Arrow, ‘All or Nothing’: Team Arrow Gambles as Siege Drags On

Arrow, Season 6, Episode 12, “All or Nothing”

It felt like the Arrow writers were bingeing The Walking Dead during this episode as we had an hour focused on relative newcomers, Dinah and Vinny the Vigilante, only to wind up with one of them dead, and the survivor thirsty for vengeance by episode’s end.  Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Arrow:

What’s the scoop:  It’s been seven days and $70 million since Cayden James’ thermobaric gambit started and Team Arrow is no closer to cracking James’ airtight defenses. In the spirit of the uneasy alliance between OG Team Arrow and Team Hoss, Felicity has the tech to mine all of James’ digital secrets (and the location of that bomb), and Dinah’s beau, Vigilante is their way in. Unfortunately, James’ paranoia is at a fever pitch so gathering that information is potentially deadly, which causes more than a little tension between Dinah and everyone else.

Meanwhile in B-plot land:  Quentin musters what little detective skills he has to realize that Black Siren has been shadowing him the last couple of days. He catches a glimpse of her in a quick over-the-shoulder selfie but otherwise, every time he turns around, she’s gone. He tells Thea he’s convinced she’s trying to reach out to him. He sets up this elaborate (and frankly creepy) performance art trap to show her photos and video of the good Laurel, in the hopes it brings Siren around to the side of good. It only manages to freak her out, and break Quentin’s heart.

Sex and the Olicity:  Most of the episode’s sexytimes were devoted Dinah-Vinny makeout sessions in both flashback and in real time. However, the episode did take a minute for a patented Olicity exposition scene where they catch everyone up on the plot, while Felicity lovingly strokes Ollie’s face and shoulders.

What about the action:  With only one real fight sequence, the episode relied on layering tension to get the adrenaline flowing. Despite knowing the price of failure is death, Vinny accomplishes the mission, but gets captured and tortured by James, anyway. The data helps Felicity locate the bomb at the same time Vinny’s comms activate to signal he’s under duress. Ollie tries to stop Dinah from attempting a rescue, but Dinah hit Ollie right in the feels when she said if it were Felicity or Lilah in Vinny’s position, it would be all “Bomb, what bomb?”

So the rescue attempt begins, and two huge logic errors commence. First, Team Arrow is all ticked that they are short-handed searching for the bomb in this cavernous warehouse (Curtis and Rene back Dinah in this situation). However, Diggle says they know James moves the bomb around. With that knowledge, why would you search areas of the building where a truck can’t fit? Don’t you stake out the loading dock to either disable the trucks or ambush the next transfer? The second is far more common for Arrow; Dinah flat forgets she has SUPERPOWERS, and decides that a metal stick is better again goons with guns than her sonic scream.

Vinny escapes captivity and meets up with Dinah, just in time for one last kiss before the booby trap goes off. With Dinah under a  girder (which inhibits her ability to scream?), James, with Black Siren’s help, impales Vinny on some rebar. In a test of loyalty, James has Siren scream straight into Vinny’s ear, which scrambles his brains and overwhelms his ability to heal. The search for the bomb goes no better, as James’ henchmen use the old multiple truck dodge to whisk the bomb to its new hiding place.

Dinah is shattered and for some reason, the discovery of evidence that exonerates Ollie of both his FBI troubles and of killing James’ son, is no comfort.

What’s next:  Two Canaries enter, one Canary leaves. Dinah pledges to Ollie that she’s going to kill everyone who had a hand in Vinny’s death, and Laurel is at the top of her hit list. It’s the kind of murderous rage that makes you wonder if Dinah is going to live up to her Temporary Canary nickname after all. Quentin is crushed when he finds out that Laurel is the one who killed Vinny, and that Thea believes she may be beyond redemption.

Last impressions: The death of Vinny notwithstanding, this episode felt a lot like last week’s episode. The stakes really haven’t changed because besides the Star City bank accounts being drained, the situation was largely unchanged. The death of Vinny at Laurel’s hand does complicate the predicted Laurel redemption arc, but it doesn’t kill it. The Arrow writers may be trying to pull a Romeo and Juliet kind of thing where Dinah gets mortally wounded in her murderous rage, only to discover in her last moments that Vinny somehow survived Laurel’s attack, and slowly regenerated. Even if that still happens, Laurel has a lot to atone for if she is to be redeemed. Now that Team Arrow has found a crack in James’ armor, there might be some progress in the next episode.

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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