“A.W.O.L.” (Spoilers Below)

  • Oliver Queen/ The Arrow — Stephen Amell
  • Laurel Lance — Katie Cassidy
  • John Diggle — David Ramsey
  • Thea Queen — Willa Holland
  • Felicity Smoak — Emily Bett Rickards
  • Lyla Michaels — Audrey Marie Anderson
  • Amanda Waller — Cynthia Addai-Robinson
  • Andy Diggle — Eugene Byrd

I guess I’ll address the biggest thing that happened in the issue first. Amanda Waller is dead and I don’t mind at all. I feel like I was one of a few who thought the casting of her was weird, she’s very “New 52” I suppose. But when I imagine Amanda Waller, I imagine someone with power like Viola Davis. I’m very, very excited for that casting. I understand that the CW is getting rid of the squad so that the TV shows and Movies don’t compete against each other. That makes sense for the lesser known characters. It’s not like having 2 “Flashes”. Anyways, I think introducing Shadowspire and hinting very strongly that either Diggle or Lyla are going to take over ARGUS in the rebuilding stages just seems to fit better. This episode didn’t address the burning question of who’s in the grave but I didn’t think it would considering that seems like a pre-finale thing to reveal.

Another weird casting call that gets more and more apparent to me each week, is the casting of Andy Diggle. He’s a little mouse standing up to his brother. I really liked the flashbacks minus the crazy amount of forestry in the background. It’s Afghanistan, can you just point the camera more downward so we don’t see the 50 foot trees behind you? It’s called a desert for a reason. I do feel the chemistry between John and Andy though. This week’s connection was especially strong in the beginning and in the end when their plan came to be. I’m pretty pumped to see where the series goes in the future with both of their characters.

I hate saying this episode was weak because I think it’s progressing the story in an interesting way. I just don’t understand what’s going on sometimes. I think the new nickname is weird, no one is watching them anymore. I laughed out loud when Oliver said “Overwatch” and “Spartan”. Poor Felicity for being in a wheelchair, I don’t know how I would have handled the drug problem. I just don’t know if there was a better way than what happened in this episode. The character progression of Felicity was so fast that it made it seem clunky to me. I have never experienced hallucinogens; I don’t know how long it would take to get over that. To me, it seems like it would take longer than 6 hours. I have mixed feelings about Goth Felicity. I just don’t think it needed to happen. I feel bad saying that because it is a cool idea. The resolution just happened to fast for me for any real problem to occur. I understand the dislike for the Felicity character as she gets furious with Oliver for not telling her things but then does the same thing. Obviously she’s just trying to shrink down and feel bad for herself. She just experienced a tragedy. I’ll be interested to see how the writer’s change her character in the next episodes after seeing how lying can happen so easily.

The shining star of this episode was Stephen Amell. His expressions the entire episode were on point. You can see him thinking just through his eyes. When Felicity is saying “go away” and not even looking at him, he just knows. It’s weird to see such a talented actor playing Superhero, but Amell does such a good job. I think he’s vastly underrated and goes unnoticed at times. He wears a mask for more than half of the episode and we always know how he feels. We can only hope he gets his Slammy soon. For the one or two lines that Laurel had, she did really well too. Laurel and Oliver are finally rekindling that strong chemistry that they had in the first season and it shows. I’m very excited to see what is to come with both of those characters. Thea was kinda invisible in this episode as much larger things happened around her but I’m equally interested to see where she’s going.

Overall, I was pretty happy with this episode. It was a little clunky to me, but it didn’t bother me too much. I’m making a guess that Diggle will be in the grave. That would be a true tragedy for the show, but that’s who I am predicting.

Score: 7/10