EPISODE REVIEW: Arrow S6 Ep17 ‘Brothers in Arms’

As corruption in Star City becomes more and more exposed, Team Arrow’s ability to stem the tide of war with Diaz becomes increasingly difficult. Will a feud within the team destroy Team Arrow before Diaz can?

Arrow – “Brothers in Arms”, Season 6, Episode 17
Airdate: April 5th, 2018
Director: Mark Bunting
Writer: Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim
Based on the DC Comics Created by Mort Weisinger & George Papp

What You Should Know:

Ricardo Diaz has a death grip on Star City. DA Armand and Police Captain Hill are high ranking officials known to be under Diaz’s thumb, but the extent of his power is not yet known. Team Arrow has been slowly whittled down to its original three members: Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity. The Outsiders also find themselves a man down with Rene still in the hospital after the brutal beating delivered by Oliver. Tension has been mounting between Diggle and Oliver since Oliver reclaimed the mantle of Green Arrow from him and hasn’t told Diggle that it’s a permanent reclamation. Black Siren continues to try to assume the role of the original Laurel Lance while living with her not-father, Quentin.

What You’ll Find Out:

Much of this episode had the feel of a holding pattern, establishing small advancements (except for the one big change), and building on the near-mythical narrative of Diaz’s rise to the top of the food chain in Star City.

Here’s what happens, in roughly chronological order:

Dinah, with Curtis in tow, rounds up all the uncorrupted cops in Star City she can find, which is not many and goes after Anatoly, Diaz’s right-hand man. They manage to catch him and three of his men, only to have them immediately turned loose by Armand and Hill. Just before his release, Oliver manages to have a brief conversation with his old “friend”, during which Anatoly states that Diaz has already won and that the corruption was too widespread to do anything about at this point, and from what we’ve seen as viewers, he appears to be right.

now you see me

In retaliation, Diaz and Anatoly kill one of the officers involved in the arrest, and Dinah and Curtis move the remaining officers to a safe house. Black Siren sees the news reports of the dead cop and presses Quentin on where they could have been taken (he doesn’t know), and then reports that to Diaz. So much for Black Siren’s redemption. Unfortunately, her failure doesn’t ensure the safety of the few remaining cops, as one of them is actually not clean after all. He also states that Diaz has already won. In the melee, Curtis is shot, and Nick, his new vigilante-hating beau, discovers that Curtis is Mr. Terrific.

Oliver finally confronts Hill and Armand, who both shockingly come clean about their associations with Diaz and then refuse to turn their backs on him. Oliver fires both of them (I’m not sure a mayor has that authority, and later we find out that, yeah, he probably doesn’t). At the same time, Black Siren continues to cement her return to Diaz.

diaz and bs

Meanwhile, across town, Oliver and Diggle finally have their conversation about the mantle, and Diggle responds like a bratty toddler. Oliver informs him that it’s not like him to act this way over a uniform, and the two set their differences aside to try and hunt down Diaz’s Vertigo supplier based on information supplied by Diggle’s wife Lyla of ARGUS (noteworthy that she also tells John he’s not acting like himself). It doesn’t work out, and in the process of failure, Oliver tells Diggle to stand down, and once again, Diggle behaves like a toddler in a tiara.

Back at the Arrow-cave, the confrontation between Oliver and Diggle comes to a head, with both men throwing accusations at each other regarding how the city could be in the state it is in. Although childish, both make good points. Diggle’s accusation of Oliver’s lack of leadership in bugging their former teammates is on point. Oliver points out that Diaz moved into the city when Diggle wore the hood. Valid point. Diggle refers to Oliver’s trail of bodies. Truth. It’s long and distinguished. Oliver mentions how his trail of bodies doesn’t include his own brother. Whoa. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. And here come the rulers, as punches fly and Felicity is the only rational mind in the room.

arrow faceoff

After they have their schoolyard fight, Felicity informs them she’s found at least one factory mass producing Vertigo, so the two put aside their differences, work together flawlessly, and destroy the factory despite near impossible odds. One would expect that a bonding experience like that would smooth things over, but Diggle continues to question Oliver’s ability to lead the team, be a father, and be mayor, so Diggle decides to quit the team, leaving only Oliver and Felicity to maintain the operation.

Towards the end, we find out that Black Siren is responsible for Armand and Hill knowing how to begin impeachment procedures of Oliver (because a DA couldn’t have possibly figured that out on his own without the help of a person reading their first law book ever). Nick visits Curtis at Rene’s apartment, informs Dinah that all the clean cops have been fired, and tells Curtis that he’s not certain how he feels about vigilantes, but he knows how he feels about Curtis. Awww.

What Just Happened?

The above should just about cover it. There’s really not much subtext to be extracted in this episode. This episode was thankfully the most focused episode we’ve seen in a long time, although not without its flaws. Hopefully, this level of focus can continue as the season draws to a close.

sad felicity is sad

Rating: 7/10
Final Thought:

Dear Writers,

If you have to point to the fact that a character is acting out-of-character multiple times, that may be a hint that you aren’t doing a great job. I’m sorry, and it’s an ugly truth, but there it is. It feels like a cheap narrative trick, and you’re better than that, and Diggle deserves more of you.

Distraught in Honolulu

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