- For the eponymous team, see Task Force X.
|Original airdate||March 19, 2014|
|Written by|| Keto Shimizu|
Bryan Q. Miller
|Directed by||Larry Teng|
|Guest stars|| Michael Jai White as Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger (special guest star)|
Ben Browder as Ted Gaynor
Caity Lotz as Sara Lance
Celina Jade as Shado
Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla Michaels/Harbinger
Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Amanda Waller/Mockingbird
Sean Maher as Mark Scheffer/Shrapnel
Eugene Lipinski as Alexi Leonov
Lee Majdoub as Gholem Qadir
Michael Rowe as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot
|Preceded by||"The Promise"|
|Followed by||"Birds of Prey"|
Following Slade's return and his promise to make good on his threat to destroy Oliver's loved ones, Oliver focuses all his energy on preparing for battle with his former friend. Sara tries to help but, fearing for her safety, Oliver pushes her away. Meanwhile, Diggle is recruited by Amanda Waller and A.R.G.U.S. to stop a warlord he knew from his time in Afghanistan. Always the soldier, Diggle agrees to help. However, he's not prepared when Amanda introduces him to the rest of the team – Deadshot, Bronze Tiger and Shrapnel, all criminals he and the Arrow helped put away. Lyla defends the team and explains the world is a complicated place, but Diggle isn't sure he agrees. When the mission takes a dangerous turn, Diggle is forced to make a difficult decision.
In the middle of the night, Oliver Queen wakes up from a nightmare. He turns around to Sara Lance, who is sleeping next to him. As he touches her, he realizes there's blood on his hand. In shock Oliver sees Shado lying in bed next to him. Oliver wakes up having had a nightmare within a nightmare.
Without waking Sara he gets up to see Alexi Leonov and asks him to gather information on Slade Wilson. Alexi asked a favor in return but this time Oliver does not comply taking out and injuring his men in order to persuade Leonov at gunpoint to do this favor. Alexi obliges but informs Oliver he is no longer associated with the Solntsevskaya Bratva. In order to stop Slade from getting his revenge he is willing to break with the Brotherhood.
Meanwhile John Diggle observes Felicity Smoak at her house, trying to protect her from a possible attack. Felicity points out that Wilson could easily kill her if he wanted to and not even Diggle could prevent him from doing so. Diggle then receives a message from an anonymous source, that asks him for an immediate meeting at Ostrander Hotel, room 1141. Diggle arrives at the hotel only to find out, that message was sent by Lyla Michaels, who waited for him in lingerie after returning from a mission.
When they leave the hotel room, they are met by Amanda Waller. She has a mission for both Lyla and John. They shall retrieve a nerve agent from an arms dealer named Gholem Qadir - a man, John Diggle saved during his time in Afghanistan. After the briefing Waller introduces Diggle to his "team", which consists of Ben Turner, Floyd Lawton and Mark Scheffer.
While John Diggle and Lyla Michaels were arguing outside of A.R.G.U.S. holding cells, an unseen woman offered to help them through their problems, claiming she was a trained therapist. Amanda hit her door to shut her up.
Down in the Arrowcave Felicity informs Oliver about a crime in progress and after some hesitation, Oliver agrees to don his hood and stops the two criminals. From a roof top Slade Wilson in his full-body armor watches the action. Oliver feels spotted and enters the roof top. There he spots an old Deathstroke mask with an arrow driven through an eyehole.
Meanwhile John Diggle and the Suicide Squad have arrived at the Fine Art Auction in Markovburg, Markovia. As planned, Diggle bumps into Qadir, where they quickly conversed before Deadshot provided a fake assassination attempt. Ben Turner poses as John Diggle's bodyguard and fakes getting shot by Deadshot in order to help Diggle gain Gholem Qadir's trust. However when Deadshot tries to leave location, his getaway driver Shrapnel speeds of without him. Shrapnel attempts to escape only to be blown up by Waller who implanted an explosive chip in his head.
In order to thank him for saving his life, Qadir invites Diggle to a Humanitarian Benefit he is holding. To bring Deadshot into the house as well, they copy Diggle's fingerprints. That night, Diggle and Lyla arrive at the party, bypassing the finger scanner at the door by walking through with Qadir. Deadshot's finger prints are checked. They match with John's who is on the guest list. Thus Deadshot is granted access to the Benefit party, too.
