‘Arrow’ 6×14 Review: Why I’m Officially Done With Not Team Arrow

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Feelings are powerful. They start wars. They end relationships. They can even be used as a weapon. Words are also powerful. They start wars. They end relationships. They, too, can even be used as a weapon.

Feelings are powerful when it comes to my writing. Always have been. When I’m feeling strongly about something, positive or negative, I channel that into my writing. And it just flows from me like it was prewritten in the stars.

I have a lot of feelings about Arrow recently. With it being on hiatus, those feelings had been repressed — a lot of the blame falls on Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who stole my heart and gave it back just in time for this review.

Not Team Arrow is a problem. A big one. A problem that has invoked a lot of negative emotions. And this latest episode, “Collision Course” served as the final straw. Time to let it all out.

I have so many feelings of anger that it’s hard to organize my thoughts in a way that makes sense. I’m someone that writes best when I’m angry. But I think I’ve finally found my anger limit to the point where I cannot think. That is how angry Arrow has made me. So I had to organize my thoughts into subsections to help me think.

I have so many feelings of anger that it’s hard to organize my thoughts in a way that makes sense. I’m someone that writes best when I’m angry. But I think I’ve finally found my anger limit to the point where I cannot think. That is how angry Arrow has made me. So I had to organize my thoughts into subsections to help me think.




Let’s get started, shall we…

Why I’m Officially Done With Not Team Arrow

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Not Team Arrow has been pissing me off for quite awhile now. But this was the episode where I am officially done. I am done with all of them. There is no going back. No apologies. No justice. Not Team Arrow is officially dead to me. (In fact, I’ll refrain from mentioning them in my reviews from here on out because, honestly, I don’t give a f**k and I’m not going to waste my precious keyboard strikes on them.)

There’s a special kind of stupid that goes into this so-called storyline where these entitled brats feel like they can bitch and moan about not being treated like grown ups when they’re actually, in fact, children. Always complaining about wrongdoing and betrayal when they’re the cause of this entire mess. These characters have become unrecognizable to the point where I sympathize more with the villains, the Black Sirens of the world, than these babies.

Curtis, Rene, and Dinah aren’t heroes. They’re children playing dress-up in mommy’s closet and crying foul when they get caught in the act. They’re children with no semblance of responsibility, respect, or awareness.

There’s this clear intention by Arrow to try and make Curtis, Rene, and Dinah sympathetic characters. And if you want an example of something crashing and burning by epic proportions, look no further than this storyline. The fact that this show even believed for a second that its audience could be sympathetic with these whining, hypocritical babies is laughable. How stupid do they think we are?

But perhaps the most frustrating part of this entire thing is how Arrow has managed to dumb down the heart and core of its show. Oliver has taken down Slade Wilson, Malcolm Merlyn, Ra’s al Ghul, and Damien Darhk. You trying to tell me Dinah thinks she stands a chance against Oliver? You trying to tell me Oliver isn’t capable of taking out that entire Not Team Arrow without breaking a sweat? Felicity is one of the smartest women in the world capable of hacking anything and everything. You trying to tell me Curtis had to teach her a hack? You trying to tell me Felicity couldn’t destroy them all with just a few keyboard strokes? John Diggle is one of the bravest, badass men on this planet. You trying to tell me these Not Team Arrow assholes think they can outgun him? You trying to tell me these assholes think they’re more honorable than John freaking Diggle?

This show has learned nothing from last season. Except maybe not to piss on the ship that got you here. Arrow continues to treat us as an audience that isn’t aware of six seasons of history and who these characters are. It’s insulting.

This whole Not Team Arrow storyline isn’t only obnoxious, it’s useless. There is no point to this other than to make us radically hate these three newbies that hold no significance on this show. This show wouldn’t be affected by their loss. Well, in a negative light. Their loss would definitely feel like a weight lifted off the shoulders of a show that’s struggling in its later seasons to deliver something close to what audiences fell in love with back in season 2.

