This week we open to Diggle and Lyla’s wedding day, where aside from a last minute complication that forces Ray Palmer to act as the minister (his explanation as to how he’s even certified is that it’s a “long story”), the ceremony goes relatively smoothly.
The happy festivities are cut short however, when the team are given reports that the Arrow has started killing again. Cut to the next scene, where we see the team watching a news conference lead by Captain Lance and Mayor Castle condemning “the Arrow.” To make matters worse, Ray has also joined in on the Arrow witch hunt and tells the press he will devote all of his resources into catching him much to Felicity’s dismay. It doesn’t take the team long to figure out that Oliver is being set up by the League of Assassins in order to persuade him to rethink Ra’s al Ghul’s offer. Despite this, Oliver tells Diggle and Lyla to go ahead on their honeymoon, while the rest of Team Arrow works to prove Oliver’s innocence (and since Diggle has been mostly away from the action the last couple of months, it shouldn’t be that big of an adjustment on Team Arrow’s part).
Return of the Suicide Squad
Unfortunately for the newlyweds, when they get into their limo they find Deadshot already inside waiting for them. Lyla has been called in at the last minute by Waller to lead another Suicide Squad mission after U.S. Senator Cray has been taken hostage by some terrorists in the Republic of Kaznia. Diggle, refusing to let Lyla out of his sight, decides to join the mission as well. Waller then reveals that joining the team alongside the newlyweds and Deadshot is none other than Carrie Cutter/Cupid whom you might remember from earlier in the season, who still appears to be as obsessed as ever with the Arrow.
Once they get to Kaznia, Deadshot tries giving Diggle and Lyla some pearls of wisdom about married life, warning them that they can’t successfully maintain their family while also maintaining their particular line of work. As we’ll find out in this week’s flashback, Deadshot is speaking from experience. Diggle and Lyla immediately begin proving Deadshot’s point when they almost get into a fight once Lyla tells him their orders are to just to rescue Cray while presumably leaving the other hostages at the mercy of the terrorists.
Afterwards, Diggle, Lyla, and Cupid storm the building where the hostages are being kept. They take out several of the terrorists though when they try rescuing Cray, he pulls a gun on them saying they shouldn’t have come for him. A shootout ensues and Deadshot gets hit while rescuing Cupid. This is a decision that will haunt Deadshot for the remainder of the episode since this has caused Cupid to fall in love with him, much to his chagrin. The Suicide Squad retreats and while Diggle patches up Deadshot, Cray decides to radio the team so can tell them his master plan because apparently he decided that he’s a Bond villain now. As it turns out the terrorists are actually mercenaries that Cray hired so he could stage a terrorist attack and look like a big hero when he diffuses the situation. He never intended for any of the hostages to get hurt but thanks to this rescue mission he now has no choice but to change his plan.
Diggle and Lyla realize that Cray now plans to blow up the hospital which will kill them and the hostages and miraculously leave Cray as the sole survivor of the terrorist attack (yeah that won’t look the least bit suspicious). This has them to lamenting the fact that their daughter is about to become an orphan but this also causes Deadshot to become more determined than ever to finish the mission and he vows to get Diggle and Lyla home alive.
As Cray gets ready to kill the hostages, the Suicide Squad storms in but Cray warns them to back off or he’ll blow the place up on the spot. Despite the fact that Cray had obviously intended to kill the hostages anyway, they’re on the verge of backing down until Cray suddenly remembers how to count and realizes that one of them (Deadshot) is missing. At that point Deadshot begins shooting while the others get the hostages out of the building. Deadshot opts to stay behind so he can cover the teams escape and as soon as the hostages are rescued, Deadshot is caught in an explosion and presumably killed (though honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if he faked his death just to get away from Cupid).
Once the mission is over, Cray bribes all the hostages into silence and the now supposedly deceased Deadshot is given all the blame for the terrorist attack by the media. This leaves Lyla disillusioned with how Waller operates (took her long enough) and has decided to resign from A.R.G.U.S.
Arrow vs, the A.T.O.M.
Meanwhile, back in Starling City, Oliver decides to go by himself to a massive drug deal in the hopes of catching the Arrow copycat. Unfortunately, by the time Oliver shows up, the dealers are already dead and he is forced to fight three League members all of whom are sporting green hoods. Just then, Maseo shows up to repeat the warning he gave to Oliver last week and then immediately disappears with the other League members, leaving Oliver alone with the dead drug dealers. As Oliver is looking on at the damage caused by the League, Ray is seen flying outside the building in his A.T.O.M suit. With the help of some X-ray vision (I know just go with it) and some facial recognition software, Ray is able to identity Oliver as the Arrow.
Once Ray figures out that Oliver is the Arrow, it doesn’t take him long to put two and two together and realize that Felicity has been working with the Arrow the whole time. Felicity, realizing the jig is up doesn’t even try to deny this and instead tries to convince Ray that Oliver is not a killer (or at least not anymore). Ray isn’t buying it though and actually feels betrayed that Felicity would keep her association with the Arrow a secret. With that he vows to bring Oliver to justice.
Back at Arrow HQ, Felicity warns Oliver and Roy that Ray has found out the Arrow’s identity. She also confesses to helping Ray build his new A.T.O.M. suit which he now intends to use against Oliver. Oliver takes the news of Felicity’s two-timing about as well as Ray did but she points out they have bigger fish to fry since Ray is on the verge of revealing Oliver’s technology to the cops.
Ray takes his evidence against Oliver to the cops but unfortunately for him the person he talks to about this ends up being Laurel. She rightfully points out that his evidence against Oliver is pretty flimsy and isn’t nearly enough to make a case against him. She also warns Ray that if he goes to media with any of this, Oliver would be well within his rights to sue his pants off. Ray easily realizes that Laurel is in cahoots with Oliver and vows to take the Arrow down the old fashioned way (he also figures out that she’s Black Canary because as I’ve said before Team Arrow sucks at the whole secret identity thing).
Oliver pays a visit to Ray at Palmer Technologies, who like Felicity tries to convince him he’s not a killer. He tries appealing to Ray by asking him to trust Felicity’s judgment. Ray counters that Felicity is letting her emotions for Oliver cloud her better judgment and that she refuses to see Oliver for what he is (the most blatant example I’ve seen in awhile of the pot calling the kettle black). Realizing that he won’t be able to reason with Ray, Oliver leaves.
Back at Arrow HQ, Oliver fills Felicity in on his talk with Ray. The two then have an argument about Ray in which Oliver basically tells her that he’s a bad influence on her. He warns her that it isn’t possible to be a hero and have a personal life and the only reason Ray hasn’t realized this yet is because he’s still new to the game. Just then Felicity gets a 911 call over suspected gang activity at a power plant. Realizing that Maseo and the other League members might show up there, Oliver and Roy get suited up for action. When they get there though, the whole thing turns out to be a trap set by Ray. A fight ensues and Roy is quickly incapacitated by an electric zap from Ray (incidentally this is the last time we ever see Roy in this episode), though thanks some quick thinking Oliver is able to power down Ray’s suit, effectively taking him out of the fight. Oliver threatens to kill Ray but ultimately decides against it and leaves Ray to think things over. Afterwards, he apologizes to Felicity for not trusting her and seems to be opening to the idea of allying himself with Oliver.
Diggle stops by Arrow HQ to share a drink with Oliver in honor of Deadshot and to get an update on the search for the Arrow impersonator. Diggle warns him they need to find the guy fast before more criminals are killed. Oliver, however, thinks it’s more likely the next victim will be an innocent person.
Once again the flashback takes a break from Oliver’s story arc this week to give us a brief origin story for Deadshot. We see him return home to his wife and daughter after serving his latest tour of duty. Sadly, the happy reunion doesn’t last long as shortly afterward Deadshot starts succumbing to PTSD which turns him into an abusive alcoholic. His wife quickly has enough of this and has him arrested.
While Deadshot is serving his prison sentence, he gets hired by a mysterious organization called H.I.V.E. Once they persuade him to join they inform him that his first target will be Diggle’s brother, Andrew.
Ray and Felicity have a meeting with Captain Lance and the Mayor, where Ray tells them that he believes the Arrow is being framed. Captain Lance doesn’t take this well but before he and Ray can argue farther, the Mayor is killed with a green arrow by none other than Maseo. Maseo isn’t done yet however as he takes aim at Felicity before the screen ominously cuts to black.
This might not be the worst episode of the season but it certainly feels the most disappointing. The Suicide Squad lineup didn’t feel nearly as impressive as last year and I also thought it was a mistake to split the Squad’s screentime with the season story arc especially considering that until the cliffhanger not a whole of progress was made with said story arc (basically the same problem we got with the Slade Wilson episode last month). What really saves the Suicide Squad part of the episode is Deadshot. He gets the best character development, all the funny one-liners and we get to see him go out in a blaze of glory even though I do have my doubts that we’ve seen the last of him.
The much more aggravating part of this episode though is Ray Palmer. Once it appears that the Arrow is killing again he wastes no time acting like a self-righteous hypocrite. He condemns the Arrow for being a vigilante despite his plans to do the exact same thing. He scolds the Arrow for being a killer and that complaint might have had some credibility if this weren’t the same episode where we see him basically electrocute Roy. His showdown with the Arrow towards the end also comes off anticlimactic especially when you compare it to Oliver’s match-ups against Barry during the crossover with The Flash.
Next week, Oliver finds himself the subject as a city-wide manhunt in ‘Public Enemy.’