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‘Arrow’ Recap ‘A.W.O.L.’

Warning, major spoilers
ahead.

While we all have
enjoyed the constant, full
fledged action of Oliver and Team Arrow running
around kicking the enemy’s butt,

it was a real treat to have a relaxed episode. Finally, a taste of the
‘lighter
tone’ that the writers
promised us from last season… or so we thought. Episode
11, ‘A.W.O.L’,
started out with the basic hit and
run, but this time instead of
involving Oliver or Laurel; Diggle and Lyla
were indirectly labeled as the

victims. Well, Lyla’s friend Chang was the intended victim.

We then
saw a
brief touch of
‘Olicity’, and now it is clear to us that Felicity really is
paralyzed, and
this was not just a tease. Oliver
carried Felicity back into
their apartment, telling her that he wanted
everyone to see that he needed her

to stop Damien Darhk. We had seen in multiple previews that a woman who
looked
exactly like ‘goth’ or
rather, ‘flashback’ Felicity would be making a comeback.
Throughout the
episode ‘Goth’ Felicity consistently
makes an appearance, and we
see Felicity having an internal battle with
herself. ‘Goth’ Felicity makes an

attempt to put present day Felicity down, saying that she used to be strong,

confident and even
‘brunette’. Now, since Felicity went against who she used to
be and tried to
play along with the good guys,
she wound up being as she is now,
paralyzed.

We remember Oliver
experiencing hallucinations as well,
back
in Season 2. (He hallucinated seeing Shado, Slade, and even Tommy).
Everyone
knows that being a part
of Team Arrow is a dangerous line of work, and all
members of Team Arrow
face tough battles. Felicity had
faced the greatest battle
of all, and that was with herself. I have to give
Emily Bett a lot of credit,

she was able to play both parts with absolute perfection. Seasons ago we
were
able to see a touch into
Felicity’s past, so seeing a great character developing
episode for Felicity
was fantastic. The writers did
an excellent job at
scripting both parts.

“People wear masks for a
reason, to hide who
they
are. That’s what you have been doing for the past five years. First you

signed up for being the world’s most
overqualified I.T girl, and then you decide
to try being a hero, and look
what it got you. A ringside seat to
the rest of
your life,”

Goth Felicity,
Arrow

When Felicity
attempted to help
Team Arrow out on a first mission, it resulted in failure. Her
system was
overloaded with too many requests,
and she froze on the battlefield.
I have seen several superhero shows where
the damsel in distress makes a

miraculous recovery after some tragedy and immediately saves the world. This
is
what I love about Arrow.
The internal problems are so realistic. Felicity’s
character has her humble
moments, yes, but showing her
fight and power through
the struggle of her internal battles is what MADE
this episode. Bravo to the

writers, and to Emily Bett for her astounding performance through this
episode.
It has been fantastic to
see Felicity grow and bloom through the seasons. I’m so
glad it is not her
in the grave!

The majority of this episode was focused
on
Andy and Diggle. It was
very unexpected, yet very rewarding to see some
flashbacks of their time in
Afghanistan. As a military member
myself, I loved
seeing these flashbacks. Diggle has talked for seasons about
his time in the
military,
and it was great to finally see that side of him. I really do enjoy
these
pre-team arrow flashbacks that the
show keeps producing. So even though
Flashback Oliver is still lying in a
prison somewhere, it was truly
amazing to
see some Diggle/Andy flashbacks.

Though Damien Darhk was
mentioned
several times in
this episode, the main villain was Shadowspire; whose main
mission was
hidden from us the whole episode…
until the climax of the episode!
The suspense buildup was amazing, but that
is no surprise. While Team Arrow
was
looking one way, Shadowspire struck from another direction.

I
loved
seeing Diggle and Andy
finally team up to take on a mutual enemy. When Andy and
Diggle both saw
that Lyla was in trouble, Andy
channelled his old roots and was
anxious to get back in the game and help
Diggle take down

Shadowspire.

The biggest shocker of the episode ‘A.W.O.L’ was the
death
of Amanda Waller. Amanda
has been a delightful, ruthless, reoccurring character.
She has been
revealed to us to be a cold, ruthless
leader through the series but
we have seen the more humane sides to her. Out
of the many deaths I have seen
in
movies and on television series, Amanda’s death was most certainly
unexpected
and very unpredictable.
Within seconds of the East Coast showing, multiple Arrow
fans were posting
and tweeting about how shocked
they were to see Amanda Waller
be murdered, in cold blood nonetheless.
Amanda, you and your… interesting

methods… will be missed.

Now that Amanda is dead, will Lyla be the
one
to take over ARGUS?
Amanda did say that Lyla was her most trusted agent, so it
would only make
sense.

The ending of the
episode left much to be desired.
Andy is now finally out of his cell, and is
living with Andy and Lyla. They
are
truly a family again. Now, Arrow has thrown many curveballs at us
throughout the
years. I’m still not
100% sure that I can trust Andy yet. He may be returning to
his old ways,
but he was one of Damien Darhk’s
GHOSTS.

Finally, after all
these years, Felicity has her own
codename… Overwatch! After-all, that is
what
she does. She’s got the backs of Team Arrow now and forever, paralyzed
or
not.

So Diggle
finally has his brother back, and all is beautiful in
paradise… or is
it??

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Julia Valenti

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Julia recently published her first novel, titled; Anomic. She has a B.A in Communications with concentrations in Professional Writing and Public Relations. She is also in the United States Army Reserves as a Military Police Officer, and is currently in the process of going back to school for her Masters Degree. Some of her hobbies include fangirling, writing, cosplaying with her groups 'Emerald Archers' and 'DC Cosplayers East', hiking and training her German Shepherd, Soot. You can frequently find her at conventions cosplaying as Black Canary or as Hawkgirl with her boyfriend, who does Hawkman and Bane. :)