ARROW 6.04 Review “Reversal”

Yes, they're back together.

Read the previous review here.
This post contains spoilers for Arrow.

Remember HELIX? Remember how everyone that wasn’t Felicity Smoak knew that working with them was a terrible idea? Well, at least she’s on the same page as the rest of the team now. Things don’t kick off with HELIX, though. Instead, they kick off with Black Siren murdering several seemingly innocuous folks and another first date for Oliver and Felicity.

For most of season five, and basically all of season six, there’s been a sort of role reversal between Oliver and the team. This reversal had to happen to help round Oliver out as a character, and give the others an opportunity to mess up. Once he’s done sitting on the bench, he should return as a well-rounded hero. In the meantime, though, his team has to keep dealing with their screw ups with the Green Arrow on the bench and the one at the helm relying on drugs to function.

Despite Oliver’s benched status, he still follows Felicity into the field when she heads off alone to help HELIX. This happens more than once in “Reversal” but where the first one is met with hostility, the second couldn’t be more welcome. At first Felicity thought that it was just Oliver being over protective and not thinking about the implications his getting caught could have. While there’s merit to that accusation, Oliver really just wants to be there for her in the way that she’s always been there for him.

He’s given the opportunity to do so from the bunker as things with Helix and the now-turned Cayden James escalate. Their theory is that Cayden is trying to take down the internet, leaving hundreds of millions of people dead. The team does their thing, tracks the location, yada, yada, yada, but to beat Cayden, James, you need a Felicity Smoak, not a John Diggle or Oliver Queen. Turns out, even the Bitch with Wifi needs someone on the coms to get her to where she needs to go. Oliver plays the role of Overwatch to get her where she needs to go, and keep her calm while an insane amount of lives are in danger. The day’s saved, everyone can go home!

Except that’s not how any of this works. The plan was a decoy, and Cayden James got exactly what he wanted. Now Felicity’s digital fingerprint is all over the server, which will probably look great to the FBI later in the season. Even worse, Cayden’s plan is still a go and lots of folks are going to die if Team Arrow doesn’t get its shit together. But that’s for later! In the meantime, Oliver has to go help Slade find his son, Dig’s got some drugs to do, and Felicity and Curtis have an idea for their startup.

Not having the flashbacks has given the show so much room to stretch its legs. We’re seeing plots revolving around multiple characters that we would have wasted on Lian Yu in the past. It also gives them an opportunity to successfully do a split episode with Oliver away with Slade and Team Arrow still taking care of the city. In the beginning of season five it was difficult to believe that Arrow would ever find its stride again. Now, at the beginning of six, it’s almost hard to remember the rough patches the show had in the past. If you had a favorite moment of the episode, you know what to do.