Is Diggle even needed on Team Arrow anymore?
I don't ask that because I don't like the character. I LOVE him. But with Roy and Sara serving as the brawn, and Felicity serving as the brains of Team Arrow, what's Diggle's role anymore on the team?
Tonight's episode didn't attempt to answer that question. Instead, it showed us other, kind-of-way-more fascinating aspects of Diggle. We learn can he and should he forgive Deadshot. And how did he meet Lyla?
Diggle Goes On His First, and Likely Last, Mission with the Suicide Squad
Diggle begins the episode on watch duty outside of Felicity's house. With Slade in town, Diggle has dispatched Roy to watch over Thea, a security team to watch over Moira, and Sara to watch over Laurel--leaving him to watch over Felicity.
She thanks him for his service, but said it's not necessary. Diggle is then lured away by Lyla, his ex-wife and now, I guess "girlfriend." They have sex and afterwards, Amanda Waller visits them to come recruit them for a mission.
A man named Ghloem Qadir is trying to get some black market nerve agent--after failing to acquire Malcolm's earthquake machine in a recent episode. The reason Diggle's recruited? He apparently saved Ghloem's life in Afghanistan--something we'll see over the course of flashbacks throughout the episode.
She wants Diggle to lead Task Force X, or as Deadshot calls them, the Suicide Squad, made up of Deadshot (who of course killed Diggle's brother), Bronze Tiger and Shrapnel. Diggle is in disbelief at who's actually on his team, but Amanda defends them, basically alluding to the fact that if they die, it'll be as if they committed suicide in their jail cells. Lyla goes even a step further to say Diggle is conveniently forgetting all of the people Oliver and Sara have killed over the years.
Even with his reservations, Diggle goes on the mission. He once again saves Ghloem's life, though this time, it's from Deadshot (who missed on purpose) instead of a child, as it was in Afghanistan. In the ensuing chaos, Shrapnel tries to escape the mission and Amanda winds up detonating a bomb in his head that causes him to crash his car.
Diggle is furious with Lyla over the head explosives (my word), but again, continues with the mission. He goes to a fundraiser Qadir invites him to, as does Deadshot, who gets in by copying Diggle's fingerprint. Deadshot finds the nerve agent, but finds there is significantly more than he expected to find.
We then learn Amanda's true plan--Bronze Tiger, Diggle and Lyla will evacuate, while she sends a drone strike in to destroy the house, the nerve agent and everyone inside, including Deadshot.
Diggle, of course, doesn't want to evacuate. Instead, he gives a speech where he alerts the guests to the presence of the nerve agent in the home, causing a panic and everyone to escape. Qadir tries to kill Lyla, but Bronze Tiger kills him first. Deadshot also saves Diggle's life from two of Qadir's body guards.
Diggle doesn't want to leave without Deadshot, who wants to live up to the Suicide Squad name. To change his mind, Diggle brings up Deadshot's daughter, Zooey, who he sends all his blood money to. I'm not sure I'd buy it if Diggle forgave Deadshot for killing his brother, but I do buy that Diggle wouldn't want Zooey to be without her father.
The Suicide Squad is able to escape in time before the drone strike, until the drones shift course and start following the squad's car. Lyla extracts the tracker from Deadshot's head and the drones explode on contact when she throws it out the car.
Back in the US, Amanda is less than pleased with the results of the mission--to put it mildly. That will probably be Diggle's first and only mission with the Suicide Squad.
Oliver Starts to Panic
With Slade back in Starling City, Oliver is visibly shaken. He quickly recruits Alexi, an old Russian mobster "friend" from Season One that I had to Google to remember who he was. (http://arrow.wikia.com/wiki/Alexi_Leonov)
He wants Alexi's men to find Slade, but when he refuses, Oliver threatens him and says he now owns him.
Felicity is also looking into Slade's background for Oliver. She also seems surprised when he hesitates going out to investigate a local robbery because he's so obsessed with finding Slade.
Slade is easily causing Oliver to slip back into bad habits from Season One era Oliver, where he doesn't care about the mission, just the revenge. Regardless, Oliver goes out goes to the location of the robbery and winds up finding a Deathstroke mask with an arrow through the left eye. (Seriously can't wait to see how that event played out in flashbacks between Slade and Oliver.) He later finds Alexi's dead body, in his office, also with an arrow straight through the left eye.
Oliver goes to see Sara and admits why he's so afraid--he thinks Slade will kill Sara because of what happened to Shado. Like Felicity telling Diggle earlier, Sara tells Oliver to let him come--she's not that easy to kill. The two of them recommit themselves to each other, just as Lyla and Diggle do the same.
At the end of the episode, Oliver finally makes a smart move on who to recruit to help him find Slade: he asks Amanda for help. She says she has someone who can help: Deathstroke.
Wait. What? Is it possible the brilliant Amanda has no idea who Deathstroke really is? That he's really Slade? Or is it even more possible that Slade isn't actually Deathstroke?!
Other Odds and Ends
- I got serious, SERIOUS shivers down my spine when we heard, but barely saw, another prisoner of A.R.G.U.S.'s. She said, "I'm a trained therapist" and she didn't belong there. So... that has to be Harley Quinn, right?!
- Amanda refers to Oliver as "the Arrow." Is that the first time someone on the show has used that exact phrase? I can't recall.
- Shrapnel can't be dead, right? We never saw the body, so I say no.
- Oddly strange to see Laurel give Oliver dating advice as it relates to Sara, no? AA has done wonders for her attitude and personality.
Arrow airs 8pm Wednesdays on the CW
(image courtesy of the CW)