Arrow's Echo Kellum: Can a 'Fractured' Team Stop Cayden James' Grand Plan?

Arrow Spoilers Team OTA

When Arrow resumes Season 6 this Thursday (The CW, 9/8c), the team is still quite splintered in the wake of Curtis, Rene and Dinah realizing that OTA had been spying on them, in the name of identifying the FBI’s snitch.

That bunker bust-up was masterfully orchestrated by Cayden James, as he, Black Siren, Anatoly Knyazev and Vince Sobel prepare to enact the next step in… whatever it is their li’l cabal is planning, to be revealed very soon.

TVLine invited Echo Kellum to assess the state of Team Arrow’s shattered union, how it might be affecting Curtis and Felicity’s work on Helix Dynamics, and what steps could be taken to restore the lost trust and get the band back together — before Star City is lost!

TVLINE | I have to say that at the end of the fall finale, I was most moved by Curtis’ reaction to it all. He’s usually the logical guy, the considerate one, so for him to be taken so aback by Oliver’s actions… I was feeling for him.
Yeah, when I read that I thought it was so cool that he was going to take a stand and draw that line. Trust is so important, man, and when you feel like someone violates that, you’ve got to take a stand. It was cool to see him plow forward, confident that he can do his thing — by himself, with the team, whatever. I liked that moment.

Arrow Season 6TVLINE | What is Curtis doing with any downtime — tending to Helix Dynamics matters? Or has the bunker rift with Felicity gotten in the way of that?
He has definitely been delving into the Helix aspect of life, making sure that that work is still a good thing. He’s still gotta make that money, he’s still gotta get that paper, so he’s still very much focused on that — which doesn’t mean that it’s an easy work situation, knowing that your partner kind of betrayed you in a major way.

TVLINE | Right, because when it all comes down to it, Felicity was the one actually telling the computers to snoop on everyone.
She was the one, so he feels very personal about the betrayal, but I don’t think he’s going to let that stand in the way of Helix trying to do some good work for humanity, pushing forward with creating power cells or helping John with his [hand tremor] situation…. Curtis can be mad but still do the work that he needs to do, and still help a friend that he’s not too friendly with at the moment. He puts his own feelings on the backburner for the better good.

Arrow Season 6TVLINE | What is going on in this photo (above) where everyone is in the loft, and Curtis and Oliver seem to be staring each other down?
Yeah, they’re about to have a rap battle, and it’s pretty intense. [Laughs] No, right there, they’re at a point where they’re really getting into the weeds of what life is going to look like for all of them moving forward.

TVLINE | It’s not like Curtis and the others are outright bailing.
Right, it’s not just like, “OK, I’m leaving.” They’re not bailing on the city, they’re bailing on the way that Team Arrow handles being a team. They want to do right by the city but do it in a different, more inclusive, democratic and trusting way, so as to not alienate each other. That being said, it doesn’t mean they’re going to execute that with 100-perfect perfection, like a flawless team of robots who come in and do the job. It’s a goal that they’re trying to achieve, in having a different approach to the complex problems of Star City.

TVLINE | What will it take for them to mend fences and get the whole team back together? Will it be baby steps, or one ginormous gesture down the road?
I think it’s going to have to be a whole bunch of baby steps and some giant steps, too, because right now they’re pretty fractured. There have been some pretty hard accusations, and what Rene is doing…. How can you work with somebody who is going to testify against you, expose you and possibly make it tougher for your son? At the same time, how can you not think about your family first? It’s a tough position for Rene and Oliver, whose kids are at the center of everything. That’s the kind of thing that really makes the relationship tough to mend, but I think that if there is some huge problem or crisis, they will probably form back to a team. Especially on Curtis’ side. Rene can be stubborn sometimes, Dinah too, but Curtis is not stubborn. I could see him coming back to do the right thing, kind of like he is doing with Helix.

TVLINE | OK, because the fans have been pretty patient this season doing without Oliver in the suit for a stretch, and now a splintered team. They’re not going to want to go too much longer without the status quo.
That’s true, yeah.

TVLINE | Viewers now know that Cayden James and Black Siren are in cahoots with Anatoly and the other nefarious types in town. Are we going to learn more about his grand plan soon?
That’s one of the things we pick right back up on — you’re going to find out why he is even planning a grand plan. You’re going to delve into what they’re trying to get out of this, and see whether or not a fractured team can handle things the way they need to.

TVLINE | Lastly, I was curious if you have seen Black Lightning yet. It is very much continuing the strides made when Curtis became the Arrowverse’s first black DC Comics hero, being The CW’s first African American-led drama — and one that eventually will boast a lesbian hero, to boot.
I have it on my DVR, and I am very very pumped to see it. All of the reactions I have heard have been just phenomenal and I can’t wait to get into it.

I am so thankful to be alive today, especially in terms of the representation we see on television and in movies. We still have a long way to go, but it’s very cool to see a lot of the networks and studios taking more chances on women and people of color. As more studios and independent places get hip to the fact that we also are a huge part of America, consuming media and products and all these things, they will start being more and more inclusive. That’s part of what moves people’s prejudices and changes the stereotypes they see. Sometimes people can’t travel all over the country, so they take that in through entertainment at home. It’s good to see that constantly being supported and shown.

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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