Spoilers ahead for "Disbanded," the latest episode of The CW's Arrow!
The short version: Still broken from Chase's torture, Oliver disbands the team. Of course, Diggle talks him out of it, but not before Oliver has hired his old Bratva gangster buddies to kill Chase. Team Arrow stops them and manages to prove publicly that Chase is Prometheus. Now, Chase is a man on the run.
The good: The plot is rolling along, Anatoli, Diggle
In regards to all the moving pieces that make up the main narrative of this season, "Disbanded" was a major episode. Felicity and Curtis figure out a way to show Chase unmasking himself on camera as Prometheus and turn that over to the authorities. The cat and mouse game at City Hall is officially over — Chase has to kill two federal agents to escape, and there's a manhunt underway. His cover is toast, and Team Arrow will have the full weight of the SCPD in helping to find and bring him down. Seeing Chase and Oliver butt heads in sneaky whispers has been fun, but they stretched that thread about as far as it could go. They broke it at the perfect time and now everything is out in the open.
The Russia flashbacks continue to rock, and now Anatoli got a chance to visit modern-day Star City for an excellent tie-in story to Oliver's days in the Bratva. We get to see just how much Anatoli has changed since Oliver left him five years ago, and the time apart has hardened him as he had to make concessions and sacrifices along the way to retain his position in the Bratva. It's an interesting contrast, and seeing the chemistry they've developed in the flashbacks, it's a shame to see that bromance so broken in the present.
Diggle has always been the heart of Team Arrow and he continued to be the only grown-up in the room in this episode. Almost as a surrogate for the viewer, Diggle points out that Oliver is just going through something and will get over this whole "quitting" thing (maybe Diggle also knows Season 6 is already on the way?) and gives him a rousing speech to get his head back on straight. If David Ramsey didn't play it so darn earnestly, it'd almost be cheesy ... but you just want to give the dude a high five. One other note: When Oliver tried to deck him, Diggle didn't go down. Even when Oliver literally tries to punch him away, Diggle is still his brother.
The bad: Broken Oliver, Felicity's hacker stuff, the inept Bratva
Having Oliver come to terms with the fact that, in a way, he really is a serial killer is one heck of an interesting story. But it doesn't really seem to be the story this season wants to tell. That's a shame, because it could've made for one heck of a good character study if they'd approached it in a different way. Instead, we get the same old "Oliver quits, then comes back" story we've seen a half-dozen times at this point. Heck, this time his retirement barely lasted half an episode. They're pulling at some interesting threads but seem content to just bat them around kitten-style instead of ripping into one of these stories.
Felicity continues to go down the rabbit hole with her new hacker pals at Helix, and after five seasons, she should really be smarter than this, right? In exchange for information, Felicity is blindly hacking whatever Helix points her at like a blunt instrument. And Felicity is just going along with it all, no questions asked? C'mon, man. Felicity has been around this business long enough to know there's almost certainly something a bit more nefarious when it comes to Helix, and she has no inkling to ask a few questions? Yes, she's gotten hooked on their resources to figure stuff out quickly, but it's hard to believe Felicity would dive so deep without even seeing the warning signs. Plus, if Felicity is such a great hacker, couldn't she figure out what they have her doing fairly easily?
Oliver's attempt to get the Bratva to kill Chase execution-style goes sideways when Team Arrow intervenes, but man, I thought these guys were supposed to be ace mobsters. When Oliver and the gang stop them from stealing the drugs in that final battle, the Bratva goons have every upper-hand when it comes to the hostages. But, they just stand there and wait to get shot? Anatoli needs to up his game, big time.
Line of the night:
"I am beyond redemption." - Oliver
As expected, Helix has figured out the identity of pretty much everyone on Team Arrow. That's probably not a good thing.
So, Chase is officially on the run. The last shot we see is him driving off down a country road, toward what appears to be Star City. Chase made it clear this game isn't over, and with Oliver having pushed him into a metaphorical corner, it'll be interesting to see how he strikes back.
Next up: Felicity goes rogue for Helix? Or something?