Arrow season 6 hit the pause button in the episode, “The Thanatos Guild” to say goodbye to Thea Queen. As a consequence, the Ricardo Diaz plot got delayed even further. However, in this episode entitled, “Brothers in Arms,” Diaz and his gang return with vengeance. Yet the biggest threat to Oliver isn’t Diaz and instead might be inside his (very small) team. The simmering tension between Diggle and Oliver finally comes to a head in “Brothers in Arms” with some rather devastating consequences.
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Oliver Finally Catches Up with Diaz (Kind of)
Dinah and Curtis managed to land a big win in Thea’s big goodbye by discovering that the police captain, Hill, was dirty. In “Brothers in Arms,” all that work is undone, not by Dinah being awful again, but by revealing that Hill is just the tip of the corruption iceberg. Diaz has people in every area of city government, including the District Attorney.
This twist could seem anticlimactic, but Arrow wisely uses it to their benefit. Almost immediately upon discovering it, Oliver confronts the police captain and the DA over their work with Diaz and fires them. Oliver does this as the mayor, but a little bit of Green Arrow comes out in his interrogation and it’s glorious. The real point of all this is establishing that Oliver is way on the defensive here with Diaz. This conflict isn’t as personally engaging as the fight with Prometheus or Deathstroke but “The Dragon” has put Oliver under some increased pressure.
On the back foot, Oliver, Diggle and Felicity figure there’s only way to strike at Diaz. They must take out his source of income, his Vertigo dealing empire. This anti-drug mission isn’t the most compelling stuff. It’s a series of fetch quests with Felicity guiding them around the city. The way Arrow spices things up is by driving a wedge between Diggle and Oliver.
Team Arrow: Civil War, Part Deux
Oliver finally comes clean to Diggle that he doesn’t plan on giving up the mantle of Green Arrow. Oliver does this in his typical blunt fashion, although he does apologize later. Sadly, it sparks the dormant feelings of resentment Diggle has been fostering. Earlier this season, Arrow did a rather unconvincingly job of trying to tell the story that Diggle was at his happiest as the superhero. He enjoyed wearing the hood. Now things are tweaked slightly so it’s not the position that Diggle craved but the power that came with it. Diggle believes that while Oliver has become a better man, he’s turned into a worse leader and everything bad is to blame for his bossy attitude.
Diggle feels that Oliver has spread himself too thin and he’s made way too many mistakes. Diggle confronts Oliver about this in the bunker and everything goes to hell. It’s not the best crafted argument. For example, Diggle throws Rene’s hospitalization in Oliver’s face (again) which is supremely unfair as Rene swung an axe at Oliver’s head and shot at both Thea and Quentin. Yet, Stephen Amell and David Ramsey bring their A game to the argument. Two muscle-bound titans screaming at each other has never been more compelling.
All in all, this Diggle and Oliver argument is exactly what the Team Arrow civil war should’ve been. Instead, it’s been built on the six-year history of these two characters and how Diggle has always stood in the shadow of Oliver. The writing of the argument should’ve been tighter but Oliver and Diggle do make as many solid points as illogical ones, so ultimately, it does feel natural. It’s easy to see either character’s side (although personally, #TeamOllie).
Diggle’s been the sidekick and he’s done with it, completely. After Diggle and Oliver throw punches at each other (and Diaz’ Vertigo makers) Diggle follows the trend started by NTA. Diggle quits the team. He can’t do it anymore. Instead, Diggle decides to go work with his wife, Lyla, at ARGUS. It’s a long shot but this move would be fascinating as a permanent position.
Villainous Odds and Ends
Oliver and Diggle take up the bulk of the episode. Yet throughout “Brothers in Arms,” various plot threads are sprinkled that moves the Diaz story ahead in some exciting ways. The lamest, of course, involves Dinah and Curtis. Thankfully they’re still coming across as capable and somewhat interesting characters but every second with them seems to be delaying the inevitable reunion with OTA, or just Oliver and Felicity.
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Dinah and her fellow clean cops are fired and hunted by Diaz’ men. One of these clean cops involves Curtis’ new boyfriend, Nick. Nick hates vigilantes, until he finds out Curtis is one and then he’s alright with it. It’s exactly as lame as it sounds but it’s harmless. A happy Curtis is preferable to a miserable Curtis though, because no one wants more of his whining.
The most interesting subplot, as always, belongs to Black Siren. Laurel continues to play both sides against the middle with Team Arrow and Diaz. It’s unclear where she’s going to land when the dust settles, but the fun of Black Siren is watching her, not plotting out her (possible) redemption arc.
Laurel clearly wants to protect Quentin but in “Brothers in Arms,” she’s working with Diaz. Black Siren convinces the DA and Police Captain to go after Oliver for obstruction of justice for firing them. In the meantime, she starts up a romantic relationship with Diaz. As Diaz and Laurel canoodle, Diaz reveals he has one small vial left of Vertigo and he knows “exactly” how to use it.
What did you make of the Oliver and Diggle battle royale? Do you respect Diggle’s decision to quit the team? How long will it last? What do you think is Black Siren’s endgame? What will Diaz and Laurel use the Vertigo vial for? Do you at all care about Curtis and Nick’s relationship?
Arrow season 6 airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Arrow Facebook page!
(Image courtesy of The CW)