Friday, April 27, 2018

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 20 - Shifting Allegiances

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Oliver turns to an unexpected old friend for help in dealing with Diaz. Meanwhile, Rene leaves the hospital but has trouble readjusting to life as Wild Dog and Quentin discovers the true nature of Black Siren's relationship with Diaz.


The Green Arrow comics of Judd Winick (Ollie deciding to work with criminals rather than other heroes to accomplish his goals.)


Quentin points out the biggest problem with the keystone idea of The Black Siren Redemption Arc - the idea that Black Siren can honestly feel threatened by Diaz. That idea might have washed with Zoom. It might even have worked for Prometheus last year. But there is no way that Black Siren couldn't reasonably wipe the floor with Diaz AND his immediate circle of bodyguards given what we've seen her do to against whole mobs in his service. She was able to overcome a helpless metahuman with a healing factor at point-blank range. She could easily liquefy Diaz' brain in his sleep if she wanted to.

Once again, we see characters learning the wrong lessons and forgetting lessons they learned for the sake of a story. First, with Ollie continuing to believe he is stronger alone.  Next, Quentin forgetting how nothing good ever comes of doing bad things for good reasons.

The idea that Ricardo Diaz is somehow more inhuman than Zoom (the super-fast serial killer who enslaved an entire world, vibrated the hearts out of countless people and stole a superhero's identity just for the fun of it), Prometheus (the man who tortured and killed countless people in the name of avenging his father's death)  and Cayden James (the man who dispassionately plotted to destroy an entire city because of the death of his son) because he killed the man who tortured him every day of his life as a child is the most eye-rollingly stupid thing to come out of Black Siren's mouth yet. And that, to quote Anatoly, is saying something!


The high point of the episode is David Nykl and Stephen Amell playing off of each other. After five seasons, it is still amazing to watch Nykl go from being sinister to snarky in the span of a sentence.


The sequence of Mister Terrific tagging The Quadrant trucks is probably the best use of the character to date in an action sequence.


One of the Quadrant leaders is identified as a gun lobbyist named Lydia Cassamento. In the DC Comics Universe, The Cassamentos are one of The Five Families making up the Gotham City Italian Mafia. This Five Families are The Bertinellis, The Berettis, The Cassamentos, The Inzerillos and The Galantes.

The Arrow logo in this stinger of this episode lacks the usual addition of the other Team Arrow icons.

The weapons brought in to Star City by Cassamento are said to be of Kasnian origin. Kasnia is a fictional country first introduced to the DC Comics Multiverse in Superman: The Animated Series. It has since then been used in The Arrowverse where Kasnia is a Republic in Eastern Europe.


Curtis hacks a thermal-sensing program from the NSA to try and track Diaz.

Curtis has a laser microphone of better quality than anything the CIA has.

The Quadrant's guns are equipped with stealth-adapters making them invisible to ASMs.

Dialogue Triumphs

Oliver: I just want to talk.
Anatoly: We stopped talking year ago. How you find me?
Oliver: I got a tip. From a friend of yours in Russia.
Anatoly: I have no friends in Russia. Your doing.
Oliver: That's fixed. (places a dagger on the counter) Also my doing.
Anatoly: (looking at the dagger) This is Pakhan's. How you come to have it?
Oliver: You told me that The Bratva exiled you because of your friendship with me. I owed you a debt. I owed them a debt. I paid it. You can go home now, Anatoly.  (pauses) You said you were an honorable man. Now, I think you know deep down that Diaz isn't. Help me stop him.
(There is a long pause before Anatoly sighs and steps closer to Oliver.)
Well, you were right. I was an honorable man.
(Before Oliver can react, Anatoly pulls a taser and zaps him in the chest, knocking him out instantly.)

Oliver: My mission was always supposed to be solitary. Put with a team? Fill it with people that I care about? It splits my focus.
Anatoly: Is that why you think Diaz was able to beat you?
Oliver: He took over the city while I was distracted.
Anatoly: If you seriously believe that, then you are an even bigger fool than I thought. And that is saying something.

Anatoly: Time to go see Diaz!
Oliver: (sarcastic) Think he'll give you a reward?
Anatoly: A man can dream. But I'll settle for satisfaction.

Rene: You got a kid. Younger than Zoe. How do you deal with it?
John: I don't, man. Not out here. When I put this holster on, I leave Daddy at home. 

