Maybe it’s time for Arrow to rethink this “team” thing. In the mid-season return of the DC CW series, Star City’s vigilantes split into evenly divided factions while Cayden James adds one more metahuman to his ranks. It’s still not clear what Cayden James wants, exactly, but it seems bad.
Spoilers for Arrow’s “Divided” ahead.
In “Divided,” Oliver (Stephen Amell) hastily aligns with the last free Bertinelli boss (remember that name?) so he could stand a chance against Cayden James (Michael Emerson) who adds one more metahuman to his ranks: Vigilante (Johann Urb). Meanwhile, the newer members of Team Arrow declare independence, while on the veterans’ side, Diggle (David Ramsey), regains his strength thanks to one last kind gesture by Curtis (Echo Kellum).
True to its title, “Divided” keeps Ollie, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), and Diggle separate from Curtis, Rene (Rick Gonzalez), and Dinah (Juliana Harkavy). It’s been weeks since the winter finale, where the latter three left Team Arrow after Ollie clumsily revealed he didn’t trust them as much as he should. Ollie’s hubris has cost him his team. Now the Green Arrow (while Diggle is still hurt and Felicity is still just a computer whiz) spends “Divided” fighting a stable alliance of super-criminals in Star City with an even shadier character than any of his former teammates.
Ollie really messed up here, because the odds are in favor of Cayden. Vigilante has sided with Cayden, a good move on his part because he is finally interesting again. And mercifully, Arrow speeds through the mandatory cycle of revelation, heartbreak, fighting (“It’s not what you think.” even though it is exactly what we think), and betrayal between Vigilante and Dinah, all within a brisk 40-minute timespan. Better to eat all the veggies now, so we can savor the meat and desserts.
But Team Arrow still enjoys one good blessing. At the very end of the episode, as a peace offering that does not result in reunion, Curtis completes his prototype chip that would allow Diggle total control of his body once again. It’s all fine and dandy, for now. We’ve already seen in the past what happens when a superhero depends on technology just to function. Like Felicity, that tech can be used against them, and it’s unwise that Team Arrow is fighting a mastermind like Cayden James.
From this point on, Season 6 of Arrow has turned into the Arrowverse’s Captain America: Civil War. While a showdown between the two sides may be in store, albeit on a significantly smaller budget than the Marvel Cinematic Universe (though it won’t stop Arrow from trying; bear witness to the intense fight scene between Green Arrow and Cayden James’s men in a warehouse), no side has lost sight of the real enemy.
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. Eastern on The CW.