This week’s ‘Arrow,’ as I guessed last week, dove right back into the thick of things, picked up the main plot threads of the season, and really amped up the dramatic tension for all the characters, especially the remaining members of Team Arrow. It was a bit frustrating to see some similar beats to what we have seen in seasons past with the Team falling apart in the face of a threat and everyone questioning Oliver’s past choices. But the fact that Oliver and Diggle were the ones in conflict did make it seem somewhat fresh, though how it all ended up made me a little depressed.
Anyway, the episode starts in a van with Dinah and all of the “clean” cops she can round up, heading in to arrest Anatoly. When they arrive, the cops are a little nervous, but Dinah knows they have back-up as she has swallowed her pride and called in the Green Arrow and Spartan for assistance, as Rene is still recovering and Curtis is currently watching Rene’s daughter. They get Anatoly, but the man threatens the cop who arrests him and warns Dinah, and later Oliver, that Diaz’s influence goes much higher than just the Chief of Police whose head Dinah went over to arrest him. The man is proved correct when the DA steps in and frees Anatoly on a technicality, telling Oliver that his word means nothing as he is still being indicted as the Green Arrow and making Oliver, Dinah and Lance realize that the DA is also owned by Diaz.
Meanwhile, Felicity starts the episode urging Oliver to tell Diggle about his decision to remain the Green Arrow, which Oliver is apparently waiting for the right moment to do. When he finally comes clean with John, is it clearly not the best moment. Felicity is none-too-pleased and can see the whole thing really bothers Diggle, though Oliver does not at first. As for Anatoly, he and Diaz pay a visit to the cop who put the cuffs on him and murder him in cold blood on the streets, a message to all the other “clean cops” not to mess with their business.
Meanwhile, Quentin and Laurel have a conversation and Quentin encourages his pseudo-daughter to follow in the actual Laurel’s footsteps and go out and be a productive member of society by getting a job. She quips about not knowing how to put a resume together, and Quentin reminds her that she “is” Laurel Lance, and could get a law job but first she should actually learn the law the way the real Laurel did, and he gives her all of Laurel’s old law books (none of which seems really plausible to me, but whatever). Later, as she is going over some readings, Diaz pays her a visit, and she shows some concern that he is there to hurt Quentin. Ge reveals he just brought her some food and wants to make sure she is not falling too much into her new role and reminds her to remember who she really is, which she claims she does.
Back at City Hall, Oliver calls in the Chief of Police and the DA, and in a private meeting with the two of them, accuses of them of working for Diaz, and they both confess to being blackmailed. The Chief because Diaz is threatening her family and the DA with money payments to help his son’s cancer. Oliver claims he can protect their families and get them the money they need, but they scoff at him, saying they cannot even protect their own police officers. The DA reminds him the city is broke but does ask if Oliver’s protection claim is as the Green Arrow, which Oliver denies, saying if he was the vigilante they would not want to be near him at the moment. He then proceeds to fire them for working for Diaz. Dinah meanwhile has rounded up all the clean cops and taken them to a safehouse for protection with Curtis going along to add extra security and keep an eye on his new cop boyfriend, Nick, , who he learns “hates” vigilantes, which makes him very worried. He speaks to Dinah about it, and she advises him to not worry about it and live in the moment.
As for the Quiver Crew, Felicity urges Oliver to give Diggle a real apology about what happened, which he does, saying that he “needs” the Hood to be the best man he can be. Diggle says he understands and the apology seems heartfelt enough. Later, they go after an informant who might help them shut down Diaz’s Vertigo business, a major source of income for the man but the guy does not want to talk. Oliver is against Dig’s more aggressive means of interrogation and while they argue, the guy’s girlfriend reveals she works for Diaz by shooting the drug dealer, ending their lead.
Back at HQ, Dig flips out at Oliver over what happened, and later reveals to Lyla that he does not know why he was so mad, as he legitimately accepted Oliver’s apology. Lyla helps him realize his anger has to do with more than just Oliver staying on as the Green Arrow. He returns to HQ to hash it out with his old friend and it turns ugly fast with Diggle telling Oliver that his real anger comes from the fact that Oliver’s original mission has been compromised by Oliver stretching himself too thin by becoming a father and the mayor, and that helping people is no longer the top priority if Oliver “needs” to wear the mask. He also blames Oliver’s leadership for most of what happened to the team, and for the current state of Star City under Diaz.