Do us all a favor, Arrow. End this.

Why Not Team Arrow Are the Real Villains

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Not Team Arrow’s heads have gotten so big that they actually believe that Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle are the villains here. I’m sorry, give me a moment (or ten minutes) to laugh until I can’t breathe anymore.

Okay, I’m back.

There’s this continued belief by Curtis, Rene, and Dinah that they’re the ones in the right. They’re the only ones that were betrayed. They’re the ones that are seeking justice. They’re the ones that can be trusted. They’re the heroes.

But the beautiful, ironic truth of the matter is that Curtis, Rene, and Dinah are the true villains of Arrow season 6. Nevermind Black Siren or Cayden James or Anatoly or the Dragon guy. Not Team Arrow have quickly morphed into the big bads that our glorious Original Team Arrow will have to defeat in glorious fashion. We got our first glimpse in this “Collision Course” showdown, which was unrealistic in the fact that Not Team Arrow lasted as long as they did against the best superhero team in the world.

Not that I believe Arrow realized that they made Not Team Arrow the villains. I’m sure they’ll find some way to “redeem” them, once again compromising the beliefs and intelligence of Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle in the process. Not Team Arrow has crossed a line. They’ve gone so far past the line that the line is a dot. There are just some things that cannot be forgiven.

John Diggle.

John Diggle is an honorable man. John Diggle is a kind man. John Diggle is a moral compass. John Diggle is a hero. And yet these assholes from Not Team Arrow decided to put his life in jeopardy by messing with the chip that’s implanted in his arm because they wanted to gain an advantage over OTA.

That’s what villains do. Villains do whatever it takes to get what they want. Villains don’t do it for the well-being of civilians. Villains do it for their own selfish purposes. While OTA was trying to retrieve the money that would keep Star City’s programs running, including hospitals, schools, fire departments, and police districts, NTA was trying to kill someone for so-called “justice.”

Villains are the heroes of their own story. And Not Team Arrow have certainly crafted their own fictitious story of heroism as a way to appease their fiery hearts. Make no mistake, NTA might be claiming heroism. But their true intent — vengeance driven by a desire to shove it to mommy and daddy — is masked by that so-called heroism and those costumes they wear. You know, the costumes they have because of Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle.

Why Not Team Arrow Are Not Seeking Justice

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A common theme on these superhero shows is the difference between justice and vengeance. Justice is the fair and just handling of a situation. Vengeance, on the other hand, is going to extremes to deliver what one masks as justice. Vengeance is driven by revenge. Vengeance isn’t justice. No matter how many times you claim it to be.

Not Team Arrow is so insistent that what they’re doing is delivering justice that they’ve fooled themselves into a blind sense of delusion. Dinah is being led by pure rage. Black Siren killed Vince, and she wants revenge. Naturally. But the lengths that she’s going to, as well as the other assholes of NTA, further betraying their former friends and the people that helped them become (former) heroes compromises everything. Dinah’s focus on revenge is endangering everyone else, including the people of Star City.

Yet Not Team Arrow continues to claim that they are the heroes here. That the people that are fighting to get the money back to save the city are the ones in the wrong.

You’re not a hero because she say you are. You’re not a hero because you have a costume. You’re not a hero because you have a cool name. You’re not a hero when you can’t tell the difference between right and wrong.

Curtis, Rene, and Dinah aren’t heroes. But they were well on their way until this show wanted to just completely destroy them. Curtis and Rene have been pissing me off since last season. But Dinah. Dinah had become a character I had really enjoyed. But whatever Arrow has done to her this season has ruined her character. Everything that she stood for; everything she believed in, she’s gone against that. She’s compromised her soul in the process.

Not that OTA is immune to vengeance. We’ve seen it several times over with each of our leads. But when you’re dealing with heroes — heroes that do understand there’s a line that you can’t cross — there’s more faith that they’ll do the right thing; that they won’t cross that line. Not to mention they’re not the ones claiming they’re being heroic when driven by selfish purposes.

