Arrow season 6 finds itself in a very weird place. Cayden James’ plan feels like its reaching its endgame but the season has just recently hit the halfway mark. Arrow’s clearly preparing for some big twist, but it’s unclear what exactly. This episode, entitled “All for Nothing” manages, if possible, to muddy the seasonal waters even further. “All for Nothing” isn’t a bad Arrow episode but it does feel like one that is from a story very much in transition. The fact that it focuses on one of the weakest characters of season 6 doesn’t help.
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Burying the Vigilante Hatchet
Although the threat of Cayden James and his bomb hangs over the city, that’s not really the focus of “All for Nothing.” Instead, the episode is all about Vigilante and Dinah, but mostly Vigilante. Arrow needed a Vigilante-centric episode, but this feels like too little, way too late.
Evidently, since the previous episode, New Team Arrow completely trusts Vigilante, And, with nowhere to turn to stop James, Original Team Arrow is forced to agree and put their faith in Vince.
Maybe it’s just because Arrow just revealed that Vigilante was a double agent (and in way that was ambiguous) but this scenario seems rushed. There’s a glimmering moment of the story’s potential but it’s way too brief. When Oliver is standing across from a man who has tried to kill him multiple times and is being forced to trust him, it’s a very tense and cool idea but it’s kind of brushed under the rug. Arrow doesn’t get too heavy on the emotions with Vigilante working with Team Arrow; it’s all about the mission.
Speaking of which, Felicity decides that the only way they’re going to defeat Cayden is to have someone hack his servers. They will need Vince to infiltrate the base and find the information they need. Vince agrees (because there’s no episode otherwise). Thus, a very dull and easily foiled plan moves forward. Vince enters a room he’s not supposed to be, when James is already suspicious and to the surprise of literally no one, he gets caught almost immediately.
Trapped in the Hacker’s Web
Vince does manage to hack the servers before he’s discovered as a traitor giving Team Arrow some intel, but it’s not enough. The bomb is uncovered but it’s also on the move. The team has a very limited time to pull off the job and they need all hands on deck.
However, half of them don’t participate. When Vince is captured by James, Dinah rushes off to save him. On paper, this idea makes sense because Dinah and Vince have a whole history, but it doesn’t work in execution. Arrow never really showed much happy interaction between Vince and Dinah to make us care about their romance. In fact, Dinah probably had more chemistry with (married) Diggle than she does with Vince.
However, Arrow does try to make the relationship feel more genuine in this episode. Flashbacks return, showing Vince and Dinah meeting and their first undercover mission together, but they add almost no new information. It was known from the start of her character’s story that Dinah was an undercover cop who had a mission that went very bad with her partner, Vince. The flashback adds context but no emotion to the story.
The Siren’s Call
Of course, all this focus on a minor character should be suspicious to any long-time Arrow viewer. Arrow is trying way too hard to make the audience care about Vince in “All for Nothing” and it’s very clear where it’s heading. The fatal outcome is all but confirmed when Dinah’s rescue mission of Vince goes awry. Cayden James is lying in wait for Dinah (who’s accompanied by Rene and Curtis) to rescue Vince. It’s all a trap.
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When Dinah finds Vince, a small bomb goes off nearby. This traps Dinah underneath some rubble and Cayden and Black Siren appear on cue. Vince is shoved up against a wall by Black Siren’s scream.
As he’s incapacitated, Cayden commands Black Siren to kill Vince. Using her sonic scream, Black Siren fries Vince’s brains from inside his skull. It’s a brutal death but far less effecting than it should be in contrast to Juliana Harkavy’s tremendous job playing up Dinah’s injuries.
Will the Real Villain Please Stand Up?
Arrow does manage to salvage this deadly twist, slightly, by tying it back into the main plot and some of the other characters. The fact that Black Siren killed an unarmed man puts a huge damper on Quentin’s belief that she can somehow be saved. Even more distressing for Black Siren though, is that Dinah becomes consumed with revenge. Dinah vows to kill Black Siren at whatever cost necessary. (This is a fight that should be glorious to watch.)
The real development is what is discovered from Cayden’s servers. Felicity, with the help of former Helix member Alena, finds the footage that Cayden was sent of Oliver killing his son. The video has been faked but according to Felicity, it’s faked in the exact same way as the footage that outed Oliver as the Green Arrow earlier this season.
In other words, the same person who exposed Oliver as the Green Arrow is the one who sent Cayden James onto Oliver’s trail. In other other words, Cayden is totally not the main villain of Arrow season 6 and it’s just a matter of time until the real baddie steps out of the shadows.
Do you agree? Is Arrow about to reveal a new villain? Is Cayden James just a deadly red herring? Will Dinah follow through on her plan to kill Black Siren? And Who is framing Oliver?
Arrow season 6 airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Arrow Facebook page!
(Image courtesy of The CW)