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Arrow Review: Treading Water in “A.W.O.L.”

by on January 28, 2016
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While it was nice to give Diggle an episode that was essentially all about him, I ended up feeling worse for the man by the time it was all said and done. (No, not just that helmet, although it is still looks incredibly dumb). I would have thought they would have given him something with a little more substance instead of a collection of flashbacks of Diggle and Andy that really gave us no new information in an episode that overall, minus one or two parts, felt like it was simply going through the motions.maxresdefault (1)

After an old colleague is captured and killed Lyla, with help from Diggle of course, soon find themselves knee deep in another A.R.G.U.S. mess that includes Shadowspire, which is basically a black ops group who are in it for personal gain. I would just call them mercenaries but hey, Shadowspire sound a lot more fun in the comic book world.

Of course, as it happens, Andy has ties to Shadowspire from back in the army days so all of a sudden he becomes useful instead of simply a jailbird to talk to. One of the more interesting parts of this episode was when it was reviled who ran Shadowspire and with a couple people aware of who this individual is, how it will all tie together later. The only downside is we are in for some more flashbacks to that island.

While there was some moments of good interaction between the Diggle brothers, most of this episode was intent on laying the foundation for future episodes. A.R.G.U.S., Hive, Damien Darhk and whatever this Rubicon thing is, all of it was sort of laid out there for the viewer to digest and think about as we move farther into the season.

The other part of this episode dealarrow-a-w-o-l-trailer-the-cw-hd-720p-mp4_000012262t with Felicity, her injury and what part she will play on Team Arrow moving forward. The whole ‘goth Felicity’ wasn’t too bad and served the purpose of helping real Felicity work through her issues. However, while I am glad most of this (I hope) got resolved in one episode, it’s hard to imagine working all this out in one episode. Such is the life on a comic book show I guess, including a rather strange new nickname for Felicity.

It will be interesting to see how the writers are going to deal with her injury moving forward. Many hints were dropped in this episode that her current medical state may or may not be permanent. This tells me that she will eventually make her way out of the wheelchair and with all the hocus pocus going on in Arrow this year, I wonder if that will play a part in her recovery.

As I stated earlier, this whole episode did seem like a plot building episode, except this time it was for Arrow itself and not Legends of Tomorrow. I understand the necessity of this in terms of looking at the big picture, but I wish almost a whole episode didn’t have be used to do it. Hopefully, this is the last one of these episodes we will see this season and we can get back to the fun stuff with Damien Darhk.

Three and a half stars out of five.

Positives

- Some good moments between Diggle and Andy

- Lots of pieces in play moving forward

Negatives

- Too mucnh time spent plot building for the rest of the seaso

Editor Rating
 
Cast
85%

 
Sound
85%

 
Visual
80%

 
Writing
80%

Author Score
83%

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Bottom Line
 

Although mostly a plot building episode, "A.W.O.L." did serve its purpose and set some important things in motion going forward for the rest of the season. Now, enough plot building so we can get back to the story.

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