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ARROW “Disbanded” Recap: A Long Overdue Win For Team Arrow

By on March 30, 2017

Arrow -- "Disbanded" -- Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

By Justin Carter

Disbanded

2016 was an incredibly crowded year for the superhero genre and the men in it who refused to just ask for help. Neither Captain America or Iron Man really could do so, ditto Batman and Superman, and Doctor Strange was too pompous to even consider it. (Deadpool eventually asked for help in his solo film, but only after several vulgar and middle finger-laced refusals to do so.)

“Disbanded” spends the first half of its time following in the suit of those films; still emotionally wrecked by Chase’s mental and physical torture of him for a week, Oliver’s shuttered the team and closed off anyone trying to get him to talk things out. And with the team closed down, he turns to one person who can help him bring down Chase: Anatoly and the Bratva.

Regardless of whether or not it was a good choice, there was no way that relations between Anatoly and Oliver wouldn’t break by the end of the episode, right? The duality of how they used to be years ago and their broken friendship now made it an inevitability, and Oliver letting them hijack diabetes drugs wouldn’t have changed that. With this season being the apparent last of the flashbacks, the trip to Russia has been a marked improvement from the island shenanigans of last year. Their “one last heist” mission in the flashbacks is brief, but the chemistry between them cements their history and makes their present day feud all the more sad.  Oliver can try to shame Anatoly all he wants, but his own internal darkness and subsequent departure from Russia definitely had its large contribution in corrupting his friend.

Of course, the rest of the team isn’t exactly thrilled to let the Bratva go to town and try and kill Chase at any moment. Of course, the Bratva likely would’ve all died at his hand regardless, but the team still runs interference to keep him alive. Diggle’s the only one that can get through to Oliver that using hitmen isn’t the way to go, with the show using his and Ollie’s prison break earlier this year to further cement their brotherly bond. The show tries very hard to get it through Oliver’s head that Diggle and the others can help him, and it thankfully works, as he reopens the team.

There’s an argument that can definitely be made about whether or not the team really even needs Oliver at this point? Sure, he started this crusade of theirs, but in the times that he’s been out of commission, they’ve gotten on well without him. With a sixth season slated for this fall, it will be interesting to see if the showrunners ever decide to let Diggle be the one calling the shots, or at least be a co-leader. Whether or not Oliver explicitly has to ask for help, the team will always have his back, with Diggle leading the charge, but not too wrapped up to ignore that the city and the team need him at 100%.

Every hero has to face the “all is lost!” moment, and Oliver’s had enough of them to last a lifetime. Save for his mother dying, none of them have been quite as emotionally draining as what Chase put him through, but it’s only through his friends that he’s able to overcome this. “Disbanded” is the first episode in a while that really ends with a win for Team Arrow, as Oliver works towards reclaiming his identity as the Green Arrow and Chase is officially outed as Prometheus.

Or rather, it would count as a win, if it weren’t for the fact that Chase murders the agents guarding him and drives away from his safe house, covered in blood. Things are about to hit the fan for Team Arrow, and it’s just a shame that we have to wait a month to see the impact.

Additional Notes

  • Curtis: “So if Diggle’s the new Oliver, and I’m the new Felicity…who’s Dig?” Rene/Dinah: “I am.” (The answer is obviously Dinah because….c’mon. It’s Dinah.)
  • Thea is yet again absent from the past few episodes for whatever reason, and it’s really jarring. I thought she would’ve done more by now.
  • Chase isn’t in as much of the episode as you’d think. Logically, it makes sense, but he does stab one of those agents in the eye with a pen, and that got a huge cringe from me. Ouch!
  • The Helix hackers knew that Felicity was Overwatch (and that Curtis is Terrific when he shows up), and the fact that they’ve been holding onto that info definitely means that they’re going to screw her over soon.
  • Hey, Katie Cassidy’s coming back next season! So that…probably doesn’t look good for Dinah, huh?
  • Arrow returns on April 26 for its final run of episodes. See ya then!

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