Arrow: Irreconcilable Differences

"No trust, no team."

Well, that was unexpected.

After five years in hell we've grown to expect the mid-season finale to be, well, hell (come on, it had to be done). This was more of a slow burn.

The idea that all of the villains Team Arrow have confronted this season are in league with each other came as a complete surprise to me, especially Vincent. Despite his penchant for collateral damage, I'd assumed that he was still essentially one of the good guys. You know what they say about assuming.  But color me impressed.  If Cayden's recruitment of Oliver's Bratva "Brother," Dinah's former lover, Diggle's supplier and the doppelganger of their teammate to drive an emotional wedge between the Team Arrow members is his opening salvo, I hate to see what his endgame is.  The odd man out was Boots, whose only claim to fame was a stint as Henchman #2 in "Reversal." One can only hope that will be explained soon.

What was completely expected was Oliver's paranoia going into overdrive. He's always had trust issues and Evelyn's betrayal last year has just fed that fire. It's interesting that Felicity and Oliver are sufficiently in sync that she starts tracking Curtis, Rene, and Dinah and going through their email without being asked. I'm not sure that's a good thing.  Don't get me wrong, Oliver has every right to feel betrayed. And I'm not entirely sure what I would do in his situation. He routinely puts his life in his teammate's hands, and one of them has agreed to do something that could end that life, at least metaphorically speaking. But the speed at which Oliver jumps to conclusions is as irrational as it is predictable.

Diggle, ever the voice of reason, calls both Oliver and Felicity out on their behavior multiple times as does Thea. But despite his better judgment, he backs Oliver's play because Dinah, Curtis, and Rene have a point. There has always been a separation between the Original Team Arrow (OTA) and the others – the B Team if you will. It is simply a function of time. There is a measure of trust that has been earned by living in the same foxhole with each other for six years. They have lived through weddings and births as well as devastation and deaths and come out the other side – together. At this point, Oliver, Felicity, and Dig are family. Dinah, Curtis, and Rene might have gotten there eventually, but they aren't there yet.

Dinah and Curtis have legitimate reasons to be upset with the OTA for invading their privacy but what about Rene? His betrayal is real. I get why he would choose his daughter over the team. Even Oliver understands that. Two thoughts occurred to me as I watched this episode. The first is that Rene must be a master at compartmentalization. His speech at the reception was, as Thea said, heartfelt and genuine. The second is that he's an idiot. His anger at Oliver's trust issues during Lance's rescue was completely unjustified. Did he think he could betray Oliver and the team and there'd be no consequences? Or was this just his last hurrah before the trial?

And we mustn't forget Oliver and Felicity's marriage. It took me a long time to come to terms with Olicity. At first, it was because I thought this would be the one show where the male and female leads could work together and not be romantically entangled. Then it was because I felt that Felicity would lose her agency. But mostly it was because it just didn't feel earned. Over the last 2 years they have earned it, and what's more, they feel like true partners. So consider me the latest member of Team Olicity.

This episode leaves us with far more questions than answers. And although I'm excited about where the show may go from here, this episode left me somewhat underwhelmed.

2.5 out 5 Arrows

Parting Thoughts:

Isn't Oliver still married to Nyssa? She still calls him husband whenever they see each other. Just sayin'.

Curtis' wedding speech made me cringe but him catching the bouquet was awesome!

Quentin and the watch did not make tear up. There was just a lot of smoke. Yeah, that's it.

Oliver and Felicity's Ivy Town neighbors came to the reception. My amusement that they keep coming back is at war with my disbelief that Oliver and Felicity would ever be friends with them.

Why did Donna give Noah a pass? And isn't he still a wanted felon? There are at least two cops at that reception.

I also love that the writers didn't forget about Donna and Lance.  Can we get them back together?  I loved them.

Given how many times Team Arrow have stolen proprietary tech in service of whatever mission they are on, maybe they should be in jail.

Considering how many intruders have found their way into the Bunker, shouldn't searching for bugs and cameras be standard protocol by now?

Quotes:

Rene: "You're just going to leave on that bombshell? That's what you're going to do?"

Thea: "Oh, no, no, I do not do DJs. I had a thing once. It did not work out."

Felicity: "I think I jinxed it."

Curtis: "Do you ever feel like life would be easier if there was never a Team Arrow?"
Rene: "Only all the time."

Felicity: "Fantastic, that's not creepy at all."

Curtis: "Why isn't Dinah here? Is it possible that she could be more hungover than I am?"
Rene: "Definitely not."

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.

1 comment:

Profe said...

Maybe Oliver and Nyssa's marriage in Nanda Parbat are like Oliver's mayoral powers to officiate weddings, it's only officially recognized if you're inside the limits of the issuing jurisdiction.