We're taking on Arrow Season 2 Episode 16 in this edition of the Arrow Round Table , examining the morals of Amanda Waller, Oliver's emotions and Diggle's connection to Floyd "Deadshot" Lawton.
Join staff writers Hank Otero, Carla Day, Kate Brooks, Nick McHatton and Carissa Pavlica as they come to terms with the icy cold Waller and the compassionate Diggle. Pull up a virtual chair now!
What were your overall impressions of the Suicide Squad and Amanda Waller's management of it?
Hank: Honestly, I was very surprised at how ruthless Waller's management of the squad was. Not only did she nonchalantly kill off Shrapnel when he tried to abandon the mission, but she planned to blow up Deadshot all along. While I understand the method behind her madness, I wouldn't trust her as far as I can throw her. Oliver better watch his back while attempting to take down Deathstroke with Amanda Waller. She's scary!
Carla: I was impressed the Suicide Squad team members worked so well together, well except for Shrapnel ditching them. Bronze Tiger and Deadshot performed their roles well. And, Deadshot was willing to die to complete the mission. I'd love to see Diggle work on a mission with them again. They may have been foes, but they proved their value. Regarding Amanda Waller, I lost all respect for her. She may get results, but she's not honorable.
Kate: I agree with Carla, Amanda Waller is not honorable. I do look forward to finding out more about storyline. I, too, enjoyed the Suicide Squad and more specifically Deadshot's role. The best part was when the writers "humanized" Deadshot by giving him a daughter. By creating her they've given him a purpose to be good.
Nick: Going into the episode I didn't have much hope for it because I didn't find the development of the characters to be good, but by the time Diggle walked Deadshot back to his cell I'm ready for a spinoff of the Suicide Squad. They all have their demons and carry a lot of baggage, but in between their poor choices there are shades of grey that color them with a little more humanity that previously thought.
Carissa: It was much different than I expected. Not having a big background with the squad, I was unaware that Amanda Waller was made of ice. I suppose she was picked for the job because when it calls for the routine deaths of the people you work with, it would be difficult to be anything less. Still, very surprising. Deadshot will be the standout from the squad, however, with his feelings and calling it like he sees it -- Task Force X his ass -- it's the Suicide Squad!
Were you surprised Diggle and Deadshot got along so well?
Hank: Not really, we had already seen a different side to Deadshot. I wasn't surprised that Diggle would do the right thing. What did surprise me was the way the writers humanized Deadshot. Until this episode, he was basically a heartless assassin. Now that he's got more of a back story and a daughter, he's much more complicated as a character. I actually enjoyed Michael Rowe's performance this week. His scenes with David Ramsey were fantastic.
Carla: At first, I was. Deadshot killed Andy, so Diggle has a good reason to dislike the guy. In actuality, they have a lot in common. I'm glad we learned more about Floyd Lawton and he's done bad things, but he's not a bad guy. He does have a heart and a sense of loyalty. I'm looking forward to see those two interact again in the future.
Kate: Yes and no. Diggle hated Deadshot so to see them work well together was both shocking and appealing. I enjoyed that Diggle went back to save Deadshot, it shows true character from Diggle that he's willing to put aside his deceased brother and be apart of a team with the man who killed him.
Nick: Both of them are very mission oriented, so bonding over a common task isn't surprising. I think what cements their near friendship is they both have very clear goals in protecting those they care about, and they really understand the level of dedication that comes from that.
Carissa: When Diggle and Deadshot said goodbye on the road after escaping the Russian prison in Arrow Season 2 Episode 6, I sensed something more from Floyd Lawton. He wasn't just a killer or he wouldn't have given the information to Diggle about Andy being a target of H.I.V.E. and not just collateral damage. We've still never found out what Dig discovered on Bing, but he hasn't lost sight of what Lawton told him, either. Seeing more of the two is a must.
Is it a good idea for Oliver to trust Waller with his Slade business?
Hank: Not at all, as I mentioned above. However, Oliver's run out of options and needs the help. He just has to proceed with caution, she's got ulterior motives.
