Oliver was totally convinced by Chase that he was a monster. Thankfully, we had Diggle being Diggle, who was utterly unable to give up on Oliver. It was very much in character for Diggle to act the way he did, fighting Oliver's attempt to give up on himself, and in doing so he brought up a very good point -- that the Green Arrow is not Oliver Queen. It's a symbol for something better. Does that mean that, in Oliver's attempt to create a monster with the Hood, he instead created the exact opposite with it? That's nice symmetry.
If the focus of the show is no longer on Oliver's personal crusade and more about redeeming his soul with the team's help, that feels like a direction for season six. I'm curious as to whether they will be able to be subtle enough with the storytelling for that to work, but it is at least a perfectly fine hook for "Oliver likes to kill." It doesn't mean I'm happy with what they're doing with his character.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Chase, who is just serial killer evil with no conscience at all. How anyone who interacts with him could take his side is beyond me. Like Talia and Evelyn, who have both spent a lot of time with him and still took his side. Perhaps they're both just evil. Even though that's not the way they were portrayed. It does feel like I'm harping on Evelyn a bit, but she's this inconsistent vengeance-seeking idiot, siding with Prometheus for very shallow reasons.
I liked everyone's reactions to Oliver breaking up the team, which was basically one word: Nope. They all continued to band together to solve the problem without him, each with their own unique contribution. Diggle was clearly second in command. Felicity didn't seem fazed by Oliver at all. Dinah just supported the team and was cool about the whole thing; she's a really good addition so far. Rene had a really seriously cool action moment, and mostly thought Oliver was being stupid for letting Chase get to him. And Curtis managed to be both a hero and a tech god, using his T-Spheres in neat ways and just walking into Helix like that.
Speaking of Helix, I'm a little confused about where they fit on the scales between good and evil. They don't seem evil, which is not what I thought they were going to do with this particular plotline. Maybe Felicity is going to go down the heroes path, too? They've hinted that a few times. I don't know if she'll ever be physical, though. But she has been delighted by using guns and getting the upper hand on people before. She was almost giddy when she injected that guy with the tranq and it worked. Plus in the last Legends alternate universe episode, she was an actual masked vigilante. Big clue?
This felt like a goodbye to the Anatoly I've come to love. Our friendly one-line spewing Russian ally is not Oliver's enemy. Actually all the stuff in the flashback was a big last hurrah, with Oliver setting off to Lian Yu, and Anatoly stepping into a role he never really wanted. In five years they made choices, and those choices turned them into the men they became. In Anatoly's case he had to prioritize the needs of his organization, forcing him down a path where he had to create a new street drug to save the Bratva financially. It was the most upsetting aspect of this episode, that final scene between them where Oliver begged his friend to be the man he used to be, so sad, but yet another example of how you can never go back.
Oliver broke up with Susan in a very one-sided conversation. I still don't know what the writers had in mind for her character. Perhaps we'll find out before the season ends.
So we've known for a while that Oliver spent only a few years on Lian Yu, but now we know officially it was his plan to be found there to perpetuate the lie that he spent five years on the island.
I'm not sure if the title was meant as just a tease, because it wasn't descriptive of the episode. Never once did the team actually disband.
Curtis: "If Diggle's the new Oliver and I'm, obviously, the new Felicity, don't hate, which one of you guys is the new Diggle?"
Dinah and Rene: "I am."
Rene: (to Dinah) "Seriously? You've been here, what, ten minutes? You don't have a code name."
Dinah: "Fine. You're the new Dig."
Oliver: "Russia is your home, Anatoly. Let me go save mine. You can do this without me."
Anatoly: "I'm not worried about what Bratva will become without you. I worry about what I become. But more important question — how drunk we get before dropping you off at Lian Yu?"
Felicity: "I turned off the GPS on my phone, how did you... those damn..."
Curtis: "Tracking nanites. Blueberries weren't the only surprise in those pancakes."
Felicity: "Knew they were funky."
While this direction for Oliver is probably about as good as I could expect for the character at this point, I'm still reeling from last week.
3 out of 4 Former Team Arrow members who refused to give up the mask.
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.