Arrow: Suicide Squad Review (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Source: Mania.com

My initial thought upon seeing the members of the Suicide Squad for the first time was “Shapnel Sucks.”  Apparently the show’s writers knew that as well and quickly addressed that issue—permanently!  This week’s episode is largely devoted to John Diggle.  We get flashbacks to his days serving in Afghanistan and saving the life of an illegal arms dealer named Gholem Qadir who quickly becomes the source of valuable intel for the U.S. Government.  In present day, Diggle and ex-wife and A.R.G.U.S. Agent Lyla Michaels have been recruited by Amanda Waller to lead her “Task Force X” better known as the Suicide Squad.  Since being freed, Qadir has become a terrorist and developed a deadly nerve gas that is housed below a mansion in Markovia.  Diggle and his team consisting of Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, and Shrapnel are assigned to recover the nerve agent.  When the weapon proves too large to remove, Waller orders an unmanned drone to hit the mansion with a missile.  

Oliver, meanwhile, is trying to track down Slade Wilson and using his Russian contacts to do so.  However he is making this a one man crusade, refusing help from Sara and shutting out everyone else in his life.  Even when Oliver finally thinks he has found Wilson, he instead finds the body of one of his Russian friends with an arrow through his eye.  Recognizing Wilson seems to be a step ahead, Oliver has no choice but to enlist Sara’s aid…and one more person’s…In a surprise development we learn that Oliver knows Amanda Waller and apparently their relationship dates back to the island.  She informs Oliver that A.R.G.U.S. has been tracking a new mercenary who has left a trail of bodies to Starling City whom they have named “Deathstroke”.  They both realize that Deathstroke and Slade Wilson are on in the same.

I have to admit to being a little bit disappointed that the initial lineup of the Suicide Squad only included three members.  If you’re a fan of the comic you know that the team has had a wide and diversified membership over the years and it would have been cool to maybe see some new characters brought in this way.  However, if you were paying close attention you heard a squeaky female voice coming from one of the A.R.G.U.S. cells offering therapy to Diggle and Lyla.  This was no doubt supposed to be Harley Quinn who was a Psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum and is a current member of the Squad in DC’s New 52.  Hopefully down the road we will see new members…perhaps Plastique to replace Shrapnel, Killer Frost, or Cluemaster…relatively minor villains who would fit into a TV show well.

Speaking of poor Shrapnel, his “termination” certainly showed that this Amanda Waller is as tough and no-nonsense as her comic book version.  She sees the members of the Squad as expendable assets and proves it by killing Shrapnel when he tries to escape during the mission.  Although I have to ask the question, didn’t the members know they had an implant inside of them?  You’d think Waller would at least give them the warning not to try and run because, you know…your head will explode!

Credit the writers for juggling the cast for optimum use.  There was no Thea, Det. Lance, or Roy this week, very little Felicity or Moira except for one scene, and only a small dose of Laurel and Sara.  If they’re not integral to the story then why use them?  The introduction of the Suicide Squad wasn’t as grand as you might have wanted but it looks like they and A.R.G.U.S. will be around for the long haul and that’s a good thing.


Mania Grade: B
Episode: Suicide Squad (Season 2, Episode 16)
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Caity Lotz
Written By: Keto Shimizu & Bryan Q. Miller
Directed By: Larry Teng
Network: The CW
Studio: Warner Brothers, DC Comics
Series: