Arrow recap: 'Brothers in Arms'
A disagreement between Oliver and Diggle turns violent
Wow, what an intense but very weird episode.
Honestly, let’s just dive right into tonight’s main event: Oliver and Diggle’s big fight. In tonight’s episode, Oliver finally tells Diggle that he’s not giving the hood back to him. Diggle’s not an idiot, so he knew this was coming, but he’s still bummed out. Actually, he’s unsually bummed about it. Everyone, including Diggle, is surprised by how sad he seems over the fact that he won’t be the Green Arrow. Lyla points out that Diggle owes it to himself and to Oliver to figure out why he’s reacting this way since a title and uniform never used to mean anything to him.
Felicity picks up on Diggle’s emo-ness and tells Oliver that he needs to say something to his friend, for the good of both their friendship and the team, which is still short many members and has its hands full with Diaz, who’s basically taken over the entire city. So, Oliver interrupts Diggle’s sulking/workout session and opens up about why he decided to keep the hood for himself. He tells Diggle that being the Green Arrow completes him and makes him feel like he’s being the best version of himself. It’s a good apology, as Diggle later tells Diaz, but as we all know the apology is so good because Oliver didn’t come up with it himself; that’s exactly what Thea told him in last week’s episode.
Although Diggle tells Oliver he appreciates the apology, that’s actually not the case. In fact, it actually annoys Diggle even more and helps him figure out why he’s so upset about not becoming the Green Arrow: He, like everyone else, is starting to question Oliver’s leadership, because season 6 is the new season 3. Diggle eventually confronts Oliver about this and tells him that Oliver’s attention is spread so thin that it has made him a bad leader. This little chat goes from nasty to outright violent, and the two men cause a mess as they tussle in the bunker until Felicity, the team’s voice of reason, shows up and tells them to cut it out since they have more important things to worry about, like Diaz.
Look, I’ll say this about the big fight scene: It was well-acted. Stephen Amell and David Ramsay did some of their best work on the series, and you could feel the tension in the room growing as Diggle aired out his complaints about Oliver running the team. Even though the actual dialogue didn’t hold any actual water, it still hurt hearing Diggle tell Oliver he leaves a trail of bodies, and Oliver bringing up Diggle’s brother. However, the fight makes no sense and feels like it came out of nowhere. I can’t remember a time when Diggle has really questioned any of the decisions Oliver has made this season. He may have spoken up a tiny bit, but never enough to actually change Oliver’s mind. I’ll admit that Diggle probably does have a point about Oliver’s attention being split, but to be fair, he’s been focused on Cayden James and now Diaz in both his role as mayor and the Green Arrow. Honestly, this fight makes very little sense and feels like the show is prioritizing plot over character. It needed to drum up some drama, so it came up with this half-baked disagreement to get there. (Next: Goodbye Diggle)
Anyway, the angry boys are forced to put aside their differences to tackle the problem at hand: Diaz’s vertigo supply. Felicity manages to track down Diaz’s vertigo factory, so Green Arrow and Spartan head in to take it down. As always, they work well together in the field and successfully blow it up, thereby destroying the vertigo part of Diaz’s network. But alas, they are far from out of the woods.
When Oliver and Diggle return to the bunker, Diggle says he still stands by part of what he said about Oliver’s recent leadership skills. Sure, Oliver may have become a better man in recent years, but he’s become a worse leader and that’s why Diggle has chosen to leave the team. Does this development feel even remotely earned? No, it doesn’t. Effectively blowing a core relationship on a TV show takes strong, thoughtful, and careful writing, but that’s not what we got here.
Unfortunately, Oliver’s day is about to get way worse. Earlier in the episode, Oliver decided to fire Captain Hill and the city’s D.A. because they were working for Diaz. However, this plan backfires on him. Laurel, who is still working for Diaz, started studying the Real Laurel’s old law books and came up with a way for Diaz to counter Oliver’s move. Captain Hill and the D.A. hold a press conference and call for Oliver’s impeachment because he tried to obstruct justice by firing them. (The episode ends with Laurel and Diaz making out, because Arrow remembered it’s a CW show and hadn’t brought the sexy in quite some time. Although, the sexy it gives us feels very random.
While all of this is going on, Dinah and Curtis are tasked with protecting the last few good cops in the city from Diaz, who, naturally, wants to kill them all. One of the cops under their protection is Curtis’ new boyfriend, who hates vigilantes. Surprise, said boyfriend discovers Curtis’ double life when Diaz’s men attack the safe-house. However, it turns out that isn’t a deal-breaker. The city’s corruption has made him realize that he doesn’t actually know how he feels about capes and masks, so he’s going to stick around for a bit longer because he’s very much into Curtis. So, not everything is terrible in Star City.