After a rough winter premiere that tried too hard to make some of the twists of the midseason finale stick, Arrow season 6 gets back on track with this episode entitled “We Fall.” Team Arrow has now firmly split in two. While the obvious focus is on Oliver’s half of the split, the division of OTA and NTA (New Team Arrow) does allow the recruits a compelling story of their own with accompanying development. At the same time, Arrow gets back to one of season 6’s most refreshing stories; Oliver dealing with fatherhood.
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William and Oliver Have the Talk … Not That One
As with any good episode, there’s a dangerous plot hatched by the main villain. Cayden James finally makes good on that whole thing where he took over the internet. Cayden slowly but surely causes a series of “accidents” that kill people across the city, including the police captain Frank Pike (who Arrow assumes fans care about far more than they actually do). Cayden James informs Oliver that he will keep killing people unless Oliver wires 10 million dollars to an off-shore account every night until the city is bankrupt. This is all because Oliver killed his son last year in Star City, which is impossible because Oliver wasn’t even in Star City.
While this becomes hugely important later, for now Oliver and the team are just focused on the immediate problems. Mainly because one of Cayden’s attacks puts William and his entire class in danger. Oliver and Diggle (with his umpteenth new suit) charge into action to save Willaim. During the rescue, the secret is finally spilled. William knows that Oliver is back being the Green Arrow.
This launches the majority of Oliver’s half of the episode dealing with William’s angst over being lied to and being afraid for his dad’s life. Like everything with William this season, there’s so much about this storyline that could be awful, but Arrow approaches it from a very mature and sensible standpoint. Understandably, Oliver didn’t tell William the truth and William has every right to be upset. The concept of Oliver and Felicity trying to deal with William’s hurt as parents is one of the more realistic and compelling problems that Arrow has ever introduced. No one knows what it’s like to shoot a bow and arrow at a maniac, everyone knows the horrors of a moody pre-teen.
William’s emotional confusion also results in one of the best Arrow sequences ever. As Oliver and Diggle go off on a mission, Felicity is with William in the bunker. Felicity talks to William about why it’s important that Oliver does what he does for the city and themselves. Felicity explains that she worries about Oliver too, but ultimately, he is the Green Arrow who protects people, including them. It’s heartfelt, without being too saccharine, and builds off everything Arrow has done to make Oliver a true hero and William finally understands. Oliver needs to be the Green Arrow and William is okay with that.
The Rise of the Outsiders
While all this family drama is going on, the New Team Arrow get their own (much more traditional) superhero plot. They’re dealing with Cayden’s attacks from their own angle but they get a tip-off from an unlikely source, Vincent Sobel aka Vigilante. Vince informs Curtis that he’s, in fact, a double agent working against Cayden. To prove his loyalty, he feeds Curtis information about Cayden’s next attacks so that New Team Arrow can prevent them.
When Dinah (and Rene) learn of this, they’re furious and instinctively don’t trust Vince. However, Arrow slowly has the two, particularly Dinah, come around to the idea that Vince might actually be a double agent. Arrow being Arrow, it’s probably all a ruse, but the show does a very convincing job of making the audience and the characters believe that Vigilante is a good-ish guy. This is especially true when he saves Rene’s life on a mission by killing one of Cayden’s thugs.
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This restores the back and forth romance / rivalry between Dinah and Vince that makes her not like a complete idiot. It’s also a strong step forward for New Team Arrow to being taken seriously as their own independent unit. If the stories for Dinah, Curtis and Rene stay this strong, the new team split could easily last the rest of the season or even beyond. Curtis even comes up with a better, more permanent (and potential) name for them, The Outsiders.
The Love of a Father
As strong as the dynamic between the heroes is in “We Fall,” it does come all back to Cayden James. Felicity tries her hardest, but she can’t prove beyond a shadow of doubt that Oliver didn’t kill Cayden’s son, Owen.
They know someone sent Cayden proof that Oliver was behind the murder but they can’t trace who that person was just yet. Without a shade of doubt though, the person who leaked to Cayden that Oliver killed his son is definitely within Cayden’s group. But Felicity and Oliver have no awareness they’re in a TV show, so they don’t make that leap.
Unable to prove to Cayden that he has no quarrel with him, Oliver is faced with an impossible choice. He can’t stop Cayden before the next deadly internet attack, so he caves. With Thea by his side, Oliver wires the money to Cayden. Oliver gives into Cayden’s blackmail, at least for the moment.
But what do you make of the episode? How do you feel about Cayden James now that his plan is coming into clearer focus? Do you have any theories on who convinced Oliver that he killed Cayden’s son? Are you enjoying the New Team Arrow on their own?
Arrow season 6 airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Arrow Facebook page!
(Image courtesy of The CW)