Breaking from tradition, we find ourselves skipping out in the island flashbacks this week, instead we get some Diggle backstory, which was a honestly a refreshing change. In our flashbacks we see Diggle, still in the army, escorting a group of civilians to safety, only for Lyla Michaels (his future wife/girlfriend) discovers that one of the civilians is actually a terrorist in disguise. Diggle and his teammate and friend, Ted Gaynor (last seen as a bad guy in season one, and stilled played by the amazing Ben Browder) restrain the bad guy and continue on. Before long they are ambushed by other bad guys and Diggle saves the terrorists life, which acts as our set up for the main plot of the episode.
In the present, we see the plot split in two, Diggle working with the Suicide Squad to recover a nerve agent held by the terrorist he saved, one Gholem Qadir. While Diggle is off playing with his new friends, Oliver is working to track down Slade before he can hurt anyone he cares about. Lets start with Oliver’s story this week. Not much happened. We see Oliver taking a bit of a dive off the deep end, his worry and concern over his friends getting hurt is driving him to push them away, something which Sara will have none of. We see Oliver calling on his old Russian Mob contacts to find info, and burning that bridge in the process. Slade is basically leading Oliver on a wild goose chase, always stay at least one step ahead of the hero. Not much really happened here, I was honestly kinda bored. Oliver’s freak out over Slade is understandable, but I don’t think it was played very well here. He worked to just push Sara away for about half the episode, only to come to his senses and stop. While I am glad that didn’t try to play this up for to long, as it would have gotten really old really fast, they could have at least made it a bit more interesting. I would say the best part of this was Laurel, and believe me I am as shocked as you are that I just said that, but she actually brought a bit of intelligence and mature thinking to the situation, showing that she is actually have some progression with her character. The very fact that she is trying to patch things up between Oliver and Sara is a huge step forward for her from just a few weeks ago. If they keep this up, she may actually be a worthwhile character soon.
Now, to the fun part of the episode, Diggle teaming up with the Suicide Squad. I am just gonna say it, I loved it. It was nice seeing old villains actually working as good guys. While most of the emphasis was placed on Deadshot, Shrapnel being killed off within his first few minutes and Bronze Tiger more or less being a support character, this still worked. With only an hour to deal with, spending to much time on these characters would have derailed from the actually story and given that history between Diggle and Deadshot, putting the focus on them was the smart move. Deadshot actually proved to be an interesting character and I was glad that they brought in his daughter, it provided a motivation for his character and a chance to see him as more than just a gun for hire. Most importantly, it allowed Diggle to see him as more than just the man that killed his brother. We actually see the characters begin to form some sort of a bond, which was honestly just amazing to watch. The main theme of this episode revolved around the idea of morality, what is right and wrong. Diggle was confronted with this through Deadshot, finding out his motivations for doing what he did, what was important to him, and what he thought was worth dying for. I freely admit, my favorite part of this episode was seeing Diggle rush to save Deadshot at the end, talking him out of letting himself die. I honestly hope we see the Suicide Squad again soon, I totally want more Deadshot moments, and more of the crazy lady in the cell.
That was the part that upset me, that we only got to hear what was obviously supposed to be Harley Quinn and not actually see her. Now, this could be because of licensing issues surrounding the character, so they did a clever work around, but I honestly wanted to see her on screen, mostly because of who played her. The voice of the crazy lady we heard was none other than the ever so beautiful, continually amazing, Tara Strong. For those of you who may not know, Tara Strong is primarily a voice actor, known for characters such as Twilight Sparkle, Timmy Turner, Ben 10, Batgirl, and many many others. She also voiced Harley Quinn a number of times, so that was probably why they brought her in to voice the character.
The other big part of Diggle’s story, was seeing him work through some things with Lyla. While limited, it was nice to see them work through their relationship issues, Lyla is serving to be an interesting character and seres to gives us a window into Diggle’s past, which is still largely unknown, so I am hoping that more of her will be seen. I will say there is one thing that I was upset with about this episode, which is a carry over from previous episodes, and that was Amanda Waller. Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who plays Waller, is far from a bad actress, but I just don’t buy her as a convincing Amanda Waller. She is far better than the Waller portrayed in the Green Lantern movie, but far from what I was expecting or hoping from the character.
Overall, this was a fantastic episode. Even though only a limited time was spent on Oliver, I was okay with this. The Suicide Squad made for fantastic watching, and shows a lot of promise for the future. They need to show up again, this not me saying I want them to appear, no, they need to appear. There still a lot of potential for stories with those characters, and gorram it I want to see Tara Strong on screen, in full blown Harley Quinn make up!