This week on The CW’s Arrow, Oliver endeavored to keep after Cayden James by his lonesome in the field — only to discover that he is seriously out-manned. Did Curtis & Co. return to the fold to shore up Team Arrow’s numbers?
Cayden James’ next move in whatever his master scheme is involved “inviting” Jerry “Cousin of The Huntress” Bertinelli to sell his control of the Star City ports — lest his Ivy League daughter meet some harm. In the weeks since Team Arrow’s manpower-depleting rift, Felicity has tried (but failed) to track down James, while Diggle remains on the DL (despite Curtis’ latest attempt at some chip-based tech).
Curtis’ visit to the bunker to tend to John, though, did surface an electromagnetic interference problem inside the lair, which led Felicity to realize that they have been bugged for months! Felicity and Dig looped in Oliver, and the three of them realize that Team Arrow’s secret identities are no longer a secret to James. When Felicity later gets a lead on James, Oliver once again goes solo, and in doing so sidelines Black Siren and powers down the Evil T-Spheres… but, once face to face with James, is taunted with the reality that the former Helix honcho is in league with not only Black Siren but Anatoly… and Ricardo Diaz… and Vigilante.
After barely escaping, Oliver invites Curtis, Dinah and Rene to the loft to update them on the growing threat — and how Vince is part of it. Dinah scoffs at the suggestion, but nonetheless confronts her ex, who in turn flips/KOs her. Later, Diggle begins planting the idea in Oliver’s head that the best partnerships are built on forgiveness, so maybe it’s time to regroup the full team? For now, Oliver is content to draw the Legion of Cayden James as well as Bertinelli to a warehouse, where a melee breaks out. Oliver pitches in, again felling Black Siren and myriad thugs, but in the end Vigilante gets the drop on him. His small army bested, Bertinelli agrees to turn the ports over to James, and then goes to take out Green Arrow… but Oliver manages another narrow escape.
Conceding that he cannot go into the field solo again, Oliver calls Curtis & Co. back to the loft, acknowledges everyone’s points of view, and then invites the disfranchised trio to rejoin the team in the fight against the Legion of Cayden James. Curtis, Rene and Dinah, however, all somewhat respectfully decline, regurgitating their qualms about broken trust, misplaced allegiance and what not. Instead, they are forming their own team — based out of Helix’s old digs — and Oliver sincerely wishes them well. Curtis leaves OTA with a parting gift, though: a new chip that successfully puts Diggle back in the field.
Elsewhere in the winter premiere:
* Thea reconnected with Lance, who’s apparently refusing to write off Laurel’s doppelganger as a “psycho” and has hopes of redeeming her. Thea at first scoffs, citing her own misguided attempts to steer Malcolm right. But in the end, she realizes that her Dad did eventually come around, so she offers Quentin some of her own old Laurel pics for his memory album.
* In a bittersweet bit of “housekeeping,” Thea apologized for not suiting up to help Oliver, explaining that she’s just “not there.” Oliver assured his sis, “You’ll always be my Speedy.”
* In the course of accessing/deleting the DA’s evidence against Rene, Curtis realized that the “smoking gun” was an audio file from the bunker — likely leaked to the FBI by Cayden James. But as Oliver and the others noted earlier, why has James not outed them all? (And why lead with Rene/Wild Dog?)
* At episode’s end, Cayden James expressed to Vince his “concern” about Dinah, having seen video that shows she knows her ex is a baddie. But… wasn’t Vigilante “burned” (no pun intended) the moment that Cayden trotted him out with all the others, to taunt Oliver…? I confuuuused.