Quentin: Don't pretend like you give a crap about me, alright? Are you proud of yourself, huh? Turning a father's grief against him? As far as I'm concerned, you're worse than Diaz!
Black Siren: You have no idea what he's capable of.
Quentin: I know what you're capable of. You can bring walls smashing down. You really expect me to believe that you are scared of a thug like Diaz?

Anatoly: You say I betray myself working with Diaz. I think much on this.
Oliver: Yes?
Anatoly: You may be right. But I realize moment things went wrong. Last year when I trusted you to bring me into city. So if I betray myself, Kapiushon? It is because you... you betray me first.

(Anatoly enters into Oliver's cell. He is carrying bandages and antiseptic spray.)
Oliver: Thank you.
Anatoly: Bandages least I could do.
Oliver: Not for the bandages, Anatoly. Thank you for giving me the chance to take out Diaz.
Anatoly: What makes you think that's what I was doing? Maybe I wanted to see for myself.
Oliver: See what?
Anatoly: Which one of you has honor.
(Anatoly kneels down before Oliver.)
Anatoly: Just like you wanted, no? You allow yourself to be captured, so I bring you to Diaz?
Oliver: I just thought that I could count on you to be the man I knew. That man was my friend.
Anatoly: (nodding quietly) Hurry up with bandages. I have plan to get you out of here.

Dialogue Disasters

Black Siren: I have known a lot of bad men. And they have been filled with anger and with hate. But not Diaz. He's not filled with anger inside because he's not even human inside. I watched him burn a man alive over a childhood grudge. If I cross him, what is he going to do to me?


Oliver captures a man wanted by the Bratva in Moscow to buy Anatoly's way back into The Bratva.

Rene is release from the hospital.

Diaz now controls all the security cameras and police in Star City.

The Quadrant leader who accepted Diaz into The Quadrant in 619 is identified as Lydia Cassamento - a gun lobbyist who oversees the gun-running operations of The Quadrant.

Anatoly refers to Oliver's attack on SCPD HQ in 618.

The Scorpions were the gang that Ricardo Diaz ran before being imprisoned. Reportedly they run most of the drug trade in The Glades.

Rene has connections to The Scorpions through a gambling operation in The Glades.

Rene is having PTSD flashbacks to the last few times he nearly died.

Black Canary, Wild Dog and Mister Terrific blunder into the arms deal as ARGUS is attacking it, as The Quadrant was trying to kill The Scorpions. John Diggle helps them escape.

John Diggle tells Dinah, Rene and Curtis about The Quadrant.

John apologies for his role in everything that caused Team Arrow to split.

Quentin tells John, Rene, Dinah and Curtis about how Diaz came to him demanding he sign over a certain building.

Between the five of them, they figure out that Diaz is now part of The Quadrant and he's turning Star City into a way station rather than having guns shipped in for his men.

Quentin kicks Black Siren out of his home.

Rene elects not to go on the mission to destroy The Quadrant's guns.

There is a version of Damien Darhk on Earth 2. He is as evil as the Earth 1 version, according to Black Siren.

Quentin winds up signing the oreder Diaz gave him, due to his being convinced that Black Siren was scared of Diaz.

Quentin refers to his working for Damien Darhk in Season 4 and how he did bad things for a good reason before.

John declines Curtis' offer to join his team but says ARGUS will continue to work with them.

Zoe is revealed to know about her father's secret identity. She encourages him to keep being Wild Dog.

The episode ends with Diaz having Oliver arrested and arranging to have his trial bumped up to May 3rd, 2018.



The Winick Factor

Rather than work with any of the heroes or groups he can rest assured will not double-cross him to Diaz, Ollie decides to approach someone he actively knows is working with Diaz and has even less reason to work with Ollie than New Team Arrow or ARGUS.

The Bottom Line

Were it not for the Black Siren Redemption nonsense, this might be a serviceable episode. Even though Rene's subplot feels recycled from John's storyline earlier in the season, at least it's somewhat acknowledged with Rene asking John for advice on balancing fatherhood and vigilantism. It's a nice, brief moment and the sort of team dynamic this series really could have used this season. Even Curtis gets a few good moments and that never happens! What really sells the episode, however, is the Oliver/Anatoly relationship and their interactions.

Unfortunately, it seems like the rumors of Season 7 of Arrow being used to tell the Supermax "Green Arrow in prison" story that never got made are true. I knew having something with Ollie living an outlaw's life in the forest outside Star City was a bit much to hope for, but I'd rather have this show  emulating Benjamin Percy than David Goyer any day of the week.

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