Series Issues: Arrow 3×17 – Atomic Ray

(Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW)

(Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW)

Spoilers will be loosen about.

This week’s Arrow 3×17: Suicidal Tendencies splits the focus between Arrow’s dilemma and the new Suicide Squad. I didn’t think I was going to get into the idea of Suicide Squad as much, but it wasn’t that bad. Not that I think they’re remotely eligible for a spinoff. They’re not. Their status here was like that second comic you get in the back of the mainstream big one. It can be kinda cool, but it gets seen only because it runs with the main show.

We start with the wedding of John Diggle and Lyla. It’s all smiles even when Ray Palmer shows up as Felicity’s plus one and ends up being the minister. I didn’t quite mind this lighthearted scene. Pretty soon we get down to business again as everyone’s phone starts to get notifications on Arrow on a killing spree. Make that “Arrows”, the League has gone green for this episode.

Oliver convinces Diggle and Lyla to go on their honeymoon, assuring them Team Arrow will handle this one. Of course, Deadshot is waiting in their limo letting them know Amanda Waller is getting the Squad together. Also along for the ride is crazy archer-stalker Cupid. This side quest is run alongside a flashback origin story: Floyd Lawton coming back from military service and being unable to return to civilian life.

Back to the main storyline, Ray Palmer has decided to go after Arrow. Using x-ray vision (insert your favorite pun here) and Felicity’s own face-recognition software, The Atom manages to identify Oliver. The immediate result is that Ray quickly guesses out Felicity is involved. Poor Felicity gets her heart broken and she lashes at Oliver for it. The eventual confrontation has a flying Atom in a suit and bursts of energy Iron Man style.

We have yet to see The Atom reduce his size though. I really don’t know how they’ll go for that one. Can you really be taken seriously if your power is to become microscopically small? Can the show survive that suspension of disbelief? The question is moot for now.

Eventually the Arrow and the Atom meet face to face when Ray fakes a criminal incident that he knows will bring both Oliver and Roy to a remote location. Arsenal is taken out of the equation by one of Atom’s charges, but Arrow manages to identify the exhaust port in Atom’s Death Star and knocks his power source out. So much for Ray’s super-suit. Then Oliver surprises him by letting him go with a piece of advice: trust Felicity.

The Suicide Squad story and flashback do converge in one fact. Floyd Lawton may have become the criminal Deadshot, but does have a redemption moment by making sure Diggle and Lyla go back to their baby girl. That soft spot is no doubt the fact that he could never put aside his violent temper and never connected with his little girl or reconciled with his wife. Deadshot seems to go down with the explosion of charges planted by a corrupt senator that faked a terrorist incident with hired mercenaries. You know, the usual.

But although Ray turns around and reunites with Felicity, the League has other plans. In a meeting with Captain Lance, Laurel and Ray, the Mayor gets an arrow to the heart. Looks like it’s Maseo from a nearby roof. What he does next however, is knock a second arrow aiming it at Felicity Smoak.

Overall, the show was about two things. The showdown with The Atom, which is kind of a letdown, and the return of the Suicide Squad. In the end, it’s a bit of an ok episode, hopefully setting us up for something more.

Highs:

  • We finally get the Atom vs. Arrow encounter. It’s short. I sincerely don’t know if they would have done better going for a prolonged showdown.
  • Although it sucks, at least Ray was able to deduce the identity of Black Canary. They don’t linger too much on it, but it’s kind of obvious and I’m glad at least Ray doesn’t need X-Ray vision for that.
  • There is a tense moment between Felicity and Oliver after Ray has dissed her for working with Arrow. It’s not a nice moment, but it was well done.
  • We get a respite from Malcolm Merlyn, which was figuring a little too much and John Diggle and Lyla get their own feature story. Also, a nice sendoff for Deadshot, although we don’t see him die.

Lows:

  • The fight between the Atom and Arrow is a bit ho-hum. Are we going to ever address the Atom’s main powers are the ability to shrink? Will it change the show to suddenly deal with super powers?
  • The Atom suit still looks like an american gladiator or future sport movie costume. Fix the helmet at least.
  • Felicity Smoak is in the crosshairs. Could the show really consider losing Felicity? That would be a heartbreaker – and definitely a game changer. I completely see Oliver unraveling if such event would occur. And now we have to wait a week to find out.

That will do for now.

Coming soon:

(Source: The CW)

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