No matter how many times Arrow tries to shove it in my face, Not Team Arrow will never be heroes in my eyes. They could’ve been. They might’ve been. But what this show has done to them is something that cannot be fixed. If this show needed justification to wipe these characters from the show, they’ve delivered in blazing fashion.

Why Not Team Arrow is Hypocritical as F**k

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If I had a dime for every time I’ve used the word “hypocrite” or “hypocritical” when describing Not Team Arrow, I could take that much-needed vacation to a place without cowards playing hero while real heroes have to go to war every day in a classroom.

Where to begin with these hypocritical assholes…

Let’s start with the f***ker that started it all: Rene. Mister “I betrayed the man that gave me a chance to redeem myself.” Mister “I turned on the man that made it possible for me to get my daughter back.” Mister “I am the walking definition of an ignorant, worthless hypocrite.”

I cannot tell you how sick I am getting of Rene dropping the same worthless line about being “betrayed” when he was the one that betrayed Oliver in a way that threatened to jeopardize not only Oliver’s life but the entire team’s. And Rene wants to blame Oliver after he gave his life a purpose again? Rene wants to insinuate that Oliver isn’t a hero? Heroes aren’t cowards, Rene. They don’t hide behind their arrogant, cocky attitudes while blaming anyone and everyone but themselves. That’s the kind of example you want to set for your daughter? Sounds like she was better off away from you. I don’t care what you can do with a gun, Rene. I wouldn’t trust you with my car keys yet alone my life.

Next, Curtis. It’s hard to believe that I once liked this character for his morality and courage. Curtis has become a hollow shell of a person that had so much potential to do so much good. But along the way, Curtis has become a whiny brat that we’re supposed to believe is more intelligent than Felicity? Uh, no. Never. Going. To. Happen. Curtis wouldn’t be where he is without Felicity. Or Oliver. Or Diggle. And yet he has the balls to insult them — and Oliver — at every turn and question their heroism because his feelings were hurt? Curtis became the very thing he despises when he used the chip in John’s arm to harm him. That’s what villains do. They hurt others to get what they want. And Curtis actually believes he’s in the right here? Curtis actually believes that they’re the only ones that have been betrayed? I thought he was supposed to be smart. Well, not Felicity-level smart. (That’ll never happen.)

Finally, we have Dinah, who has just morphed into a completely different character that has left me as angry at the writers for ruining her as I am upset at the character herself. Dinah has become unrecognizable in her actions and beliefs. I’m not even talking about the vengeance aspect because that’s totally understandable. I’m talking about how she’s become someone, like Rene and Curtis, who will blame everyone and anyone but herself. How she’s so quick to blame the people who gave her a second chance all because they made one mistake — a mistake, I might add, that ended up saving their ass. Because you know Rene was never going to fess up. Dinah has decided to place all of the anger and blame on Oliver, the person that saved her; the person that was putting her on the path to become a hero. Dinah is slowing losing herself. And it was completely unnecessary.

Why Not Team Arrow is Ruining This Show

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We really could’ve had it all, Arrow. With a renewed focus on the heart of the show and family, Arrow’s sixth season was poised to be the best in a while. But Arrow managed to shoot itself in the foot with this Not Team Arrow nonsense. Nonsense that doesn’t make sense and serves no purpose. Unless the purpose is to be as arrogant and obnoxious while also insulting your audience.

This is the kind of shit that made season 5 an utter mess. The fact that this show refuses to acknowledge these characters’ pasts and write stories accordingly. These aren’t new characters being molded. These characters have personalities, they have reactions, they respond to things in their own way. But again, I find myself baffled at how Arrow can manage to forget who its characters are.

Granted, this time it’s the minor characters of Curtis, Rene, and Dinah instead of Oliver and Felicity last year (that was disgusting how they ignored who their characters are.) As a television audience, we’re smart. We watch these shows, we dissect these shows, we write about these shows, we even write fanfiction about these shows. Safe to say, we know these characters pretty well. So often the first people to realize something is wrong are the people that know these characters. No, not the writers. The fans.

