Arrow 6.20 Review “Shifting Allegiences”

Rene's having some performance issues.

This post contains spoilers for Arrow.
Check out last week's review here

If you’ve found yourself inexplicably invested in this Black Siren and Quentin Lance storyline, “Shifting Allegiances” might be the episode for you. If you like some personality with your plot, you probably spent most of the episode bored out of your mind. Credit where it’s due, it does take some talent to spend forty minutes saying nothing while vaguely poking at things that might be relevant or trying to play to past relationships.

Arrow’s run into these issues in the past, and it does seem that they’re making the same mistakes a slightly different way than they have previously, though only slightly. We’re getting to the point where rehashing the same story (The B Team, Dig quitting again, etc.) is boring both in the show and in these reviews, so let’s instead talk about Diaz and the weird predicament that the writers have found themselves in.

Diaz started off as the surprise brains who you never saw coming. The mystery surrounding the character was what made him intriguing. When you coupled that with his apparent ruthlessness it made him downright terrifying. And then his motives started to come to light. The criminal mastermind is just another scared little boy who thinks he never got what was owed to him. Diaz pulled himself up by his bootstraps, sure, but all of his motives are rooted in feeling jilted as a child. He’s not a super villain, he’s just a thug with some patience. Any threat he poses to Star City is outweighed by the fact that he’s already become criminally boring.

Speaking of criminals, Oliver is one! Or at least he is in the eyes of the DA currently. Diaz and Oliver have a boxing match to decide who gets to keep Star City. Presumably this is because Stephen Amell missed fighting with the Bullet Club and wanted to wrestle (this isn’t how television works, but a joke has to be made somewhere in here to keep y’all awake). Diaz takes a cheap shot and stabs Oliver because “life isn’t fair”. After this groundbreaking revelation from our villain, Anatoli starts to realize he may be on the wrong side after all.

While we’ve suffered through two deeply boring episodes in a row, the Anatoli arc gives a little bit of hope. The Russain’s friendship with Team Arrow has always brought some questionable but fun interactions between good and not-quite-evil on the show. Hopefully they don’t squander that by doing something idiotic like offing Anatoli.

Arrow’s been in a bit of a rough patch, but things are about to pick up next week. How do I know, you wonder? What insight could possibly be had to say that the show was just going to hop out of the rut its found itself in? It’s a simple well that the Arrow writers find themselves returning to every once in a while. That well is Tommy Merlyn. How? Who cares! Why? Apparently to clear Oliver’s name and finally put this “is the Mayor the Green Arrow” nonsense to rest for at least another season. Here’s hoping the dead best friend gets the episode he deserves.

You know what to do in the meantime if you had thoughts on this week’s episode!

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