“The only way to bring justice to this city is with a bullet.”
Have you ever watched an episode of something which suddenly focuses on a character, only to bump them off at the end? Well, you have if you watched this week’s Arrow.
Though Oliver (Stephen Amell) has paid off antagonist Cayden James (Michael Emerson), Star City is still under threat from Cayden’s travelling bomb (seriously, this plan is so close to Bane’s in TDKR) and with traffic being monitored in and out of the city, it has become impossible for Oliver to get help from any outside sources. This becomes all too clear when a dozen ARGUS agents are killed after swimming up to the shoreline of the city as they fall straight into Cayden’s trap.
Eight days under Cayden James’ thumb and Star City is running out of money fast. With nothing to pay Cayden with, the risk of a bomb detonation is rapidly becoming a possibility, so while Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) and Thea (Willa Holland) scramble to literally buy the city more time, and Green Arrow (and team) search for the bomb, they are forced to prepare bomb shelters for the people of the city, in order to save as many as they can. However, something else is preoccupying Quentin. He is being followed by Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) who disappears whenever he looks around. Convinced that he has unearthed his Laurel within her, it becomes his mission to win her over to the right side and reclaim something of his lost daughter. But, however conflicted she becomes through Quentin’s desperate pleas for her see what she could be, Cayden’s hold on her is too strong – he’s a powerful enemy to have, and she’s not the Laurel Quentin thinks she could be.
Now the team know that Vigilante Vince (Johann Urb) is on their side, he has become a valuable asset for both the original Team Arrow, and the Helix-based one. An inside man within Cayden’s operation, he is the key link to taking him down. However, since the death of Boots (Tobias Jelinek) in last week’s episode Cayden has become more paranoid, more concerned about who he can really trust, and so when Curtis (Echo Kellum) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) reveal that they are able to download the information from Cayden James’ systems remotely – providing that someone is on the inside to plant the device and wait for the information to download – Vince volunteers.
Knowing the danger in doing this, Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) pleads with him to reconsider, though they all know that it is the only chance they have to stop the attacks on the city. The reconciliation between Dinah and Vince in the face of this imminent danger, sees us revisit their relationship as it began five years ago, when the two were partnered up in an undercover mission for the police. In circumstances similar to the ones they find themselves in presently, Vince is an inside man working for an organised crime operation, and Dinah comes on board as an accountant, where the two fall for each other.
Though Vince is successful in downloading the information undetected, the team are later faced with the decision of following the lead to Cayden’s bomb, which may well be false, or saving one of their own from torture. This once again divides the team, with Team Arrow walking straight into Cayden’s trap by wanting to locate the bomb, and the Helix gang rushing to save their teammate. But, it turns out that Cayden has a plan in place at either end, so no one really wins, and in losing one of their own, it seems as though it their fight was ‘All for Nothing’ – see what they did there?
With the team irreversibly torn apart by Cayden James’ actions, they are further from defeating him than ever before. The only good thing to come from all the heartache and danger they have endured in this week’s episode alone, is that hacking Cayden’s system has allowed them to find the “evidence” that shows the Green Arrow killing Owen, Cayden’s son. The fabricated footage shows the Green Arrow firing, and Owen being hit – however, there’s nothing which links the two clips other than an arrow being the weapon of choice. Although, Felicity quickly finds that the person who created the video was the same person who doctored the photo which the press received of Oliver as the Green Arrow earlier in the season, leaving the team to wonder who exactly is behind the campaign against Oliver, and why they are using Cayden James to ruin him.
Though it involves little in terms of story progression, ‘All for Nothing’ explores a more emotional storyline which plays on the differences, and similarities, between team members, and how their emotions can cloud their judgement and change their priorities. The team will need everyone in order to defeat Cayden and his allies, but with tensions reaching their peak, their relationship may be beyond repair.