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Arrow “Suicidal Tendencies” 

Okay, okay, we get it. Being a hero/crime-fighter/vigilante and having a “normal life” is hard. We’ve heard Oliver preach this all season and this week, we had a few more characters back him up. Sure, it may not be easy or conventional, but is it really impossible? Oliver seems to think so. And as we saw, Deadshot also appeared to fall prey to this theory (although I contribute his issues more to PTSD than the whole “dual life” argument). But does that make it true? Not necessarily. Despite his own momentary hesitations, Diggle seems to make it work. And Ray certainly seems to believe it’s possible. So is Oliver right or has he just fallen victim to his own powers of persuasion?

Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

Obviously I can’t say one way or another, but if something is really worth fighting for, don’t you fight for it? I mean, he already spends every day fighting for justice anyways, so can’t he learn to fight for his own happiness as well? Clearly I am talking about Oliver and Felicity here. And I know that there are bigger issues as play, such as what Oliver thinks he deserves and whether he is ready to accept happiness. That being said, I like that despite his jealousy, he attempted to swallow his feelings and be civil to Ray at Diggle’s wedding. He acknowledged that Felicity was happy and that was all he really wanted for her. After all, he was the one who chose to give her up so she could have a normal, happy relationship, so that is really the “right” thing to do. Until he realized that wasn’t the case and that she just went for another psuedo-vigilante, who also happens to be planning to take down The Arrow.

Felicity: How’d it go with Ray?

Oliver: Not well, your new boyfriend is stubborn. Once he’s made his mind up, that’s the end of it.

Felicity: Sound like anybody we know?

Oliver: Not only is he untrained, he’s unstable.

Felicity: Unstable?!

Oliver: Yea, yes, unstable because he’s flying around in a weapon looking for a man who has already killed 8 people. He’s gonna be next.

Felicity: You would like that, wouldn’t you?

Oliver: Excuse me?

Felicity: You never wanted me to be with him.

Oliver: That’s not true

Felicity: Yes, it is. All that talk about wanting me to be happy was just talk.

Oliver: No, I meant what I said. Right up to the point where I found out he is just like me. You deserve better.

Felicity: What I deserve is to be with someone who isn’t afraid of being happy. Ray told me he wanted a true partner in his work, in his mission and in his life. Ray wants to be a hero and a human being.

Oliver: Yes, because he hasn’t realized yet that he can’t be. I told you that I couldn’t be with you and save this city. Neither can Ray. He’s just too new at this to know that.

Normally I agree with Felicity, but in this case, she seemed to be taking it a little too personally. Oliver is probably legitimately pissed that he let her go so that she could be with someone who didn’t get torn away from her at every siren of injustice. Then she turned around and did just the opposite. I have to admit, I think his initial concern on this is totally legit and not 100% Felicity-related. He’s mad that there’s another superhero flying around (note: Oliver cannot actually fly. Nor can he shoot awesome lasers — insert possible superhero jealousy here) who is being both irresponsible and is out to get him, which is not only frustrating, but also makes it tough for Oliver to take down the real foe. If anything, his problem is that he thinks he’s the superior superhero and considering that he’s been around the block a few more times, part of that might hold some weight. And yet, Felicity immediately makes it like Oliver wants him to die because of her. A little dramatic if you ask me, but in the end, it does bring him back around to the relationship-point. And he’s right, Ray is like him in some ways, but does that really mean that he can’t be different in others? Is it the superhero identity that makes you unable to have a normal relationship or is it just your perspective that makes it so?

Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

Well, I’m going to go with perspective. Like I said earlier, Diggle is making it work. He has a wife and a daughter and lives in a household with not one, but two crime-fighters (although Lyla’s fighting of actual “crime” is debatable considering that Amanda Waller is in charge).

Sure, his life is regularly at risk and that makes it hard, but he still believes in both what he’s doing and his love for his wife enough to make it work. That being said, I kind of love their vows. Nothing mushy or gushy, just straightforward and totally appropriate for the two of them.

 Lyla: You really wanna do this?

Diggle: Hell yes. Do you?

Lyla: Even more than the first time

Diggle: Good because I’m not letting you get away from me this time.

Lyla: I’m holding you to that.

