Long-time comic fans are going to thrilled with this week’s episode of ARROW, which brings together the famed Suicide Squad. The newest member who is reluctant to join up is John Diggle (David Ramsey). With Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) hovering in the shadows of Starling City waiting to strike at everyone that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) loves, this is the worst time for Diggle to be recruited for a top secret government mission.
But destiny waits for no one, not even a superhero looking to protect his own family. Swept up into events bigger than he and Oliver, Diggle finds himself leading the Suicide Squad on a sensitive mission. The episode also features flashbacks which show exactly why Diggle does not want to be a military man anymore. But with Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) around, as well as wanting to do the right thing, Diggle begrudgingly jumps back into the world of espionage.
Look for the reappearance of several familiar ARROW villains, including Deadshot (Michael Rowe), Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White) and Shrapnel (Sean Maher). Not exactly Diggle’s dream team, but they are killers who are highly motivated to help out for this mission. With the assistance of Lyla and Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), the Suicide Squad is deployed and the clock is ticking down to save the world quickly so Diggle can resume his duties in protecting the Queens.
For back in Starling City, everyone has a bulls-eye on their back. Before Diggle’s mission takes him to parts unknown, he is on Felicity stake-out duty, which leads to a very cute and funny moment, which includes the comment, “Nice jammies.” So fans can look forward to seeing a sneak peek in Felicity’s personal life.
As for Oliver, well he is not sitting around waiting for Slade to strike. He is turning over every rock in Starling City and calling in all the favors he can to locate Slade’s hiding place. But Oliver being Oliver, he is a bit brusque in seeking assistance and his commanding manner tends to ruffle feathers. So that is going to spark some definite animosity and problems just when Oliver does not need anything else on his plate. There will be one unexpected ally that Oliver turns to that will surprise everyone.
During a recent press conference, executive producer Marc Guggenheim revealed a bit about where Season 2 of ARROW is going for our heroes.
How did you select which of the ARROW characters was going to be in the Suicide Squad?
MARC: The year started with DC providing us with a list of characters who were available and who they would like to see on the show . . . and we slowly put the pieces on the board and slowly realized that it was possible [to introduce the Suicide Squad]. I’m very happy we were able to do it this year.
With so many people now knowing that Oliver Queen is the Arrow, will anyone else find out before the end of Season 2?
MARC: I would say it’s going to go up before the end of the year. . . . By the finale, more people will know than currently do.
Is that a good thing or bad thing?
MARC: We talk about this a lot in the writers’ room about: are there too many people that just know? Does it diminish the secret identity? Where we have come from is the philosophy that when our characters know, it draws them into Oliver’s world and it draws them into the show more. So we tend to get more story out of people knowing than people not knowing. . . Obviously, different philosophies, different points of view. I wrote that line in Episode 212 about: How many people know? Too many people. That was really a nod to the fans who have been complaining ever since episode 16 of last year, when we told Tommy, as a nod to those fans who do feel like it’s too many. But for us, as writers, we always go towards whatever gives us more story and more interesting story, and for now at least, certain people knowing is more interesting than certain people not knowing.
Since Lance used to be a detective, shouldn’t he have have figured out that Oliver is the Arrow by now?
MARC: I will say Episode 219 pretty definitely answers that question, as far as Lance is considered, and the answer to that will surprise you. It is not something that you would expect.
Will we get to see Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) or any of THE FLASH characters in Episode 219?
MARC: Danielle Panabaker, who plays Caitlin, and Carlos Valdez, who plays Cisco, two members of Star Labs who are part of the regular cast of THE FLASH do make an important appearance in Episode 219 of ARROW. This was something that really came about because obviously Barry is in a coma at the end of Episode 209. That pretty much made it impossible for Barry to appear in Episode 219 because he’s got to stay in a coma until October of [this] year… The idea of bringing in those characters really appealed to us because it allowed us to honor our original intention of doing something FLASH-related around Episode 219 or 220 without having comatose Barry and basically paying Grant Gustin a lot of money to sit around with his eyes closed, unconscious the whole episode. . . We wrote that episode. It’s really boring. But this episode is really cool. . . It allows us to further flesh out the FLASH universe in ARROW.
How sane is Slade right now?
MARC: He’s clearly not in his right mind. Episode 218 will give a lot of insights into what is going on in his head. Episode 218 is called “Deathstroke” in large part because we really do get a much greater sense of Slade’s agenda, where he’s coming from, but also what’s going on in his head.
(Marc also described Episodes 218 through 223 as a “rocket ride” all the way through the Season 2 finale, which includes more involving Slade and Oliver.)
Is the Oliver/Felicity slow blooming relationship on ice for now?
MARC: It keeps popping up. . . You haven’t seen the last of Olicity moments for sure. But at the same time, we don’t try to cram them in…we always try very hard to let the episode dictate to us what it wants to be.
(Marc also assured that the Oliver/Felicity spark will keep popping back up throughout the remainder of the season.)
How much longer is the dynamic duo of Oliver and Sara going to last professional and personally?
MARC: I don’t think anyone is ever in a good place for too long on ARROW. I will say that where they are right now is not where they will end up by the end of the season — either personally or professionally.
The No Killing Policy
How much of a struggle has it been to keep the ARROW characters on the straight and narrow in trying to live up to the vow to stop the killing?
MARC: It’s been a real challenge. It’s been a challenge to have Oliver take people out without killing them — from a writing perspective. Sometimes it is just easier to kill them. But we have had to adhere to Oliver’s vow to not kill. You’ll see that it comes into play when its right. You don’t always want to stop the action for a philosophical discussion about to kill or not kill. But when appropriate, we like to sort of deal with it. It’s something that has been looming very large over the course of the season. One of the goals for the final 5 episodes is: can we push Oliver to a place where his vow is challenged? There’s no point in writing this vow for Oliver if it is going to be easy for him.
To see who in the Suicide Squad makes it out alive and the new strains on Oliver’s various relationships, be sure to tune in for an all new episode of ARROW on Wednesday, March 19th at 8:00 p.m.