Lyla plants her purse in the house for Deadshot to pick up. Inside that purse are his eyepatch and one of his wrist guns. Armed he searches for the nerve agent.
Thanks to the information of Alexi, Felicity was able to find Slade Wilson's hideout. When Oliver enters the office he sees videos of Shado being projected onto the wall, and in the chair behind the desk he finds Alexi dead, with an arrow driven through his eye. Oliver realizes he cannot fight Slade without asking for help.
In Markovia Deadshot finds the nerve agent. However the vessel is in no position to be transported unseen, due to its enormous size. Upon hearing this, Amanda tells him to stay put and orders Diggle, Lyla and Ben to gather at the rallying point as she calls in a drone strike. Diggle, in order to evacuate everybody, revealed the truth to everyone about him. Qadir suddenly recognized Lyla from Afghanistan and threatened to kill her. Bronze Tiger promptly stabbed him through the back, killing him.
Diggle refuses to let Deadshot die and persuades him to leave the building for the sake of his daughter Zoey, whom he leaves money in a blind trust and tries to keep her life safe and easy by staying away from her.
They flee in a truck only to discover that the drone is locked onto the chip inside Deadshot. Lyla cuts the chip out allowing the missile to explode some distance from them. However, the Markovian government were annoyed at the drone detonation in a no-fly zone, and threatened retaliation against the American government.
At A.R.G.U.S. headquarters, Amanda is visited by an "old friend" that turns out to be Oliver. She assumes that he's still mad at her for an unknown past incident between them, though Oliver coldly assures her that she's "been moved down the list." When asked who he wants dead more than her, he reveals that Slade's alive, which surprised Amanda, as she assumed that Oliver killed him. Instead she shows him some footage of a new player they've been tracking calling him "Deathstroke".
- The flashbacks in this episode focus on Diggle's past in Afghanistan.
- A character who could be heard in an A.R.G.U.S. holding cell, credited as Deranged Squad female, is seemingly a reference to Harley Quinn, a long-time enemy of Batman and a member of the Suicide Squad in the comics. Furthermore, the character is voiced by Tara Strong, who voices the character in the Batman: Arkham games and Injustice: Gods Among Us, here using a voice extremely similar to that of Harley Quinn. Indeed, she claims to be a trained therapist, the occupation Quinn is often portrayed as having before becoming a criminal.
- The mission takes place in the fictional DC nation of Markovia, and centers around a nerve agent from Kahndaq, a reference to Black Adam.
- The Ostrander Hotel is named after John Ostrander, the creator of the modern Suicide Squad. Room 1141 is a reference to Suicide Squad Vol 4 #1, the first issue of the relaunched Suicide Squad comics, marking the first appearance of the New 52 version of the team. This issue was released in November 2011, hence "1141".
- The activation code for Shrapnel's implant is "BATB-25". This is a reference to Brave and the Bold Vol 1 #25, the issue in which the original incarnation of the Suicide Squad made its debut.
- Felicity tells Oliver about a robbery in progress at Fifth and Giffen. This is a homage to Keith Giffen, who co-wrote the 2001 Suicide Squad comic.
- Waller mentions that the nerve agent was tested in southern Qurac. In the comics, Qurac is a small Middle Eastern country on the Persian Gulf. It serves as the home base for Quraci terrorist group the Onslaught, a frequent adversary of the Suicide Squad.
- This is the first episode in which Diggle and Oliver do not communicate with each other even once.
Preparation ran from January 8 until January 16, 2014. Shooting ran from January 17 until January 28, 2014.
|"City of Heroes" • "Identity" • "Broken Dolls" • "Crucible" • "League of Assassins" • "Keep Your Enemies Closer" • "State v. Queen" • "The Scientist" • "Three Ghosts" • "Blast Radius" • "Blind Spot" • "Tremors" • "Heir to the Demon" • "Time of Death" • "The Promise" • "Suicide Squad" • "Birds of Prey" • "Deathstroke" • "The Man Under the Hood" • "Seeing Red" • "City of Blood" • "Streets of Fire" • "Unthinkable"|