By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
Hold onto your hoods Arrow fans because this episode was jammed to the rafters with storylines and action sequences and that was not a bad thing. In the latest episode of Arrow entitled “Suicidal Tendencies,” Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) and Diggle (David Ramsey) team back up with the Suicide Squad and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) and Oliver (Stephen Amell) go head-to-head over two very important things: Starling City and Felicity Smoak’s (Emily Bett Rickards) heart.
Audrey Marie Anderson and David Ramsey are probably the most underrated couple on Arrow. Their storylines often get eclipsed by Oliver and Felicity moments but this week they had one of the most important storylines, which was refreshing. Lyla and Diggle finally tied the knot, something fans have been waiting for since the beginning of season three. During their vows, Diggle and Lyla have a very short but emotional exchange when Lyla declares she wants to marry him “even more than the first time.” Anderson and Ramsey’s ability to showcase an entire relationship in just a few sentences is simply amazing. Something that goes unrecognized is how much these two characters have been through together. They went from being army buddies, to married, to divorced, to partners and back to the most important thing: a family. Anderson and Ramsey portray all those years of pain and happiness in small scenes and that is the most impressive thing. Although Diggle and Lyla get married, the honeymoon doesn’t last very long– better yet it doesn’t even start. Just as they head off Floyd Lowton “Deadshot” (Michael Rowe) shows up and declares, “The Suicide Squad rides again.”
The Suicide Squad episodes have become fan favorites on Arrow and this episode was one of their best. This episode saw Diggle and Lyla teaming up with Deadshot and Cupid (Amy Gumenick) to take down a terrorist group led by a power hungry U.S Senator. These two characters have become extreme fan favorites and part of that is thanks to the two talented actors who portray them. Gumeneck’s portrayal of Carrie continues to be extraordinary. Her sultry walk, her obsessive need for affection and her impressive arrow skills make her the perfect villain turned Suicide Squad operative. Although Cupid is a major part of this episode, the real star is Rowe and his portrayal of Deadshot.
Arrow this week did something different with the flashback sequences. This week fans got an inside look into Deadshot and how he became the most notorious sniper in the Arrow universe. This was a refreshing change of pace considering the Hong Kong scenes tend to be boring and dragged out. Fans learned that Lawton suffered PTSD after returning from his time in the U.S Army. Adjusting back to normal life with his wife and daughter proved to be more difficult than anticipated and he ends up being sent to jail. The most important piece of these sequences is that while Lawton was in jail the illusive agency, H.I.V.E, visits him and gives him the job of killing Diggle’s brother, Andy. Rowe does an incredible job at transitioning between the man Lawton was into the man he wants to become. By episode’s end, not everyone makes it out of the Suicide Squad’s mission alive. Deadshot stays behind in order to save Lyla and Diggle. Could this really be the death of everyone’s favorite villain? If Oliver Queen has taught us anything: no one is really dead forever.
Of course this episode saw the intense, emotional and action packed stand-off between The A.T.O.M and The Arrow. Ray and Oliver fight for control over the city and everyone’s favorite tech nerd. Diggle said it best in this episode, “If you [Ray] hurt her [Felicity], they’ll never find your body.” Emily Bett Rickards, Brandon Routh and Stephen Amell all deliver killer performances this week as they are put into the very definition of a “love triangle.” With every move Felicity makes, Ray and Oliver are vying for who really loves her more. Oliver appears to win this round, especially when Felicity answers a unequivocally “Yes!” to Ray’s question “You have feeling for him?” Rickards is one of the few actresses on TV that could have amazing, out-of-this-world chemistry with two leading men. Like their characters, Routh and Amell themselves have to vie for the attention of Rickards as she commands the screen. Rickards continues to astound in the role of Felicity and each and every week adds a layer to the characters ever pressing question: Should she choose Ray or Oliver?
When Ray learns that Oliver is indeed The Arrow, the standoff fans have been waiting for rears its ugly head. One of the best scenes of the night comes when Ray confronts Felicity about knowing Oliver is The Arrow. Felicity responds to Ray’s allegations that The Arrow is a harmful criminal by saying, “You have no idea what he’s been through. What he’s lost, how he’s grown. But I do. I know him better than almost anyone.” Rickards delivers her lines with such emotion and truth that it’s hard to separate the character from the actor. Of course with Ray not trusting Felicity and wanting to take down the man vying for her affection, The A.T.O.M and The Arrow go head to head in one of the biggest action scenes Arrow has coordinated in recent weeks. In the end, Oliver comes out victorious and instead of punishing Ray he simply tells him, “She chose you. So trust her.” Amell and Routh both are very strong actors and continues to play the power struggle for Felicity and Starling City effortlessly. Amell has been able to show off his emotional side in recent weeks and this episode continues to showcase his growth as an actor.
This episode of Arrow also saw Oliver and Roy (Colton Haynes) trying to take down the copycat Arrow that has been killing innocent civilians. By episode end, it’s revealed that Maseo (Karl Yune) has taken over this job from Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) when he puts an arrow right through the heart of the Mayor (Christina Cox). The episode ends on a cliffhanger with Maseo pointing an arrow at Felicity. Looks like next weeks episode will pick up right where this one left off and fans cannot wait.