With Cayden James upping his attacks in Star City, both teams were forced to work together in Arrow 6×11
After Team Arrow split up a few episodes ago, the new team finally had their first real test in this week’s episode of Arrow. Cayden James (Michael Emerson), who now has control over every electronic device in Star City that’s connected to the Internet, upped his attacks against the city significantly. He caused power surges in electronic devices, played with traffic lights, and even crashed a plane. In response, Oliver (Stephen Amell), Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), and Diggle (David Ramsey) moved against him after gaining information about the next location he was planning to attack. Cayden James then demanded that Oliver transfer $10 million to one of his accounts. In the end, Oliver appeared to cave to the pressure and wired the money to James.
Meanwhile, the new team consisting of Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), Rene (Rick Gonzalez), and Curtis (Echo Kellum) ran into their own issues this week. Vincent (aka, Vigilante) (Johann Urb) ran into Curtis while out in the field. He revealed that he’s actually infiltrated Cayden James’ organization and isn’t actually working with him. To prove it, he gave Curtis valuable intel about what James was doing next. After the information checked out, Curtis informed his new team what he had done, which shook the group since he had acted unilaterally. Despite continuing to work well with the original team, the new team still decided to act independently from Oliver’s team moving forward.
RELATED | Arrow Roundtable 6×10 “Divided”
The disagreements between original Team Arrow and new Team Arrow carried on in this episode with varied results. Despite those disagreements, the two teams still ultimately worked well together. William (Jack Moore) also discovered that Oliver is still acting as the Green Arrow and became rather upset. Where Oliver had difficulty getting through to him about the importance of his role as the vigilante, Felicity succeeded. She explained to William how to cope with the riskiness of Oliver’s vigilante activities and eventually, he accepted his father’s decision along with the risks. Diggle also re-entered the field this week as Spartan now that his nerve issues have been solved.
With original Team Arrow and new Team Arrow still coming to grips with being two independent teams and William in danger from Cayden James’ escalating attacks, we had a lot to discuss this week. So it’s time to meet our roundtable guests and discuss “We Fall!”
Martina (@bisexuaIsmoak) – German, teacher, TV show and anime enthusiast, huge fan of Arrow/Olicity and Black Lightning
Emily (@dianasfelicity) – College student, enthusiastic TV show watcher, and huge Arrow/Olicity fan.
Dani (@ENSM31) – Accountant, Brazilian, crazy about Arrow, not into comics though.
Jon (@jonjoebailey) – Amateur painter, musician and magician
Brittany (@snarky_bee) – Photographer/video producer. Forever affected by “he took the wrong woman.”
Raj (@ClearHeatVision) – Biomedical Engineer with a knack for fanboyism, especially comic books.
1. Cayden James started escalating his attacks on Star City in this episode. He even went as far as crashing planes. How are you feeling about him as a villain now that he’s been taking more direct actions against Oliver and his team?
Martina (@bisexuaIsmoak): To be honest Cayden’s motive to get revenge on Oliver is getting really old and was used way too often on Arrow but I was always intrigued by him as a villain. He is not a physical threat but works with his mind and till this point, he pretty much outsmarted all of our heroes. To see the power he has over everything this episode was pretty impressive and scary. Also, Emerson is a fantastic actor and the best choice for this role.
Emily (@dianasfelicity): While I found this episode to be more exciting in terms of villainous activity, I still don’t see Cayden as a big bad villain. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t the big bad this season after all. He just pales in comparison to Prometheus so it’s hard for me to truly be invested in him.
Dani (@ENSM31): Slightly better. I like my villains using brutal force. The perfect match is when they can be good doing both, like Prometheus/Adrian, who used his mind and violence to terrorize Oliver. But I am starting to enjoy Cayden’s role. Let him bring the chaos to the city.
Jon (@jonjoebailey): It’s so much of a jump from previous villains. Before, he could physically stop his opponents. Whereas now, it’s tough because his opponent uses technology. I love the actor, he was in two of my favorites (Lost, and Person of Interest), and he’s oddly a mix of the two of his characters on both shows.
Brittany (@snarky_bee): A big part of Cayden James’ appeal is that he’s played by the very talented Michael Emerson. Storyline wise, I was quickly losing interest in the villains, Cayden included, so I’m thankful this episode gave us more information. His drive for vengeance is backed by an intriguing mystery. I love seeing the theories about Billy Malone being Cayden’s son or Prometheus still being the real big bad from the grave by orchestrating this whole thing before he died. I also love that they’re coming back to how he’s drawn Felicity into his plan. What lasting impact will that have? Again, I’m intrigued.
Raj (@ClearHeatVision): Whatever Cayden’s true motivation is, it is clear that he wants Oliver to suffer. I still don’t think that his son was killed by Oliver. This leads me to believe that whoever orchestrated this is merely using Cayden’s skills to create havoc for Oliver. Creating attacks on the IOT (Internet of things) is scary, especially the opening scenes of this episode. Everything these days is connected to the Internet!
