TV REVIEW: Arrow “Suicidal Tendencies”
By Justin Carter
At some point, this whole Oliver/Felicity/Ray triangle has to end, right?
Oliver either has to accept that this is happening, Felicity will either dump Ray or he’ll end things, but at this point, I just want it to end. I’m just done with revisiting this plotline because it makes Oliver look insufferable and Felicity just comes off as mopey. Frankly, it’s hard to want her to be with either guy when they alternate between yelling at her every five minutes. Not that some of it wasn’t warranted. For example, why Felicity chose at the worst possible moment to tell Oliver her boss is working on a suit to save the city is beyond me. All things considered, she should’ve simply told both of them that she was keeping it strictly professional, but nope, she ends up with Ray. But it’s not going to last long, since she did a Freudian slip revealing her lingering feelings for Oliver directly to Ray’s face. There wasn’t even much worth watching both men face off in their suits, since it was at its core, just two dudes fighting over a girl.
Which is a shame, because Ray has some nice moments here. He’s able to piece together the identities of everyone in Team Arrow pretty quickly just going off the ATOM suit’s facial scan of the Arrow alone. In fact, it’s almost Batman in how quickly he’s able to piece everything together and go about pursuing justice on his own. Was it a bit of a stupid move to go to the cops with just that evidence and little else to back it up? Yeah, but Ray’s always been someone driven by his emotions (not unlike Oliver), and Felicity keeping this a secret from him is a sting (“Oliver hasn’t killed anyone in nearly two years.” “That is not your best argument.”). It was fun watching his and Laurel’s back and forth; if those two ever spend more time together, it’d be appreciated. The show could stand to have his superhero origin story overlap his and Felicity’s relationship.
I start with the B-story because that aside, this episode ends up being pretty fun, focusing on Deadshot, of all people. The sniper returns alongside the Arrow’s psycho stalker Cupid to travel with Diggle and Lyla to rescue a kidnapped US senator on foreign soil. Surprise, surprise, the senator ends up staging his own kidnapping in a bid to become a hero and president. Instead of devoting flashback time to Oliver, we see Floyd Lawton’s life before he became an assassin and was a simple soldier who had just come back from war. He’s unable to shake off his PTSD, and that combined with his young daughter’s refusal to speak to him push him to the point where he puts a gun to wife’s head. His lines about family and people like him and the Diggles “not getting to have a family” are a bit hokey, but it’s clear that he’s speaking from a place of pain instead of plain old cynicism. His first appearance in the episode sees him in the Diggle’s rented limo, drinking their fancy wine. Right from the start, it’s clear that even being within the distance of a wedding is a sore spot for him.
It’s fitting that the episode is called “Suicidal Tendencies” because Deadshot has certainly been suicidal in his last two appearances. Last season, he made it very clear that he wanted to die by missile strike, but Diggle pulled him out at the last minute. This time around, that desire to die hasn’t gone away, the only difference being that Diggle can’t pull a last minute save. That the show has actually done away with Deadshot is a surprising and gutsy move. It’s possible through some extremely contrived way that he will return — he did take an arrow to the eye in his first appearance and was assumed dead, and look how that went. Until then, it’s a shame that Deadshot appears to be gone for good, because it was ultimately him that made this episode as good as it was.
Cupid: “Baby, does it hurt bad? You were so brave.” Deadshot: “I take it back. I think I do wanna die.”
Cupid: “The Arrow and I are gonna get married and have strong, beautiful babies.” Deadshot: “And…does he know this?”
Roy: “Ray built a supersuit? That’s awesome…and reckless.”
- I assume the reason for Deadshot and Cupid’s failed “relationship” is the fact that in the comics (and presumably in the upcoming movie), he and Harley Quinn are a bit of a thing. But since Harley was a one-time cameo in Arrow, Cupid was the next best choice.