Oliver retorts that Diaz came to power while Diggle was running the team, and buying drugs from the man (a fair point), and broke a lot of trust himself with his lies about his arm’s status. Rene’s injury came up with Diggle saying Oliver put him in the hospital and Oliver reminded Diggle that Rene’s initial injury was because Diggle was out in the field compromised. Then Diggle throws all of the dead bodies of Oliver’s past in his face and Oliver comes back with the fact that Dig’s dead bodies include his brother, which of course pisses of Diggle enough for him to punch Oliver. They brawl in HQ, a nasty fight that is only broken up when Felicity enters and screams at them to stop and “pull their heads out of their a$$es.” They make up somewhat, just as Felicity points them in the direction of Diaz’s Vertigo warehouse, which, if they can destroy it, would permanently disable the man’s drug business and lose him a significant portion of his funds. So they head out to get the job done, regardless of their feelings. Which of course does not sit well with either of them, as they realize they need to trust each other to get the job done, as there are about 20 men in the building the two of them need to take down. They work as a team and take down Diaz’s men and manage to destroy the building, but from the look on Dig’s face at the end, it is clear there is more to the argument coming.
Dinah and Curtis’s conversation sadly is broken up as they learn one of the cops has given them up to Diaz, and he shoots Curtis in the chest. Dinah leaves Curtis in the care of Nick and heads out to secure the perimeter. Nick discovers Curtis is wearing the Mr. Terrific armor under his shirt, protecting him from the bullet but also outing him as a vigilante. Curtis is a little worried,but does not have time to deal, as they are under attack. He releases his T-Spheres to help cover them as they make their way toward Dinah. Their exit cut off, Dinah finds a private wall where no one can see her and uses her sonic scream to create another exit and they all flee the building. Later, Nick meets up with Curtis at his apartment, informing Dinah as she exits the place that the Police Chief fired all the clean cops as her last act before exiting her position, so he and Dinah are out of a job. He then tells Curtis that since the police force is corrupt, he may have been wrong about vigilantes as the city may need them more than ever.
Meanwhile, the DA and Police Chief are on the news, claiming Oliver fired them to help impede the investigation into his being the Green Arrow, claiming it is an impeachable offense. We learn from Diaz that it was Laurel who gave them the idea after reading some of the law books, proving to the man she is still firmly on his side and working to help him. As for Diggle and Oliver, they meet up one last time at HQ with Felicity present, and Diggle announces that while he feels Oliver has become a much better man over the years and he respects Oliver’s decision to remain the Green Arrow, Diggle has realized that if he is to be the best man he can be, he cannot do it under Oliver’s leadership, as he has lost faith in Oliver’s ability to lead. So Diggle leaves Team Arrow as well, meaning the “team” is now just Oliver and Felicity, who claims she is not going anywhere (though at this point, I’m guessing the writers will have Oliver drive her away within an episode or 2). Diggle goes to work for Lyla at ARGUS and the Quiver Crew is more broken than ever.
- It bothers me somewhat that a relatively minor character like Diaz could so thoroughly infiltrate Star City and have this level of control, especially with the number of vigilantes running around in the city. I certainly hope there’s a good reason for why Diaz was able to be so successful besides just a good work ethic.
- Still not really sure about which side Laurel is on, though I’m guessing her feeling protective of Quentin is genuine, and that relationship is what will eventually pull her over fully to the good side.
- When will Rene be coming back? I kind of miss the jokes and energy he brought to the show. Everything has been so dark and brooding lately, even with Felicity and Curtis.
- Apparently O,liver has never heard the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” otherwise he would have kept the DA and Chief on, not told them he knows they work for Diaz, and instead used them against the man. Diggle might have a point about his leadership skills…
- A little strange that Laurel was so excited by the one remaining vial of Vertigo. Is she using? Or do they have another use for it?
The drama in this episode was great, but other than that it did kind of feel like a bridge episode, just setting things up for the finale, as I suspect most of these final episodes of the season are going to be doing. Getting Oliver into a darker and darker place, where he is eventually alone. I am still putting money on him sacrificing himself to save the city and reunite the teams, the only hitch in the plan being William, but at least we now know legally Felicity could take him on. Here’s hoping for some lightness next week after so much darkness and so many people leaving Oliver’s team/life (even Thea!), because, you know, sometimes you wanna see good things happen on the superhero show you watch. See you back here then!