Reuniting Oliver and Felicity — and finally marrying them — doesn’t erase the mistakes in this current season. And those mistakes all stem from one storyline: This whole OTA vs. NTA thing. It was something I knew from the start was going to be a complete and utter disaster. It was something I knew would end up compromising characters in the process. It was always something that was going to blow up in their faces.

Perhaps the problem is too many characters? Perhaps the problem is that these writers don’t know how to write these characters in a way that doesn’t involve internal conflict or demeaning of other characters? If a character can’t stand on his or her own, they’re not worth it. Other characters, like Thea, deserve to be in the spotlight. Characters that exist as their own person. Characters that don’t need other characters to change to be relevant.

We all know Arrow is nearing the end of the line. While it probably won’t be this season, next season might be the end. And it probably should be. I love this show. I love (most) of these characters. But when you start compromising the things that audiences fell in love with in the first place, is it really worth it to deliver cringe-worthy hours of television?

All I want is for this show to be true to its characters. The characters that started it all. Oliver. Felicity. Diggle. Thea. Quentin. Roy. Hell, even Laurel. The characters, after all, are the reason we even care.

Why Original Team Arrow Remains the Heart & Heroes of Arrow

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Because I don’t want to drown in anger and hatred in this review, I want to honor the real heroes of this show. The reason that I’m still watching this show. Original Team Arrow remains the heart and soul of this show.

The beauty of OTA isn’t that they’re perfect (although they are perfectly imperfect.) It’s that their imperfections make them endearing rather than infuriating. The difference, ladies and gentlemen, between OTA and NTA.

Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle have been the best part of this show since the beginning and will be the best part of this show right up to the end. It’s their sense of honor, humility, genuineness, and pure heroism that has resonated with audiences.

Oliver isn’t a perfect man. He’s done a lot of bad things. He’s been to hell and back. He’s kept his walls up to the point where he’s hurt the ones he loves in the process. But if there’s one thing you know about Oliver Queen it’s that he’ll fiercely defend and protect the people he loves. Oliver loves deeply and with every part of him. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for Felicity or Diggle or Thea or William. Oliver is someone that we should struggle to sympathize with. But he’s proven that he’s got a good heart — no matter how battered it is. Oliver has fought to become the hero he is. It wasn’t something that was handed to him. In fact, he’s still fighting for that public reputation. But we all know that Oliver is representative of a true hero.

Felicity might seem like perfection personified, but our queen is not perfect. It’s one of the many things that adds a level of dimension to her character. Felicity is someone that is the product of her experiences. And while she hasn’t endured hell like Oliver has, she’s experienced things that had hardened her; experienced things that had tested her; experienced things that shaped her as the wonderful woman she is today. Felicity has showed us since season one what a real hero looks like. A hero doesn’t have wear a costume. A hero isn’t defined by physical prowess. A hero is defined by their courage, their beliefs, and their actions. Felicity has been an inspiration both to those that love her and the fans that love her. She doesn’t succumb to hardships. She battles back twice as hard to rise above. Because she’s a fighter. Because she’s a hero.

John Diggle is probably the greatest man in this DCTV universe. His heart, his soul, his bravery, his love is something that is felt so deeply. Diggle has experienced many hardships throughout his life. Hardships that have tested him. Hardships that he has learned from. Hardships that have helped him become the moral compass he is. Diggle is someone that recognizes the brilliance in those around him. He’s someone that will protect those he loves. He’s someone that will fight for what he believes in. He’s never needed a costume or a name to be a hero. John Diggle was a hero before Oliver Queen was a hero.

I love OTA because of their imperfections and how those imperfections have united them as a team. These three have experienced so much together over the years, and they’ve grown stronger for it. That’s the power of their love. When it comes to superhero teams, Original Team Arrow is the gold standard. Always have been, always will be.

Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.

 





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