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Warning: major spoilers ahead for the Episode 11 of Arrow Season 4.
After last week's intense midseason premiere saw Team Arrow dealing with the fallout of Damien Darhk’s assassination attempt that left Felicity without use of her legs, Arrow went back to business as usual (somewhat) in “A.W.O.L.” Unlike most episodes, however, the focus was primarily on Oliver’s two first partners rather than on Oliver himself. While Felicity was coming to terms with her paralysis, Digg dealt with the new status quo with his brother as they helped Lyla defend A.R.G.U.S. and Amanda Waller from mysterious criminal organization Shadowspire. Felicity came out of the episode a stronger woman, and the brothers Diggle reforged their bond, but Amanda Waller…well, she died.
Now, Amanda Waller hasn’t exactly been a series regular on Arrow, and it’s unlikely that she’s very high on many lists of favorite Arrow characters. But Waller being shot dead by Lt. Joyner was a “Holy shit!” moment if ever there was one. Even knowing that so few characters are ever completely safe from death on this show wasn’t preparation enough for watching Waller's execution halfway through a midseason episode.
Of course, Amanda Waller is not likely to be universally mourned once the "Holy shit!" wears off. In fact, the only two characters to express real regret at her demise were Lyla and Oliver, both of whom have had rather twisted dynamics with Waller in the past. Felicity had the right idea with her pseudo-eulogy that mentioned a particularly awful one of Waller’s past wrongs. Still, this surprise death in “A.W.O.L.” has the potential to change everything about Arrow and possibly even the whole Legends of Flarrow - that is, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, and Arrow - universe.
On the Arrow front, Amanda Waller no longer being a factor at A.R.G.U.S. (shortly after naming Lyla as a top agent) will likely mean that Lyla shall be returning to the agency in a leadership role. Lyla was always great at her job, and only left because of the kind of woman that Waller was asking her to become; Lyla as A.R.G.U.S. director or at least a top dog could be fabulous. Also, A.R.G.U.S. probably has a decent benefits package. It’s not like Diggle is getting health and dental out of his job as a vigilante, and they do have a daughter.
Whether or not Lyla rejoins A.R.G.U.S., Amanda Waller’s death may still mean access to greater resources for Team Arrow. If the new head honcho is less of a manipulator with a shady past involving the hero, Oliver and Co. could very well work with A.R.G.U.S. from time to time without the undercurrent of antagonism. The SCPD is always only borderline competent at best; A.R.G.U.S. resources without Amanda Waller could be very helpful.
With regard to Legends of Flarrow, A.R.G.U.S. being potentially more amenable to cooperating with vigilantes could open a lot of doors. The titular legends of Legends of Tomorrow are likely to make messes whenever they pop up in the present, and A.R.G.U.S. using covert tactics to obfuscate the time travel shenanigans could really work. A.R.G.U.S. is a big organization with international ties; without Amanda Waller at the helm, this agency would be an invaluable ally to all of the good guys. But at the very least, Amanda Waller’s death does help to explain the upcoming mini crossover between Arrow and The Flash. We reported earlier that Diggle and Lyla will be traveling to Central City in a Flash episode to deal with a prisoner that has escaped from A.R.G.U.S. custody; a lack of Waller in the picture, combined with Lyla willing to work with her former agency, would make the trip to Central City as completely logical as possible when dealing with a villain known as "King Shark."
Amanda Waller dying in “A.W.O.L.” doesn’t mean that actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson is necessarily gone from Arrow forever. Oliver still has a year and a half’s worth of flashing back to do, and a whole lot of his strings are still attached to Waller and A.R.G.U.S., so she may pop up later in Season 4 or Season 5. All in all, Waller meeting her doom tonight may be the best thing that her character could have possibly done on Arrow. The possibilities now are endless.
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Let us know what you thought about that crazy moment below.
Are You Happy Amanda Waller Is Dead?