Arrow: Suicidal Tendencies Review

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

“Suicidal Tendencies” is one of those episodes that is polarizing. Either you liked it or you didn’t. Me, I liked it, but I could see how people would be unhappy with the structure of the episode.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.


Whenever the Suicide Squad is in an episode, you know it’s going to be a good one and “Suicidal Tendencies” was a solid episode of Arrow. Unlike the other appearances of the Suicide Squad, Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow weren’t involved in their mission. With their own mission in the works, this episode was divided into two distinct parts: one with the Suicide Squad and one with the happenings in Starling City. It’s as if the episode needed to be a two-part episode or two episodes completely distinct from each other. It was an ambitious hour.

I’m thrilled that another character got the flashback treatment. It was refreshing. The Hong Kong flashbacks are one of the weak points of the season so to mix it up and have a different kind was a great change of pace. I’m kind of surprised that someone with a rather miniscule part like Deadshot had a flashback.

Deadshot’s story is an important one. Not as a reformed super villain but as a soldier returning from war. A good amount of his story is already known through his previous appearances, so there had to be something new to show the viewers in order to justify his flashbacks. In all the flashbacks, he was only portrayed with darkness. There was no light or happiness to his return home. In order for a character to be redeemable, there has to be something to redeem and that wasn’t properly dealt with. Obviously he was dealing with PTSD and his wife and child were unable to cope with Lawton’s emotional carnage. However, that was another aspect that should’ve been highlighted more thoroughly and would’ve benefited from an episode dedicated to him and the Suicide Squad. Soldiers returning from war are rarely portrayed on screen with PTSD. Arrow went to a place others don’t to go. It was a brave storytelling choice that should be commended.

The other half of the episode was focused on Ray, Oliver, and the League of Assassins impersonating The Arrow. Ray and Oliver’s feud ended way too easily for my liking. I don’t like how Felicity was the driving storytelling vehicle behind their fight. Instead of having two men who have different views of how to save the city, which would’ve been a much more engaging story, it became a battle for Felicity. However, the visuals were on point. There was a nice mixture of CGI and practical effects.

I loved the wedding opening and Roy’s quip about how cool it was that Roy built a super suit. (That could’ve been why Oliver just left him lying there after being hit with Ray’s lightning.) These are very lighthearted moments that the series is in desperate need of. Sometimes Arrow takes itself too seriously, which has been a problem this season, and just needs to have some fun.

Lastly, there was a nice H.I.V.E mention and a roundabout reference to Superman with Palmer’s X-Ray vision. Nice job Arrow.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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