TV Show Review

TV Review: ARROW: Season 4, Episode 11: A.W.O.L. [The CW]

David Ramsey Arrow AWOL

The CW‘s Arrow A.W.O.L. TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 4, Episode 11: A.W.O.L. had Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) seeing things and  Team Arrow facing a new villain. Although the focus of the episode was about dealing with an unexpected ARGUS threat, the coolest thing to come out of A.W.O.L. was “Overwatch”.

A.W.O.L. seemed to be all about how the lead characters’ lives have been affected by their personal choices long ago. The episode started as Diggle’s  date night was derailed when an A.R.G.U.S. agent was abducted in front of him and Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson). Honestly, it was nice seeing Lyla outside of the apartment for a change. Too bad it had such bad consequences. Meanwhile, Oliver (Stephen Amell) played elevator, chef and motivational speaker in a sweet interval at the beginning. It was a very light feeling coming back to the loft after dealing with huge amounts of carnage during the past weeks.

Still, we watched Felicity struggle with her new situation. On meds and on wheels, she was hallucinating conversations with her former brunette, youthfully misguided self. There was some self-pitying. There was some soul-searching. Oliver said it: Felicity’s superpower is in her head not her legs, and Felicity needed to accept that personally. Felicity’s inner self emphasized her ability to transform, to adapt to a new reality. She did it once before. She could do it again. Good thing too, because she did not quit and gained a codename: OVERWATCH (because “Oracle was taken.”) That is okay, I am loving it already. Go O-Dub!

The flaskbacks belonged to Diggle and Andy (Eugene Byrd). Diggle has been trying to reach the good guy he remembered Andy used to be, but the flashbacks showed us that Andy has been a criminal all along. He took money for selling opium with his unit, and whoa, he sold that opium to Baron Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola) who was interested in an ancient power from the site of the opium’s source: Purgatory.

That was the moral dilemma that everyone was grappling with in A.W.O.L., dealing with the consequences of past choices. Felicity with hers, Oliver with his choice to change the future when he had the chance in Legends of Yesterday, and Andy’s choice to be a war profiteer. Diggle can be a forgiving person, but trust needed to be earned. Enter A.R.G.U.S. and Shadowspire.

The brothers and Lyla were reunited with the stiletto-wearing snake Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). Okay, in light of what happened, I feel a little bad about Waller’s characterization here, but she really was a snake. I must say that I appreciated Robinson‘s sultry yet emotionally bankrupt portrayal of this intermittent antagonist. Bravo. Waller was only interested in a security breach that Shadowspire exploited, while Diggle was understandably worried about Shadowspire in general.

Thing is, Shadowspire was simply a plot device. The Shadowspire threat forced the brothers to work together again for the sake of Lyla. Family had to mean something again for Andy, or he just needed an opportunity to exhibit some honor, some kind of redemptive quality, so he could finally meet his entirely too adorable niece and have a family dinner.

While I was glad to see Felicity on the mend, I was sad to see her burn the picture of the old her. I understand A.W.O.L. was about letting go of the past, but I do not care. Felicity’s dark side was just as awesome.

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About the author


I am ...a lover of all things film ...a published poet with a law degree from Howard University School of Law ...a D.C. native, who frequents local and international film festivals ...a self-professed couch potato who can usually be caught watching anything produced by Joss and Jed Whedon. My favorite TV shows include the Buffy & Angel Series, Sons of Anarchy, Oz, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and The Shield. Still, I am open to everything on TV and Netflix, which is doing big things.

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