Thursday, March 10, 2016

Arrow S04 E11: A.W.O.L.

As Felicity returns to work with Team Arrow, conjuring more than a passing resemblance to Oracle, and meeting the goth ghost of times past, the team goes up against a new threat, Shadowspire. I'm just thankful it's not Damien Darhk and H.I.V.E. And while the Arrowverse does seem to have appropriated most of the Batman mythos, Oliver admits that the name 'Oracle' is already taken so gives Felicity the codename Overwatch. Awkward, but it'll do in a pinch.

Because this is a John Diggle-centric episode (usually not a good thing), instead of Flashback Island, we get Flashback Afghanistan where the Diggle brothers went to war and first encountered Shadowspire. Here in the Arrowverse, the group are just military war profiteers, but in the comics they were a bit more super-villainous, using biological warfare and running afoul of our old friend Deathstroke among others. They were also led by Baron Blitzkrieg AKA Reiter from Flashback Island, a bit later verified in this episode.

Felicity is hallucinating due to her pain meds and is taunted by her brunette goth self from college. She's like an evil twin saying all the things Felicity can't say out loud herself - or more accurately she's saying the things we viewers yell at the screen for the last few years. And have I not been paying attention, or is this the first time John Diggle's superhero name Spartan been referenced?

Speaking of references, Shadowspire is seemingly looking to steal a shipment of railguns from Kord Industries. It's a decoy of course to keep Team Arrow away from their real target, A.R.G.U.S. Black Canary asks what Shadowspire would want with railguns. My question is different. What the hell is Kord Industries doing making railguns?? And will we ever see Ted Kord or Blue Beetle? I know that the Atom was supposed to originally be Blue Beetle on the show, so with Ray Palmer off time traveling with the "Legends of Tomorrow," can we finally get the real Blue Beetle?

Now my first thought when A.R.G.U.S. and Amanda Waller showed up in this episode was one of surprise. With a DC Comics Cinematic Universe film version of Suicide Squad coming this summer and Deadshot, in particular, dead in the Arrowverse, I figured we were done with this little corner of the DC TV universe. While Felicity and the Diggle brothers saved the day, halfway through the episode, something shocking happened - Amanda Waller was shot dead.

Now it's not her in the grave, and all she gets is a glass of wine remembrance. I have to wonder how this changes the Arrowverse. It's one thing to ignore characters, but it's a whole 'nother kettle of fish to kill them. I wonder what kind of repercussions this will have. And there's also the mention by Oliver of the Flash's ability to change the past. How permanent is Felicity's paralysis, and what would the repercussions of that change be?

For my other reviews of the entire "Arrow" series, click here. And if you'd like to discuss this episode and anything else in the Arrowverse, please join the Arrow Discussion Group on Facebook.

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