Oliver and Dinah clash as Cayden James continues to hold Star City hostage
It’s been a week since Cayden James took Star City hostage, and Team Arrow and The B-Team are nowhere closer to regaining control of their city. Oliver, Quentin, Dinah, and the new police captain tried turning to A.R.G.U.S. for help, but the omnipresent spy organization’s attempts to infiltrate the city via an unobserved stretch of water ended with all of the divers turning up dead. Cayden murdered them by electrocuting them with their earpieces — which is a clever bit of foreshadowing for the tragic ending of tonight’s episode.
One of the reasons Oliver has had to pay Cayden James $70 million (so far) is that both vigilante teams aren’t sharing information. For example, Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle don’t find out that Vincent is actually undercover in Cayden’s operation until tonight’s episode. Why did Curtis, Rene, and Dinah waited so long to tell them? Because they’re just a little petty — and by “a little,” I mean very. This is information OG Team Arrow could’ve used! But instead, Oliver had to bankrupt the city.
Once everyone gets on the same page, Felicity comes up with a way to use Vince. She suggests he use the sniffer hacking device they used on Prometheus’ mother last year on Cayden’s servers. Unfortunately, this operation is incredibly dangerous for a number of reasons: First, Cayden already questions Vigilante’s loyalty, especially after that random goon died during last week’s fight (Vigilante killed him to save Rene). Second, Cayden has way more data than Prometheus’ mother, which means Vince will have to stand in the server room — an area he doesn’t have access to — for about 10 minutes as the device collects the data. His cover will be blown if he gets caught. Obviously, Dinah is super opposed to this, but Vince says it’s his decision and so he decides to do it.
So, the two teams rendezvous at the bunker and watch Vince through a body cam as he gains access to Cayden’s server room and plugs in the device. Obviously, Cayden walks in on him before the download is complete. However, Felicity helps Vincent out of this sticky situation by feeding him some nonsensical techno-babble to rattle off to Cayden. That move stalls Cayden long enough for the download to finish, and Vince manages to make it out of the building and send the data to Felicity. But, alas, he’s not out of hot water yet. As he leaves, Cayden and Anatoly taser him. (Next: Another death in the family)
Team Arrow has no idea Vincent was captured, so Felicity and Alena get to work on sifting through all of Cayden’s data. Eventually, they discover the location of the bomb, and right as that happens, Vincent’s comms suddenly come back on, allowing the team to hear Anatoly torture Vincent. This presents the two teams with a problem: Do they go after the bomb first or save Vincent first? Oliver chooses option A and says he needs everyone’s help because the building is too big for him and Diggle to search alone. Dinah, obviously, wants to save Vincent first and makes a very good point: If Felicity or Lyla were in Vincent’s place, the entire team would be ordered to save them first. Alas, the two teams reach an impasse. So, Curtis, Rene, and Dinah head off to Vincent, while Oliver and Diggle go after the bomb. While I don’t care at all about Vincent’s life, I do care about Dinah, who is very much upset about it all. The one good thing to be said about this frustrating story line is that it does give Juliana Harkavy some great emotional moments. I loved her standing up to Oliver here.
Naturally, the divide-and-conquer method fails spectacularly. Anatoly and Dragon abscond with the bomb because Oliver and Diggle were outnumbered. Meanwhile back at Cayden James’ headquarters, a bomb goes off right as Dinah and Vincent are reunited and we learn that Cayden was the one who turned Vince’s comms back on in order to lure the team there. Dinah gets trapped under a beam and is forced to watch as Cayden orders Laurel to push Vincent’s healing factor to the limit — i.e. kill him. Laurel, who spent the episode kind of reconnecting with Quentin, hesitates, but she eventually screams into Vince’s ear. It’s one of the show’s most gruesome deaths, but it doesn’t land as well it the writers would have hoped because Vincent was such a nothing character. I think the writers half-heartedly tried to make us care about Vincent, or about Vincent and Dinah’s relationship, with flashbacks to their undercover job that went sideways, but the flashback scenes were too fleeting to be effective.
While Vincent’s death landed with a thud, I will say that Harkavy made up for that with how she portrayed Dinah’s grief. She’s visibly broken after it happens — especially once she learns that Vince died for nothing because they weren’t able to recover the bomb either. Oliver pays her a visit to tell her that all is not lost because they found out some new information: The same person who doctored the surveillance photo of Oliver that was leaked to the press at the beginning of the season (wow, it feels like that happened a season ago) also doctored a video that showed one of Oliver’s stray arrows killing Cayden’s son.Dinah doesn’t care. She’s focused on one thing: vengeance. In the wake of Vince’s death, she has come over to his way of thinking and promises to kill everyone in Cayden’s cabal, starting with Laurel. Get ready for the War of the Canaries!
This latest development also spells trouble for the more interesting part of the show: Quentin and his relationship with Earth-2 Laurel. In tonight’s episode, Quentin reveals to Thea that Laurel’s been following him, and Thea suggests that maybe he try reaching out to her. Quentin does and lures her to an art gallery that he covers in videos and photos of Earth-1 Laurel. This upsets Laurel, and she runs away, but Quentin believes that for a moment he saw his baby girl. Paul Blackthorne is giving such a heartfelt performance this season, and his desperation to reconnect with Laurel is truly moving, so the fact that Laurel betrays some of the progress she’s making with Quentin by killing Vince is also shattering. Now I’m dreading Quentin getting caught in the middle of Dinah and Laurel’s feud.
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