With a title like ‘Suicidal Tendencies’ how are we supposed to stay optimistic about the episode ahead? I was expecting multiples deaths or injuries within the first five minutes, but thankfully it’s a reference to the Suicide Squad, who return in this week’s episode with a deadly mission for newlyweds Diggle and Lyla. Meanwhile in Starling City, Ray and Oliver clash. Literally.
The episode opens with a short-lived but memorable happy moment: Lyla and Diggle’s wedding. For too long now, the couple have been delayed by criminals and twists in their story, but this week they are finally given the time to re-marry. It’s a sweet day where the only surprise is the minister’s emergency. Luckily, Ray steps in when the minister is called away, and Lyla and Diggle are married within the first ten-minutes. Yay! There’s a bittersweet moment between Oliver and Felicity as they watch their friends share a dance, but I’ll get into these two lovebirds later on.
As someone who is easily bored by the Hong Kong flashbacks, I was delighted when it was revealed that this week’s flashbacks paid attention to someone else entirely: Deadshot. Our team of crazy killers are back together for another mission; with Deadshot and newcomer Cupid, Diggle and Lyla are quickly sent away from their honeymoon to rescue a group of hostages and the US senator from a terrorist organisation. So, the mismatched group head off to the Republic of Kasnia but things don’t go to plan. Especially when it’s revealed that the US senator is a complete asshole. The guy actually set up the hostage situation so that he’d return a hero and America would shower him in praise and support.
The flashbacks give an insight into Deadshot’s – aka Floyd’s – origins and troubled past. After returning from war, he’s greeted by his loving wife and young daughter, who sadly doesn’t recognise her daddy. What hurts even more is when Floyd struggles with the aftermath of war and is unable to cope. He lashes out at his wife after she attempts to console him, which results in his journey to jail, and we know the rest from there. The flashbacks are subtle but effective, and I felt incredibly moved when Deadshot was adamant that Diggle and Lyla return to their baby. He even encourages them to leave with the hostages, staying behind to cover their exit. Unfortunately, this also means sacrificing his life as a timer goes off, destroying the building and presumably killing him in the process.
Starling City is equally shrouded in violence this week, when Oliver is framed for more murders. Thanks, Ra’s al Ghul. But at the very heart of this week’s conflict is the Ray/Felicity/Oliver tension. It’s been building for weeks now and we finally see Ray learning the truth and dealing with it like any normal, sane person would; going out and facing the vigilante in his Iron Man suit. After discovering the Arrow’s identity and being shut down by Laurel, Ray takes matters into his own hands and meets Oliver for a showdown, albeit a weak one.
Oliver stops Ray’s attack and demands that he trust Felicity and back off so that Oliver can prove the imposter is framing the Arrow. After an episode of going back and forth, Ray decides to trust Team Arrow, which includes delivering an overdue apology to Felicity. The two seem to be back on track after a rocky start to this week’s episode, and whilst I’ll always root for Oliver and Felicity, these two have some charm.
However, it’s clear where the writers are heading as they remind us nearly every week that Oliver and Felicity have history and an ‘emotional attachment’ to one another. We get it. They’re the endgame in this series. Looking towards next week, perhaps the imposter can lock them in a closet together so they can work out their feelings in a confined space. That usually works.