This was a week of leading characters not taking center stage. This week’s Arrow focused more on Team Arrow instead of Green Arrow. Felicity’s new circumstances take center stage with her battling her inner demons along with the Diggle brothers trying to come to some common ground.
*** SPOILER ALERT ***
Not every episode is going to be 10 out of 10, nor is it going to be central to the ongoing season story. After all, neither Damien Darhk nor his ghosts were in this episode. Instead, we had some new shadow organization, called Shadowspire, connected to the Diggle brothers from when they were in the military together, and their attack on A.R.G.U.S. We also find out that John and Andy have nearly always been on the opposite side of right and wrong for years now, in fact it’s the Diggle brothers who get the flash back in this episode, instead of Oliver.
More than anything, “A.W.O.L.” is a Felicity episode where she is trying to deal, or rather not deal with being paralyzed from Darhk’s attack on her and Oliver. Part of her recovery is finding her place back within her world and, specifically, Team Arrow. While the Diggle brothers got their own flashback tonight, Felicity instead got a flashback hallucination with herself, a much broodier less confident Felicity, obviously years earlier. It is hard to believe that she has become such a different person; it’s hard to believe that person was her.
It was mentioned earlier tonight was about both John and Andy Diggle. Andy has worked with Shadowspire before and moved to an A.R.G.U.S. facility to help Amanda Waller and Lyla with intel on the organization. Throughout the flashback, and in what we have seen of his illegal activities, we know better than to trust Andy. He was given the opportunity tonight to betray his brother once more, but in the end, Andy helped John to save Lyla, but not before Waller is shot and presumably killed.
A few jewels from tonight surrounding both John and Felicity, who get code names. Now, I am not sure about John, but I haven’t heard him called Spartan before tonight. It is a fitting name for him because spartan strength is in their power together. For Felicity, her new code name is Overwatch which makes sense for her role with not only Team Arrow, but also Team Flash, and who knows, maybe, the Legends of Tomorrow. As mentioned earlier, to get Felicity to this place, she had to work through inner demons of being paralyzed and the anger and fear it was causing her connected to being with Oliver, as well as Team Arrow.
Another jewel of the episode was the conversation between Ollie and Laurel. They both have come so far from when they were dating, but their conversation tonight reminded us that Laurel knows Oliver sometimes better than he knows himself. She was dead on about Oliver blaming himself for Felicity’s condition, and it is good that they are still such good friends.
I was surprised that Felicity’s journey was all within one episode. Personally, it would have been nice for something like this to have a few lasting effects on her, but that’s television for you. It would have been more realistic if we had seen her turn to Oliver or Laurel or maybe even Curtis. Felicity and Curtis started out as a pretty dynamic duo in the beginning of this season, but he has been A.W.O.L. as of recent, maybe they can get their mojo back again.
“A.W.O.L.” was a solid episodic episode, and who knows, maybe there is a connection between Shadowspire and the Ghosts or maybe H.I.V.E.
Remember you can catch Arrow-sweeps on the CW Wednesday nights at 8 pm, 7 central starting next week with the return of Nyssa and the League of Assassins.