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Review – Arrow – S04 E11 – A.W.O.L.

You can never over watch superhero TV.

Arrow episode 11, A.W.O.L., has Diggle and Lyla’s date interrupted by an A.R.G.U.S. agent (Alan Chang) on the run. Before the couple could offer their help, Chang is kidnapped by trained soldiers. The team soon find out that Chang, and two other agents, were on an ‘off the books’ mission for Waller and that the soldiers were a part of a group called Shadowspire. After the team’s first attempt to stop Shadowspire from stealing weapons goes south, they team up with A.R.G.U.S. and Diggle’s brother to stop them once and for all. Meanwhile, Felicity blames herself for the failed mission and starts to be haunted by her college, Gothic self.


Just as I was beginning to wonder where Lyla, Waller and A.R.G.U.S. were in the Ghost troubles of Star City, Arrow blesses us with all of them in a pretty epic episode. Although the story doesn’t intercept with the intrusion of Darhk, it does shed some light on the Diggle brothers and Oliver’s time on the island. The change of flashbacks from Oliver’s Island to the Diggles’ past was hugely refreshing. Hopefully the flashbacks will continue to change more frequently to other characters to keep them interesting.

This episode is another epic one fore Felicity as she struggles with the restriction of being paraplegic and the mental hurdles represented by her past, Gothic self. The VFX team should be very proud of themselves by putting the two Felicitys in the same room and even interacting. Supergirl did similar to this with Kara and Supergirl but the interaction didn’t show both faces and could easily be created with a double. The interaction between the Felicitys went further and was amazingly seamless. A great ‘Kudos’ must also be giving to Emily Bett Rickards for performing the two roles.


The scenes with the two Felicitys came to a pinnacle of brilliance when both Oliver and Goth Felicity were addressing Felicity. The concentration both actors would have had in that moment would have been astounding. Just imagine trying to sing the lyrics to one song, while another song was playing. It’s extremely difficult, and Emily Bett Rickards and Stephen Amell aced it. My only gripe with this story arc is its sudden conclusion. A small price to pay, though.

Apart from Diggle now being called Spartan, we now have a code name for Felicity. Many eagerly wanted her title to be Oracle, for her to fill the shoes of Barbara Gordon (count me as one). However, the Green Arrow has now christened her Overwatch. At first, I was a little unsure of the name. Then, I searched its definition: Overwatch is a military protection tactic where one unit or vehicle supports another by observing the terrain ahead, especially likely enemy positions. The name fits perfectly. But, in a bid to keep the viewers on their toes (again, me included) the writers threw in this line:

Green Arrow: I was gonna go with Oracle, but it’s taken.

So… Oracle exists in this universe?


One character I’d love to see more of is Lyla Michaels. Lyla once again plays the middle man between team Arrow and A.R.G.U.S. She no longer works for A.R.G.U.S. but is still Waller’s most trusted (ex) agent. Perhaps in some strange way, a friend. Waller is not an easy person to gain the respect of, which raises the question: Just who is this Lyla? Mother, wife, kick arse agent? There is a wicked story behind this woman and I want to know it.

All in all, an amazing episode, as are all where Felicity is at its core. It’s definitely fantastic to see more of what made Diggle who he is and especially fun to see A.R.G.U.S. once again.

Quote of the Episode: It’s the fault of only man and he has an extremely on the nose and literal name. (Felicity)

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