A.W.O.L. turns the spotlight on the Diggles, both John and Andy, and their very problematic relationship is developed as a blast from their past returns to Star City to wreak havoc. In all, it’s a solid episode, with things progressing nicely despite being problematic in places.
Frankly, this episode is pretty similar to season one’s Trust But Verify in that sense, but A.W.O.L. does enough differently that it doesn’t feel like a carbon copy. Where that episode focused a lot on the relationship between John and his old C.O. Ted Gaynor, this spends a lot more time with the Diggles, whose relationship is in dire need of rebuilding. As a result, a lot of the stuff involving Shadowspire, the organisation who serve as the villain-of-the-week, went mostly unnoticed by me. Which is fine, because the character development that takes place is far more interesting and, in the grand scheme of things, important. That’s not to say that the Shadowspire arc is entirely irrelevant, but it isn’t the thing to focus on this week.
The ‘B’ story of the week involves Felicity, who is out of the hospital after recovering from her gunshot wound, and is now in a wheelchair. She spends much of the hour contemplating whether she can return to the team, or if her state of weakened mobility and questionable state of mind will affect her ability to do her thing. That doubt comes in the form of a hallucination of her Gothic self from her time at MIT (and that we saw in season three’s The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak). The execution of this story is just OK, but that’s not necessarily something to complain too much about.
Elsewhere in the hour, Amanda Waller is back (though I’ll let Cory talk more about her return in his review, since we’re delving into spoiler territory there), as is Lyla. Felicity gets a nickname. The flashbacks finally take a break from the island and focus on Diggle, and are, therefore, actually interesting for once.
Some teaser quotes:
1. “It’s perfect.”
2. “Hopefully we’ll meet again under happier circumstances.”
3. “Just shut up!”
4. “Because eating a cheeseburger is a better option?”
5. “Everything that’s happening is my fault.”
Make sure to tune in and watch A.W.O.L. on Wednesday 9th March at 8pm on Sky 1! Then, check back to the site after the episode for Cory’s review!