Arrow season 6, episode 14 recap: Civil war

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW Arrow via CWPR
Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW Arrow via CWPR /

Arrow returned from its month-long break with an episode that saw the two Team Arrows came to blows and one hero was left in critical condition.

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The two Team Arrows have been at odds for a while now, so it was inevitable they come into active conflict. The threat of Cayden James forced them to work together but now that he’s dead, the issues that fractured the group came to the fore. And while I initially felt that New Team Arrow (NTA) was wrong to place their grievances above the safety of Star City, this episode changed my perspective. Now, I think the Classic Team Arrow (CTA) is in the wrong in this feud. Moreover, I now believe Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) continued presence in the city, both as a hero and as mayor, is actually doing more harm than good.

“Collison Course” opened with Oliver learned that Cayden James was dead, but he was given a cover story about what really happened. Later, Oliver learned that the $70 million James extorted from the city had been withdrawn. Thanks to Felicity’s (Emily Bett Rickards) hacking, Oliver learned that Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) had taken the money. Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) told Oliver his love for Laurel was keeping him from doing what is necessary, but she had no such reservations. Meanwhile, Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) tended to Siren’s wounds in a safe house.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW Arrow via CWPR /

Curtis (Echo Callum) invented a scanner to track Siren, but he and Rene (Rick Gonzalez) worried about what Dinah would do to her when they found her. Oliver found a trail leading to OTA’s HQ and the two groups got into a heated confrontation. Afterward, Rene revealed he planted a bug on Oliver so they would be able to track the other team’s movements. Thea (Willa Ford) followed Quentin to his hideout and called Oliver. Siren offered to return the city’s money if Oliver got her out of the country.

“That doesn’t make you a hero, it makes you a thug.”

My sympathies really began to shift at the point when CTA invaded OTA’s bunker. In addition to being a terrible way to handle the situation, the older group’s actions didn’t make a lot of sense. If CTA had captured Siren, there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t turn her over to the police or kill her. Either way, they definitely would’ve kept her dead body on hand. Dinah made it clear that she was out for revenge, but Oliver should’ve known Rene and Curtis aren’t cold-blooded killers. Oliver leading his team into his former allies’ lair guns blazing makes no sense.

Oliver and company ditched OTA and learned that Quentin planned to accompany Siren out of the country. Curtis disabled Diggle’s (David Ramsey) implant to track the group’s location. The two groups converged at Quentin’s cabin and got into an old school superhero fight. In the melee, Quentin and Siren escaped but were caught by Dinah. Curtis talked Dinah out of committing murder, but Siren was able to use the distraction to get away.

Before either team could follow, Rene passed out from what were revealed to be critical injuries. Queen held a press conference explaining that he failed the city and Diaz’s corrupt police officers plotted to use the department’s resources to take Oliver down. Curtis told Classic Team Arrow that the two teams were done cooperating. Rene’s condition was so bad, his doctors advised that he be moved to a better hospital out of the city. Siren remerged and claimed to be Laurel Lance.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW Arrow via CWPR /

“As mayor, I have failed this city.”

By the time Oliver had beat Rene into intensive care to protect a serial killer on the hope that she would do the right thing, I was pretty much done with CTA. Every single one of Oliver’s decisions in this episode were wrong. He shouldn’t have told the city’s officials he could recover the lost money in 48 hours. He was wrong not to respectfully approach OTA about Siren. And he was breathtakingly stupid to assume that Siren would hold to the terms of their bargain. And he was even stupider to attack Rene to maintain the deal. Now he’s critically wounded an ally, alienated two others, failed to secure funds that his city desperately needed and let a murderer run free.

Considering what happened on Arrow this week, I really wonder if his presence in Star City is making things worse. Prometheus and Cayden James tore up the city because they wanted to hurt specifically. In James’ case, he was directed by a third-party, but Prometheus went on a rampage because he was an indirect victim of Oliver’s take no prisoners style of dispensing justice. Similarly, Rene ended up at death’s door because once Oliver decided things needed to be done a certain way, he became intractable. Moreover, Diggle and Felicity supported him uncritically uneven when it became clear that his had completely lost control of the situation.

Next: Arrow season 6, episode 13 recap: The devil gets his due

It’s a strange thing to watch a superhero show and root against its protagonist, but that’s the place I’m at now. I don’t want Oliver to die or go to prison, but the reality is he is now actively detrimental to the city’s wellbeing. He definitely shouldn’t be mayor and he probably shouldn’t be leading a team of superheroes anymore. I think he could serve as one of the city’s heroes, but he shouldn’t be calling the shots. As this episode made clear, his judgment is just too compromised for him to be a functional leader.

Arrow airs on The CW Thursdays at 9 pm.