Diggle: Good. I love you, Lyla.

Lyla: I love you too.

So simple, yet so sweet. But back to making it work. I’ll admit my heart skipped a beat when Diggle said he was leaving Team Arrow.

Diggle: I’m leaving Team Arrow.

Lyla: What?

Diggle: Lawton was right, I can’t keep living like this. It only works until it doesn’t. And then what? I can’t do that to Sara.

Yes, it does work until it doesn’t, but isn’t that the case with everything? I get that he doesn’t want to push his luck, but fortunately, Lyla was able to remind him of the importance of his work. Plus, the fact that she walked away from Argus (is that even allowed?! I feel like the fallout from that is imminent), gives their family and daughter enough security for Diggle to keep doing what he does.

Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

Lastly, I can’t go without mentioning Deadshot. This character has developed quite a bit since season 1 and I love how he was brought into the fold and really given a backstory and personal struggle that mirrors both Oliver and Diggle before he was written out. He started off as Diggle’s foe, the man who killed Andy and who Diggle was determined to take down. Then after pairing up with him multiple times, Diggle came to tolerate and even respect him after learning that he was only following orders. So to see his backstory and that he was once a soldier and a family man, much like Diggle, was a nice twist. That being said, it seems that his PTSD was more than he could handle on his own and as a result, he landed in jail, where he was persuaded to continue the killing streak rather than fighting for his family.

Floyd: I’m done shooting. Left that life on a battlefield, come home to be with my family.

Lady: I imagine that restraining order your wife filed impedes that plan somewhat. You’ll never be allowed near her or your daughter again. You have left the battlefield but the battlefield never leaves you. People like you don’t get to have a love. Children, family, these are just distractions to people like you. For people like you, love is a bullet in the brain.

I know this sounds a little crazy, but in watching this scene, I couldn’t help but feel like Floyd was Oliver and that this woman was representing Oliver’s conscience. After all, isn’t that basically what Oliver is saying to himself? I mean, not the bullet in the brain part, but replace that with “taking down bad guys” and it’s got the same vibe.

Nevertheless, I love that despite the fact that Deadshot was hassling Diggle the whole time about his family and about how he could never make it work, he took a bullet (or a boom) for the team just so Diggle COULD go back to his family and COULD make it work. He made the ultimate sacrifice so that Diggle could have what he couldn’t have. I found that kind of poetic and thought it was a noble ending for the character.

The CW
The CW

That being said, Oliver isn’t in a place where he is ready to fight for his life as Oliver and he’s not in a place where anyone can fight for it for him. I definitely don’t think Felicity belongs with Ray, but at this point, he is the one who believes he can have a life and make her a part of it and I think that means that he deserves a chance to do so. Obviously Oliver’s intentions are noble, but the dual identity struggle has to end if he ever wants a life and wants to be happy. Like Felicity said, she deserves someone who isn’t afraid of being happy and at this point, that person is not Oliver.

Be sure to catch Arrow Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW.

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  1. Teri

    Great recap! I thought this was a fantastic episode. I am so sad that Deadshot is actually gone. I was hoping he would be someone that would pop up now and then for a while longer in the series. The backstory created for him was great and really made me feel for him.

    I could go on and on about Oliver/Felicity/Ray, but I won’t. 🙂 You’ve summed things up very well and I agree! The Diggle wedding was good. I’m almost always a fan of tuxes. haha

  2. Cortney Persiani

    Thank you! And yes, more tuxes and more smiles!
    Who would have ever thought we’d be sad Deadshot is dead?! You’re absolutely right, that backstory did wonders for the character. The red-head on the other hand, she could disappear and I wouldn’t miss her a bit! She was so annoying that I can’t even be bothered to remember her name 🙂
    Thanks for the comments!!

    1. Teri

      Oh yes, see, I even forgot about the red-head completely! haha!

    2. Heather M

      I had an inkling that as soon as they humanized Deadshot with a backstory, he was done, and I hate that TV 101 has taught me to expect that. I’d have liked Arrow to go against that and somehow redeem and save him.

      1. Tina Charles

        Heather — I thought the same thing. I liked this episode but the backstory only signaled that Deadshot wasn’t long for this world.

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