Arrow left us in December with the team in shambles, Ollie under investigation by the FBI, and Cayden James putting together the C- Legion of Doom. “Divided” picks up in essentially the same spot.
1. That’s cold, Vigilante
One of the worst reveals in the show’s history was/is the Vigilante is Vincent/Dinah’s old flame. Dinah has become a key part of the show, but her past isn’t really what makes her interesting, and we had no real connection to Vincent, so it just felt limp and lame. They’ve been trying to make us care more over the past few episodes, and this is the first time it has worked even a little bit, and it worked because of Dinah’s reaction to the situation.
Because of her disbelief at his betrayal, he has become something more than just “not dead guy who loved(s) the newest member of the team.” The reveal still doesn’t exactly work, but the relationship between Vincent and Dinah feels more significant now, and her very real reaction to his betrayal hit home. His connection to Dinah worries Cayden, probably with good reason, but he claims he’s going to take care of her. This is the type of threat that people on this show make all the time, and I doubt he really does anything about it, but hey, at least they are trying to add some drama to the character.
2. Everyone needs to slow down their speech patterns
I both love and hate how fast characters, specifically Felicity, talk on Arrow. On one hand, it feels very real, and adds a sense of naturalism to a show that is anything but cinema verite. But because the show must realize that they can’t rely on dialogue spat out like an Andre 3000 verse to carry any sort of plot points, it tends to be the more tech-heavy Felicity dialogue that rushes. That stuff is already bullshit/unimportant to the plot, so my ears have essentially been trained to just tune out anything Felicity says while walking and/or sitting at a computer screen. One of these days its going to cause me to miss a plot point of some sort, but so far, I think I’m ok.
That said? Just slow down. Save a life.
3. Thea’s third father figure
Thea is collecting fathers like the world’s saddest game of Pokémon Go. After her own dad turned out to not be her biological father, she let her actual father, Malcolm Merlyn, be a dad for a minute, and now she’s pulling a Maeby Fünke, saying “parent me!” to Quentin. She also shames him for looking at photos of his dead daughter, basically pulling a Janice Soprano “FORGET ABOUT YOUR DEAD [KID] AND LOVE ME.” It was a weird scene, and one that she eventually apologizes for, though I don’t disagree that I think Black Siren isn’t going to become ‘his’ Laurel ever.
That’s a lot of early 00s TV references in one paragraph.
4. So the bombs?
Remember how Ollie and Diggle set bomb to collapse the warehouse around Cayden James and co? And then remember how Ollie set them off by having a kid’s light up wrist guard as part of his costume? And then remember how it basically set off sparklers and did nothing?
That was stupid, right?
I kept waiting for an explanation for why the bombs didn’t work, or for them to say “Someone reinforced the warehouse!” or anything. But nope. They just set off some visually somewhat arresting explosive devices and called it a day.
I’d quit their team, too.
5. A tale of two teams
So, the episode doesn’t end with a reunion of the splintered team, but rather each team setting out to do their own thing. On one hand, the Rene/Dinah/Curtis team has 3 active, in the field members, it is clearly still the B team, new HQ notwithstanding. Dinah is the only meta of the bunch, but Curtis is a low grade martial artist with a gadget that, apparently, can be shot in the face, and Rene seems good with a gun, but that’s about it. Ollie and Diggle are world class fighters, and Felicity has been built up as the ultimate hacker, so that team still has the advantage.Continued below
But that said? I’m sort of rooting for the new guys, in part because there’s not as much hand-wringing and moralizing on their side of the fence. I also think the teams will reunite in a few weeks, after the new team fails spectacularly at something.