On this week’s Arrow, “All For Nothing” (6×12), we continue with Star City being held hostage by Cayden James (Michael Emerson) for a week now and the team is still divided.
Mayor Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) has had to send 70 million dollars in order to keep the city from being blown up, which is taking a toll on him though he has Thea (Willa Holland) there to lean on at city hall. With William (Jack Moore) safely tucked away in an ARGUS safehouse with Raisa (Kathleen Gati), there’s a little less for him to worry about. Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) finds himself being followed by Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) and hopes that that means that she’s like his Laurel and wants to talk to him even though she keeps disappearing.
The two teams are still sharing information, but two things they didn’t share was that Curtis (Echo Kellum) converted Helix’s location into their team bunker and that they’ve been working with Vincent Sobel (Johann Urb). Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) suggests a dangerous plan that Sobel would have to enact, which sounds a lot like a suicide mission, in order to get information on where the bomb is located. Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), of course, isn’t behind this mission because of the level of danger to Vince. When James finds Sobel in a location he doesn’t belong, Felicity is able to coach him through it, but he’s taken by Anatoly (David Nykl) when he steps outside in order to head for the new bunker. Alena (Kacey Rohl) helps the team in going through the information that Vince was able to transfer to them.
When it comes down to getting the thermobaric bomb or saving Vince from being tortured, the team splits again even though neither might be able to achieve their goal. Oliver and John (David Ramsey) go after the bomb while Dinah, Curtis, and Rene (Rick Gonzalez) go to save Vince. In the end, the bomb is moved before Oliver and John can get to it and Vince is killed by Black Siren in front of a trapped Dinah. Alena finds the fabricated video from Corto Maltese to Cayden James where Oliver supposed killed his son. Thea has to break it to Quentin, who is extremely hopeful, about Black Siren killing Vince and how she doesn’t think that it’s possible for her to be redeemed.
What is your overall reaction to the episode?
Lisa: It was a good build-up to the Caydan James arch of the season but the rest of the episode was really just ehh. I could have lived without it.
Heather: I thought that this episode had to be of the filler episodes that we’ve come to expect from a long season. It was slow-paced and full of almost needless flashbacks on a character we almost no longer have respect for and another character we never did (and ended up dying before the episode was over).
Diana: Overall, this episode made me feel underwhelmed. It felt predictable, more so than I would have liked. I don’t know… Maybe I’m becoming a little too familiar with Arrow at this point to guess what’ll happen next. But I think the twist at the end, where Team Arrow finds out that the footage of Oliver shooting Cayden’s son was doctored by the same person who leaked the photo of Oliver under the hood, surprised me. There’s a traitor in Cayden’s midst that isn’t just Vince. My theory? It’s Anatoly. With the crossover earlier this season dealing with Nazis, I wouldn’t be surprised if the writing team decided to go the Russian route with this considering the current political climate.
Shannon: Definitely not a favorite. This is definitely an episode that I would consider a bridging episode, it’s not really a filler episode because of the information and set up for the story for the remainder of the season. As a writer, I understand the need for it, but as a viewer, it’s just blah for me.
How do you feel like the season’s theme of family was addressed in this episode?
Lisa: Just a little bit with New Team Arrow when Dianah said she was going to go and save Vince and they said they would go out with her since they are a team. Also when she was there crying after Vince dies Curtis and Rene are there with her trying to figure out how they can help her. Other than that I don’t feel like the main theme was addressed much in this episode.
Heather: Family was addressed in this episode, but we didn’t see evidence of it until the later half, where it was all rushed together. OTA has shown us a tighter knit family structure when it wasn’t even trying, back in Seasons 1 and 2, than I felt that the entire new team showed for each other this episode. Quentin Lance was also trying to bring some family structure back by confronting Earth-2 Laurel, but it has become a redemption arc that is lost amongst all the other storylines. It almost feels like a joke by how little thought has been put behind it. Almost like they are baiting the viewers with it to bring it up later.
Diana: The theme of family, in this episode at least, was brought up in a very roundabout way. There were only two instances where I saw family being addressed. The first was when Dinah mentioned that her family was Vince and that she was going to get him instead of going with Team Arrow to get the bomb. The second was Not Team Arrow rallying around Dinah after she lost Vince. Aside from that, I didn’t see much of the “family” theme anywhere else.
Shannon: I think that they addressed the theme of family in this episode in two places, the first is obviously between Dinah and Vince while the second is Quentin and Black Siren. Dinah even points out that Vince is her family and she can’t just let him die and we get the evidence of how close they were and how they were both changed in Central City. With Quentin, it’s very much him holding on and wanting Black Siren to be a replacement in a way for his Laurel. The problem I always have with this is that I’m fairly sure that they have it where Quentin is aware that Sara is still alive and just off with the Legends. Most of the time, it seems like he acts very much like Laurel was his only kid.
Who was a stand out character in this episode for you? Why?
Lisa: I don’t feel like there was one. Every character was blah and you knew the direction they were going in.
Heather: There were no stand out characters this episode. Not even Oliver Queen, and it’s show. The focus was supposed to be on Dinah Drake and Vince, but they could not carry off the episode. It made for a very dreary, rushed, uninteresting episode.
Diana: From what I saw in this episode, I felt like Dinah and Vince were supposed to be the standout characters, what, with their relationship and their flashback scenes, but that whole storyline felt rushed, making them just as “meh” as the rest of the characters in this episode. It’s unfortunate, to say the least, because I was really hoping for another Felicity Smoak moment like there was in last week’s episode. But I guess you can’t always get what you want.
Shannon: For this episode, it should really be Dinah and Vince, but neither really stood out for me. Probably between the two I would say Vince just because of his flexibility as a character and this feeling of coming full circle from what was thought to be his death in Central City to his death now. (If he even is really dead.)
What didn’t work for you in the episode?
Lisa: New Team Arrow. That whole situation is just being way overplayed and I’m just over it, to be honest.
Heather: The flashbacks, the lack of bonding to make us care about the characters, and the lame storyline that could’ve been skipped. None of it fit together. I could easily recommend that someone watch the season and skip this one episode and they could still piece together the little bit of stuff they missed.
Diana: Not Team Arrow hasn’t been working for me since its inception, and in this episode particularly. They all just seem like whiny little children! Which, considering how long the others have been doing this, makes sense. But could the writers please make them just a little less whiny and a little more grown up?
Another aspect, that I mentioned earlier, that didn’t work for me was the Dinah/Vince relationship flashbacks. I was somewhat irritated that they had to rush it so much. We skipped from their first meeting to them already as a couple, in a trade that doesn’t feel worth the “surprise” in exchange for seeing how hard Vincent presumably had to work to win Dinah over.
Shannon: I felt like the split in the teams really didn’t work, partially because it seems like they’ve been split for an entire season (and it’s only been three episodes). It really just doesn’t seem like it makes sense at all and you’re just sort of sitting there trying to tell the characters that they’re being ridiculous at this point.
What was your favorite moment of the episode?
Lisa: Again, this episode was really just there to build up the Caydan situation other than that I really could live without it.
Heather: My favorite moment had to be when Thea stepped up and told Quentin that redeeming Earth-2 Laurel was not likely to happen, eve as much as she might have also wished it to be true. It was a small light in an otherwise unremarkable episode.
Diana: I didn’t have a favorite moment in this episode. Everything just seemed to run into one jumbled hot mess of an episode.
Shannon: My favorite part of the episode was the short and awkward exchange when New Team Arrow comes into the Arrow Cave and Curtis and Felicity both try to make it better with really bad humor.
Photo Credit: The CW