Arrow: Shifting Allegiances


Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner…

Well, Oliver Queen is determined to do things on his own now that he’s lost his team and fired Overwatch. I think maybe part of why he did that was so that there wouldn’t be anyone around to say, “Oliver, this is a terrible idea,” when he decides to something new and stupid. Which is how this episode starts. The “Shifting Allegiances” he was hoping for don’t quite come to pass the way he hoped.

The show starts in a back alley in Moscow. How a disgraced ex-mayor under FBI watch and Diaz’s seemingly all-seeing eye gets from Star City to Moscow, I don’t know and they never tell us. He runs a quick errand that really doesn’t help keep the secret he goes back and forth from being obsessive about keeping to seemingly indifferent, but he gets a token to pass along to someone for a favor.

Rene is out of the hospital finally, which I have some seriously mixed feelings about. He’s been the worst of the group since the team split happened, and most of what went down was his fault for caving in to the FBI and betraying Oliver. Maybe that’s why he has so much attitude; he has a guilty conscience. At any rate, he gets home, a welcome back party, and filled on the news about Team Arrow, which he’s smug about. Yeah, I’d be ok with Rene not making it back next season.

Diggle has also moved on, and now he’s briefing an ARGUS strike team. While it would be a good thing to get rid of Diaz and his control of Star City, I’m not clear why a secret government agency that deals with supers is going after a gangster. Nice to know people in high places, I guess. When Diggle gets a tip that a high ranking gun runner from the Quadrant is coming to town (now everyone knows about this big organized crime group we never heard of before last episode), he hopes to use her to find Diaz.

Diaz himself is getting fitted for a new suit, showing that with his recently moving up in the world, he’s still remarkably shallow and arguably insecure. Siren finally strolls in, telling Diaz his men are lying to him about keeping track of her, but that apparent attempt at a mind game never goes anywhere. He bullies her into setting up a meeting with Quentin, who she calls my father. Interesting slip of the tongue there, Siren, but I wish you’d make up your mind which side you’re on. She goes back and forth from cold blooded killer to Daddy’s Little Girl so much that she either is getting chemical help to do it or needs some serious meds.

Anatoli is holding court at his place, lecturing his fellow Russian thugs about baseball. When he goes to the fridge for a beer, all his men are out cold. Credit where it’s due, Anatoli is unphased by this and opens his beer, telling Oliver to come out. He does, they talk, and Oliver makes his big attempt at a deal. Even Anatoli thinks Oliver’s new “on my own” approach is stupid, and then shows him why. It’s not a good meeting for Oliver. When he wakes up, Oliver is chained to a chair as Anatoli mocks him, deservedly so. Anatoli tells Oliver that Anatoli’s goals have changed, and he’s not going back to Russia no matter what Oliver set up for him. Suffice to say Anatoli isn’t impressed with Oliver’s arguments about what should happen next.

Rene continues to boast about his team being the best one and the only one that can stop Diaz. Maybe he and Black Siren could kill each other off? I’d really be ok with that. They finally decide to go after the Scorpions, a drug dealing gang in the Glades. I’ll give them credit that the rationale for going after them is decent.

Siren takes Quentin out to a Chinese place and the poor man is actually pleased about it… right up until she apologizes and Diaz struts in. Diaz is obnoxious and smug, Quentin is blustering and ineffective, and Siren just kinda sits there. Diaz has some demands to make of Quentin as the new mayor, and Quentin isn’t going to take orders from a thug with delusions of grandeur. Siren looks increasingly uncomfortable, although some of that might be her lover pawing her in front of her “father.” She finally leaves with Diaz. Quentin just can’t catch a break, but his taking in Siren was a dumb idea from the start.

The B team goes to a bar to get intel about the Scorpions. Fortunately, some of what is needed is Rene being loud and obnoxious, so he’s playing to his strengths. They get what they need and get out. They move on to attack a warehouse where they thought the Scorpions and Diaz’s drugs would be. They get more than they bargained for on every front, and then Diggle swoops in to save the day. Diggle is inexplicably alone, not with his ARGUS team. I guess Oliver’s stupidity is contagious.

