REVIEW: Arrow, S6 Ep04 – Reversal

Arrow has definitely been having a rough start this season, and unfortunately “Reversal” continues the trend of bad episodes. In this week’s episode we are still witnessing a new Team Arrow led by Diggle under the green hood. While “Reversal” takes one step in the right direction avoiding any focus on the uninteresting Oliver and son subplot, it substitutes it with an uninteresting and far-fetched plot which is supposed to introduce this season’s potential big bad, Cayden James.

Shouldn’t Felicity be wearing a mask?

Played by Michael Emerson (Lost), Cayden James was referenced in the season 5 episodes “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Underneath.” Last Season James, the leader of Helix, was successfully extracted from an A.R.G.U.S. prison cell with the help of Felicity. Shortly after Felicity’s ties to Helix were cut due to her continued loyalty to Team Arrow. Michael Emerson, who is not a stranger to DC Comics properties having voiced The Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, does a great job portraying the sinister Cayden James. Unfortunately, his creepy portrayal isn’t enough to save this mess of an episode.

James’ plan can literally be described as having to steal three sets of fingerprints in order to take control of the entire internet, as if it would be that simple. Getting past that ridiculous concept, “Reversal” just doesn’t have much to offer with the exception of a few cool action scenes. Katie Cassidy’s Black Siren continues to be a pleasure to see on screen, especially when up against Black Canary, and I enjoyed seeing the “reversal” that was having Felicity out in the field and Oliver being the guy in the chair. Even that fell into redundancy as we had to see Oliver yet again give one of his team members a pep talk in order for them to rise up and save the day.

While Felicity is able to use her advanced hacking skills and save the day, it was ultimately for naught as we find out Felicity basically played into Cayden James’ plan. This wasn’t all too surprising either. Considering how cold and sinister he came across, it was safe to say James had some more tricks up his sleeves. Hopefully, those tricks make for some actual good plot points in upcoming episodes, but right now I’m not very optimistic.

Diggle is still the Green Arrow

We are only four episodes into this season so it is still very early, but Arrow needs to do something remarkable because they are continuing to lose steam with each episode. So far the most interesting thing that has occurred this season has been Diggle’s new role as the Green Arrow, coupled with his secret drug use in order to keep his shakes in line. Oliver’s relationship with his son and Felicity’s hacktivist side stories tend to be boring and uninteresting.

As a series itself Arrow does continue to have interesting characters even if they’re not placed in the most interesting of plot lines. The team dynamic continues to be a real fun aspect of the series.

I would love to say just skip this episode, but “Reversal” is still important in the sense that it does introduce us to Cayden James, and he will most definitely be a big figure to overcome in upcoming episodes. Other than him this episode remains forgettable almost immediately after viewing.

The next episode of Arrow will see the return of Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke. In the episode appropriately titled “Deathstroke Returns,” Slade seeks out Oliver’s assistance in locating and rescuing his son. Check out The CW’s official trailer for “Deathstroke Returns” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Reversal” in the comments.

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