2. Vincent claimed to be undercover in this episode and that he had infiltrated Cayden James’ organization. His intel panned out and he even helped save Rene. Do you think he’s telling the truth and is actually undercover? Or is it part of Cayden’s plan? Should he be trusted?
Martina: I’m not really invested in him. He seems so unlike the character we met in season five. It’s like they have rewritten him as a whole, so I don’t know what to make of him anymore. He could say the truth because he seems to really care for Dinah. But Cayden is also a really smart man so this all could be his doing. Vigilante’s motives would make more sense though if he’s undercover to take down James. It would be more in character.
Emily: I want Vincent to be telling the truth for Dinah’s sake, I really do. I don’t trust him yet though. He could be lying about being undercover, but I hope that’s not the case. It’s a tired storyline so I’m interested to see if they take this in a new direction.
Dani: Vincent, of all six villains, is the most compelling to me right now. Everything seems fishy about him, and clearly I don’t trust him at all. At this moment, he can be double crossing any of those teams.
Jon: I’m torn on this one. I believe he is trustworthy. I can see him being a key piece in defeating Cayden James.
Brittany: I honestly don’t know whether or not to trust Vincent. I could see it playing out either way. On one hand, I think they’re building up a love story between Dinah and Vincent that would lead me to believe he’ll turn out to be good. On the other hand, that personal connection to her could be something he’s just using to his advantage. Either way, I see angst in their future. I wonder if seeing his mask among the defeated heroes in Legend’s Doomworld was a clue…? Ultimately, I think I want him to be telling the truth.
Raj: I think after Vincent saved Rene, that we could consider an inside man. But, I think Cayden already factored that in since he has been many steps ahead of everyone. I don’t think he would let that affect his plan. My guess is that Cayden will take out Vincent himself after he has served some purpose.
3. Original Team Arrow and new Team Arrow continued their feud in this episode. New Team Arrow also ran into their own internal trust issues. What are your thoughts on how those particular subplots are playing out?
Martina: I think the new team is acting really childish. Making snide remarks about OTA all episode long was really annoying. Also one day in and they are already lying to each other? Keeping information from OTA just to prove what point exactly? NTA all made mistakes by abandoning their post during a mission, betraying or lying while being on the old team. OTA even apologized but the new guys never took responsibility for their actions. They just walked away. I have no idea how they will reconnect but NTA needs to grow up.
Emily: New Team Arrow will continue to hit these road bumps and struggle out in the field. Why? Because it’s those issues and those harsh realities that will make them realize being in a team can be hard, but leading a team can be even harder. We already saw them gain some much-needed perspective in the episode, and I’m hoping they will eventually understand that they were wrong to judge Oliver and the team so quickly. But for now, I’ll just really, really enjoy all the OTA scenes.
Dani: The NTA is just infuriating me right now. Their arrogance and some very shady lines about the members of OTA have made me to not see them with good eyes. What I know is that they need to grow up and take a dose of humility, for the sake of all. They need to learn how to work as team. A true one.
Jon: It’s ironic, right? The saltiness of the NTA is apparent, but it makes the show so much better now that they’re separate teams.
Brittany: I was really upset by the newbies in this episode. Felicity tried to reach out and put the good and the safety of the city above their personal issues and they responded with suspicion and immaturity. I’m a little disappointed because I loved Dinah, Rene and Curtis in episode 5×20. They have good chemistry, and OTA obviously has amazing chemistry, so it should have been a fun departure from the norm. However, I’m mostly just annoyed whenever they’re on the screen lately. I hope the “new team” learns some hard, valuable lessons and grow into the kind of heroes Original Team Arrow continue to prove they are.
Raj: Separation is futile! They ultimately are good guys and at the end of the episode, they are basically working together. It is silly that Rene is still angry with Oliver spying on them. Totally hypocritical since he was the actual mole that gave the FBI Agent her entire case against Oliver. They will realize that they do need to work together back under one roof which is why I just have been rolling my eyes at this plotline.
4. Now that Diggle’s nerve issues are under control, he’s hoping to once again take on the mantle of Green Arrow. If Oliver doesn’t give it up again, do you think Diggle will be satisfied with staying as Spartan? Where do you see that heading?
Martina: I never got the feeling in the history of Arrow that Diggle wanted to be the Green Arrow. That storyline came out of nowhere for me. I don’t know why Diggle wants to be the GA or what exactly his motives are but I certainly hope he is gonna see along the way that Spartan is a hero of his own. I really hope there are not gonna be issues between Oliver and Diggle because of this. They are both heroes that the city needs.
