Tonight’s episode of Arrow was co-written by one of my favourite Smallville writers Bryan Q. Miller and can be easily divided into three sections: John and the Suicide Squad, Diggle Flashback and Oliver’s search for Slade Wilson.
John Diggle and the Suicide Squad
While Diggle is on a stakeout outside of Felicity’s place to make sure she is safe from Slade’s revenge scheme, he gets a text asking him to go to a particular hotel room. Before that though, Felicity comes out of her house in her jammies to give Diggle some hot cocoa and loves that he is concerned about her but will be okay.
When Diggle goes to this hotel room, there is Lyla fresh back from a mission and ready for some afternoon delight which Diggle happily indulges her to.
Afterwards, as they are on their way out, they encounter Waller who needs to meet with both of them. At ARGUS headquarters, Waller basically needs Diggle’s help in retrieving a nerve toxin that has been stolen from a Gholem Qadir. Why Diggle? Well apparently they have a history together back to his time in Afghanistan.
We see Diggle’s time in Afghanistan and we see again Ted Gaynor, who we first saw in season 1’s “Trust but Verify”, as their squad leader. Lyla is there too and both men just refer to her as Michaels. As they stop to rest, Lyla talks to a woman on their journey who tells her that there is a terrorist amongst their group. It is Qadir whom they immediately take prisoner. While they continue their journey, Qadir tries to bribe Diggle but before anything can happen, the squad is ambushed. In this melee, Qadir makes his escape and is about to be shot until Diggle saves his life.
Later that night, Diggle and Lyla get properly introduced.
Because Diggle saved Qadir’s life that gives him a sort of in to meet up with him again. So Diggle is supposed to go to a fundraiser in Markovia where Qadir will be and get close to him in order to get the nerve toxin. Before Diggle can go on this mission though, Waller introduces him to his team: Shrapnel, Deadshot and Bronze Tiger.
Diggle balks at the idea of working with his brother’s murder but Waller pretty much says he has no choice and even says what he does with Oliver Queen and Sara Lance is no different. Diggle is a little mad at Lyla for knowingly working with criminal and murderers. During their lover’s spat, a woman prisoner chimes in but Waller shuts her up. We are lead to believe that this woman is possible Harley Quinn.
This team is called the Suicide Squad because they know that they may not come back from this mission. Anyways, the team make their way to Markovia. Things go smoothly at first as Qadir and Diggle have a reunion where a targeted shooting is setup to make it seem that Diggle saves Qadir again but that Diggle was the intended target. Tiger played the role of Diggle’s bodyguard that got killed while it was Deadshot who took the shot.
I am not quite sure what Shrapnel’s role was because he abandoned the mission because Markovia doesn’t have an extradition treaty and tries to escape. But Waller pulls the trigger on some explosive device in his neck, killing him.
For saving Qadir’s life, Diggle gets invited to a benefit at Qadir’s house. While prepping for that mission, Deadshot and John seem to have a moment of truth with each other. We learn that Deadshot has a daughter and everything he does is for her meaning he saves all the money that he makes to Zoey. Their prep by the way involves Deadshot getting Diggles biometrics that gains him entry into the party.
At Qadir’s house (the interior was definitely used in Smallville season 5’s “Thirst”), Diggle introduces Lyla as his new bodyguard. Qadir thankfully doesn’t recognize Lyla from their time in Afghanistan. Before Diggle reaches the biometric screening, he gets Qadir to get credentials for Lyla thus by passing all that. This lets Deadshot easily come in with Diggle’s credentials.
During the party, Lyla and Diggle place Deadshots stuff in place for him to find later. As Diggle and Lyla want to start their mission to get the nerve toxin, Qadir gets them to dance, where the two have a heart-to-heart about their differences of opinion.
Deadshot does make his way through Qadir’s house and when he finds the nerve toxin he realizes that it can’t easliy be pocketed. Deadshot reports this back to Waller who tells him to stay where he is. To clear the house, Diggle makes a speech that at first seems to honor Qadir but ends up revealing that he is a terrorist. This news causes everyone to panic and flee.
Waller sends a drone strike to attack the house and also sends Tiger to the house, who happens save Lyla from Qadir who almost killed her. She also tries to get Lyla and Diggle to return to their meeting point. However, Diggle doesn’t want to leave Deadshot so he tries to get him. But Deadshot doesn’t want to go as he is prepared to die for an honourable cause. Diggle convinces Deadshot to leave by bringing up his daughter.
As everyone leaves, we see the drone make a u-turn from the house and start to follow the van that has the Suicide Squad. They realize that Waller implanted a GPS chip in Deadshot and the drone is tracking him. Lyla removes the chip using one of Tiger’s claw and the drone targets the chip that was thrown out of the van.
Of course this is not what Waller wanted. She wanted everything to be done quietly but what Diggle did, it was anything but and they had to send in a SEAL team to clean up their mess. Deadshot returns to his ARGUS cell and Diggle tells that he might get a pardon in 25 years or something like that. Deadshot believes he won’t make it that long.
Also, while Diggle and Lyla may have had their differences of opinions, there was one thing he knew and that is he didn’t want to lose her.
Oliver looks for Slade Wilson
It seems that Oliver is now living in the Arrow Cave with Sara. We see him wake from a nightmare where he dreamed that he was sleeping next to Shado who calls him a murderer.
Because he can’t sleep, Oliver visits his Bratva contact about getting his help in finding Slade. Alexei says he will help Oliver if Oliver helps him. Oliver doesn’t want to and when Alexei’s goons try and take Oliver down, he gets the upper hand.
Alexei does supply him with a bank account and tells Oliver that their working relationship is through. Felicity manages to find an address based on the bank account after coming up empty before hand. Earlier, when Felicity sends Oliver to a robbery, we see Deathstroke standing at a nearby rooftop and Oliver goes to that rooftop and finds the old Deathstroke mask with an arrow through the right eye.
When Oliver arrives at that address, we see that it is Slade’s office but in the office chair is Alexei with an arrow through his right eye. In the office, a home movie of Shado is playing.
We also see Laurel and Sara acting like sisters as Laurel sees Sara’s concern over an ever distant Oliver. Laurel gives them both advice. Sara asks Oliver not to shut her out and not to feel guilty anymore that he chose her to save. But Oliver is worried for Sara’s safety and fears that Slade will go after her because he chose her to save than Shado so that is why he is keeping his distance. However, after realizing that Slade is always one step ahead of him, he decides he doesn’t want to do this alone so the two decide to work together to take him down.
In the final scene of the episode Arrow goes to visit his old friend Amanda Waller at ARGUS. Apparently, Waller and Oliver have some history that we don’t know the whole story but she is well aware of Slade Wilson. Waller does tell Oliver about some mercenary that they are trying to track and he goes by the name of Deathstroke.
Next week’s episode is called “Birds of Prey” and features the return of the Huntress.