Season 6’s ultimate villain finally made his big play in The Devil’s Greatest Trick, but I couldn’t help being underwhelmed.
The big problem in building up to a big reveal is it ultimately has to pay off. With the tease that someone was pulling Cayden James’ string, there was a lot of speculation who could be behind Team Arrow’s latest drama. Slade turning heel again? Merilyn returning to prove the old no body, no death theory correct? Maybe even somehow inexplicably Prometheus faked his own death to get payback again? Or even something more reasonable like Joseph following in his father’s footsteps?
Nope, it was the old familiar cliche of the villain’s main henchman wanting the spotlight. In fairness, Diaz had been ridiculously underdeveloped. He was just the knife toting guy in Cayden’s villain stable. He didn’t have cool superpowers like Vigilante and Black Siren or an army at his disposal like Anatoly. Making him the main villain at least gives him a chance at greater development. Now if only the writers can explain why he’s been manipulating everything.
I probably wouldn’t have been so irritated with The Devil’s Greatest Trick if there wasn’t so many questionable moments throughout. For example, why does Oliver always need a two person Geek Squad? Is he utterly incapable of doing anything without Team Hacker Pro? Did Elena really offer anything Felicity couldn’t? I can’t believe this episode actually has me wondering why Felicity didn’t have a more meaningful role…
The random Flash appearance felt so…odd. And was this right after Barry got out of prison or was that just Kid Flash? And if Barry was on call for quick missions, why not have him find and defuse Cayden’s bomb? Bringing Flash in for anything besides real team ups opens up way too many questions for this show.
What’s the point of calling up Rene and Curtis to help spread out and find Cayden’s crew if everyone immediately comes together to get Black Siren? And how exceedingly stupid have the writers made Rene by every week saying ‘this doesn’t change anything’ when literally every week Arrow calls and they come running? It’s like the writers don’t understand how to make The Outsiders a completely separate group without finding these lame reasons to team them up with Arrow and Diggle every week.
At least Dinah has been written consistently. She wants payback on Black Siren for killing Vince and is focused on revenge.
Easily the most obnoxious and annoying aspect of the episode was William’s completely goofy and overplayed role. This episode was exactly why I had no interest in the new Daddy Arrow development. What kid is seriously going to go rushing off with no plan other than to be there when his dad is trying to save the city? And how does he get that far before Thea and the Geek Squad realize he’s gone?
I’m guessing the writers felt William was necessary to really drive home the point to Cayden that he was a bad father. Or at least not smart enough to know hiding in the stands to watch a basketball game is a better way of avoiding federal detection. And what kind of gym is open like that from the street?
And Oliver…c’mon man, you’re hardly in position to soothe William based on how long you’ve been doing this…
This season’s main plot managed to get extremely convoluted in one episode.
Finally, I’ve tried to be patient with Quentin’s obsessive quest to redeem Black Siren, but it’s just getting annoying. Even if he somehow is able to get her to walk the straight and narrow, she KILLED VINCE. It’s not like she was mind-controlled. She had a little remorse, but actually did kill him. This subplot has gone ridiculous and there’s no chance it can be salvaged now.
The Devil’s Own showed the true mastermind and puppeteer this season, but with more problematic episodes like this one, all of the good work that’s been done won’t matter.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW