Arrow: Divided

"The best partnerships are built on forgiveness."

Why do I have this sensation of déjà vu? Oh, right. I've been here before.

Oliver's trust issues are legendary, so it is no surprise that his go-to move would be to close ranks and surround himself with only the people he is sure of. Believe me, I get it. Not going into the field with people you can't rely on is sound advice. So explain to me why he'll go into the field with a criminal he's barely met? Especially when he's aware that the man has a child that's been threatened. Does any of this sound vaguely familiar?

On the flip side, why exactly is the B team so angry? Is it that their privacy was invaded? If so, why is Curtis, who has the most to be upset about, still working with Felicity? I know Oliver was the leader, but Curtis is well aware that she's responsible for the actual surveilling. If they are mad about their trust being violated, then why are they still willing to work with Rene? He should have gone to the team as soon as he knew he was compromised. Instead, Rene kept quiet for months. His betrayal is worse than anything Oliver did. Or, is it simply that they don't feel like equals? They have a legitimate complaint on that score, but if they are honest with themselves they were never on equal footing with Diggle and Felicity, and they knew it. Again, all well-worn territory.

Which leads to my other issues with the current storyline. First of all, why did any of Team Arrow (current or former) think that Cayden didn't know their identities? When Black Siren pretended to be Laurel last season, she was well aware of who each of them was. Did they think she'd keep her mouth shut out of the goodness of her heart? Secondly, why should the team knowing Vincent's identity come as a surprise to Cayden? When Dinah found out she was still a fully vested member of Team Arrow, not to mention the fact that she told Quentin. Finally, if Oliver’s promise to William was important to him, he has a funny way of showing it. He took on an army by himself, with an indictment hanging over his head in a city that just outlawed vigilantes. For a show that has always excelled at story and character continuity, they've been woefully inconsistent this season.

Rant over.

After discovering that Cayden is working with the Bratva, Ricardo Diaz and Vincent in addition to the Black Siren, Dig tries to talk some sense into Oliver. After all, Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity have all violated each other's trust at some point, and they found a way to work with each other again. But Oliver is only willing to pass along intel. Because working with the Bertinellis has gone so well in the past.

Considering how outnumbered Oliver was, his plan was a decent one. Not to mention it was a great excuse for one hell of a fight scene. But at the end of the day, the only thing he accomplished was getting out of there in one piece. Cayden still got the port and Oliver is forced to acknowledge that he needs help. I was kind of surprised at how quickly he came around, but then I remembered it's been six weeks. That sounds about right.

Oliver brings the team together, acknowledges his mistakes even as he points out that he is not alone in that department, and asks if they can all have a clean slate. The problem is he wants things to go back to the way they were before which means he hasn't really learned anything. Rene's betrayal merely exposed the fault lines that have existed since Oliver agreed to expand the team. Lest we forget, it was never what he wanted, and he had to be talked into it in the first place.

So now we have two teams that barely talk against an army of criminals, the local police, and the FBI. What could go wrong?

There were some interesting questions that came out of this. What does Cayden need with the docks? Why hasn't he exposed the identities of the team? And what does any of this have to do with Cayden's missing son?

In other news, we have Thea and Quentin deciding to save Laurel. Huh? Comparing the Black Siren to Malcolm Merlyn is a false equivalent. Merlyn was her actual father. No such bond exists between this Laurel and Quentin. I have to agree with Thea's first assessment. Laurel could kill him.

This episode felt like the characters' decisions were based more on story demands than on anything those particular people would do in a given situation. As Oliver said, I'm having trouble squaring that circle.

2 out of 5 Crogurts

Parting Thoughts:

What the hell is a crogurt?

Cayden upgraded Black Siren’s cry. This can’t be good.

Twenty-one straight all-nighters? That's a sucky honeymoon.

Speaking of, I am so happy that the Powers That Be and I are on the same page. Now that the "will-they-won't-they" of Olicity is over, we can just get on with telling stories.

What's with all the former secret bases being in perfect condition with free utilities? Plus, wasn't Helix a nightclub just a couple of months ago?

And what is the loft being used for now other than neutral territory between the OTA and the B team? I'm assuming that Felicity moved in with Oliver and William.

They have firmly established William's intelligence. In what world does he not realize what's going on?

The Huntress is mentioned multiple times. Oliver even asks why Jerry Bertinelli came to him instead of her. I thought she was in jail. And even if she wasn't, she's been trying to destroy the family business for years. Why would she help them now?

Bull Durham is the best baseball movie ever.

Quotes:

Felicity: "Oh, John Diggle, savior of souls and bringer of java."

Felicity: "Curtis is on his way over and we will fix you. We have the technology."

Dinah: "Most guys just send flowers."

Bertinelli: "You're a hard man to find. You ever consider a website, maybe a spotlight in the sky, you know, a big silhouette of an arrow?"

Felicity: "I remember the last time you got into bed with one of the Bertinellis. It did not end well. I have a long memory for these sorts of things. Call me crazy."

Rene: "Crogurts?"
Curtis: "I didn't name them. I just eat them."

Oliver: "Thea, you will always be my Speedy. Whether you use a bow and arrow or not."

Cayden: "You taught yourself some new tricks."

Dragon: "You know for a smart guy. That was a dumb move."

Thea: "Everyone, even Ra's Al Ghul, has had moments of kindness."

Rene: "Don't you knock?"
Dinah: "Don't you lock your doors?"

Curtis: "I don't suggest we make this a regular thing seeing as how I'm a lightweight, and all..."

Cayden: "Don't leave early. The best parts are always at the end."

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

4 comments:

Patryk said...

I don't know, Arrow seems to wear out it's welcome and it's because all the stupid infighting that repeats every season. And the show still has not confirmed that the al-Ghul sisters survived Lian Yu. If not here then on Legends at least. Sara would like to know too.

At least we have evil Finch.

Shari Houtman said...

I don't mind the trust issues as much as I mind the fact that what the characters are upset about seems to change on a minute by minute basis. It feels like sloppy writing.

Not knowing whether the Al-Ghuls survived bugs me too. Although Sara referenced Nyssa in Earth-X in the present tense. I don't know how much we can read into that.

Cayden feels like a cross between Ben (Lost) and Finch. No wonder why they cast him.

Billie Doux said...

Yeah, I keep feeling like all this team falling apart angst was manufactured, too. It doesn't feel organic. Oliver, Felicity and Dig surveiled the newer members of the team because they thought something was wrong, and you know, something *was* wrong. All these injured feelings seem to be all about it being unjustified when it was justified. Oh, well.

Bull Durham is indeed the best baseball movie ever. I think I've seen it ten times.

Katie Hart - Freelance Writer said...

I always have a hard time getting back to the Arrowverse after the mid-season break. I think it's because the mid-season finales usually end on a depressing cliffhanger. At least the Olympic pause for most other shows is giving me opportunity to dig in and find out, as always, the first episodes back aren't as bad as I feared.

I enjoyed this episode, despite being annoyed by plot holes and leaps of logic. Dinah, Rene, and Curtis need to get over themselves. A few hours of surveillance is nothing compared what Rene and Dinah held back. In fact, after Evelyn's betrayal last season, I was surprised that there wasn't at least some GPS tracking program running on all of the new team members. They need to realize that Original Team Arrow has years of more experience together. And yeah, pouting and quitting and refusing to make amends really works to make the rest of team ready to regard you as being on even footing! Honestly, though I like all of them, Curtis is the only one I'd really miss.