Arrow, ‘Brothers in Arms’: Ollie’s Winning Management Style Costs Him Another Teammate

Arrow, Season 6, Episode 17, “Brothers in Arms”

Although Arrow is trying to sell Oliver’s poor management of Team Arrow as a recent thing, let’s face it, he’s always been a terrible boss. You’d never describe his management style as trusting or open or transparent. Teammates are either all aboard Ollie’s vision of the mission or they are on their own. It’s amazing it’s taken a guy as smart as Diggle this long to figure that out. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Arrow:

What’s the scoop:  The episode centers around the deteriorating relationship between Ollie and Diggle, who is becoming increasingly frustrated with Ollie’s reluctance to turn over the Green Arrow mantle. At first, it appears that the frustration is centered around Diggle not getting the promotion he was promised, but it ultimately goes deeper than that. When Ollie comes clean about how being Green Arrow is personally fulfilling, it sets Diggle off; ever the good soldier, he’s all about the mission of helping people and saving Star City. Following a botched raid on a Vertigo dealer, it all comes into the open. Diggle tells Oliver that his management style sucks, and he’s made some rotten decisions lately –- and the button pushing continues from there until Ollie brings up that fact that Diggle killed his own brother, and the fisticuffs begin.

Meanwhile in B-plot land:  The more important of the two side stories involves the game Laurel is playing for Diaz. She’s not only an informant for him, and unearths some law about how a mayor can be impeached, but she and Diaz appear to be lovers and she’s hooked on V. Is all of this some kind of long con she’s playing? It feels like she’s in it for herself, trying to go after that money that is still missing. Also, Curtis has a new boyfriend who is a good cop in a sea of bad ones. He didn’t like vigilantes until Curtis saves his life, and he gets fired for being on the straight and narrow.

Sex and the Olicity: Felicity was forced to play mediator between Ollie and Diggle this week, and her stern admonishment of both of them for fighting and trashing the Arrowcave in the process is a high point of the episode.

What about the action:  This was a dialogue heavy episode, though the simultaneous action sequences with Ollie and Diggle taking down the V lab, and Dinah and Curtis in the shootout with the good cops was quick and chaotic (in a good way). We also got some trick arrows, which is always pleasant to see.

What’s next:  Despite their success taking down the drug lab, Diggle has lost faith in Oliver and decides to leave the team to continue the “mission” over at ARGUS with his wife. That leaves just Ollie and Felicity working together, and the previews make it seem like that pairing is reaching its expiration date too.

Last impressions: Overall this was a solid episode, despite the fact that the show tried to sell the fact that Ollie’s poor team skills are a recent development. Ollie has been lucky that he’s been mostly surrounded by true believers, but sooner or later when they start having ideas of their own, the relationship falls apart. From an overall story perspective, I’m not sure where this increasing isolation for Ollie is going, because while Diaz is on the fringes of it, this bad personnel management is all on Ollie.

Craig Wack

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