The team at Entertainment Jolt decided after last week’s episode of Arrow that we’d offer our different point of views, giving both what we aspects we enjoyed during the episode and what we took issue with.
This week’s episode of Arrow, “We Fall” (6×11), we find ourselves at just about the halfway point of this twenty-three episode season. From this point on, it’s definitely just ramping up for the final episodes of the season that will no doubt blow our minds. In the last episode, “Divided” (6×10), we saw a fractured Team Arrow and two teams come out of it rather than one unified team. The linking of last week’s title with this week’s didn’t go unnoticed, divided we fall, and we’ll likely see this idea continue through.
In this week’s episode, we have two teams (Original Team Arrow/OTA and New Team Arrow/NTA) and though they are divided they did come together when it counted for the safety of Star City. Cayden James (Michael Emerson) continues his reign of terror as he manipulates Mayor Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) into doing exactly what he wants after he uses technology as a weapon against the citizens of Star City. John Diggle/Spartan (David Ramsey) is gifted a new and improved suit courtesy of Cisco (Carlos Valdes). Felicity Smoak/Overwatch (Emily Bett Rickards) reaches out to the other team wanting to share information in order to take down James and they agree.
A new possible ally is found in Vincent Sobel/Vigilante (Johann Urb) as he tries to plead himself as a double agent and wanting to help New Team Arrow, all of his intel panning out. This causes a little upset between Curtis Holt/Mr Terrific (Echo Kellum), Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez), and Dinah Drake/Black Canary (Juliana Harkavy)…but ultimately the trio comes together as a unified front and find out that they are able to trust Sobel.
Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and Thea Queen (Willa Holland) work to try to make the citizens as safe as possible by creating analog safe zones. James closes down all exits out of the city, which only helps with panic…it also leaves the school bus William Clayton (Jack Moore) was taking for a school field trip trapped. We see William take very much after Oliver as he evacuates his friends from the bus only to be trapped himself until he finds himself being rescued by Green Arrow (who is actually his father). Though there’s emotional upheaval with William finding out that Oliver is still running around as Green Arrow, the two teams come together to protect the safe zone from James’ seige.
Arrow Round Table Review – Diana
I really enjoyed this week’s episode. You can see the foundations of how splitting the team in two will have ramifications later on in the season.
What I really liked about this episode was Felicity’s speech to William about what his father does under the hood. I could watch that scene over and over again and still never get enough of just how poignant Felicity’s words are. “So you can worry about your dad, but you have to believe that he’s gonna be okay. Because that’s the only way that this works.” Although the whole speech was noteworthy, these two lines sent chills down my spine, in a good way. It’s so beautiful to see Felicity bonding with William like that, and see her explaining some really tough things to a nine-year-old that Oliver wasn’t able to.
Another thing I enjoyed about this episode was how Oliver and Felicity presented a unified front after William found out his dad had returned to Green Arrow duty and had been lying to him for a month. That led to another very poignant scene where we see William accept that his father needs to be the Green Arrow in order to protect the city and that if, god forbid, anything happens to him, he has Felicity.
What I didn’t like about last night’s episode was how much this season’s main plot mirror’s last season’s. It’s almost the same thing. Last season, it was Adrian Chase wanting revenge for his father’s death. This season it’s Cayden James wanting revenge for his son’s death. Of course this season there’s a twist, and Oliver’s not the real killer, but it’s still rehashing the same story for the second year in a row. It’s become the “It must be May again” scenario where Star City gets attacked every year around the same time, only this year it’s January instead of May.
Another thing I didn’t like: having the team split in two. It annoys me even though I understand from a writer’s standpoint why it’s important. Yes, Oliver broke everyone’s trust, but he was willing to apologize and make amends. I guess it goes to show just how naive the “Outsiders” are, even though they’re willing to share information with each other.
Arrow Roundtable Review – Heather
I really enjoyed “We Fall”, more than I have the last few episodes. This episode brought a lot of emotions to the forefront for me, good and bad. It allowed us to catch a glimpse into several minor characters and gave Arrow the opportunity to finally close doors on a few of them. Pike’s storyline should have been resolved long before now. But, as fans, we also had the ability to see how much some characters have grown and evolved, i.e. Oliver and Felicity, and other characters who have become static in their storylines, i.e. Thea, Quentin Lance, many of the new team members and, much to my detriment, Diggle.
The things I really enjoyed in this episode probably resonated with a lot of fans. I particularly enjoyed finally seeing the Queens as a family unit. Last episode, we barely experienced Oliver and Felicity as a married couple, but this episode tried to rectify that with their interactions. Plus, the bonding with Felicity and William was amazing. You got the feel of her nervousness in relation to her new step-son, and yet, when William questioned his father’s actions, Felicity more than stepped up to explain why Oliver does what he does and why they have to let him.
