TV Reviews

ARROW Recap Season 3 Episode 17 Suicidal Tendencies

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Any television episode that features a wedding is bound to have something dramatic interrupt the proceedings, and ARROW’s most recent installment, “Suicidal Tendencies,” is no different. Diggle (David Ramsey) and Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) barely say their I-dos (again) before two emergencies force them and their friends into action. Will their love story have a satisfying ending?

Thankfully, Oliver (Stephen Amell) seems to want Diggle to be happy, sending him on his honeymoon instead of allowing him to deal with the threat in Starling City. Ra’s and his followers continue to impersonate The Arrow, ruining Oliver’s good name, in the hopes that Oliver will abandon that persona and become the next Ra’s. It doesn’t work because, while the city turns against The Arrow, Oliver remains committed to clearing his name and stopping the imposters.

Oliver’s foe in “Suicidal Tendencies” is Ray, a.k.a. The Atom (Brandon Routh). While Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) and his cops are no match for the superhero, a fellow crusader might be. Except, Ray is too new, unequipped to really deal with The Arrow. So it’s more a battle of the minds, with Oliver trying to convince Ray that he’s innocent of the murders. Eventually, this works out, but not before fans get a showdown between the pair, which The Arrow easily wins. Hopefully, this new alliance will survive the death of Mayor Castle (Christina Cox), which will surely be pinned on Arrow.

On a more personal front, both Ray and Oliver feel betrayed by Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) when they learn the other’s secret. This is understandable for Oliver because he gives up a chance at romantic bliss with Felicity in order to save the city, and she is now in the arms of someone else doing the same. But Ray is still naïve, not knowing the price of the life he’s chosen, and Oliver is sure they won’t work out. Ray has to decide if Felicity is leading him on, a complicated effort when she’s still keeping a past flame’s secret. Yet “Suicidal Tendencies” ends with them reuniting. I doubt they can make it work long-term, but while I root for Oliver and Felicity to wind up together, it’s nice she has this relationship for now.

Speaking of love, despite Oliver’s intentions, Diggle and Lyla don’t get to fly off on vacation. They are intercepted by A.R.G.U.S. and sent on a mission with a couple of members of The Suicide Squad, Cupid (Amy Gumenick) and Deadshot (Michael Rowe). While the team tries to take down corrupt Senator Cray (Steven Culp, Desperate Housewives, Bosch), the newlyweds wonder if they have any shot at domesticity while they engage in such dangerous professions.

Deadshot says they do not, and we see why he believes this in a series of flashbacks to his character coming home from war. This is far more compelling than the usual Oliver flashbacks, the story of a man whose child doesn’t recognize him and whose wife is afraid of his PTSD. It’s heart-breaking, and certainly gives a lot of depth to the recurring player. By the time Deadshot sacrifices himself (I really hope he’s not actually dead, and he probably isn’t) to stop Cray, which isn’t completely effective, even Diggle, whose own brother was murdered by Deadshot, can’t help but respect the man.

But that doesn’t mean Deadshot is right about the couple. Lyla gives up A.R.G.U.S. because they let Cray get away with his lie in the aftermath, so both parents aren’t going to continue to be in constant danger. Even if something happens to Diggle, their baby will still have a parent at home. And something won’t necessarily happen to Diggle. Lyla rejects his offer to quit Team Arrow, citing the good they are doing for the city, but that doesn’t mean Oliver won’t do everything he can to make sure Daddy Diggle goes home in one piece every night.

“Suicidal Tendencies” is mostly a great episode because of the character development and questions it raises. ARROW has been on a roll this year, and by finally making the flashback element interesting again, this installment raises the bar even more. Overall, I really liked it.

Which is not to say that it’s without problems. There are some very obvious issues as ARROW allows tropes and flubs to slip in. From Cray revealing his entire plan to our heroes, to Deadshot not flinching when Diggle slaps his injured arm, to Ray having to fill in last minute as minister, there are some sloppy parts of the hour. ARROW isn’t usually this obvious in its flaws, but considering the bigger picture, they are not enough to tear down the episode.

ARROW airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.

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