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Last episode of Arrow Season 6 saw Oliver reluctantly paying Cayden James his daily $10 million ransom money, because Team Arrow were unable to find his Thermite Bomb. In Episode 12, the search for the bomb intensifies, with both Team Arrow and The Outsiders suffering a serious setback as the show goes full doom and gloom, killing off one of its more promising supporting characters in surprisingly upsetting fashion.
The episode begins a week after Oliver first paid Cayden, meaning that the Star City coffers are now down $70 million and that Team Arrow have apparently been sitting on their non-bomb-finding arses all week, unable to turn up anything that might go boom.
With Star City on the verge of bankruptcy and total shutdown, Oliver and company are pretty desperate. They track down Vigilante, but are interrupted by The Outsiders, who inform them that Vigilante is secretly working against Cayden and invite Team Arrow into their new headquarters, which we don’t have a fun nickname for yet. Outsider HQ? The Outsider Bunker? Arrow Cave 2.0? Let’s come back to it.
Oliver doesn’t entirely trust Vincent (what with all the people he’s murdered and everything), but his options are running out, so both teams agree to let Vincent plant a tracker on Cayden’s server that they can use to track the bomb. Vincent gets some coaching on what to do if he’s caught and then heads off on his mission. Unfortunately, various members of Cayden’s Legion of Hmmm are already suspicious, given Vincent’s recent behaviour. Sure enough, he gets caught trying to plant the tracker and Anatoly tortures him.
Back in the other Arrow Cave, the teams hear Vincent being tortured over comms and race to rescue him, but – ruh roh! – it’s a trap! Although, to be fair, not one that Vincent is in on – someone else turned on his comm link, knowing Team Arrow would come to the rescue.
So, as if there hadn’t been enough conflict bubbling up between Team Arrow and The Outsiders lately, Oliver decides that they can’t rescue Vincent and disarm the bomb at the same time, so the teams split up, with Team Arrow on bomb disposal duty and Dinah, Rene and Curtis tasked with rescuing Vincent. Unfortunately, it all goes horribly wrong. Dinah and Vince are trapped by an explosion and Cayden tells Black Siren to kill Vincent by sonic screaming in his ear. Which she does, in one of the most upsetting scenes Arrow has ever done. Vincent: dead. Dinah: devastated.
This whole sequence is given further emotional impact because of the episode’s main subplot, which has Quentin realising that Black Siren (aka. Not Laurel) has been following him and deciding that his hunch is right and that there is good in her after all. He and Thea set a low-key trap for Not Laurel, luring her into a hilarious, practically Partridge-esque Old Laurel shrine, filled with pictures of Old Laurel posing with Quentin, Sara and so on in happier times. Not Laurel is suitably freaked out and runs away (she doesn’t actually yell “You’re a mentalist!”, but she might as well have), but Quentin is more convinced than ever that she has a redemption arc in her future. All of which only makes the bit where she cold-heartedly kills Vince because Cayden tells her too that much more upsetting.
Oh, right. The flashbacks. We get a return to the flashback structure this episode, with a bunch of sequences showing us how Dinah and Vincent first met, got their powers, etc., some of which we’ve seen before. It’s all largely superfluous, cementing their relationship and underlining the fact that Vince is a good guy… right before they kill him off. Seriously, though, what are we supposed to take away from this? It does feel very much like they’ve killed off Vincent just as he was becoming interesting. There is one nice little touch, though – the symmetry of Vigilante being born (i.e. got his powers) at the sound of a canary cry and dying at the sound of one too.
So, that’s pretty much it for Team Arrow this week. They lose Vincent and they don’t even find the bomb. Sucks to be you, Team Arrow. On the plus side, Alena shows up for a swift guest appearance (she’s massively underused, as usual), just long enough to confirm that the same person who doctored the photo of Oliver without his mask on (that was given to FBI Agent Samandra Watson) also faked the footage of Oliver supposedly killing Cayden’s son. Which suggests Cayden is, indeed, being manipulated by someone we haven’t seen yet. Who could it be? Place bets now! (Just, please god, don’t let it be Ra’s al-Ghul.)
The episode ends with a suitably downbeat cliffhanger: Oliver goes round to console Dinah after the death of Vincent (predictably, she blames him) and she vows bloody vengeance on everyone responsible, starting with Laurel. Which probably doesn’t bode well for Quentin’s rehabilitation plans for his not-daughter.
All in all, this is an unusually downbeat episode, even before Vincent’s death scene. It has very few of the usual laughs and even downplays the action sequences. On the plus side, Not Laurel is shaping up to be one of the show’s most interesting characters and the promising showdown between her and Dinah is definitely something to look forward to. Tune in next time for an episode called The Devil’s Greatest Trick, whatever that might mean.
Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune
– We’re reminded this week that Alena’s online name is Kojo Sledgehammer, which is as adorable as she is. Kacey Rohl is a very appealing presence and she has good chemistry with Emily Bett Rickards, so here’s hoping she sticks around a bit longer next time.
– Thea Queen Watch. A very dull week for Thea, reduced to standing around on the sidelines as Quentin goes a bit Laurel-crazy. More Thea, please, Arrow writers.
– Vincent really is dead, right? This show has overplayed the back-from-the-dead card at this point, so we’re going to say yes, Vince is dead. RIP Vincent Sobel. Vigilante, we hardly knew ye. And so on.
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Photo: 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.