Arrow Season 4 Episode 11 Review: A.W.O.L.

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We have some celebrating to do!

There were three big events on Arrow Season 4 Episode 11. First, the flashbacks didn't suck. Huzzah, thank you Diggles!! Second, Amanda Waller died. May she rest in, nah, skip that. And third, Felicity got a code name! 

And that's really just brushing over the entire hour, so let's dig in.

It's about time we had a John Diggle centric hour, right? And this one really paid off handsomely (awwww). 

Dig knew there was something up with his little brother and that it had been going on for a long time, but he was shocked to learn it went all the way back to their time serving in the war. Dig is such a good man, and to think his little bro was playing for the other side really hurt him.

We learned a lot about both of them and their time in the service together through flashbacks that actually tied into the present day story. Can you imagine that?! It was so refreshing not to wonder why on earth we were spending time in the past for no reason.

True to form, however, the powers that be found a way to tie Andy's past in with Oliver's. Whether it goes any further than that in the long run, we'll have to wait and see. I have a feeling it will. 

Andy had been playing rough and tumble with the criminal types for a long time. It's a shame he didn't choose to align himself with his brother to get ahead instead of taking up with losers, but I guess turning to a different type of tough guy to feel tough in his own right makes sense.

Andy had a lot more answers about Shadowspire in the present than I would have expected him to have after all these years, but it turned out to be helpful. What I worry about is he kept pleading with his brother to trust him using information that didn't make sense for him to have, but he never really gave Dig any other reason to trust him. 

His actions didn't quite match up with the information side of things. Their Afghanistan buddy killed Amanda Waller (is anyone sorry to see her go?), and Lyla will probably be tapped to take over (it's kind of a desk job, right). 

Andy moved in with Dig and Lyla, but he still hasn't come 100% clean with anything. He merely played a role in everything that went down with Shadowspire and removing Waller, probably getting Lyla higher up in ARGUS and being on the inside of the Green Arrow team. I'm really skeptical.

I don't want to think John was duped, but he so wants to believe the best in his little brother, and Lyla being in the line of fire was something he would have never believed Andy would allow. But what was so different about Andy from that morning to that evening? 

And that whole "best place to hide illicit things is right next to legitimate ones" seemed to have much deeper meaning than just in reference to railcars, you know?

Felicity, too, was dealing with someone she wasn't sure she could trust. Goth Felicity!

I used to be you, or you used to be me. Strong, confident, brunette. But you wasted all that away to go play superhero, and look where that got you.

Goth Felicity

Is anyone else going to miss that girl? While I wouldn't want Felicity to regress to Goth, it sure was fun seeing that funky side of pretty and proper Felicity. It's kind of a bummer Goth turned out to be such a pain in the ass.

Felicity was, of course, struggling with her place. Not with Oliver, as they're solid, but with the team she helped to create. Even though logic told her her mind has always been her greatest asset, she couldn't help but feel that so much has changed, she might not have what it takes anymore.

I loved seeing Felicity argue with herself over who she was and who she had become. While it might have seemed like Goth Felicity was being nasty and trying to get her to quit, I looked at it as playing devil's advocate. She was pushing all of the right buttons to keep Felicity from giving up on herself.

The day we thought he died, you broke out the hair dye, ditched the contacts and decided you weren't going to rely on anyone else for help every again. It was just going to be you against the world and that was going to be your armor.

Goth Felicity

Everybody was pushing Felicity from the outside, trying to get her back into the game, but it only frustrated her. She got flustered and screwed up. She did that because she needed to pace herself. She needed to make the decision on her own without outside influence. 

Even though Oliver was right, she did need to just jump back into it to see she could do it, she needed to be the one to decide exactly what time was the right for her to come back on board. 

When she did go back, she also made sure that Oliver knew they would get Damien Darhk, but not for reasons of vengeance, regret or guilt, but because it's who they are and what they do. Could Darhk killing someone, event her mother, really turn her conviction around to such a vast degree if that's who she was talking about in the flash forward from Arrow Season 4 Episode 10?

Felicity sounds fairly certain about where she stands regarding Darhk. She may very well be speaking about killing someone else entirely in that flash forward scene. We'll have to wait to find out.

If I were Felicity, I could have never burned my Goth photo, especially if it was my only record of looking that awesome in black hair. The conversation that followed was very realistic for the Arrowverse. Oliver admitted he didn't want to live in denial that her condition might be permanent.

HOWEVER, they also live in a world where people shrink, fly and come back from the dead. Isn't it realistic not to stop looking for a cure? It would be stupid not to at this point. Unfair, really. They live in a world where, literally, anything is possible. 

The big question of the night you like Felicity's code name? OverWatch. That's the name of Marc Guggenheim's novel. But what the heck does it mean? Diggle got an original code name (I honestly had no idea he was Spartan outside that episode Felicity originally used it), and Felicity got an original, as well. 

Didn't she kind of deserve a better code name than OverWatch? How do you make an OverWatch costume? Or am I the only one not fond of OverWatch? Maybe it's an honor to be named after his novel?

This was definitely one of the best hours of Arrow this season. You're up! Do you trust Andy? Will Lyla take Waller's position at ARGUS? What do you think of OverWatch? 

Don't forget, you can watch Arrow online anytime right here at TV Fanatic!

A.W.O.L. Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (88 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Arrow Season 4 Episode 11 Quotes

Laurel: You canvas the area yet? There could be a witness who saw something.
Cop: I don't need an ADA to tell me how to do my job.
Laurel: Well, I'm sure there's a murderer out there who appreciates your lack of initiative.

Andy: I never pegged you for the masked vigilante type.
Diggle: Yeah, well I guess we're all full of surprises, Andy.