Team Arrow faces off with super-hacker Cayden James while Oliver Queen gets arrested for crimes committed as the Green Arrow. And the Piano Man comes to town on Thanksgiving day!
Previously, on ARROW…
Thanksgiving is hectic under normal circumstances, but things get turned up a notch for Team Arrow this week, as FBI Special Agent Samanda Watson makes a return and arrests Star City Mayor Oliver Queen during a food drive, right before he was set to officially open the new police headquarters. Watson publicly charges Oliver with a slew of crimes connected to when he was acting as the vigilante Green Arrow. Despite Oliver’s protestations, Watson tells him he has no idea how much she has on him. Again over Oliver’s protests, Felicity laments that she can’t see what the FBI has or what they’re planning, because the Bureau isn’t keeping the information online. That should probably be worrisome for Team Arrow and Felicity, as it suggests they’re aware of her activities as Overwatch.
Agent Watson, though, is maybe third on the list of issues the team is facing during Thanksgiving week. Cayden James comes back to town and the team pieces together that he’s planning to hit a major venue in Star City, after Black Siren leads a team to steal some chemicals used for a major explosive. Thanks to Rene’s appreciation of a wide variety of music – and tickets to the concert – they realize James is planning to hit the sold out Billy Joel concert that’s in town. But who will lead Team Arrow? Diggle is in the hospital, having a bad reaction to the implant Curtis used to try and fix him, combined with the steroids he was using to self-medicate.
After his attempts to shut down the concert fall on deaf ears (“This FBI investigation is really hurting my credibility.”), Oliver decides to get back in the game and lead the team as Green Arrow.
It’s ridiculous how much got thrown at the audience in the first half of this episode…
The bomb threat at the concert was, of course, a set-up. Team Arrow was drawn into a fight with James’ goons, dressed as Star City Police, while the hacker had a heart-to-heart with Oliver to reveal his motivations: James blames Green Arrow for losing his son. How? We don’t know yet, and surely James will be back for some more exposition. James also releases video of the team fighting “police” as Star City votes on the anti-vigilante referendum, which ultimately leads to Mayor Queen announcing the harshest of penalties will be dropped on anyone caught acting as a vigilante (probably even The Vigilante, when he returns).
Despite Diggle’s deteriorating condition, Oliver vows he can remain as Green Arrow once he heals up – which sounds like a terrible idea -after they have the last of many deep conversations this episode. Oh… and Thea wakes up from her months-long coma thanks to some experimental drugs.
This episode was exhausting. Much like a typical Thanksgiving. I was definitely stuffed from all the plot advancements they managed to throw in here as we prepare for next week’s major four-show crossover. I’m officially sick of Agent Watson, whose only purpose was to needlessly antagonize Oliver after she arrested him, continuously jabbing him about his son. She really adds nothing to the show, and I hope that they focus on Star City District Attorney Sam Armand (played by Pej Vahdat) more going forward. Vahdat was great as Arastoo Vaziri on BONES, so I’m glad he’s signed on here, even if it’s in a minor role.
Also great, despite what he was working with, was Michael Emerson as Cayden James, even though I flash back to his time as Benjamin Linus on LOST whenever I hear his voice and cadence.
I’ve been disappointed in the direction of the sixth season over the course of the last few episodes, and the show seems to be limping towards the first-half finale.
• The Billy Joel concert footage showed here was from a show at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. The song we was playing was “No Man’s Land,” from Joel’s 1993 album, RIVER OF DREAMS. Take a listen:
• Oliver drops a Roy Harper mention, reminding Watson that he admitted to being the original ARROW, before he left Star City. Watson counters that she knows that Harper was acting under Oliver’s orders.
• Diggle invokes last year’s INVASION crossover when he tells Oliver that being the Green Arrow was something he never knew he actually wanted until he had it. Oliver, then, was more comfortable telling Diggle he could be the Green Arrow again.
The Super Cinco
- Cayden James – The villain outplayed Team Arrow at every turn, stealing chemicals to make an explosive (that was never used and banked for later) and conning them into getting into physical confrontations with thugs dressed as police officers, turning public opinion against vigilantes. It’s hard not to appreciate everything he managed to get away with here. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)
- Oliver Queen – While things went from bad to worse for his friends, Oliver managed to stand up and make every attempt to do the right thing this week. It may not have worked in his favor, but his efforts show that he’s in a much more positive place than he has been in previous seasons. (Last Week’s Ranking – 3)
- Rene Ramirez / Wild Dog – His appreciation for Billy Joel helps the team figure out where James would be attacking. Any fellow fan of the Piano Man is alright in my book. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)
- Curtis Holt / Mr. Terrific – The tech genius got Diggle’s tremors under control, for a time at least, and it probably would have worked out had Diggle not been self-medicating. He also managed to overcome his (very minor) issues with Felicity to figure things out to lead the team to James. (Last Week’s Ranking – 4)
- Dinah Drake / Black Canary – Once again, saved Diggle’s life in the field as he has an attack while trying to stop James’ goons from stealing the chemicals. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)