They all retreat to the B-team’s Helix Hideout, where Diggle briefs them on the Quadrant. Dinah has heard of them too, but just never mentioned them before because… reasons. They debate what to do next and then Quentin comes in to tell them about Diaz’s new demand. Rene annoyingly asks why Lance isn’t telling Oliver this, and he says he can’t find Oliver, which no one seems to care about. Ok, that part is fair enough at this point. Between them, they figure out Diaz is now part of the Quadrant, and come up with a new plan.

Oliver tries to talk his way out of Anatoli’s next plan, but that works about as well as you’d think at this point. Oliver gets bundled up and sent off to Diaz. Diggle and Rene have a chat about PTSD and compartmentalizing while they stake out a new warehouse, because all crimes happen in either warehouses or high tech research companies. Diggle gives Rene some good advice, and they finally figure out what Diaz is up to with all these weapons.

Quentin is at work in his job as new mayor when Siren comes to see him. It’s an unpleasant visit, as he’s justifiably enraged with her. She suddenly claims she’s scared of Diaz, which is new. They argue more and he tells her get out of his office and not be at his apartment when he gets home. I don’t blame him for either one of those.

The B-team prepares to go after Diaz’s guns, and Rene makes one of the few smart decisions I’ve ever seen from him. While they plot things out, Quentin gets home and unfortunately, his anger has cooled and he backtracks about being mad at her. He even does what Diaz asked, and compares Siren’s working for Diaz to his going along with Damian Darhk a few seasons ago. They make up their earlier argument and agree to look out for each other, which is disappointing.

Anatoli tells Oliver his life went off the rails when he decided to trust Oliver last year, and the man has a point. Diggle, the B team, and ARGUS go after the weapons with a lot of toys and fighting. Mr. Terrific gets to show off his athletic skills, although other people save his life in the fight several times. Curtis should stick to the lab, he really should. Between them all, they manage a successful mission. Interesting, considering who wasn’t there.

Diaz blames Oliver’s friends for his recent loss, and Oliver makes a stupid but true response. There’s posturing and glowering before Diaz decides to show how tough he is by having a high stakes fight with Oliver. To no surprise, Diaz cheats after a brutal match. Anatoli and Oliver get in a quick scene together before Diaz has Oliver brought back to him.

Curtis invites Diggle to quit ARGUS and join their team, which Diggle wisely refuses. He does agree to work with them when either of them needs help. Curtis goes to check in on Rene at home. The attempted pep talk gets interrupted when Zoe walks in and makes a few surprising announcements of her own. She and William need to get together, eventually. They don’t tell us so, but I suspect this talk will let Rene get past his most recent issue. But don’t worry, he has plenty more.

Diaz toys with a knife at his desk as Siren comes in. She shows him that Quentin did as he was asked, which was apparently just a test. Diaz has Oliver brought in at gunpoint. Diaz gloats more, then pulls some strings with his crooked contacts. The infamous Channel 52 news covers the story as Oliver is brought back in to the police, bail revoked, and his trial moved up. Various cast members see the news and all look surprised. The episode ends with Oliver chained to the desk in the one interrogation room the SCPD apparently has.

What I liked: Diggle is at least a competent operator, most of the time. Quentin almost grew a spine with Siren. Briefly. Rene is out of the hospital so we can stop hearing about that finally.

What I didn’t: Most everything else. How did Oliver get to Russia and back? Why does Quentin keep giving Siren more chances? Why is Rene? Just in general, I mean, at this point. What possessed Diggle to go rescue the B team on his own? Why does Oliver keep thinking flying solo is a good plan? Did he really think Anatoli was going to back him? How dumb IS he?

I don’t like this season, most of the plot lines, or this episode. I’ll give it a low 2.5 out of 5. I really hope they pull something decent together by the finale, but from what I’ve heard about it and next season, I kind of doubt it.