People often ask me why I still tune into Arrow every week when I have so many problems with the show.
The easy answer is there must be something wrong with me since I willingly sit down for an hour of television that leaves me frustrated more often than not. But the truth is this show has a lot of fantastic characters and when it’s good, it’s really good. At midseason, I had a hard time choosing my favorite episode because there were so many awesome ones.
So every week I keep coming back with the hope that maybe I will start to connect with the show again and it’ll recover from this downward spiral it’s been in since episode 11. Last night, I went into “Suicide Squad” with very low expectations. I’ve never been a fan of episodes that are heavy with comic book characters because I don’t read comics so the winks and nods and Easter eggs mean absolutely nothing to me.
And that’s okay. People watch TV for different reasons and I know some people get super excited about episodes like this one. But even though I wasn’t expecting much from the episode, other than a chance for Digg to finally get his moment in the spotlight, I still found myself side-eyeing the TV even more than usual. The episode was filled with characters that I don’t care about and the ones I do care about (Laurel, Felicity) had cameo appearances while others (Thea, Roy, Detective Lance, Moira) were nowhere to be found.
So my mind wandered quite a bit during most of the episode and that’s when I started reworking the episode in my head to make it more interesting. One of the minor plots was Digg parked outside Felicity’s house in the morning because he’s keeping her safe from Slade. He mentioned that Sara was keeping an eye on Laurel and Roy was protecting Thea. It was a cute scene with Digg and Felicity (one of the episode highlights) and I realized how much I would have loved to see Oliver meeting with Digg, Roy and Sara to discuss the best ways to keep watch over their loved ones.
Yes, the exposition covered it in less than a minute, but I signed onto this show because I want to watch the main cast interacting. We have yet to see the expanded Team Arrow in the cave all at once. Sure, it would be pretty crowded in there, but isn’t the point of being a team to actually be a team? Maybe while they’re down there plotting their protection time, Laurel is in the club upstairs with Thea wondering where Sara and Roy disappeared to and maybe sharing a moment since Laurel is on her path to recovery and Thea notices that everyone around her is acting stranger than usual. There needs to be more female friendships on TV in general, but definitely on this show.
But fine, maybe that’s a waste of time in an action packed episode. So let’s do this instead. Digg is doing his thing with the Suicide Squad and preparing to stop the nerve gas attack on the party. Why did the party have to be in another country in a house full of strangers? Maybe it could have been a fundraiser for Moira’s campaign. Laurel would be there to support her. Felicity would need to be there on account of Queen Industries. Oliver and Sara are dating so they’d go together. Maybe Detective Lance is on security duty because Queen family parties tend to end badly so Starling City police were proactive (okay, that’s a stretch since they’re the worst except for him. Maybe Moira invites him. Maybe she invites Slade too).
That would have raised the stakes considerably. Not only is Digg forced to work with villains that he doesn’t trust, but everyone he cares about and everyone they care about are suddenly in danger. And he can’t warn them because Waller wouldn’t allow it, but maybe he’d find a way to get Oliver involved. Or maybe Felicity would pick up on the tension. Or maybe Slade would introduce himself to Laurel and Sara would freak out and Oliver would spot one of the criminals he put away…
Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s not that hard to find believable ways for the cast and the guest stars to coexist. The action scenes last night were fun and I really loved that we got to learn more about Deadshot and the part where he and Digg almost sort of came to an understanding. I don’t want to take anything away from that or any of the other cool moments with the Suicide Squad. All I want is for the main cast to have a purpose as well.
Instead, we got Laurel having to prop her sister’s relationship with her ex-boyfriend. But at least Laurel got a few good digs in and played the AA honesty card. I also enjoyed seeing Felicity remind Oliver that they still had other people to help, even why he was solely focused on finding Slade. The Oliver/Sara relationship drama felt forced and unnecessary; especially since Sara has proved that she can handle herself. She was a member of the League of Assassins, Oliver. Let’s not treat her like a grandmother who needs help crossing the street.
So for me, this episode turned out to be another missed opportunity. Next week, the Huntress returns for another villain centric episode, but this one will heavily feature the Lance sisters instead of Digg. Maybe we’ll get more interaction with the other cast in that one, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
Now it’s your turn. Did you enjoy the episode? Are you happy when guest stars take over the show or do you miss seeing the main cast too? Which Suicide Squad member is your favorite (Mine is Deadshot)? Did you feel bad for Oliver and Sara when he was pushing her away? Is this foreshadowing that Slade is going to kill her since Sara says she’s hard to kill? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us!