Review: Arrow, “A.W.O.L.”

Progressive/nerd/parent review

It's nice when they remember that Oliver and Laurel have a rich personal history.
It’s nice when they remember that Oliver and Laurel have a rich personal history.

Arrow Season 4, Episode 11 “A.W.O.L.” (significant spoilers)

Bechdel-Wallace Score: 3/3 – No, I didn’t count CEO-Felicity talking to Goth-Felicity, though that was all very well done. Lyla and Waller passed all three tests discussing leadership philosophies and the relative value of human life.

Shukla Score: 3/3 – John and Andrew Diggle help Arrow pass these tests this week. With Waller out of the picture and Andy no longer imprisoned, the show is going to need to do something to avoid going back to its past of seeming like just another show that has a single African-American character accompanying white people on their adventures.

Russo Score: 0/3 – There is no LGBTQ representation in this episode. I’m tired of writing that, for sure. Reminder: there is a cool, established gay character on the show named Curtis Holt aka Mr. Terrific (played by Echo Kellum) and he is fun, smart, and has plenty to offer the story each week. Where is he?

Kittehs: 😺😺😺🙀/5 – I was going to score the episode a very weak three kittehs and point out that those three kittehs would not have to work hard to get my attention. But then in the last half of the episode, the assault on Argus got surprisingly interesting and so I added a fourth WTF kitteh, because WTF?!?!

Low points: I found the whole Shadowspire setup was just… …I don’t know… …how are these vigilantes the only people dealing with all the arms trafficking in Star City? Why are so many advanced weapons shipped through, or developed in, a city under armed siege and that has suffered a major terrorist attack each of the last three years?!?! Every time they walk around on the street and the national guard isn’t on every corner, I shake my head.

Highlights: The Diggle brothers flashbacks were the best flashbacks of the season so far, period. This makes me hopeful for what the show will do once we are done with Oliver’s island years flashbacks after season five. But I digress. It is always a pleasure to see Dig and Lyla together; they really do steal the show any time they’re on screen. I also enjoyed (what seems to be) the resolution of the difficult reunion of the Diggle brothers. Oh and of course it was fun to see Goth Felicity again, especially as part of the Meta-Felicity (Metalicity?) sub plot. Good stuff.

Dad edits: I don’t watch this show with my son (they found a dude with missing fingernails and a missing eye – and they showed it!). Some day I will think of something that I should write here instead of just saying “I don’t watch this show with my son” week after week.

Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8/7c

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