Arrow, Season 6, Episode 9, “Irreconcilable Differences”
Happiness has a shelf life shorter than unrefrigerated milk in the Arrowverse. The smiles and bliss generated by Oliver and Felicity’s wedding reception couldn’t make it to the opening credits before going sour. While Olicity made it through unscathed, just about every other team dynamic shattered into pieces by episode’s end. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Arrow:
What’s the scoop: At the reception, Ollie finds out that there’s a witness ready to spill the beans in open court about Ollie being the Green Arrow, and all of its assorted trappings. This sends Ollie into an us (Ollie, Diggle and Felicity) vs. them (Curtis, Rene and Dinah) scenario, as Ollie tries to sniff out the rat. After tracking the newbies’ movements and shadowing them, Oliver comes to the conclusion that Dinah, the Temporary Canary is the culprit because she’s been meeting with Vigilante on the down-low. Dinah feels especially betrayed by Diggle, since she backed him up when he tried to mask his tremors from the team. Just as Oliver is throwing Dinah out of the clubhouse, Rene steps forward and admits being the snitch, because the FBI agent on the case said she had evidence that he was Wild Dog, and threatened to take his daughter away forever. This turn of events displeases Ollie greatly.
Meanwhile in B-plot land: Black Siren is still henching for Caden James, and in the course of her duties she beats Thea up, and kidnaps Quentin Lance — in an effort to force Team Arrow to steal a widget out of an ARGUS vault for him. While killing time waiting for Team Arrow to do James’ dirt, they have a conversation about the memories Siren has of her father, who died when she was a young teen (it’s a scene that is more touching given recent real world events). Ultimately, despite being under orders to kill Lance, Siren cuts his bonds and tells him to run, further opening the door to a redemption arc before the season is over.
Sex and the Olicity: The extended opening sequence was magical enough that it could event melt the heart of even the most jaded TV critic. Olicity was charming and totally in-love. It was a whirlwind of sweet character moments by others, from the return of Mama Smoak, Rene’s touching, Dinah talking about her “multiple” broken engagements, seeing how adorably pocket-sized Thea is (since William is as tall as she), and Curtis’ awkwardly drunken toast. Of course, that was before Caden James lobbed a trust-shattering grenade in the middle of all.
What about the action: There were two good, small scale set pieces, that while not epic, were at least well-executed. The first was a Mission Impossible style heist at ARGUS that saw Felicity operating from a garbage can. Second, was the widget exchange/rescue attempt/mission of proof at the end. It’s a solid fight scene, despite the fact that James’ henchmen were sort of working a post-apocalyptic ninja kind of look. Despite winning the battle, the aftermath disrupts the status quo. Wild Dog went off on his own to rescue Lance, and gets kicked off the team for not following orders. Dinah is steamed about being followed and Oliver’s general distrust, so she quits. Curtis doesn’t quit right away, but he’s also not exactly thrilled with the whole being spied on thing so he leaves the team, too.
GIF quote of the week:
What’s next: We’re left with the knowledge that Caden James has assembled every living Team Arrow enemy save for Curtis’ ex-husband. The breakup of the team has totally been the point the whole time; they just needed to push the right buttons on Oliver to turn his paranoia on and let nature take its course.
Last impressions: Seeing Oliver act distrustful and paranoid is as big of a tradition on Arrow as making a champagne toast on New Year’s, and no amount of Thea talks on empathy are going to keep Ollie from being Ollie. It was difficult not to roll your eyes a little and think, “Here we go again” as it all unfolded. The saving grace may be the fact that James’ little cabal has Ollie’s mental playbook, and they are making all the right calls. It’s a little better knowing an outside force is preying on Oliver’s weaknesses, rather than that he’s simply self-destructing for brooding and/or plot reasons. On the plus side, the episode was an emotional roller-coaster, and the action was solid. Seeing as how tradition dictates the mid-season end with a cliffhanger, a team breakup (however temporary) is a better option than an unnecessary character death, or an attack on finally functional Olicity relationship.