This week’s episode of Arrow may mark the end of Cayden James, but there’s many mysteries left unsolved. In “The Devil’s Greatest Trick” we learn which devious character was behind the death of James’ son, and subsequently, behind the edited photo that was meant to out Oliver as the Green Arrow.
The threat of Cayden James’ bomb continues to loom as Oliver and his team try to track down the man himself, which proves to be rather difficult, despite the additional help from Alena. With all hands on deck, and the lair the safest place in the city, Oliver asks ARGUS to bring his son William back in.
Meanwhile Dinah still struggles with Vincent’s death. The only way she can find peace is by tracking down Vincent’s killer, Black Siren, and providing justice. Justice, in this case, means killing the other woman. An eye for an eye.
Cayden has promised his goons to provide a helicopter out of the city, with enough time to spare before the bomb detonates. However, when they realise that their ride fell through, Black Siren, Anatoli, and Ricardo Diaz decide to leave town on their own.
The team learns that Cayden’s son Owen was murdered by an assassin-for-hire name Carl Iskov, which they reveal to James. He then gives the city a deadline: bring him Anatoli, Laurel, and Diaz, so that he can get justice for his son, or the bomb will go off by midnight.
Both OTA and NTA team up for this feat, as they track down the missing bad guys and deliver them one by one back to James. William, worried for his father’s safety, has followed the team and ends up in the crosshairs of the operation. Despite Oliver’s insistence that his son has nothing to do with James’ vendetta, it is easy to appreciate the parallels.
Over the course of the evening, Cayden becomes more and more enraged with guilt and grief, which eventually pushes him to lose his mind. This week’s episode delves deeper into the psyche of Cayden James, who, despite his illegal hacking activities, tries to be a devoted father. In flashback we explore the strained relationship with his son, as well as his eventual arrest by ARGUS, and the reveal that his son has been killed.
It is Black Siren that ultimately steps up and pretends to be behind Owen’s murder, but he quickly sees through her lies. She hesitated killing Vincent, she would not be ruthless enough to kill his son. After Black Siren frees herself from a power-repressing collar, she creates a distraction and enables herself, Diaz, and Anatoli to flee.
Laurel herself is stopped by Dinah, who is still hell-bent on killing her. Quentin steps in, and after Laurel is shot, he saves her, and promises to help her become a better version of herself. Oliver is eventually able to overpower Cayden James, and the genius is taken into custody. The city is safe, for now, but as Felicity states, it doesn’t feel much like a victory.
The episode ends with Diaz visiting James in custody. He explains that he has someone working for him within the SCPD, and that he was the one behind Owen’s murder. He says he doesn’t need the city to burn, just to take it over. Then he kills James in cold blood.
The Cayden James Saga has come to an end – finally, some would say. While it seems impossible for a genius hacker such as James to be fooled by edited video footage, Arrow has made us believe it was ultimately his son’s death that drove him to become a ruthless fanatic. What started as a promising story arc turned out to become a myriad of mediocre episodes.
Moving on, it seems that Diaz was the master mind all along. Yet another organized-crime boss that wants to take over Star City. It is impossible to distinguish him from all the ones that came before, and doesn’t make for extraordinary entertainment. We will see where this one goes (if it goes anywhere at all).
One of the episode’s brighter moments was William’s involvement. While it was clearly foolish of him to follow his father, it does show promise. Seeing William show an interest in Oliver’s night-time activities is exciting. More focus on that, and less on irrelevant side characters, please.
Dinah: I can’t believe you are working with Cayden James.
John: He wants Anatoli, Diaz, and Laurel, alive.
Curtis: Or boom goes the city. Just saying, that’s a pretty good reason to not kill her, besides all the other reasons, like killing is bad!
Catch Arrow Thursdays at 9/8 ct on The CW.