arrow next of kin

Well alright, we may not have seen the big bad of the season just yet (nor seen any more of Black Siren, which is a little sad), but ‘Arrow’ is keeping things moving pretty smoothly, aside from the terrible choices made in regards to the Diggle character. It almost feels like the show’s writers feel like they need someone to be an idiot on the series, and since Oliver is all grown up now that his flashbacks are over and he has William to look after, they passed that mantle on to Diggle, which is sad considering the man once had real common sense and was the voice of reason on the team. Who knew inheriting the hood also meant losing a few IQ points?

Oliver’s story tonight revolved around William and a big math test, which I will cover in a sentence or two because Oliver’s stories are going to be hum-drum until he becomes the Green Arrow again. Basically, Oliver cannot connect with William because William is smart and cares about school, whereas Oliver coasted through his school days and still does not see the point in stressing about things like tests (great parenting there). Luckily for him, Felicity is there to tutor William, and in the process rekindle the old Olicity spark, which apparently had been doused post-Lian Yu so things would not be complicated for William. But now that William seems to like Felicity, Oliver seems just fine starting things up again, which he does. Meanwhile, the FBI lady is still sniffing around, pointing out Oliver’s Green Arrow understudy has yet to fire an arrow, which Oliver is oblivious to (which is troublesome), even while the city council is about to pass some anti-vigilante legislation. Oliver and Lance cannot find a way to convince the council to not pass the bill, so instead Oliver does some maneuvering which makes the measure something all of Star City needs to vote on, in the hopes he can convince the people of his city of the good the Green Arrow and his team do and prevent them from becoming hunted outlaws.

Meanwhile, Diggle is leading the Quiver Crew using the bow as a club, because he “not an archer,” which Felicity and Curtis are “working on,” as Dinah knowingly shakes her head. To add to his worries, Diggle is now freezing while making command decisions which makes their latest case, hunting a woman named Onyx and her military crew who are trying to assassinate a former partner before he squeals about the money they stole, very challenging. And to make things even worse, Onyx and company plan to kill their former ally using a poison gas which will make it look like a terrorist attack, meaning civilian casualties will also be involved. After Diggle freezes in the field and allows Onyx to escape and a truck to smash into a building, the team loses some faith, though Dinah tells them all to move on and not lose faith in Diggle. Rene however, does lose faith and asks Oliver to come back, saying he does not think John can handle the position. So Oliver speaks to John, claiming he is just visiting, and gives him a pep talk similar to the ones Diggle used to give him (they really have switched places) and builds up Dig’s confidence, at around the same time that Diggle keeps assuring Dinah that he is doing better, and the shakes have stopped, which seems mighty suspicious, but accurate. Physically we have yet to see anything wrong with Diggle this episode, his fighting is on point, he just hasn’t been using the bow to shoot any arrows. In the end, they manage to stop Onyx and her cadre and get everyone into the hands of the SCPD even while saving a group of civilians from poison gas released by Onyx, and Diggle proves he can handle the job, which they all celebrate by drinking champagne after the mission.

At episode’s end, Felicity and Curtis unveil the “Green Monster,” a special crossbow designed for Diggle that fires arrows identical to the ones Oliver carried, which Diggle then uses to shoot four tennis balls into the wall with perfect accuracy, wowing the team and Dinah in particular, as it truly puts to rest the idea that he cannot shoot anymore (and calls back to Oliver showing off his accuracy to Diggle back in Season 1 using tennis balls). Meanwhile, the FBI agent watches in disgust as the news announces Oliver’s referendum to Star City about the vigilante bill, wondering who he is protecting even as she moves over to a board of suspects with pictures of everyone on Team Arrow, putting up a picture of Diggle right next to Oliver as her most likely suspect for Green Arrow #2. And in a dark alley, we see a drug deal going down, and as the camera pulls back, it is revealed that the strange serum is being purchased by none other than John Diggle, who immediately shoots it into his quaking arm, explaining why he was able to cure his “shakes” between the last episode and now, and reveal that the tremors are still there, they are just being controlled by this strange drug, which is sure to be a problem for Diggle and the team moving forward.

BOW-STRING THEORIES:

  • Thea Counter – That’s 2 episodes down sans Thea (though they did reminisce about her), which means only 7 more Thea-less episodes before Willa Holland actually has to do something on the show.
  • Any chance the FBI woman is secretly in league with this season’s big bad and that’s how she will become less of a problem down the road? Like the team will out her as a villain which will make all of her “evidence” something the police will ignore because she herself is dirty?
  • Thank God they finally explained why Felicity and Oliver weren’t seeing each other this season, they definitely left things in limbo at the end of Season 5 and I had been wondering, and them keeping their distance for William does make some sense.
  • Am I the only one wondering/ slightly hoping that Felicity and Curtis’ company SOMEHOW becomes the reincarnated version of Queen Consolidated? I feel like that company should exist in the Arrowverse, it was seen in some versions of the future, and it is pretty standard for the Green Arrow comics, and it feels weird that it disappeared so early in the run of the show. Could also help explain why Felicity and Curtis are having such a hard time naming it.
  • So at some point, I feel like William is going to turn his opinion on the Green Arrow around, as I don’t think the show will have Oliver take the mantle back without William’s approval, because if they did he would be a terrible dad (although I’m on the fence about how good a dad he is already…)

The show is keeping up its momentum, which I like, and even with the Diggle storyline, I know I am just being nitpicky, even if I do have some valid points about how dumb Diggle is being, both in taking on the mantle of Green Arrow and not telling Oliver the extent of his injuries and now in taking a mystery drug to keep himself battle ready. It’s got tragedy written all over it. Still, they are doing a good job writing the characters otherwise, especially the relationships between all of Team Arrow, and I don’t see anyone else making dumb decisions that their characters would not normally make, which is a step up from previous seasons, so hopefully they keep it up. See you back here next week!