Arrow S3E17 – “Suicidal Tendencies” Review
(Warning: Full spoilers for Arrow follow. You have been warned.)
Before I begin, I would like to extend a very sincere thank you to Mr. Cody Seymour for taking my place last week with his review of Arrow. I was a bit tied up and unable to do my regular weekly review. Cody has never seen a single episode of our favorite show about a guy in a green hood with a bow, and while his knowledge of the show is understandably lacking, his willingness to review it anyway is admirable. Thank you, good sir.
Now onto the good stuff.
This week’s Arrow saw the return of the infamous Suicide Squad, the team of criminals/ARGUS prisoners contracted to carry out incredibly dangerous missions in return for the right to live. After making a splash in season 2, the Squad returned with a bit of the fat trimmed, containing only Dig, Lyla, Deadshot, and… God dammit… Cupid.
Alright, look: I try to keep a lid on any nerd rage I experience when I write these reviews. It’s unprofessional and immature. But sometimes… That’s just too much to ask of me.
I could not hate this character more if I tried. What does she bring to the show? The episode must have been named after her, because “Suicidal Tendencies” is what I feel every time she opens her mouth. Is the point of her existence a joke that has thus far eluded me? Because I don’t find it funny. I’m all for comic relief or bringing a bit of levity to darker subject matter, but she is the furthest thing from enjoyable. She serves no purpose other than to… Y’know what? I literally can’t even think of one positive thing she does for the show.
…No. I have to stop. This will never end. This is a review, not some middle school kid’s angry blog post.
Back to business.
In addition to the return of the Squad, we also see several notable events take place. Dig and Lyla get married (again), Ray finally fights with the Atom suit for the first time, Ray figures out that Oliver is The Arrow, Deadshot gets a really depressing backstory, etc. This was an important episode.
Having said that, there was a bit much to keep up with. From bouncing back and forth between Diggle and the Squad (band name, called it), Oliver dealing with Ray finding out his identity, and Deadshot’s tragic “origin,” I wasn’t quite sure which part I was supposed to be the most invested in or care about the most. All of the parts were interesting, but felt a bit crammed together. I would have preferred the Suicide Squad story (minus the red-haired demon woman) and the Oliver/Ray conflict each to have gotten their own episodes, as there was a lot of good material for both. Putting them both together into the same episode felt like a bit of an injustice to both.
When I review something that has a lot of flaws, I like to point them out, because for some reason you people on the internet really enjoy negativity. So here you go, pessimists:
1. I understand Deadshot wanting to make up for what he did to his family, but did he really have to give up his life for Diggle and Lyla? That seemed a bit unnecessary.
2. You mean to tell me that with the technology that we have seen used on the show, from ARGUS to villains to Felicity, Ray Palmer is the first person to think to use it to figure out who The Arrow is?
3. Uh, did Ray kill Roy? He legitimately struck him with lightning and threw him against a wall. Not only that, we didn’t see him wake up, and we didn’t see him for the rest of the episode. Oliver didn’t even care, either. He literally walked away without even checking on him. Thanks a lot, dick.
4. Seriously. Cupid. FUCK.
5. Ray changed his mind awful quick about Oliver, don’t you think? That seemed too easy.
6. I’ve heard of an Achilles’ Heel, but man, Ray really should have thought to cover up the blinking blue light that can single-handedly power down his suit if nicked slightly.
7. Diggle wanting to quit Team Arrow and then almost instantly being convinced against it. Was there really even a point for that? “I want to leave Team Arrow.” “You shouldn’t do that.” “Okay, I won’t.”
8. The whole thing with the senator was a bit far fetched, even for a comic book show.
And the list goes on. I love Arrow very dearly, but I am also not afraid to call it on its flaws. And man, did it have a few this week.
“Suicidal Tendencies” had its good moments and its not-so-good moments. Some very important story developments were made, such as Oliver gaining a new ally(?) in Ray, but these moments were peppered with some less-than-stellar ones, like all of the ones with Cupid.
Did I mention how much I hate Cupid? Because I REALLY FUCKING HATE CUPID.