Forget the DCU tie-ins and easter eggs, just keeping track of The CW’s superhero series' schedule is getting complicated enough. Arrow airs for a week or two here and there before taking one, two, even three weeks off between episodes. The spotty rhythm does make each installment seem like an event, like the team is actually waiting for crimes to occur instead of relying on the (sometimes tiresome) villain of the week (after week after week) format.
Not that the procedural aspect has ever really dominated the show. Both the episodic and serialized stories are given equal attention which also adds to the event-like nature of every episode. This time the show is definitely back for three consecutive adventures and could very well air every Wednesday until the finale. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. Fans probably won't know whether "The Promise" made by "Deathstroke" (in quotes because it's the name of the episode in two weeks) is kept or not without Arrow taking at least one more break but, well, it's kind of hard to care about possible scheduling gaps right now since we just saw the "Suicide Squad."
3. Suicide Squad
Talking about the titular squad first seems to make the most sense and Arrow's incarnation of Task Force X is made up of six familiar faces from the television show's universe. The 'team' was assembled by Amanda Waller's Mockingbird but lead into action by Lyla 'Harbinger' Michaels and a reluctant Diggle. Dig has good reason to not want to work with the squad considering his nemesis Floyd 'Deadshot' Lawton is just one of three villains he's faced in the past on the team. The other two former villains-of-the-week turned task force members are Ben 'Bronze Tiger' Turner, who seems the most stable of the group, and Mark 'Shrapnel' Scheffer, who proves the most unstable. Probably not a good idea for a (DC Comics) government agency to recruit an anti-government extremist. You don't go around recruiting a team without a mission to send them on and A.R.G.U.S. Agent Waller has created Task Force X in order to 'retrieve' a chemical weapon from a terrorist named Gholem Qadir.
2. A Mission to Markovia
Gholem Qadir (who could be a reference to one of a few DC Comics golems) happens to be a former wartime acquaintance of Dig and Lyla with their exploits in Afghanistan serving as both the focus of this week's flashbacks as well as the divorced-but-dating couple's meet cute. And yet, that relationship somehow isn't the weirdest one on the show. We'll get to Ollie and the Lances in a moment, there's still the mission to Markovia to discuss and the Suicide Squad is successful in infiltrating the capitol city of Markovburg to catch up with Qadir. Turns out the terrorist was also trying to get his hands on Malcolm Merlyn's earthquake machine but had to settle for the nerve gas. The best part of the mission was the unlikely bromance between Dig and Deadshot, with the latter finally getting to sport his signature wrist-mounted guns. Lawton also reminded his frenemy about their conversation during the the sixth episode of this season ("Keep Your Enemies Closer") and how he just pulled the trigger, it was H.I.V.E. who hired him to kill his brother.
1. Broken Arrow
While Diggle took center stage to deal with his one-eyed enemy, Oliver is having a tough go of it back in Starling ever since finding out that his former best friend and fellow castaway Slade Wilson is in town looking to make good on his promise. After another nightmare about Shado (who now only appears in jump scare memories or inexplicable home video footage), Ollie decides that the best way to keep his loved ones safe is to take on the second season's big bad all by himself. Of course, that's a stupid idea when your girlfriend can kick as much ass as Sara Lance and your protege is one of the few people on the planet who can handle the mirakuru. Speaking of the Red Arrow, he only appears in "Suicide Squad" in passing with Felicity offering to call the superhero in training (as well as the Canary) to aid in the Green Arrow's errands. He declines, instead using his ties to the Russian Mob (via Anatoli 'KGBeast' Knyazev) to get information on Slade's whereabouts. All he finds, however, are a few, uh, messages and then finds out about Markovia thanks to Channel 52. Not done yet, he turns to an old friend for help and Waller happens to have a file on a new merc named Deathstroke.
Arrow returns with Episode 17, "Birds of Prey," next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Created by Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, the DC Comics inspired series stars Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes, Manu Bennett, Paul Blackthorne and Susanna Thompson.
BONUS: The Trained Therapist
Oh. Right. I almost forgot. The member of the Rogues Gallery first glimpsed in the 'Full Circle' trailer. That said, we weren't positive that was Harley Quinn being teased until last night's reveal and, to make it even more rad, Arrow brought in Tara Strong to do the voice. And the Huntress is back next week? So much for Gotham, everyone's right here in Starling City.
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