With the teams still divided due to Oliver’s leadership decisions, they reluctantly joined forces once again to take on Cayden James in Arrow 6×12
Original Team Arrow and new Team Arrow continued their feud this week in Arrow‘s “All For Nothing.” But like in previous episodes where the team has been divided, the two teams were once again forced to work together. After learning of Vincent’s (Johann Urb) infiltration of Cayden James’ (Michael Emerson) organization, Oliver (Stephen Amell) and the rest of the team decided to exploit that connection. Vincent, at great personal risk, snuck into Cayden’s server room to steal 80 terabytes of data. While Vincent managed to get the information to Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), Cayden quickly realized that Vincent was working against him. Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) and the rest of her team mounted a rescue to save him while Oliver and his team went to stop Cayden’s bomb.
Meanwhile, Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) noticed that Black Siren/Earth-2 Laurel (Katie Cassidy) had begun following him. Thea (Willa Holland) and Quentin decided to have the latter confront her. That confrontation went about as well as could be expected and Laurel-2 used her sonic scream to once again inform Quentin that she isn’t his daughter. Throughout the rest of the episode, Laurel-2 was somewhat hesitant to follow Cayden’s order to kill Vincent. Both teams ultimately failed to achieve their goals despite obtaining an enormous amount of data. Vincent was killed by Black Siren and Oliver and Diggle were unable to stop Cayden’s men from getting away with the bomb.
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Most of “All For Nothing” was focused on Dinah and Vincent’s relationship. Their flashbacks worked in parallel with the present day storyline featuring the two of them working together to try to steal information from Cayden James. Both the flashbacks and the present day storyline ended with Vincent being killed before Dinah could save him. This painful death caused Dinah to want to kill all of Cayden James’ supervillain posse on her own. Quentin and Laurel-2’s story didn’t take up a lot of screen time but it didn’t really offer anything new or unique for either character. An interesting development did occur near the end of the episode that revealed that the footage of Oliver killing Cayden James’ son was fabricated by someone still in the shadows.
With both teams still at odds and being forced to work together (again), Vincent betraying Cayden, Dinah/Vincent flashbacks, and the death of Vincent, “All For Nothing” was loaded with subplots and action. But did it hold up for our roundtable guests? Let’s find out!
Samantha (@Olicity4Life) – I’m a TV addict with too many ships
Martina (@bisexuaIsmoak) – German, teacher, TV show and anime enthusiast, huge fan of Arrow/Olicity and Black Lightning
Penny (@SAEBRfan) – Self-employed, proud Mama Bear, avid reader, TV junkie and Arrow fan.
Natalie (@amellxwood) – Film student. Zealous Arrow fan. Olicity are the ones who light my way.
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. “All For Nothing” gave us more of Dinah and Vincent’s backstory. Do you think those flashbacks worked well within the context of the present day storyline? Is there anything about their lives before they became meta-humans that you’d like to see more of?
Samantha (@Olicity4Life): I felt like the flashbacks were kind of pointless. Dinah already told us how they met and we’ve already seen what happened to them when the particle accelerator exploded. I get that we were seeing them work a case together in the past and present but I don’t think it was necessary. It was a waste of time in the episode and I definitely don’t need to see more of it.
Martina (@bisexuaIsmoak): The flashbacks were a waste, to be honest. As soon as we got them I was like 90% sure they were going to kill off Vincent. They did nothing for the storyline. They were just there to show us how much Dinah cares for Vincent and further the impact of him dying. It also paralleled his two deaths. They worked like they wanted them to work but I personally didn’t like it.
Penny (@SAEBRfan): I do. The storylines were parallels of them working undercover with each other, both ending badly with Vincent dying. The past with Dinah getting her cry, the present with Vincent getting killed by Black Siren’s cry. Honestly, I think we don’t need any more backstory.
Natalie (@amellxwood): I think the flashbacks made Vincent’s fate very obvious. All too often when an episode decides to show backstory for a character in order for the audience to feel more empathy, said character ends up dead by the end of the episode. I think Vince’s purpose was served and I don’t think we need more flashbacks.
Brittany (@snarky_bee): I was honestly looking forward to a slow build up between Dinah and Vincent. Their history and present-day circumstances had really great potential for the kind of relationship story that I’m a sucker for. So, it’s really unfortunate that they rushed through it. Ultimately their story ended without me feeling invested or emotionally attached at all. And their potential wasn’t the only thing that was wasted ‒ they devoted a whole flashback episode to him, which just managed to annoy me and make his death way too predictable. So, no, at this point I’m not interested in anything else about them.
Raj (@ClearHeatVision): I liked the flashbacks, but since they’ve rarely been used since season 5 ended, it took me a few seconds to realize it was indeed a flashback. I liked it for the context of this episode, but did feel that it was a little forced. Ultimately, the ending of the episode made me have a better appreciation for it.