Emily: The Green Arrow suit doesn’t magically make you a hero when you put it on. It’s the integrity and heart of the person within that costume that truly matters, so I hope Diggle will soon realize he can be a hero and a beacon of hope in any suit he wears. And perhaps he’ll learn that his supposed ideal world isn’t so perfect after all and that the life he lives now is the one that feels most right. In any case, I have loved Diggle in every role he has played on the show, so I’m going to stick by him during this journey and hope it all goes well.
Dani: I think his arc for this season will be to understand his role on the team. I don’t know why he needs this now, but we aren’t always so sure of what we want and our place in the world. Let him have this middle-aged crisis. At the end of the season, he will acknowledge, and fully accept, that Spartan is just as important as the Green Arrow.
Jon: I think Diggle was terrible as Green Arrow. It was so hard to watch. I think Diggle should be satisfied with being Spartan, especially seeing as it’s just him and Oliver.
Brittany: I love seeing Diggle back in the field as Spartan! His new suit is amazing! However, it’s the character moments in this episode that were really strong and the honest conversations between Diggle and Felicity were among them. (I love seeing a returned focus on their friendship!) They gave us insight into Felicity’s concerns about being a good stepmom and Diggle’s struggle with giving up being the Green Arrow; little glimpses into their journeys this season. I have faith that Diggle’s journey will reinforce why his role on the team as Spartan is so important and he’ll be satisfied with that.
Raj: I think, depending on whether this is Arrow’s last season, the end of the season might be Diggle taking up the mantle with Rene/Dinah/Curtis as a part of Team Arrow and Felicity/Oliver riding off into the sunset. Though, if it is renewed for another season, I can see Diggle just staying as Spartan since he has come to realize Oliver is a better leader as a superhero.
5. William has really taken to Felicity as his stepmother. The two of them had a lot of scenes in this episode. Did you have a favorite moment or scene with the two of them?
Martina: I really enjoy the Felicity/William relationship and I honestly loved all their scenes this episode. Felicity is a great step-mom and Olicity are pretty good at co-parenting. They feel like a family. The most memorable moment was her speech while our heroes were fighting though. Felicity understands why William is upset and used exactly the right words to make him understand what his father does and why he does it. It was also pretty much a love letter to Oliver Queen. The man and the hero. The speech also highlighted what makes Olicity so special and why they work so well together. Amazing.
Emily: I. Love. Them. So. Much. Every scene between them was perfect, but I especially loved the scene in the bunker when she expressed her own notions and fears about Oliver being the Green Arrow. For being a so-called “stepmom-in-training”, she did an amazing job and I can’t wait to see more of it. I have to applaud Emily Bett Rickards because she just shines so much in her scenes. I find some characters to be dull at times, and it’s her performances with those characters that ultimately warms me towards them.
Dani: Oh, with absolutely no doubt that scene, when she voices over their fight, is probably my favorite of this season, not only this episode. She was able to convey in that speech everything about the man and the hero. Why she loves him, why she follows him, why she stays. How she deals with the fact that one day she might lose him and why she believes she will not. It was important for William to see what his dad does through the eyes of someone who has everything to lose if he dies. Impossible to top that.
Jon: It was hilarious when she showed him his dad fighting and she covered his eyes when he finished the henchman off. haha
Brittany: I think the best moment of the whole episode ‒ let’s be real, one of the best moments of the whole show ‒ was when Felicity’s heartfelt conversation with William played as the soundtrack to the team’s battle. It was the most exquisite blend of action and heart. Which is something Arrow does really well when they choose to. It was also such a beautiful way to bond Felicity and William; by having her give voice to what it looks like to love a hero. Her honesty about that tension she lives in every day was truly moving. I’m still emotional about it. (P.S. All the family moments this episode were fantastic!)
Raj: The scenes between William and Felicity were beautifully done. The best one was the interaction when she was telling him how she met Oliver and how she fell in love with him. Her narrating what Oliver would do in the field was very well executed. I do wonder how many times Emily Bett had to do those lines where she was explaining to Oliver about the flash drive. haha
6. Felicity found out that she was indirectly responsible for helping Cayden plant the virus that’s given him control over Star City. Do you think she’s being too hard on herself or is she right that she’s to blame?
Martina: Of course, Felicity is being too hard on herself. All she ever wants to do is to help people just like in episode four this season. She wanted to stop Cayden from destroying the internet. What happened in episode eleven wasn’t her fault. I said earlier Cayden is a really smart guy who tricked all our heroes so far.
Emily: Felicity will always be hard on herself when it comes to anything tech-based because that’s her domain. We saw this trait of hers all the way back in season 1 when she couldn’t track The Savior’s signal and sent Oliver to the wrong place. Or in season 2 when the Clock King fried their system and she felt responsible because her security safeguards failed to stop him. Or even more recently with Havenrock. She always blames herself for these instances even when they are unavoidable and out of her hands. So Felicity is definitely not to blame here, but it’s also within her character to feel guilty (as sad as it may be for me to watch).
