Oliver, Felicity and Diggle must contend with Cayden James’ continued assaults while Dinah, Curtis and Rene decide to go of on their own after feeling betrayed by Oliver. And with James moving to increase his power base in Star City, Oliver makes a deal with The Huntress’ uncle.
Previously, on ARROW…
Coming back from its midseason break, the latest episode has a lot to unpack. Black Canary, Wild Dog and Mr. Terrific have walked away from Team Arrow and are forming their own team. Diggle is still working with Curtis to fix the nerve damage in his firing hand. Dinah is reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend Vincent, who unbeknownst to her is working with Cayden James as the Vigilante. James wants to take over the Star City ports, which are controlled by the Bertinelli family and the head of the Bertinelli family agrees to work with Oliver to challenge James. Meanwhile, Quentin is still having trouble dealing with his daughter’s doppelganger not killing him and Oliver’s sister Thea, fresh out of a coma, is helping him cope.
It’s amazing they managed to fit all of this in 44 minutes. Let’s hit the high points:
With the team separated by Oliver’s decision to keep the new members under surveillance, both sides are debating the best way to go forward. The tension between the two sides dominates the episode, as everyone feels bad about the way things played out, but no one is quite willing to step up and make amends. Oliver is still feeling burned that Rene betrayed him to FBI Special Agent Watson and Dinah didn’t tell them the Vigilante was her ex-boyfriend. While Diggle and Felicity are pushing for reunification, Rene, Dinah and Curtis aren’t ready to forgive, even after Oliver apologizes at the end of the episode. It really doesn’t make the new members any more likable, since their actions were just as injurious to the team – even if Rene flipped to ensure he was able to get his daughter back.
What’s even more galling is that the newbies tell Oliver that Cayden James had nothing to do with fracturing the team. This is after it’s made clear that James is the one who tipped off Agent Watson, which led to Rene’s betrayal. And with Vigilante working with James, it’s safe to assume he was behind the mistrust of Dinah. Terrific is supposed to be one of the smartest people in the world, but not being able to see those connections is really… dumb.
Down to the original members of Team Arrow, Oliver makes a deal with Jerry Bertinelli, the uncle of Huntress Helena Bertinelli and the head of the crime family, to fight James and his crew back to ensure they don’t get the city’s ports. The fight doesn’t go their way, though, and Bertinelli eventually cedes the ports to James. But his resistance meant that James had him killed regardless.
The show is certainly not boring, and each episode continues to move the plot forward, but things just aren’t fully clicking for me here. I love Michael Emerson’s Cayden James, and having Black Siren by his side makes for an interesting dynamic. But when you throw in Dragon (who has done nothing since his debut episode earlier this season), Vigilante and Anatoly and the Bratva into the mix, the villain side of things feels bloated and with a lot of excess fat that could be trimmed. I’m more interested in the dynamic between the two hero teams, along with Thea helping Quentin work through losing Laurel, but there are way too many characters this season for anything to get the proper kind of focus.
At the very least, Curtis seems to have corrected Diggle’s nerve damage, so Oliver will have some back-up in the field.
The next episode, titled WE FALL, should continue the story kicked off here. I assume the little play on words with the episode titles make this an unofficial two-part story within the larger season arc. Let’s take a look at what’s on tap for next week:
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments!