ARROW S6X03 – Next of Kin

Oliver Queen comes up against a problem he can’t solve – quadratic equations! – while Team Arrow adjusts to having Diggle leading the team as Green Arrow as a black ops team causes trouble in Star City.

Previously, on ARROW

Still under investigation by the FBI for his ties to the vigilante Green Arrow, Oliver Queen has hung up the hood and is trying to be a full-time mayor for Star City and a doting father to William, who is finally starting to warm up to Oliver after two episodes of pushing his away. Oliver’s inability to do simple math problems seems to put the kid off, though, and a quadratic equation is the toughest problem Oliver has to solve this week. Thankfully, he has the super-smart Felicity to rely on. She tutors William and the boy gets an A on the math test he was sweating. So Oliver gives her a key to his apartment and the Oliver-Felicity relationship is back on!

What a roller coaster ride of an episode, right?

Oh, wait… even though Oliver is no longer the Green Arrow, the team is still operating, with John Diggle taking up the mantle! There’s a learning curve for everyone involved, as Diggle has to get used to making decisions in the field without Oliver to back his play. Black Canary, Wild Dog and Mr. Terrific, in turn, have to get used to their new leader’s way of doing things, including Dig’s call to action of “Let’s Go” and not Oliver’s “Suit Up,” which seems to confuse Curtis. Even the smartest guys can be confused by the simplest of things.

This week, the team goes up against a black ops team that is killing off its former members to protect their secrets. the black ops team, led by a woman named Onyx, gets the better of Team Arrow the first time around, mainly because they’re uncoordinated under Diggle’s supervision. And, oddly, the new Green Arrow – not a skilled archer – isn’t shooting arrows at the criminals they’re trying to stop. The Arrow’s choice of weaponry is noticed by FBI Agent Samanda Watson, who shows up to remind us all that she’s still around and still planning on being a thorn in Oliver’s side.

During the first confrontation with Onyx’s team, John gets shot and the rest of the team is subdued by a flash bang grenade and sent back to the HQ licking their wounds. Canary, who has already questioned why Diggle hasn’t come clean about his nerve damage, backs him as team leader when Wild Dog questions what happened, but still manages to give Diggle a disapproving look or two.

The second confrontation with Onyx’s team goes much better, with Diggle getting his confidence back and assertively leading the team. He coordinates the attacks and the black ops team doesn’t stand a chance. As a reward, Diggle gets a new arrow-shooting crossbow, which he uses to murder some hapless tennis balls. Canary is reassured that Diggle is now OK and everything is back to happy on Team Arrow. Or is it… as the last scene shows Diggle using what has to be a banned substance he bought from some dude on the streets.

ARROW hasn’t really disappointed yet this season, this episode included. Giving the team a relatively easy confrontation to ease Diggle into the role of leader and give Oliver a sense that they’ll be OK without him was a good choice.

Show Notes

• Onyx made her first comics appearance in January 1985’s Detective Comics 546. She was a member of the League of Assassins who decided to retire from her murderous life to live in an ashram monastery. She teamed with Green Arrow and Black Canary to take down a renegade monk. She later ended up in Gotham City as a bodyguard for Orpheus, an undercover Bat-team member who had infiltrated the underground. Onyx was influential in the BATMAN: WAR GAMES story in 2004. She has not played much of a role in the DC Universe since.

• The company Onyx and her team are infiltrating is KORD INDUSTRIES, which in the comics is led by Ted Kord, the alter ego for the second Blue Beetle. Dinah Drake tells another cop she’s going to want to see Kord’s CEO… are we getting another major DC Comics player in Arrow?

• Diggle got the laugh of the night when, sitting in a truck cab with two nameless Kord drivers, he frustratingly tells the driver, “You have terrible taste in music.” Great scene.

The Super Cinco

  1. John Diggle – This episode was Diggle’s first real opportunity to shine this season, and he battled back from his indecision in the field to lead Team Arrow to defeat the Black Ops soldiers causing trouble in Star City. Throw in the new weaponry and the performance enhancing drug injection and Diggle had a very eventful week. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)
  2. Wild Dog – Showed some stones by going to see Oliver when he felt that Diggle wasn’t going to cut it as the Green Arrow, asking Oliver to put the hood back on. He even copped to it at the end of the episode. The Wild Dog is a man of integrity. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)
  3. Black Canary – Backed up her field commander to the rest of the team, even though she knew Diggle was hiding something. (Last Week’s Ranking – 4)
  4. Felicity Smoak – As she struggled to come up with a name for the start-up she’s doing with Mr. Terrific, she also showed off her math skills and seemingly got back together with Oliver. (Last Week’s Ranking – 2)
  5. Oliver Queen – Despite not punching or shooting arrows into anyone this week, he did some hard work, making scrambled eggs for his kid, making a spare key for Felicity and making John feel more confident about leading the team. (Last Week’s Ranking – 3)

 

That’s all for this week, be sure to check out my recaps of SUPERGIRL, along with Joe’s looks at both THE FLASH and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW! And be sure to come back tomorrow for week 3 of the ARROWVERSE POWER RANKINGS for the 2017-2018 season.