Arrow Secrets: “A.W.O.L.”


Amanda Waller

We saw Amanda Waller’s brief and triumphant return this week. Just as a refresher, she’s a government agent who works for various secret organizations, but mostly with A.R.G.U.S. and Checkmate.

Waller is also the woman behind the Suicide Squad and will make her next appearance in this summer’s Suicide Squad movie, directed by David Ayers, where she’ll be played by Viola Davis. But Arrow’s and Suicide Squad’s aren’t the only times Waller had graced the screen. Pamela Grier portrayed her in Smallville and Angela Bassett played her Green Lantern.


Hot Wheels

Felicity jokes that her codename should be “Hot Wheels.” That’s an obvious reference to the popular brand of toy car. I’ll admit it. I had plenty of them growing up.


Big Belly Burger

Here we go with another Big Belly Burger reference. This franchise is a take on Bob’s Big Boy and has become a staple on Arrow, The Flash, and the video game DC Universe Online. One of my virtual superheroes has eaten at Big Belly Burger once.

Even though Big Belly Burger has made plenty of appearances and boasts unique herbs and spices, I don’t know if I agree with Diggle that it has restorative properties.

Arrow -- "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak" -- Image AR305a_0359b -- Pictured: Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Goth Felicity

We first saw Goth Felicity in “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak,” which was originally titled “Oracle” before it went into production. If you look hard enough, you’ll find the raven haired, nihilistic Felicity on Tumblr. She has quite the following.



This criminal organization first appeared in a Deathstroke comic, even though the name was first uttered in Shadow Cabinet a year prior. The organization is headed by The Baron (Arrow uses Baron Reiter) and went toe to toe with Deathstroke and Damage.


LT Joyner

Lieutenant Joyner was named for the writer who created Shadowspire, Dr. Tom Joyner. Joyner used the concept in Deathstroke and Damage.


Kord Industries

We’ve seen it before and here it is again: Kord Industries.

Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle and longtime member of the Justice League, owns the company that shares his name. At one point Ted, not Ray Palmer/The Atom, was supposed to appear on Arrow’s third season. I wouldn’t mind seeing Ted even if he doesn’t don his costume.


She’s not Oracle. Felicity Smoak’s codename is Overwatch. I don’t know if Smoak is going to use this codename that often but this isn’t a subtle video game reference (there’s a video game called Overwatch on the market); it’s a reference to a novel producer Marc Guggenheim wrote titled Overwatch.

And Overwatch is a U.S. military doctrine where you send one unit or small military vehicle to watch over and observe the battlefield before your troops enter the fray. That’s pretty much what Felicity does for Team Arrow.



Does this mean that Oracle—and the rest of the Batman mythology—exists in the world of Flash and Arrow? Perhaps not. There is a computer software company with the name, and the Golden State Warriors play in their arena. But with all the references to Bludhaven (Dick Grayson’s new home town since he left Batman to become Nightwing) and the name Oracle already taken, how could their not be a Batman Universe somewhere in the dark recesses of the Arrowverse.


Other Justice League References

Okay. There have been plenty of Justice League references in the past, so let’s recap a few from previous seasons of Arrow and Flash.

Superman: When The Flash faced his grade-school bully, Girder who was made of metal, a newspaper headline read “The Streak versus a Man of Steel.” Harrison Wells also quipped that Girder was a “Man of Steel” in the same episode.

Batman: In a future headline in Flash we see that Wayne Enterprises merges with Queen Industries. Someone mentions to Flash that he should shine his symbol in the sky (Batsymbol). Harley Quinn cameo (she was in silhouette the first time we met the Suicide Squad). Blackgate prison has made multiple appearances; no one stays locked up there.

Aquaman: Jay Garrick (Earth-2’s Flash) mentions that he’s been to Atlantis. The Flash had a cut scene where Barry said one of his best friends lives under the sea.

Green Lantern: Mulitple Ferris Air reference. Both Barry and Ollie have been to Coast City (Hal Jordan’s home city). Coast City mentioned a missing test pilot (Hal Jordan). Someone wearing a Jordan name tag on a flight jacket flashed in front of the screen for a moment.

Wonder Woman: No direct references, but Felicity mentioned Amazons no an episode.

A Toast for Waller
During the memorial toast to Amanda Waller, Felicity had to put the kibosh on the good mood by reminding everyone that Waller tried to take down the city with a drone strike.

Smoak’s line is a reference to Season Two’s finale, when A.R.G.U.S. thought it was better to level Starling City than allow Deathstroke’s Mirakuru soldiers to run loose. She’s all heart.

If you missed our review of Arrow “A.W.O.L.,” here’s a link. Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s