As Deadshot so appropriately says during “Suicidal Tendencies”: “The Suicide Squad rides again.”
Well… a significantly pared down Squad, but a Squad none the less.
The team has lost a couple of its members since its eponymous episode in season 2, leaving Diggle and Lyla to team up with Deadshot and the newest member of the Squad, the lovesick Cupid on a new mission.
“Tendencies” splits its time between the team’s mission in the fictional Republic of Kasnia and Oliver’s search for his new League of Assassin imposters. Oddly, pervading both story lines is love. Love is in the air from the episode’s opening and through nearly every major character interaction. For some, that means heartbreak, and for others, love brings the promise of a new phase in their lives.
But before Diggle and Oliver part ways and grapple with their respective relationships, the episode begins on what the happiest moment the show has enjoyed in recent memory. Diggle and Lyla are getting married—again—and not even late best man Oliver Queen and a missing officiate can delay that.
Ray Palmer, Felicity’s date, steps in to wed the two, and while I half-expected an enemy of someone in the room to come barging in, Diggle and Lyla’s ceremony goes off without a hitch. The good mood is only broken when everyone receives a phone notification with a news headline, ”Arrow Returns to Killing.” (Does everyone has an “Arrow” Google alert?)
Oliver needs to stop Arrow imposters killing in his alter ego’s name, but he’s going to do it without Diggle and Lyla. Oliver sends them off on their way while the rest of the team looks into the new Hoods in town. Unfortunately, their marital bliss is not long for this world, as the old-but-new-again couple steps into their limo to find Deadshot waiting for them. It seems Amanda Waller has different plans for their honeymoon.
Return of the Suicide Squad
Waller informs Lyla and Diggle that Senator Cray (who has to spin at Verdant under the name DJ Cray Cray) has been taken hostage by terrorists at a hospital he was funding in Kasnia. The couple decides to go with Deadshot and Cupid in tow to save him.
Throw a husband and wife, a woman who falls in love at a moment’s notice, and a man who sees love and family as a distraction together on one mission and heads will undoubtedly butt. Deadshot’s dour opinions are quickly revealed to be a coping mechanism, however, as the show’s flashback mechanism offers insight into Floyd Lawton before he had the impressive eyewear.
Lawton is shown coming home to his adoring wife and a daughter who initially fears him. While all seems otherwise well, his troubles immediately rise to the surface. He’s suffering from PTSD, plagued by everyone he killed, and it pushes him to the near murder of his wife. This altercation ends in a restraining order against Lawton and a stint in jail.
And it’s in jail where he’s approached by a mysterious woman. She reveals his bail has been paid, and he’s free to go so long as he uses his weaponry skills to kill for her and the “hive” she works for (More on that in the Wall of Weird). She calls love and family a distraction (sound familiar?) and offers him his first target, Diggle’s brother Andrew.
Deadshot’s present is obviously shaped by his lost connection with his wife and daughter. So when their Kasnia mission puts Diggle and Lyla’s lives at risk, he does all he can to protect them. The Squad successfully makes their way into the hospital to save Cray, only to discover that Cray didn’t really need saving at all. It was all a ruse, a publicity stunt with hired mercenaries intended to boost his place in the polls when he eventually runs for president. Of course, the Squad has turned these hostages into witnesses, so he has to kill them and the Squad.
The Squad devises a plan to stop him, but Deadshot adds a secret wrinkle to the plan. Cray has outfitted the hospital with explosives set to go off. If Deadshot stays behind and snipes enemies from the roof, he can ensure the team and the innocent bystanders make it out in time. Deadshot sacrifices himself so that they all may live—so that Diggle and Lyla can be with baby Sara—and grips a picture of his own wife and daughter as flames engulf him.
And while Oliver and Diggle later honor his memory back in Starling, it’s still a bittersweet end to one of the show’s best villains-turned-heroes.
NEXT: The Arrow and the Atom face off.