2. Quentin and Earth-2 Laurel started to connect more in this episode after the latter started following the former. When Quentin confronted her, Laurel lashed out. Do you think Quentin has a chance of getting through to her? Even though she killed Vincent, do you find her doubts believable or are they forced?
Samantha: I don’t think Quentin can get through to her and I hate watching him try. She is a straight-up murderer. She likes killing people. We’ve seen it on The Flash and we’ve seen it for 2 seasons now on Arrow. She shows no remorse for killing innocent people. I don’t know what he is hoping to get from her but he needs to just let her go because she is not his daughter.
Martina: This whole storyline is crazy in my opinion. Quentin is really trying to replace his daughter with a psychopath. I was never a fan of Laurel but this is so disrespectful. I don’t understand why everyone keeps acting like Laurel and Black Siren aren’t two totally different characters. And yes Siren’s doubts seem forced since she had no problem killing just for fun before, even when Cayden told her there was no need to kill that one poor man who begged for his life because he had a family.
Penny: I think Quentin just needs to forget about her and move on. I have not seen her once act like his Laurel and frankly, I’m tired of it simply because of the excuse she looks like her. Even though she appeared somewhat reluctant, she still killed Vincent. Quentin deserves better. I feel that Paul Blackthorne and Willa Holland would be better used, as actors, with the continuation of the relationship they had last season.
Natalie: I don’t think so. This storyline has become so tiring. Quentin has become a shell of a character and it’s quite irksome to watch. Black Siren is not Earth-1 Laurel. She’s not a hero. While she might have doubts due to Quentin having the same face of her Earth-2 father, none of those memories he showed her were hers and it makes no logical sense for her to be touched by them.
Brittany: I thought her doubts felt forced. Mere episodes ago her “methods” involved ruthlessly killing a man who was begging for his life because he had a wife and two little girls at home. That wasn’t a Cayden directive, she did it all on her own. How loudly does she have to scream “THIS ISN’T ME!” before we can move on? In the crossover, evil doppelgängers remained evil despite their familiar faces ‒ why is this being treated any differently? As for Quentin, I go back and forth between being heartbroken for him and wanting to shake some sense into him!
Raj: Give it up, Quentin. Goodness, gracious! Laurel does have a bit of morality to her because she did hesitate when Cayden gave her the order to kill Vincent. But ultimately, she is a sociopath. That was a brutal scene to watch as she Canary Cried him to death. Really tough to watch. And sad, given that Dinah was right there watching. I still wish Quentin was not regressing as a character in the show.
3. Vincent proved that he was telling the truth about infiltrating Cayden James’ organization. Were you satisfied with how that played out?
Samantha: I was not really satisfied. His storyline made zero sense to me. He’s been a bad guy for 2 years now, he’s killed lots of people and he’s tried to kill Oliver multiple times. Him all of a sudden being a good guy undercover was stupid. His whole character was a huge letdown.
Martina: I’m glad that Vincent told the truth and that he really was undercover. It suited his character way better. I liked how this part of the story played out.
Penny: It went down pretty much as I expected but I do wish that it could’ve played out a little longer than one episode. I would’ve liked to have seen Vincent and Oliver interact more just because I feel like Oliver had more to say.
Natalie: Not really. Vigilante was introduced all the way back in 5.01. A couple episode arc seems a bit rushed for a character that has apparently been planned for over a year.
Brittany: Yeah, it was fine. Mostly, I’m glad the information he acquired resulted in Alena being back in the picture! I was excited to see her this episode. She and Felicity have a great dynamic.
Raj: I did like that he actually ended up being part of the theme to help them with Cayden. I am disappointed his character arc ended. His Vigilante character was great in season 5, though I think that cool factor was amplified by his anonymity. When we learned that it was a random meta-human, I felt “meh” about it. But I’m glad the writers made us care about him this season, at least in the last 2 episodes.
4. Cayden James learned of Vincent’s betrayal and used it against Dinah. Despite that, he left her alive. Do you think he’ll come to regret that decision? Had he always planned to exploit their love for one another in that way? Or was he just quickly adapting to the circumstances?
Samantha: He might regret it but I don’t think much fazes him so even when she tries to get revenge I’m sure he will be ready for her. As far as him messing with Dinah and Vince’s love for each other, I’m sure he was just adapting to the circumstances.
Martina: Yes I think he will regret not killing her right on the spot. But that happens with every villain. I guess that is unavoidable when you have to fill 20+ episodes. Things need to be dragged out. I don’t think it was always his plan to use Dinah and Vincent’s love but I do think he always had a plan B in the back of his mind and that he was quickly adapting to the situation.
