In the previous episode, Arrow flipped the script for season 6 by not only killing off Cayden James but revealing him to be very far from season 6’s Big Bad. The episode entitled, “Collision Course” doesn’t completely ignore all those revelations but it does pivot direction. Rather than do anything with Ricardo Diaz, the true manipulator of the season, this is all about Black Siren. Arrow uses Black Siren, and everything that has surrounded her, to build the best conflict between New and Original Team Arrow yet. Well, for the most part anyway.
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Black Siren Hunt
Every hero is focused on Black Siren for more reasons than just because she was Cayden James’ right-hand woman. Evidently, Black Siren also took all the money that Oliver transferred to Cayden’s accounts and hid it. If the money isn’t found soon, the city’s infrastructure will crumble. In reality, that money, all 70 million dollars, is just background noise. It’s an excuse for everyone on the main cast to hunt Black Siren. They don’t have to look far.
Since suffering a gunshot wound at the hands of Dinah, Quentin has been hiding Laurel in a remote cabin trying to rehabilitate her. Arrow continues to walk along the tight rope of making it clear that Quentin is acting irrationally and emotionally when it comes to Black Siren but dropping just enough hints of humanity from her. Little drops of redemption eek out of the (other) Laurel so it makes sense that Quentin can’t quite give up on his (not) daughter. Quentin is the only one who wants to save Laurel, everyone else has other (angrier) motives.
New Team Arrow has their own reasons for wanting to go after Black Siren, driven by Dinah’s murderous drive for revenge. They plan to find Laurel and do whatever it takes, which if Dinah has her way, will involve killing Black Siren. Meanwhile, Oliver and the gang just want to find Laurel, coax the location of the missing money out of her and aren’t concerned with what happens to Black Siren, as long as she lives.
The Great Siren Debate
Obviously, New Team Arrow doesn’t look great in their hunt for Laurel. However, Arrow is smart enough to underline New Team Arrow’s own emotional limitations. Black Siren still looks like their Laurel, the close friend who they lost. Oliver, Felicity and Diggle aren’t being quite so lenient with Laurel as Quentin. Yet, they’re definitely giving her more slack than they should or would with anyone else.
Arrow has mishandled the Team Arrow civil war in season 6. This is mainly because the newbies weren’t developed enough characters to make this all work, with Dinah having the only real defined personality among them. However, using Black Siren as a flashpoint though does add some extra layers to the conflict. There’s more going on here than just a bunch of adults acting like children.
Dinah is acting purely out of emotion and just wants to kill Laurel but there’s countless examples of Oliver doing the same thing. Even if Oliver is right and Laurel shouldn’t be killed with such malice and premeditation, he hardly has the moral high ground to stand on.
Things get even more interesting when OTA find Laurel at Quentin’s cabin, courtesy of some sleuthing by Thea. Laurel promises Oliver that she’ll reveal the location of the money if she’s allowed to escape the country. Oliver agrees to her terms. Yet he’s been bugged by Rene, NTA overhears it all. This infuriates the newbies.
It’s true that Oliver is out of options in accepting Black Siren’s offer. He’s also given Black Siren many, many chances before now. On the flip side, he quickly disavowed New Team Arrow after Rene was pressured into betraying him. They have a right to be angry and there’s some real palpable and emphatic tension when both teams end up at the cabin to fight over Laurel. Then, unfortunately, all that complexity just disappears.
Everything Falls Apart
Of course, when NTA and OTA come together with Black Siren stuck in the middle, they start throwing fists. It works for a while, because heroes fighting each other tends to just be a cool concept, but things quickly spiral out of control with several lines being crossed, almost all from NTA.
Curtis hacks the chip in John’s arm severely crippling him. Rene shoots his guns at, not only Laurel, but Thea, Quentin AND Felicity. Dinah, at one point, uses her bo staff to hit Quentin, who has a heart condition, up side the head. Lastly, and maybe worst of all, in a fight with Oliver, Rene picks up an axe and starts swinging it around. Most of the episode does a great job showing the recruits’ side but this just makes them seem like actual villains.
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Dinah eventually tracks down Laurel and is about to kill her and the tension is back. Yet Curtis arrives and manages to convince Dinah that this isn’t justice. It’s a great scene for Curtis, Dinah and even Laurel. It also serves as a reminder that this conflict was interesting and layered before people started trying to literally kill each other. However, when Laurel manages to get a slight upper hand, she escapes. Quickly, everything devolves again.
Rene, after his fight with Oliver, ends up collapsing as he’s re-injured his gunshot wound from earlier this season. Rene’s hospitalized and in very serious condition. It’s a situation that would be sympathetic if Rene hadn’t swung an axe (repeatedly) at Oliver’s head.
Even more aggravating though, when Felicity and Diggle show up to make amends, Curtis tells them they’ve lost all right to be concerned (as if he didn’t re-cripple John) and they want nothing to do with them. It’s a very human response to blame others but not take responsibility for your own actions, so it’s not necessarily bad writing or acting but it does make NTA very, very hard to like at this point.
Luckily, the real cliffhanger from the episode is of a much more interesting stock. After escaping Dinah’s grasp, Laurel shows up in Star City. Black Siren finds a nearby truck driver and “explains” she’s been kidnapped, been missing for two years and her name is Laurel Lance. Black Siren is clearly attempting to steal old Laurel’s life and that’s way more interesting than her simply fleeing the country.
But what did you make of the episode? How do you feel about New Team Arrow? Did they cross too many lines? Were they right about Black Siren? Do you think she’ll ever be redeemed or is stealing Laurel’s life another chance for her to destroy Team Arrow?
Arrow season 6 airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Arrow Facebook page!
(Image courtesy of The CW)