ARROW is back on TV! Last night saw the return of the series after the winter break with “Divided,” a well-titled episode given the status of Team Arrow. This episode highlights the current tension going on within the team, as well as the stakes. Oliver discovers some major revelations about Cayden James and his operations, which leads to choices that will definitely affect the team and the show going forward.

Recap From Before

Before the break, we saw several problems occur for Team Arrow. The most prominent being Rene agreeing to be a witness in the FBI case against Oliver to out him as the Green Arrow. Not originally knowing who the witness was, Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle put Dinah, Curtis, and Rene under surveillance. Once this was known, a breach of trust is seen on both sides. Also, Cayden James is revealed to have more allies than previously thought.

Divided
Image Courtesy of the CW

Cayden James — One Step Ahead

This episode revolves around Cayden James demanding the Bertinelli port. Fearing for his daughter’s life, Jerry Bertinelli reaches out to the Green Arrow, asking for his help. Sometime later, Felicity and Diggle discover James bugged their headquarters. He knows all of their identities.

Once Felicity can determine where James is, Oliver decides to go and take him out alone. Once arriving, Oliver discovers that Cayden isn’t just working with Siren. Anatoly and the Bratva arrive, as well as Ricardo Diaz and Vigilante. Vastly outnumbered, Oliver escapes.

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A Divided Team

Now that the numbers are stacked against them, Diggle urges Oliver to bring the rest of the team back to help. Oliver refuses, saying he won’t work with those he can’t trust. However, he agrees to share intel and alert them about their compromised identities. Oliver then meets with Bertinelli, who agree to work together to stop James.

Meanwhile, Felicity and Diggle warn Curtis, Rene, and Dinah, still angered by their breach of trust. Upon hearing that Vigilante is working with James, Dinah goes to confront her old partner. She cuffs him, hurt that his attempts to reconnect had ulterior motives. However, he rips his hand out of the cuffs and knocks her out.

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Later, Oliver and Diggle are setting charges at the port, and Diggle once again asks Oliver to reconsider working without the team. Oliver again refuses, saying he can’t reconcile and forgive what Rene did. Later, while trying to see what kind of evidence the FBI has on Rene, Curtis finds a leaked audio file, which shows how the FBI knows Rene is WildDog. Due to their compromised headquarters, they assume James is responsible for releasing the file, but they don’t yet know why. They decide to form their own team to go after James.

Strength In Numbers

Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle go to their bugged headquarters and talk about Bertinelli gathering a death squad at the port, hoping Cayden will hear. He does and takes the bait sending his forces to engage. A shootout ensues, and the Green Arrow joins the fight taking out as many Bratva and thugs as he can.

Siren arrives and attacks, as well as Anatoly. Vilgilante tackles Oliver and pins him. The fight seemingly over, James appears, and Bertinelli agrees to give him the port, aiming his gun at Oliver’s head. Oliver then activates his charges to explode and escapes in the confusion. James shoots Bertinelli for betraying him. He adds that no harm will come to his daughter.

Divided
Image Courtesy of the CW

A New Team Forms

Their Headquarters freshly debugged, Oliver admits that he can’t go alone against James and his allies. Oliver gathers the whole team and apologizes. However, he does hold to his belief that there is blame on all sides. Oliver then says that the city can’t afford for them to have grudges or incriminations, so he asks for a clean slate.

Curtis, Dinah, and Rene surprisingly refuse and say that they are forming a new team, with actual trust. Felicity argues that this is what Cayden wants, but Curtis counters. He points out that Cayden didn’t create an environment where some team members receive more trust than others. That being said, the team is truly divided, and Oliver wishes them luck. Later Curtis reveals a new lair for the new (as-of-yet unnamed) team.

Divided
Image courtesy of the CW

Highlights, Thoughts, and the Future of ‘Divided’

Some other notable moments was the news that Thea has become Oliver’s new chief of staff. She also agrees to assist Quentin in trying to break through Black Siren’s darkness. Also, Curtis’ chip for Diggle’s damaged hand works, so Diggle is back in action! Some other fun references was a reference to the bat signal when Bertinelli laments that Oliver is a hard man to contact. He asks him if he ever considers a spotlight in the sky, with a picture of an arrow. Bertinelli’s cousin, the vigilante Huntress, gets a mention early on in the episode.

This episode was enjoyable and entertaining, following the typical formula for a midseason premiere.  The status quo is shaken, and things will be different from here on out. However, part of me finds it odd that Oliver is so unwilling to forgive Rene for his actions. Oliver’s anger comes from the fact that Rene’s testimony could keep him from his son.  And yet Rene did it to protect his daughter, whom the FBI threatened to take away if he didn’t serve as a witness. Shouldn’t Oliver be more understanding, himself being a father?

All in all, I think “Divided” is an excellent episode for viewers to get back into the swing of the series. There are some great character moments and some incredible action shots. The season will only get more intense from here, as Cayden’s plans will most likely escalate now that his forces and resources are coming together. Hopefully, the forming of another team won’t clash with Oliver’s, but we’ll have to wait and see!

ARROW airs 9/8c on the CW

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