Ricardo Diaz and Black Siren venture off to Bloodhaven to arrange a meeting with a deadly terrorist organization named The Quadrant. However, tensions run high when Diaz learns he may have to do more than he bargained for to get their attention.
Arrow Season 6 Episode 19, a Dragon-centric episode, served as a good character study for Diaz as a season-long villain. It fleshed out his back story, showed his motives, and even presented itself as a nice standalone venture in a series that’s usually driven by the Big Bad plot from week to week. However, as good as the episode is, it did suffer from some unbalanced plot elements that could’ve been easily solved if had the series tackled them a lot sooner.
Diaz as the Villain
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with Diaz being the main antagonist of the season; the big problem is, though the reveal of him being the puppet master of a grander scheme was revealed, not much of his character was fleshed out early on in the season, so there’s a lot to unpack when it comes to his story. It works well as a standalone episode, mainly because there isn’t much plot-heavy action happening simultaneously, but the only downside is that Diaz’s motives all stem from more man pain, just like any of the other male characters on Arrow. Though Diaz is a sympathetic character when we’re introduced to him and his upbringing in an orphanage, he’s hardly unrecognizable now, and that’s thrilling when it comes to the developmental side of him as a villain, but also a bit lackluster when you think about how many antagonists in this series have had similar origins.
Overall, it will be interesting to see how Diaz’s plans pan out regarding Star City, but I do hope that he brings something a little more to the table than past villains. He’s building his momentum well, but now that we’re in the later portion of the season it needs to move on at full force.
With focus on Diaz’s story came another missed opportunity for the writers to further explore Black Siren as a character. The season is nearly over and we’ve yet to understand her reasoning for siding with Diaz and his plans to overtake the city. We’ve seen a less brutal side to her when it comes to her opponents, but it’s hard to tell if that’s enough to warrant a full redemption arc.
Black Siren isn’t necessarily against what Diaz is doing, she’s more so against how he’s doing it, at least that’s how it appears. She’s such a wild card when it comes to villainy, and that’s due to how she’s written. It’s hard to tell if it’s purposeful, or if it’s just lazy writing. Black Siren seemed to represent both sides of Diaz’s conscious the entire episode, as opposed to truly having a point of view of her own, and it’s a little aggravating to say the least. We received moments of her being almost horrified by Diaz’s actions, but since we haven’t specifically seen growth from her without her taking huge steps backwards, it’s all hard to read. Had the episode served as mirror images of Diaz and Black Siren’s turn to villainy, the episode would’ve felt a little more balanced and properly given both characters something to do, rather than Black Siren playing Diaz’s bodyguard.
Since we only got to see the terrorist group momentarily, it’s up in the air as to how big of a role they’ll play either for the rest of the season or later on Season 7. They didn’t seem any different from your average Star City mob crew, so hopefully they pack a harder punch than what was presented. Hopefully this will open new doors to more formidable and diverse villains who don’t have tragic back stories, but are simply in on being bad just for the hell of it.
What did you all think of Arrow Season 6 Episode 19? Is the Dragon one of Arrow’s better villains or is he falling at the wayside? Are you happy with the way Black Siren is being treated? Sound off in the comments below to let us know what you think!