I also loved how Arrow put a spin on the mid-season monologue. We’ve seen in the past, I.e. Slide and Ra’s, give these speeches that overlaid quiet scenes of the characters it would effect. But, while those characters dealt with their situation, the monologue had a threatening nature that signified a change to come. This time, it was Felicity explaining what Oliver does to his son and how his actions affect so many other people, during the show’s main fight scene. It still indicated a change to come, but it was a much brighter message.
What I did not care for in the episode was the mistrust that underlined most of the minor characters and all the questions I was left with once the episode ended.
Trust seems to be a resonating phrase this season. Almost all the minor characters are untrustworthy about something or untrusting. We get it already, but the Arrow writers seem to constantly want to hit us over the head with it episode after episode.
As for the questions I was left with, I’m sure many fans are asking the same things. Who has really set up Cayden James to be there? Who really is trustworthy? Where has the FBI been the last few months? How long will there be these rifts? What made all of these villains decide to work with each other? And, do we even need the “Outsiders” anymore?
Arrow Round Table Review – Shannon
This episode had a lot of win in it for me and very little I really took issue with. I’m a huge fan of character development and character relationships and the storylines that further them. “We Fall” was definitely an episode that gives us character development in buckets. My favorite part of this entire episode was the moment in the Arrow Cave where Felicity explains to William exactly why being the Green Arrow is Oliver’s calling. It’s the pure honesty of that moment coupled with the beautifully done cutting to Oliver and the others at the safe zone. For me, this was a huge moment in the episode and season thus far because though we’ve all been worried about bringing the team back together…this really brings together Oliver, Felicity, and William as a family but also putting them on the same page (even if Oliver hasn’t had his talk with him yet or they haven’t gotten to the family meeting part). Although William had this moment of being very Oliver Queen in helping to save his classmates in the bus, I felt like this moment just sort of reinforced that William has this part of him that is likely from his mother (who was maybe more like Felicity than we ever got to learn). For everything that happened last season and this season, I felt like this was a huge payoff and that it just makes me happier going forward.
A small thing that I thought was really well done was the ending of the episode where we see Oliver have to give in to James’ demands of giving him ten million dollars. It’s one of those moments where it’s nice to see that Oliver is human and with everything going on (him trying to be a dad, being a husband, being mayor, being Green Arrow), that sometimes there’s something he can’t do even though he’s tried so hard. Even though it was a horrible moment for Oliver, I felt like it speaks so much to his character and the writing. This is a huge deal to Oliver, but he’s very much thinking of the safety of the city and its residents. It’s basically him playing the long game with James.
There were two things that sort of bothered me last night with the episode, one is much more of a minor thing than the other. The first, the minor one, is the whole series of events with the bus in the tunnel. All I could think of as no only a former student, but also as a former employee of a school district and a mom was that there’s no way that they would be taking kids on a field trip with the bus driver as the only adult. Where’s the teacher? I’m assuming William is in middle school, so shouldn’t the science teacher be there? Parent chaperones? Would that have changed things? Likely, but they could have definitely made it work. Another thing that bothered me was that after William has this Oliver Queen moment of saving the kids on his school bus is that he gets trapped behind this sign and he’s supposed to be stuck…and I swear that it would have been easily climbed around or over (like even if you don’t have the upper body strength).
The bigger thing that I didn’t enjoy and that it sort of is nagging at me is that this feels very much like we’re going in the direction of nearly every other season finale we’ve had for Arrow. While I don’t mind there being this huge build up to something crazy and seemingly un-win-able, the cutting off exits to the city and the tunnel being blown up reminded me of the season two finale “Unthinkable” (2×23) and I kept waiting for Roy, Sara, Nyssa, and the League of Assassins to show up to help out to fight some of James’ minions (in place of Slade and his army of killers) that I was half surprised didn’t pop up. Don’t get me wrong, season two is probably my favorite season…but I felt like the only way that kind of thing works is if it’s purposely a callback or if it’s something that Team Arrow has to do that a bad guy did before kind of thing. I know Star City is their main location, but it would be nice if we saw it used differently when bad guys decide to go on their rampage.
Arrow Round Table Review – Lisa
This episode was really well done for the character development for everyone. It’s nice to see how Felicity is trying to adjust from being shut out of Williams life to being his step-mom. She has nerves about it but she is doing an amazing job. Showing William that what his father does is a dangerous job but it is their job to be there for him and that yes he has made mistakes but he’s done it for what he thought was right at the time. That speech was very well done and you can see that William is comfortable with Felicity. But then again you could see that since the time she was helping him with homework.
I also liked seeing how the “New Team Arrow” is adjusting to being on their own. I never had a doubt that OTA couldn’t handle it. I mean they did just well for years before the new team members. The only thing I hated about this was how awkward and distant the interaction between the two teams felt. Maybe it was supposed to feel this way but I don’t think it was necessary… okay, I don’t think them going off on their own was right either but still.
The only downfall I had was really the new team and I was hoping Roy would have shown up towards the end, but I think I’m just really excited to see Roy coming back even if that means that Thea will be leaving with him.
Other than that I actually agree with everyone on this episode… Until next week!
Photo Credit: The CW & SpoilerTV