Arrow – Season 6 Episodes 10 – 18 Review

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Arrow Season 6 starts to fall into old patterns again, as Oliver’s life is once again turned upside down and he slowly “realises” he can only do this by himself rather than rely on allies… *sigh*… Still, there were some highlights, this isn’t Season 3 / 4 territory or anything, but I wish the writers would come up with something else to do to their lead other than constantly re-realising the positive effect of friendship…


Oliver continues being the Green Arrow while refusing to have Rene, Dinah, and Curtis help him, while Felicity and Curtis struggle to cure John of his tremors, in the process discovering that their hideout has been bugged forcing them to relocate to A.R.G.U.S. Oliver once again faces Cayden James, discovering that he has a cabal at his command…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

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One of these people’s role with be greatly expended come the Episodes 19 – 23 Review…

Oliver Queen / Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) – Oliver is the Mayor of Star City and the vigilante known as the Green Arrow. He has trust issues, it’s safe to say, and despite everything that’s happened to him in the past half a decade, he still hasn’t truly learned how to trust anyone…

Felicity Smoak / Overwatch (Emily Rickards) – Felicity is the wife of Oliver, as well as his most trusted ally. She is also a mother figure to his son, and the woman in charge of tracking enemies and other hacking-related duties, all the while trying to start up a new tech company… in other words; she has a full plate right now!

John Diggle / Spartan (David Ramsey) – Diggle enjoyed his time as the Green Arrow, but his injury that he stupidly kept from everyone has lost him that mantle. Still, he’s surely just an injection away from being fine, so… hooray! Almost as if he should have come to Felicity and Curtis sooner or something…

Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) – Quentin is the former Police Chief and current deputy Mayor, but is also dealing with an alternate-Earth doppelganger of his dead daughter seemingly taking a liking to him…Awkward!

Curtis Holt / Mister Terrific (Echo Kellum) – Tech wiz and overall comic relief nerd Curtis Holt is beginning to find himself getting used to being on the front line in battle, but his main contribution still seems to be behind a desk.

Rene Ramirez / Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) – Rene turned his back on Oliver when his relationship with his daughter was put on the line, and although he feels terrible because of it, he knows deep down it was the right thing, after all it’s not like the rest of the team are all squeaky clean, right?

Dinah Drake / Black Canary (Julia Harkavy) – Dinah has come back in contact with her old romantic flame Vince and things are getting better… I mean, apart from the whole Vince being the Vigilante thing… and Team Arrow falling apart…

Laurel Lance / Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) – Evil Earth-2 version of Laurel who happened to gain the same abilities Earth-1 Laurel had, though via meta-human means rather than tech. She is stuck on this Earth, and has allied herself with Cayden James and his cabal, because evil doppelganger reasons. That being said, why is it that she can’t shake off some feelings towards Quentin Lance?

Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) – Drug lord who is part of Cayden James’ cabal, though rumour has it he has his eyes on a much bigger role…

Cayden James (Michael Emerson) – Cayden thinks he saw his son get murdered by the Green Arrow and now wishes to see Oliver Queen crumble and Star City burn… Plus make some money and such. Mostly the former though!

Vincent Sobel / Vigilante (Johann Urb) – Vince is apart of Cayden’s cabal, despite being a Vigilante promoting anti-criminal behavour… almost as if he isn’t really on James’ side at all…

Anatoli Knyazev (David Nykl) – Anatoli is a member of Cayden James’ cabal and an old ally of Oliver’s. He has lost his place in the Russian Bratva and wishes to find his way back, as well as get revenge on his old pal…

and many more!

The Good:

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“Wait, so you’re not an alternate Earth version of me as a woman? Oh well…”

Although I had to roll my eyes that it didn’t even take one season for the bigger Team Arrow to split, it was at least well handled, with the two different teams being formed and the drama of them facing of against each other in Episode 14 was great. After that Rene was written out of the show for the rest of this chunk of episodes, so the “two teams of heroes” dynamic was swiftly done away with, but hey: it was good while it lasted!

While I wasn’t a big fan of the reveal that Ricardo Diaz was behind everything after all and Cayden himself was just being manipulated, it was pulled off well, and Diaz has slowly came into his own as a lead antagonist, where as before he was super generic. I would have preferred Mr. James as a tech-based lead villain was more unique to the show, but never mind…

Episodes 15 and 16 form a mini-arc with the return of Roy Harper that leads to Thea being written out of the show as she leaves with Roy and Nyssa al Ghul to track down and destroy the remaining Lazarus Pits. It was a fun mini-story break and some of the fight scenes with Team Arrow against the “Thanatos Guild” (a League of Assassins spin off) was good.

In fact there were several sweeping long shots during a lot of the fight scenes this season that blew me away. Lots of clever close-range gun and bow and arrow crossed with hand-to-hand choreography that I’ve never seen before, so a definite hats off to whoever is behind that.

I’m not really sure where to put Black Siren / Earth-2 Laurel, because sometimes they push the “she’s coming around to seeing Earth-1 Quinten as a father figure” button so many times before flipping the switch (wait, I thought it was a button?) and having her still be evil again that it’s starting to just get annoying. That being said, there were some good moments where you weren’t sure where he loyalty lies, like when she was told to kill “actually undercover in the Cayden Cabal after all” Vince Sobel and hesitated… before actually straight up killing him. It works because you’re not sure what her character is going to be episode-to-episode, I’m just not sure if that’s good writing or bad…

The Bad:

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“Seriously guys, haven’t done this enough times by now to know it won’t last?!”

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, I’m really getting tired of Oliver losing his trust and trying to go solo again. They’ve pushed it to the extreme this time, having him not only throw out the newest trio of members, but slowly John Diggle and Ollie have a falling out so bad that the former leaves and joins ARGUS instead. Then he wants to go full-on opening of Season 1 and even tells Felicity that he wants to do it alone… Makes no sense! All she did was sit back and watch over him! The whole thing makes so little sense that I’m hoping it’s a ploy and that actually they’re all on the same side but instead of being manipulated into breaking up, they manipulate the manipulators into thinking they’ve broken up so they can… sneak around, or something. I hope that’s the case, otherwise it’s safe to say the writing team has no idea what to do with their central character any more and have chosen to have him learn the same lesson over and over again.

A lot of the Mayor-related things weren’t very interesting, and in fact it’s getting harder and harder to believe he would still be in office after all the late meetings and general bad job he’s been doing. I mean, yeah, by the end of the this chunk of episodes he’s been impeached, so… Good, but still!

I mentioned the Cayden James being manipulated by dull drug lord Diaz in the good, because it ended up Ricardo was a good antagonist (though most of that comes from Episode 19 I watched yesterday… I’m a bit late with this review…) but I really liked the angle of a lead villain who doesn’t fight and instead surrounds himself with people who do. The Cabal vs. Team Arrow was a fun dynamic to explore, but by Episode 13’s end that’s all fallen apart, with both teams broken up, replaced by a Oliver looses all faith in allies and fights the powerful crime lord story… again.

Overall Thoughts:

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The Team Arrow civil war! … Not quite as exciting.

“A mixed bag” would be a correct phrase for this middle chunk of episodes, which is a shame based off of the promise that was evident in the opening 9. The lead plot is soon broken apart and we’re left with the most predictable and over-used cliché storyline in the Arrow playbook. There were some good episodes and great fight choreography, but that really only takes it up to average. Let’s hope they can pull it back with the finale…

3 Star Watch

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