NOC Recaps Arrow: A.W.O.L. Stands for Amanda Waller

From Felicity’s back and forth with pain meds to the Diggle’s being featured up front, Episode 4.11, “A.W.O.L.” gave its secondary leads lots of screen time. It was one of the season’s strongest episodes on that front, because fans always want more of Diggle and Felicity, and less of Oliver (and the darn island). We did, however, see how the DC Cinematic Universe could be ruining things for their TV properties. Let’s dive in real quick.

The Most Black People Since Season One or Ever

With John, Andy, Amanda, and technically baby Sara, this episode had the most black people in one episode (in one scene with the former three) that I can remember. Season 1 had a few black side characters and of course they all slowly disappeared.

What’s sad is that I tweeted this during the airing of the episode and someone tweeted back “One of them will be dead by the end of the episode.”

First of all, it was meant to be a joke. Second of all, I really thought it was going to be Andy if anyone. We’ll get to Waller later, but I was a little upset this turned out to be true.

Anyway, it was nice seeing a non-Oliver flashback, even if I didn’t care too much about the plot of this flashback either. Also, we seem to be connecting Andy to Oliver’s Island? Felt a bit nail on the head, and does that mean Andy and Oliver have met before? Where are they taking this? The flashbacks continue to be a mess.

I really enjoyed having Lyla back and seeing her and Diggle on their date. I’m glad we get a normal couple with little drama between them. I hope we get to see more of John’s home life, especially now that Andy is staying with them.

Do I trust Andy yet? Not really. I think that just like Felicity’s hallucinations disappearing for a hot minute and them reappearing at a vital time, Andy’s allegiances to secret organizations is definitely going to come back to haunt everyone soon enough. Also, GO SEE YOUR WIFE AND CHILD, ANDREW. I think the fact that he hasn’t seen them proves that he has MUCH to work on and could possibly die before getting to do so, giving John the line, “At least we don’t have to tell Carly.”

An Unexplained Hallucination

I don’t really want to focus too much on the Felicity story this week — I enjoyed Oliver’s support and their scenes together, but with the flashforward of her with no ring, it seems like I am being led down a bright sunny road only to be clobbered at the end of the road.

Also, I am a little frustrated by the ableism. For a character who has a TON of money, resources from good friends and superheroes, plus occasional mystical assistance, the show’s focus on how hard this is for Felicity falls a little flat. There was little reason for her hesitance to go back in the field that had anything to do with her legs. (She’s already proven she will continue the mission through Oliver’s DEATH, so her not wanting to come back for even a brief amount of time was very strange to me.)

I think in the end, they have to restore her ability to walk because of the whole Oracle thing (so does she exist in this -verse or not? Oliver mentions her, but how would he know who she is?) so it seems Felicity will probably walk again (and there are too many ways to fix it in universe). Then, however, the question goes back to last season’s wedding: then what was the point? I’m thinking this wheelchair arc might reek a little of that.

I’m not a fan of the name Overwatch. Cisco needs to run over to Star City and give Felicity and Spartan better names. Many super names are nouns turned into Proper Nouns (i.e., Arrow), but it doesn’t work in this case for me.

Your Universes are Separate, We Get It, Get Over It

Amanda Waller guys. What’s more frustrating than killing off your only recurring black female character (and right before Vixen because of Highlander syndrome) is the way in which she died.

The running theory is that Suicide Squad members are being offed in the TV universe because of the Suicide Squad movie coming out soon. When Deadshot was killed, however, he got a whole episode redeeming him and giving him the spotlight. We couldn’t have done that for Waller? I assume we have to see her again because she’s still alive in flashback times, but for this episode to be her last? Where we see her with her hands up surrendering to someone? And then killed with no warning, no battle, no last stand? That was annoying to me. I don’t even have the full comics history of Amanda Waller and I was annoyed by that.

Amanda Waller isn’t the surrendering type, which was even said when homie killed her (the whole, she wouldn’t give up the codes, she’d watch her people die thing), so why even show her put her hands up? Then to just off her like that? I needed a last stand moment. Amanda Waller, taking no crap, taking down this man infiltrating her base of operations. A gun battle, a hand to hand combat scene, Amanda offing herself might have even been better.

Also, this: If you’re going to say your TV and movie universes are separate DC/WB, then let them be separate. Don’t kill your TV characters to make room for them in the movies. Especially when you have a show as big (and great) as The Flash. You can’t kill all those characters. So why kill the Suicide Squad? Why make it so painfully obvious? Taking away the Squad members, who were mostly all fan favorites and added depth and good episodes to the show even when not presented as a whole, kills so many opportunities for the show. It makes us view the TV universe as lesser than rather than what it should be: merely an alternative. That’s like killing off the animated characters because the big screen films are coming up. It makes no sense.

The handling of Amanda’s death and the whole Suicide Squad erasure from the TV universe is incredibly frustrating. This is not the way to show up Marvel, which despite its own issues, is at least trying to craft a wide and complete universe. You can do that too, DC, with separate universes, just don’t act like your viewers are too stupid to be able to enjoy both. (Unless you’re afraid of the comparisons. Will the DC TV Universes’ Squad appear better than the movie one? Is it a lack of faith in your own work? Hmm.)

6 thoughts on “NOC Recaps Arrow: A.W.O.L. Stands for Amanda Waller

  1. That’s life, you don’t always get a big send off or go in a blaze of glory Amanda didn’t need a redemption arc, typically you die the same person you were last year, you don’t suddenly change because you “feel” the Reaper is near.

  2. I really missed Colin Salmon’s character Walter Steele. Makes me wonder if there was any way that his character could have been brought back.

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