Penny: I think he’ll come to regret it. To me it felt more like he was adapting to the circumstances but I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew about their relationship and used it at the end.
Natalie: I don’t think Cayden knew. I think he was surprised by Vincent’s betrayal and being as smart as he is, he quickly adapted to the circumstances presented to him.
Brittany: I wouldn’t say he used it specifically against Dinah. He seemed completely unconcerned with Dinah; barely sparing her a glance. I think he used Vincent’s betrayal as a way to divide the team. Since Vincent didn’t turn on his comms, that means Cayden most likely did. He knew that if he could distract the team with a rescue mission he’d have a greater chance of getting away with the bomb. But will he regret not killing her when he had the chance? Maybe. He should know better than anyone that seeing someone you love murdered can result in a thirst for vengeance.
Raj: I think he left her there instead of killing her because he thought it would completely break her. He may regret it, but I think he has better things to worry about than her. I think Oliver is still a bigger threat to him and based on how annoyed he got at the beginning of the episode with Oliver and Co. ruining their last heist, he seems hell-bent on staying ahead.
5. We learned that the footage of Oliver killing Cayden James’ son was faked. That’s the second time footage/an image of Oliver has appeared in a context that he doesn’t remember happening this season. Do you think that person or organization is the actual villain in season 6? Who do you think is responsible?
Samantha: I definitely think the person faking all this evidence against Oliver is the real big bad this season. Whoever they are, they are clearly pulling Cayden’s strings and likely using him to distract Oliver. I don’t know who it could be. They said it had to be someone close to Cayden so maybe it’s Alena. I really hope not, but it could be. Or it could be something Chase left in place to keep messing with Oliver even after he’s dead. Hell maybe all that speculation about Chase having a twin is true and it’s him.
Martina: This episode really made me think that Cayden James isn’t the big bad but that he is being used. I have no idea who is behind all this but wouldn’t it be cool if Adrian Chase planned all this in the long run and is now playing Oliver from his grave? I mean he was a pretty smart and ambitious villain. I wouldn’t be surprised if he planned his revenge beyond his death. But I think the writers are going for someone new and, well, still alive.
Penny: Yes I do. I think Cayden’s revenge against Oliver and team was set up by whoever it is. The big unknown is whether it is someone new, or someone we know? Talia? Malcolm? An unknown group?
Natalie: Disappointing as it may be, I think Cayden James is truly a red herring. I really hope whoever the actual big bad is surprises us. I’m not sure who it could be, but I really hope it’s not anyone currently involved in Cayden’s team. That seems too simple.
Brittany: I am starting to believe that Cayden James is not the real “big bad” of the season. This theory has been floating around for a while, but it’s seeming more and more likely that it’s true. I just hope whoever is behind all of this is a worthwhile reveal! My favorite theories so far are that Prometheus orchestrated all of this before he died or that Alena is actually the evil mastermind. I haven’t trusted Alena since she showed up at Felicity’s loft in 6×04. I want to trust her because, as I said, I love their dynamic, but it’s a solid theory.
Raj: I think that this second doctored photo confirms the bigger villain. I wonder if they will stretch this mystery villain into Season 7? It still hasn’t been confirmed for renewal yet, so I wonder when they will reveal who it is! If it is renewed, then I am sure it will be some off-camera or hidden face cameo.
6. Vincent ended up being killed in this episode. While his death looked pretty convincing, do you think there’s a chance he might still heal and reappear later? Would that cheapen Dinah’s development?
Samantha: There is absolutely a chance he will come back. Nobody stays dead on Arrow. Plus he is a meta with healing powers. I would not be surprised if he came back. I don’t know what to think about Dinah. I always thought having Vigilante be her ex was a stupid idea.
Martina: He looked pretty dead to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns at some point though. The dead often don’t stay dead on Arrow. Yes it would cheapen Dinah’s journey but I also feel like Vigilante’s character was wasted and he died way too quick.
Penny: I think him reappearing is always a possibility. I mean he lived through a blast and a bullet to the head, so I have my doubts on whether he’ll stay dead. I do feel he needs to stay dead. Otherwise, what was the point? I think we need to see it stick for Dinah’s story.
Natalie: I mean, this is Arrow so I would never say never. While killing a character they’ve been building up to so long so quickly after the reveal seems silly, I think they might actually stick with this death. I think his death will serve a lot of purpose for Dinah’s development and reversing that would also reverse her development.
Brittany: I wouldn’t be shocked if he showed up again. You know, maybe HE is the big bad and getting caught was all part of his plan. Who knows! I would personally like to see death have some permanence on Arrow again (which would include characters not just being replaced by their doppelgängers) but since he’s a meta I’m prepared for any outcome. That’s part of why I prefer to keep metahumans on The Flash. Except Rory, he can come back! Anyway, if this isn’t the end of Vincent’s story, I just hope there’s a good reason as to why!
