beforehand.
Ray returns to the real world and makes up with Felicity, deciding that she was right about Oliver, and clearly trying to follow Oliver’s advice and be the man that Felicity needs. Later, in a meeting with the Mayor and Captain Lance (who is definitely onboard the “the Arrow is a killer again and needs to be dealt with” train) and Laurel, accompanied by Felicity, Ray tells the mayor that he believes the Arrow is not responsible for these killings. The change of heart does little to convince Captain Lance, a point further hit home when an arrow crashes through the window behind them, slamming into the mayor’s back, potentially killing her. The final shot of the episode is Maseo, dressed as the Arrow, about to fire a second shot, this time at Felicity. The episode cuts out, we hear the twang of the bow snapped. We wait till next week to see what happened.
* HIVE is coming, Ramsey’s interview and the mention in Deadshot’s flashback have all but confirmed it. I’m not sure how they will fit in, or what their motivations will be, but I am curious if their appearance will have anything to do with next year’s spin-off.
* Will Felicity get shot? Doubtful, as I don’t think Captain Lance would believe the Arrow capable of shooting one of his own. Though if she is shot, it would provide some interesting conflict as the ATOM and the Arrow would be forced to work together to bring down Maseo, with both wanting revenge.
* Captain Lance is on the warpath, with the death of the Mayor, I think he’s finally going to go after the Arrow, and Oliver, if he does indeed know the Arrow’s identity.
Good episode, strange that Thea was only seen during the wedding, and Merlyn not at all, but as the episode did not focus on them, it is understandable to relegate them to the background for now. I’m curious to see the kind of training Laurel is going through with Nyssa, and how much she has improved since training with the woman. And I really want to see the damn ATOM get his shrinking abilities, I was hoping that Oliver’s shot into the power-box on the ATOM’s belt would somehow trigger the ability, but to no avail. I hope that they get to it before the season is out.