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The redemptive tale of Vince the Vigilante in the latest Arrow

Contributed by
Feb 2, 2018

With Star City still under siege, this episode moved the needle in a big way by putting a former rogue at the forefront and using that catalyst to finally give Team Arrow a leg up on Cayden James’ nefarious force of super villains. 

Spoilers ahead for “All For Nothing,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow, which aired Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018!

Who would’ve guessed Vigilante would turn out to actually be a pretty decent guy? 

The character, eventually revealed to be Dinah’s former lover Vince, has been a recurring baddie the past two seasons—typically showing up to go toe-to-toe with the Green Arrow and exact complicated attacks in an effort kill Oliver’s alter ego. He was humanized quite a bit when the connection to Dinah became clear, then the writers threw things for a loop by having Vigilante sign up to work for the terrorist Cayden James. Vigilante’s whole shtick was that he wanted to stop criminals, vigilantes and pretty much anyone who breaks the law (with a Punisher-esque approach much of the time).

But it turned out Vince had signed on with Cayden James to infiltrate his operation in an effort to take it down, eventually teaming up with the New Team Arrow (Black Canary, Mr. Terrific and Wild Dog) to share intel. That uneasy alliance came to a head with this week when Oliver learned of the arrangement and enlisted Vince to hack into Cayden James’ computer system to figure out what the cyber terrorist has been up to when he’s not killing Argus agents or shutting down functions in Star City. Vince signs on for the mission, and it eventually costs him his life after being discovered in the server room by James.

After a career of working undercover, Vince knew the risks, but he knew the potential reward of finding a way to stop James was worth it, anyway. It was a story of redemption we haven’t seen told all that much in the Arrowverse, and though its still hard to agree with all his methods, its clear Vigilante had the good of the city at heart when the chips were down. Even the flashback story this week (have you noticed they’ve been missing a lot these days?) focused on Dinah and Vince, looking back at the assignment where they first met and went undercover with the mob. It shows us a side of Vince we’ve never seen—the cop just trying to do some good, drug in too deep when their covers are blown—an experience that eventually pushes him to put on a mask and try to take out anyone he thinks is a threat.

Seeing the fallout of his death play out on Dinah’s face was brutal, and forcing her to watch Black Siren kill Vince was hard to watch. The disparate parts of Team Arrow(s) have been fraying for a while, but now it seems Dinah is going full Punisher-mode in an effort to stop James once and for all. Thankfully Vince’s sacrifice wasn’t “all for nothing” in the end, and the intel he gathered could finally give Team Arrow (and the other one) an advantage in figuring out how to stop James.

Assorted musings

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*We learn Oliver has effectively bankrupted the city by paying off James’ ransom demands for a week. The money runs out next episode, and Team Arrow will be up against a ticking clock to track down that missing bomb.

*We see Argus attempt to come in and help, but as its pointed out in this episode, the lack of a federal response is extremely strange. They need to find a way to explain that away, or something, because as-is it’s just weird that the U.S. government would abandon a city to a terrorist.

*It’s been interesting to have Katie Cassidy back on the cast this season as Black Siren, and just when it seemed like they might be laying some groundwork to bring her over to the side of Team Arrow, she goes and melts a guy’s brain to bring those expectations back to reality. More than anything, it’s heartbreaking to see Lance continually have to face these issues with her daughters. Between all of Sara and Laurel’s deaths, it’s a miracle the guy is still alive at all.

*The mystery over who killed Cayden James’ son also move forward this week, as the team discovered the doctored footage that apparently shows Oliver killing him with a stray arrow. The digital alterations match the mysterious photo leak of Oliver as Green Arrow from earlier this season, as well. If it’s not James behind it all, then who?

Next week: Dinah is out for blood, time runs out on that bomb.