Carla: Absolutely not. That said ... I'm not sure he has a better option. It's unclear how well he knows her. She doesn't hold the same code of honor that he does and that will likely become a problem. Will Oliver break his own rules to take down Slade and protect his friends and family? Probably, but how far will he go?
Kate: As Carla said, Oliver doesn't have anyone else to turn to. Slade has been planning for years to get back at him and will continue to be a step ahead of him until Oliver thinks outside the box. I hope that Waller helps him do just that but like most good deals, sometimes they're just too good to be true.
Nick: Of course not, she uses others for her own gain, but Waller is only person with the resources Oliver needs to find Slade. Right now, Oliver and Waller are in the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but if or when Slade is taken care of they're very much going to be at each other's throats.
Carissa: Oliver has decided immediately to go against his new credo and kill. That's not good and asking Waller to help is even worse. If he knew more about the Suicide Squad he might rethink his decision to include her. She likely won't kill Slade anyway, and use him on her squad. That hardly suits Oliver's needs.
What did you think about Laurel helping Sara and Oliver?
Hank: I can honestly say, I'm enjoying Laurel much more these last few episodes. I guess I'm easy, but I thought the writers had ruined the character for me. This new Laurel gives me hope that if she eventually takes over as Black Canary, she won't be that bad.
Carla: It was a bit odd. Maybe there's hope that the three of them can all get along as friends after all they've been through. Of course if that happens. one of the Lance ladies will likely be killed. Which one? No clue, but I doubt they are both going to survive the season.
Kate: Weird. Weird. Weird. Think about this, Oliver has slept with both sisters. Loved one before the other. Used one against the other. Now, sleeping with one and while the other helps their relationship stay strong. It's weird.
Nick: It's a good indication of her recovery process. Right now, Laurel recognizes it's not all about her; that others Laurel cares about need some guidance and advice. It's a big step up from Laurel thinking Starling City revolves around her problems and drama.
Carissa: I'd imagine that Laurel is just resigned to the fact that things are never going to go her way so she can either accept them or not have them in her life. She's going for the former. I'd be more embarrassed if I were Sara, having never really apologized for taking Oliver in the first place. Laurel has a big heart.
Are Oliver's emotions going to be a hindrance fighting against Slade?
Hank: Oliver has been extremely emotional lately, he needs to get it together. There's a war coming and one bad move, he'll end up with an arrow in his eye. I'd like to mention that this Diggle-centric episode was perfectly timed, giving us a little break from the Oliver, Laurel, Sara drama. Like Carissa mentioned in her review, I also wish we'd get more of these Diggle episodes in the future. #TeamDiggle
Carla: Definitely, but I also think they will be his salvation. Slade's going to fight dirty and Oliver is going to have some tough decisions to make regarding how far he will go to stop Slade. Is there a peaceful way out of it? Not right away, but if anyone can turn Slade around, it will be Oliver. They are friends and brothers of sorts.
Kate: This is something I would like to see happen more than anything else, Oliver trying to save Slade, once again, from himself. In turn, Oliver may lose someone he cares immensely about as a result of this block he has when it comes to Slade. I don't want to see Wilson remember their "brotherhood" or a peaceful time before the Mirakuru. Slade is going to cause a lot of grief and I am looking forward to watching it all play out.
Nick: Like all good superhero stories, what is originally his hindrance becomes his strength. Slade has no qualms about going all out against Oliver, but Oliver's extra variables in the equation means he'll need to be a better opponent who solves for contingencies. It forces Oliver to think creatively to take Slade down, and use things Slade doesn't know much about: his team.
Carissa: The already are since he's planning to kill. I'd like to see them make peace and for Arrow to take a different way out of this than the comics, but Slade is destined to become a badass assassin. I don't see him dying any time soon, so all of Oliver's efforts to try to kill him will be in vain, which will make you wonder -- would another tactic have worked if Oliver wasn't so blinded by emotion?
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.