Oliver’s Past Decisions Drive A Wedge Between The “Brothers in Arms” On This Week’s Arrow

Photo: The CW

Tough times ahead for Team Arrow. As Oliver and John continue to fight over who gets to be under the Green Arrow’s hood, more and more underlying issues are addressed. In “Brothers in Arms”, John starts to question their arrangement, things are said that neither can take back, and the men battle it out the only way they seem to know – with fists.

It seems that things are going well for both Team Arrow, as well as Dinah and Curtis, as they work together with the SCPD to arrest Anatoli Knyazev for his involvement in Ricardo Diaz’s criminal activities. Unfortunately, when the cops on Diaz’s payroll, especially Captain Hill, learn about the arrest, they find a loophole to get him off on a technicality.

This development tells Oliver that it is not only the SCPD under Diaz’s command, but also the DA’s office and possibly other government branches. The whole city is infiltrated by Diaz. It becomes even more evident when he murders one of the SCPD’s clean cops and leaves the body as a message – join Diaz, or die.

With Diaz on the rise, John offers Oliver to take over for him as the Green Arrow to focus on his mayoral duties, which Oliver blocks off immediately.  The tension between the men grows, and Oliver finally tells him that he will not give up the hood anymore. John’s anger with Oliver continues. He turns to his wife Lyla for advice. She tells him to dig deeper and find out why it really upsets him so much, that Oliver wants to continue being the Green Arrow.

Meanwhile, Oliver addresses Captain Hill and DA Armand. He asks them directly why they have chosen to align themselves with Diaz. Hill says she was blackmailed by Diaz, while Armand’s son has leukemia, and needs the money that Diaz provides. When he offers them protection, they refuse, so he fires them both.

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Oliver and John continue working on Diaz. When they try to bust one of his drug providers, they once again get into an argument about who should be calling the shots, and the man dies. Upset that they weren’t able to get information on Diaz’s operation, John lashes out. He tells Oliver that the reason it was so important for him to get back in the hood is that he does not agree with Oliver’s leadership style anymore.

The two friends start a fight that turns nastier with every comment, until John blames all the bad things that have happened on Oliver’s poor decision making, including the death of William’s mother. Oliver counters that, at least, he is not responsible for killing his own brother. It’s the final straw for John, and he lands the first punch. The two destroy half the lair before Felicity intervenes and tells them to step down, and get their heads out of their asses.

John and Oliver try and get their heads back in the game as they finally get a location on Diaz’s main vertigo operation base, and Team Arrow is able to take down Diaz’s men and ultimately blow the whole place up. While it is a victory for their mission, the team would suffer a greater loss. At the end of the episode John decides that while Oliver may be the best version of himself as the Green Arrow, John is not the best version of himself under Oliver’s leadership. John decides to leave the team. When he once again turns to Lyla, she offers him a position at ARGUS.

Oliver’s decision to fire Hill and Armand eventually comes back to haunt him. Black Siren has continued to work with Diaz, and, encouraged by Quentin, has started to look into Laurel’s old law books. She provided Diaz with information on how to start an impeachment process against Oliver for what they call “unjust firing”. She’s also romantically involved with him now, apparently.

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John Diggle has left Team Arrow. For now. In a move that was so very out of character for who John truly is, he has left a mission he believes in behind. It is almost comical that he starts to question everything Oliver has done in the last year in the moment where his friend, his team, and his city need him the most.

Sure, John is a man who follows his morals. His morals, however, would likely rather dictate him to save the city by Oliver and Felicity’s side, before he quits the team for good. It seems odd for John to simply give up because it suddenly became inconvenient to work with Oliver. It was never John’s role to take on Oliver’s responsibilities, and the repercussions of his decisions.

The only person Oliver has left now is Felicity, and it’s only a matter of time until the powers that be decide that the couple could go through another rough patch. They’ve been happy for almost half a season after all, and we know that never lasts. It will be thrilling to see in which ridiculous innovative way they will try to create “conflict” this year.

If Arrow continues to deliver such mediocre episodes, it’s only a matter of time until that season seven renewal turns into a bad decision. If even an episode that focuses on the most interesting characters, dynamics, and relationships that Arrow has to offer cannot win the audience over due to poor writing and out-of-character behaviour, isn’t the series doomed?

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Favorite Lines

Random Drug Pusher: I’m too high to die man, please.

Oliver: If I was the Green Arrow, I don’t think you would like to be in this room right now.

Catch Arrow Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.

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