With his bid to land Oliver in prison derailed, Diaz decides to get a bit sloppy to solve his vigilante problem. Basically, that means he sends hit squads galore after pretty much everyone.
Spoilers ahead for “The Ties That Bind,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow, which aired Thursday, May 10, 2018.
The entire season has been about pulling Team Arrow apart, and as the man at the heart of it all, Oliver Queen as well. He’s lost his extended team, his original team of Oliver and Felicity, and even his old pal Anatoly along the way. After making a go of it completely alone, Oliver finally took a step toward realizing that was clearly the wrong lesson to learn from this season.
Team Arrow might be split into two super-groups, but Diaz isn’t so discerning. He sends SWAT teams after Oliver and Felicity at family dinner; Rene at home with his daughter; Curtis on a date with his new boyfriend; Diggle and Lyla at a doctor’s office check-up; and at Dinah while she’s on patrol. Team Arrow might have torn itself apart with distrust and dumb mistakes all season, but Diaz effectively got the band back together out of necessity.
With the city (not to mention their lives) on the line, Team(s) Arrow work together to make a play on Diaz — and sure, it pretty much failed — it did give Oliver a chance to reevaluate his new priorities and have a bit of long-needed growth along the way. The team failed to score Diaz’s data, but Oliver confronted his fear of losing those close to him that has caused him to push them away in the first place (a bit heavy-handed, but par for the course when it comes to Oliver Queen’s emotions). Oliver realizes the people around him are his true strength, and he even has a reconciliation his Diggle, acknowledging he took his criticisms to heart and has tried to make some changes since then.
The team is still on the run, now effectively forced to hide out at Argus HQ for the time being, but they’re presenting a united front and gearing up to take on Diaz in one final showdown. The tease for next week’s season finale looks to tick all the boxes — a siege on the city, a big fight, and even some trademark explosives to cap it all off. Sure, it’s getting cliched at this point, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
Taking a wider view, it’s easy to see how much this season has changed since Season 6 first began. Back then, the show was dealing with Diggle’s tenure as the Green Arrow, and Oliver’s challenges as a father and mayor. Those were interesting stories. But when push came to shove, Arrow has fallen into some of its most tried and true cliches — but here’s hoping some creative shake-ups can right the ship in Season 7. For now, we just have to ride out this Diaz saga and see where the chips land for the summer.
*So in the span of a couple of weeks, Diaz has effectively taken over the most powerful criminal enterprise in the country? Really? And he did so by simply killing off the members, folks who are presumably supposed to be the most powerful criminals in the world? That entire subplot seems rushed and bordering on silly at this point. If the Quadrant is half as formidable as its supposed to be, there’s no way a mid-level thug like Diaz could’ve walked in and simply taken it over by force. The point of the Quadrant is that it has resources, and it’s insane to think they’d all just fall in line with a guy none of them have ever heard of.
*It looks like Diaz’s thumb drive could be the deus ex machina Oliver & Co. have been hoping to find. The team believes the drive includes all of Diaz’s financial information — including proof of everyone he’s paid off in the Star City government. If the team could get ahold of it, they believe it could be the smoking gun to finally take Diaz down. It stands to reason that will come back into play next week.
*Anatoly also looks to be a wild card here. He parlayed his failed coup on Diaz into an even closer spot on his team. My guess? He helps Oliver when push comes to shove, but pays for that decision with his life.
*The twist! With no allies left, Oliver turns to FBI agent Samandra Watson. You remember her, right? She was the agent who came to town investigating Oliver’s suspected vigilantism. With nowhere left to turn, and in need of a government agency that could step in and handle the corruption in Star City (Argus, we’re told, doesn’t have that type of jurisdiction), Oliver confesses that he’s the Green Arrow and enlists Watson to help take back the city.
Next week: The season finale. We’re betting there’ll be a good, old-fashioned brawl at the heart of it all. And explosions, because of course.