Dani: She was right to blame her naïveté. By now, she should have known better. But on the other hand, something needed to be done. She did what she had to in a very hard situation.
Jon: Cayden James is such a mastermind. It’s not her fault.
Brittany: I think Felicity is notoriously too hard on herself! My heart still breaks for her over the weight she carried after Havenrock. Sometimes I think Felicity gets unfairly blamed or assigned responsibility (by herself and/or by the audience) for what should fall solely on the shoulders of the villain. I’m personally still concerned about the comment Cayden made in 6×04 about making sure it was Felicity’s digital fingerprints that were left on the processor. He’s a villain that not only respects her clever ingenuity but counts on it just like he predicted Oliver’s moves in this episode.
Raj: She’s being too hard on herself only because no one knew in that high pressure situation what his endgame was! They had minutes before a big explosion was supposed to happen, so there is no one to blame. We’d have to applaud Cayden on his ingenuity on that plan!
7. Oliver gave in to Cayden’s demands and wired the $10 million dollars to him. Do you think he has a larger plan or is he boxed in and simply reacting?
Martina: I feel Oliver was just reacting to buy them some time. They have no idea how to take down James. They need to come up with a plan and fast. But maybe I underestimate Oliver and he already has a great plan in the works. But I don’t feel that way at the moment.
Emily: Oliver didn’t seem to have a solid plan in place, so my first impression is that he ran out of time and is stalling for at least another 24 hours. I guess we’ll have to see!
Dani: I don’t think that he has a larger plan. But I think that he wired the money to buy the city more time and minimize the damages. Another twenty-four hours to think how they can defeat Cayden. We will see next week if it was a bad decision or not. So far, to me, it’s just a strategy. A small and not definitive one.
Jon: I think he may have a larger plan. I’m sure at this point Oliver wishes he still had his family’s billion-dollar fortune back…
Brittany: I think they’re working on a plan and buying more time. He seemed truly distressed by the decision. However, if making it meant saving lives, he knew he had to do it. Speaking of saving lives, can we talk about how Pike died? That was unfortunate. I wonder what ramifications that will have going forward? I hope there was some purpose to suddenly killing off a character that’s been around since season one. Anyway, I’m not sure what Oliver and the team’s next move is, but I’m excited to watch and find out!
Raj: Oh Oliver. Definitely caving to the demands. It’s going to have major blowbacks when its gets released to the public, especially when he vocally said that Star City does not negotiate with terrorists. I wish he thought it through better with Thea and Quentin. So far, Cayden has been winning this season and we haven’t really seen Team Arrow get the upper hand yet. Maybe that changes with inside-man Vincent, but I doubt it.
Final Verdict: Watching the original team back in action while dealing with Cayden James has continued to be entertaining but the material involving the new team was more hit and miss
Despite Team Arrow being split in two, the bulk of the drama continued to be focused more on the threat posed by Cayden James rather than the feud itself. The throwback to Oliver’s smaller team is still working extremely well. The two teams did work together again in the field, which produced some larger action sequences. However, the reduced drama in the team itself is a very welcome change of pace and fans of the earlier seasons with the smaller team will probably continue being happy with this development. With Diggle’s new cure for his condition, he jumped back in the field again as Spartan.
One of the strongest subplots in “We Fall” involved Felicity and William. With William getting angry and scared that his father was once again the Green Arrow, Felicity managed to calm him down and help explain why Oliver has to continue doing what he’s doing. Not only is Felicity settling into her role as stepmom extraordinarily well, but Emily Bett Rickards and Jack Moore work very well together onscreen. One of the most memorable moments involved Felicity explaining her love for Oliver to William as the two of them watched Oliver in the field on a screen. The editing, writing, and acting for that scene were all spot on. Emily Bett Rickards’ delivery was easily some of her best work on the show.
Even though the split in the team wasn’t the main focus in “We Fall,” it still played a fairly large role in the story. The original rationale for the team splitting up was a little shaky and that reasoning has continued to be shaky in practice as well. Dinah, Curtis, and Rene are still uncomfortable with Oliver lying to them yet the three of them have already started lying and keeping secrets from each other. When mixed with Rene still being angry at Oliver for doing that to him, the amount of hypocrisy on display is somewhat frustrating. Cayden James’ plans are still a bit of a mystery and his rationale for wanting to get back at Oliver still feels like a rehash of the previous season.
Between Cayden James’ increased attacks on Star City, the continued focus on Oliver’s smaller team, and some of the best writing for Felicity of the season, “We Fall” managed to deliver a lot of great action and character moments. The feud between the two teams has continued to be a weak point but hopefully, that subplot won’t carry on for too long. Either way, we’re still looking forward to seeing how Oliver will counteract Cayden James’ threat to the city.