Raj: Nope. I think Vincent is done. Going out the Hugh Jackman Wolverine way. We may want him back, but it is better for the story, and for Dinah’s growth that he stay dead.
7. With Vincent dead, Dinah understandably wants vengeance. Is there still hope for her or do you think she’s too far gone? Is she right that a bullet is the only true way to get justice in Star City?
Samantha: I guess there is hope for her. I don’t see her doing anything too crazy. She will probably get hurt herself before she can do any real damage to Cayden and his crew. Of course, she is wrong. Oliver learned a long time ago that he could find another way to save people other than killing. Now I guess she will need to learn that.
Martina: I think this whole storyline his just another step in her journey. She will come out the other end being better and stronger. That being said I didn’t feel the whole Dinah/Vincent storyline at all. The writers tend to throw in three or four scenes and then expect us to care. While I think they had potential it wasn’t enough for me to care for Vincent’s death or Dinah’s grief or her revenge. The writers need to develop relationships better.
Penny: I think there’s still hope but I think she’ll make a mistake first. Another lesson possibly. I hope the writers take this darker, edgier Dinah and have Oliver help her the same way Felicity and Diggle helped him when he was in the same place. And no, a bullet is not the only way to get justice. An arrow is.
Natalie: I hope she gets vengeance but not to the point where she is killing everyone in her wake. Hopefully, she takes down who she needs to in order to get vengeance without having to go super dark along the way.
Brittany: This team is no stranger to personal loss or to the struggle that follows. Perhaps this is another way of showing us how much the team needs each other ‒ not just for numbers. However, NTA (Not Team Arrow) were just as infuriating this episode as they have been since the split. So, they’ve got quite the uphill battle in front of them if they want to convince me that the team is better together. I still believe there’s hope for the team and for Dinah though. But let her take down Black Siren first. Go get her, Dinah!
Raj: I think next episode will allow us to see her in rage mode, but I think something happening such as an innocent bystander getting killed will wake her up to reality. I also think Curtis and Rene will play a big part in calming her down.
Final Verdict: Despite some padding from redundant flashbacks and more Black Siren/Quentin material (seriously), “All For Nothing” still offered plenty of action and plot development to keep our attention
Arrow‘s “All For Nothing” continued the subplot set in motion in the mid-season finale by having the one large team operate independently as two separate teams that are reluctantly forced to work together. This arrangement has continued to allow for numerous action scenes only featuring Oliver and Diggle (or the characters separately) acting as a one man or two man army. The action was fast-paced and had an energy and simplicity to it with a great nostalgic value.
Vincent truly being on Dinah’s side and working against Cayden James was a refreshing direction to head in. The writers could have easily injected a triple-cross and made it all part of Cayden James’ plans. Instead, Vincent’s betrayal appeared to catch Cayden off-guard and greatly angered him. Sadly, it led to Vincent’s demise but it also resulted in Team(s) Arrow gaining highly valuable information about Cayden’s plans. It also revealed that someone appears to be manipulating Cayden James by faking footage of the Green Arrow killing his son. Perhaps this hidden character or organization is the real threat this season?
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“All For Nothing” was already packed with subplots and flashbacks, and all of that material was held down even more by the extremely tired Black Siren/Quentin/Thea subplot. At this point in the season, it seems very likely that this subplot is going to continue throughout the rest of season six. While it’s possible it may get resolved sooner, these things usually have a way of getting resolved in May. How many more times will the writers go back to the “Laurel-2 isn’t actually Laurel-1” well? It’s tired, predictable, and not very interesting to watch. We’ve said this before but it’s worth stressing again. Paul Blackthorne, Willa Holland, and Katie Cassidy deserve far better than this.
Unfortunately, the flashbacks with Vincent and Dinah, while well-written and acted, felt rather redundant. We had already seen or heard about a lot of what transpired in those. They did work well when paired with the present day storyline but we can’t help but feel that the flashbacks would have worked better if they had covered new ground for the characters and didn’t make Vincent’s death so predictable.
Despite the incredibly tired nature of the Black Siren/Quentin/Thea subplot and the predictable death of Vincent, “All For Nothing” still had a lot to offer. Between the action, Juliana Harkavy’s chance to play a side of Dinah we haven’t often seen, and the forward momentum in the main story, the episode’s strengths mostly overpowered its weaknesses. Who is manipulating Cayden James and Team Arrow? Is it someone in Cayden’s organization or is it someone new? With Dinah out for vengeance and the new questions that were raised this week, it’ll be interesting to see where the story goes next.