Arrow, S3 Ep17 – Suicidal Tendencies

After having his offer turned down by Oliver Queen, Ra’s al Ghul has now decided to turn Starling City against the Arrow by framing the vigilante for murder. While this week’s episode further develops this plot, bringing Ray Palmer/The Atom into the mix, it’s not called “Suicidal Tendencies” for nothing. Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad this time only containing two members returns, making Diggle and Lyla’s honeymoon one to remember.

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Lyla and Diggle re-tie the knot

“Suicidal Tendencies” begins with the wedding of Diggle and Lyla. Though it was brief, it was nice to see Team Arrow not worrying about crime and just enjoying a wedding. Ray Palmer even humorously serves as Diggle and Lyla’s minister. This wedding scene is soon cut short due to a news bulletin stating that the Arrow has returned to killing. Afterwards the team splits. Ollie, Roy, Felicity, and Laurel remain in Starling City while Diggle and Lyla leave to try and enjoy their honeymoon. Unfortunately, Amanda Waller has other plans for the two.

A good half of “Suicidal Tendencies” focuses on Diggle accompanying Lyla on a mission in the Republic of Kasnia along with Deadshot and Cupid. Their mission is to rescue a senator and some civilians being held hostage. Cupid is just as cheesy as she was the last time we saw her in “Draw Back Your Bow”, still professing her love for the Arrow, but now also displaying affection for Deadshot.

The Suicide Squad subplot is exciting and entertaining throughout, but also featured a look at Deadshot I wasn’t expecting. While Arrow is well known for including flashback sequences in every single episode, this time we don’t get scenes of Hong Kong. Instead we learn more about Deadshot and what drove him into becoming an assassin for H.I.V.E. Deadshot’s origin turns out to be very sad and tragic, as we find out he was a soldier who returned home with severe post traumatic stress disorder. His PTSD leads to him frightening his wife and daughter when he breaks down and pulls a gun out on them. The scene was tense throughout and made Deadshot a much more sympathetic character. After being arrested, H.I.V.E. recruits him and gives him his first assignment: Andrew Diggle.

The Deadshot flashback sequences not only gave us insight into Deadshot’s origins, but also gave us a glimpse into a real problem many veterans face today. While Deadshot was an extreme case, its commendable that Arrow would shed light on the issue of PTSD. The CW even put out an ad for The Wounded Warrior Project accompanying this episode which can currently be viewed on their website [link].

Back in the present day storyline, we find out that the senator Lyla and Diggle have been sent to rescue never wanted to be rescued at all. He staged the entire event as a way of making him appear as a hero to eventually lead him to becoming president. With his secret out he had no other choice but to kill the hostages, and the Suicide Squad as well, with a bomb set to blow up the hospital they were in. Thanks to Deadshot sniping from outside in the distance, they’re able to take down the Senator’s goons and free the hostages. Sadly, the hospital still blows up with Deadshot remaining on the roof. It wasn’t clear if he made it out alive, but considering Waller has a tracker planted on him I’m sure she at least knows what happened. After “Suicidal Tendencies” did such a good job making us sympathize with Deadshot and feel for him, it would be a shame to never see him again on Arrow.

Back in Starling City Team Arrow struggles at preventing Ra’s from further framing the Arrow. They do get to stop one of Ra’s al Ghul’s assassins in time, which leads to an entertaining fight scene between Arrow and a bunch of assassins dressed up as Arrow.

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The Arrow vs. The Atom

Ray Palmer, all dressed up in his Atom gear, finds out Ollie is the Arrow using some fancy facial recognition software. Having already sworn commitment to taking the Arrow down, Palmer goes after him. This leads to some compelling drama between Ollie, Ray, and Felicity, as both Ollie and Ray grow upset with Felicity for not telling each of them about each others’ secrets. Eventually we get an awesome, but brief showdown between Arrow, Arsenal, and The Atom, which ultimately ends with Ollie convincing Ray that he is being framed and that Ray should remain trusting of Felicity.

While I am enjoying seeing Ray Palmer flying around the city as The Atom, he really just is Arrow‘s version of Iron Man. His repulsor blasts even sound very similar to Iron Man’s. Arrow has given us no inclination that The Atom will gain the ability to shrink in size as he does in the comics.

“Suicidal Tendencies” concludes with Ray Palmer deciding to try and prove the Arrow’s innocence, and Lyla and Diggle both agreeing to quit their jobs working with A.R.G.U.S. and Team Arrow respectively. The fact that Amanda Waller assisted in sweeping the senator’s crimes under the rug also made Lyla’s decision to quit much easier.

The final shot of the episode saw Felicity possibly getting shot with an arrow from Maseo Yamashiro in attempt to frame the Arrow further, but this time framing him for the murder of innocents. I highly doubt Felicity was killed off or even shot in this final scene. However, I do find it very strange that Maseo would kill innocents on behalf of Ra’s al Ghul. Killing criminals is one thing, but innocents seems way out of character for Maseo.

Despite that scene at the end, “Suicidal Tendencies” was an amazing episode and one of the best episodes in a long time. The action was fun and entertaining throughout, and both subplots and the flashback sequences were all very compelling. Even though Ray Palmer’s The Atom is just a low-rent Iron Man, he is still a joy to see on screen. Hopefully he fixes up his suit soon, since at the moment it remains vulnerable to arrows.

In next week’s episode the Arrow will continue to be perceived as a criminal and will continue to be hunted down by the Captain Lance. Check out the The CW’s official promo for “Public Enemy” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Suicidal Tendencies” in the comments.

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