Outside of one nagging problem, Next of Kin was a strong episode for Arrow that offers some hope this ‘new’ status quo could conceivably work.
The big question this week was whether Diggle could overcome his doubts to step up and become the leader Team Arrow needs. This works if you’re largely willing to overlook or forget Diggle already led Team Arrow when Oliver was presumed dead after his encounter with Ra’s al Ghul.
Granted, his literal nerve issue could be played up more to explain his doubts, but so far Diggle is blowing that off. Fortunately, he’s got Dinah to pester him at every conceivable turn. We’re getting to the point where Lyla needs to show up soon. Dinah is almost acting like his surrogate wife with her needling and nagging. This would play a little better coming from his actual wife.
I got a kick out of Team Arrow worrying about someone figuring Diggle wasn’t Green Arrow because he wasn’t firing arrows. Not to worry Diggle, Oliver rarely shot them any way. Team Diggle had to stop an elite military unit from terrorizing the city with stolen Kord Industries equipment. Will we ever see Ted Kord? This seemed like a reach back into cliche Arrow villain territory. But at least the team dynamics were different. And that scene with the security guards was money. Too bad, Team Diggle did a horrible job of protecting them.
It made sense for Rene to question Diggle and reach out to Oliver to resume his old gig. Rene came off either a little silly or forgetful as he was calling everyone Hoss this week. That’s supposed to be a special nickname for Quentin. At least Oliver remembered Diggle had a family this week.
Next of Kin featured the usual high standard of action with some really amazing sequences. The canary dive bomb was a great use of Dinah’s powers. It’s a shame the writers weren’t as creative with Laurel’s run as Black Canary. The car scene was one of Arrow’s most unique fights in a while.
Oliver is still in Remedial Parenthood as there’s no way William would have walked off without finishing those eggs. Quick question: is there another place to get food in Central or Star City besides Big Belly Burger? They seem like prime spots for a Chic-Fil-A if nothing else.
With William struggling in math it was natural Oliver asked Felicity to help. Hey Felicity, you’re a geek fluent in nerd and William would probably pay a lot more attention to you in that dress than Curtis. This was good stepmom prep for Felicity. But to really shake things up and probably to be more realistic, it would have been more interesting if William resented Felicity for trying to take his mother’s place. The bigger surprise was that Felicity didn’t already have a key to Oliver’s place.
Agent Watson is really shifting up the dynamic playing the Happy Black Woman. She’s doing this 100% pissed, which is annoying and cliche. I wish Sydelle Noel would play/could play this differently as she’s just coming across like every other character going after Oliver from a legal perspective. The anti-vigilante legislation also felt like a repeated plot. In Star City, why would the people be opposed to Green Arrow and company? It’s not like they’re destroying New York City or Sokovia.
Diggle finally won the team’s trust and got a new crossbow launcher. That’s a cool looking device and gives Diggle a unique weapon. Next of Kin ended with a very interesting cliffhanger with Diggle getting some street level PEDs to keep it together. That definitely won’t end well.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: CW