Things come to a head between Oliver Queen and John Diggle over the Green Arrow mantle while the stranglehold Diaz has on Star City grows worse.
On Arrow Season 6 Episode 17, Brothers In Arms, the rift in the team grows deeper as Oliver and Diggle struggle over the hood and the quality of Oliver’s leadership.
The Suit Makes the Man
At first, it was about John wanting to be the Green Arrow due to Oliver promising him the hood back once he recovered from injuries, but now we’ve found out it is about much more. It is about the quality of leadership Oliver Queen has employed since he has been back under the hood. Since this storyline began, I had hoped it would make at least a modicum of sense when it comes to Diggle’s desire to be the Green Arrow, and while I still don’t fully buy his infatuation with the role, he did ring up some good points, but so did Oliver. From the viewer’s perspective, a lot of the blame for the way things currently are can be placed on both men. Yes, Diggle did help Diaz fund his takeover of Star City, albeit unknowingly, and, yes, Diggle did lie to the team about his injuries and drug use, and it did put the team at risk. However, the team fell apart on Oliver’s watch and Diaz did take full control while Oliver was wearing the suit. As I stated, there’s a lot of blame on both of them. All of the story’s components may not make sense, but it was deeper than it originally appeared to be, and credit has to given to the writers there.
What doesn’t make sense, however, was how quickly their physical confrontation was resolved simply from Felicity yelling at them. There were very harsh things said between the two that led to blows, and that’s not something you just get over. Sure, John eventually leaves the team, but them going out in the field together after the fight wasn’t realistic. In any event, we did see Diggle leave the team and it appears that his future currently lies with his wife, Lyla, at ARGUS. If that remains the case, it will be a fresh dynamic to the show, and that’s often needed for a show in its sixth season.
Good Laurel, Bad Siren
Black Siren, who, as you’ll recall, has taken on the life of Earth-1 Laurel Lance and is living with Quentin Lance, is finally revisited in the aftermath of Laurel’s “resurrection.” The question has been since this revelation is whose side is she truly on? While that did not get answered in the episode, I do believe that there were some very big hints dropped about her endgame. To this point, the series has strongly hinted at redemption for Black Siren, and the show has done a good job at making viewers question her loyalty, though I still see redemption being in the cards for her. A telling sign was her inquiry to Quentin about law school and him grabbing a law book for her to read, and while many could say that it was a ploy to keep her cover with Quentin, you’ll notice when Ricardo Diaz dropped by that she not only defended Quentin but she also was knee-deep in the middle of the book. As for the kiss between her and Diaz that closed the episode, we’ve seen that Siren will do what it takes to stay alive, so it is very likely that she is playing him while pretending to play Quentin and Oliver.
As I’ve stated previously, a lot of credit does have to be given to the writers for this particular arc as it’s one of the few in recent seasons that viewers haven’t been able to guess the outcome of. While viewers love unpredictability, it does also have to make sense, and it just wouldn’t be believable to bring the character of Black Siren this far down the path of redemption with a lot of telling signs if that wasn’t their endgame. It may take something tragic to really get us there, but in the end, it’ll be worth the wait.
Several times throughout this episode, it is said to Oliver that Diaz has already won and he doesn’t even know it. As of right now, that looks to be the case given there are now only dirty cops running the SCPD after Oliver fired Captain Hill and then she turned around and fired anyone who wasn’t dirty as her last act as police captain. Not only that, but it was also stated that Diaz has people all over the city on his payroll, and with the city still being broke, Oliver has very few resources at his disposal to help take him down.
Perhaps the most interesting part about this is Oliver may not even be around to do anything about it as a possible prison sentence may be in his future. If the end of this episode is anything to go by, things are about to get even worse for both Mayor Oliver Queen and the Green Arrow. If that is the case, you have your protagonist out of the picture with the antagonist having control of the city and only what’s left of the team to shut down his operation. It is true that Oliver and Diggle seemingly put an end to his means of making money, but Diaz has been ahead of Oliver so far and I don’t see that being any different now.
All of this gives the writers a very interesting opportunity for the villain to actually win. In the superhero genre, you don’t often read, watch, or hear of a story where the hero fails and the villain wins. This is a concept I think would really help the show go into the next season with a strong foundation to build on as it would allow for so many characters to go so many ways. By the time a series reaches its sixth season, there’s often a struggle to keep the stories fresh and the viewers intrigued, and the ratings have reflected that. If Diaz winning is the outcome of Season 6, I think that could change.
What did you think of Arrow Season 6 Episode 17? Will Ricardo Diaz take complete control of Star City? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.