Arrow The Ties That Bind Review
The CW‘s Arrow: Season 6, Episode 22: The Ties That Bind, had Team Arrow under siege at home, in hiding and on the run. The Ties That Bind was packed with action, and between bullets, there was some soul searching. Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) confronted their fears and responsibilities as a family.
There were no truer words, Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) “went from careful and precise to loud and messy.” He made good on his threat to go after everyone, and he did it using massive gunfire and unlimited resources. It was interesting seeing Oliver and company daunted by the sheer power in numbers. Some could argue that Ra’s al Ghul had a breadth of resources, that Damien Darhk bent the city to his will in many ways too. Here, Diaz has corrupted every sector of society against Team Arrow. A major difference is that Diaz is unhinged.
In The Ties That Bind, Diaz’s explosive unpredictability was on full display. Diaz seemed to be devolving as quickly as he rose to the top. Still, the sociopath showed he cared about two things: loyalty and a flash drive. I get the loyalty, but it is quite disappointing that a simple flash drive can bring down the big bad of this season. Felicity wondered if the information on the disk might be able to free the city from Diaz’s grasp. Well hell! Snatch the thing off his neck and drop it in a vat of acid. Game over!
Then again, Diaz became more interesting when he chose to take over the Quadrant instead of work with it. He has obviously moved past wanting to belong. Now, he wants to conquer. Except, it looks less like an uprising and more like he was devolving into a madman. Diaz demanded loyalty, but he killed his own men, which does not foster fidelity. Anatoly (David Nykl) seemed to have the right idea: let the monster consume himself.
Some of the more important moments of The Ties That Bind were between Oliver and Felicity. They confronted Oliver’s fears of William possibly losing another mother in Felicity. The gravity of their struggle between crime fighting and maintaining a family echoes Rene’s (Rick Gonzalez) struggle in Shifting Allegiances. I imagine this issue is one that law enforcement officers must face in general. Oliver expressed that he felt another element of pressure when it comes to keeping his wife safe in the field. How is it that Felicity is now re-auditioning for Overwatch when she has more than handled the job for years – in and out of a wheelchair?
I liked the two separate moments between the wives and the husbands, although they could have come at a better time. Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) counseled Felicity and Diggle (David Ramsey), as usual, helped Oliver be more reasonable. Although, infiltrating the SCPD precinct had its challenges, it was nothing new for Oliver and Felicity. Lyla And Diggle’s coordinated fighting style was their example of how a mature couple could grow stronger in battle. Diggle even walked back some of his earlier criticism when he suggested that, in regaining his focus, maybe Oliver should not drive away everyone that gives him strength, his wife especially.
This is not to completely negate Oliver’s feelings. He has had plenty of trouble keeping the women in his life safe. They have been murdered, kidnapped, poisoned and shot, but so have the men in his life. This is what they have all signed up for. So yes, no one needed couples therapy more than Oliver Queen. He needed to realize that in this particular fight, he could not be alone. So, maybe that is why he ran to Watson (Sydelle Noel)? The city may have to rise to protect itself and its heroes. Also, Oliver has revealed his identity to major people twice in as many episodes, and all the cops in town have trained their bullets on him and everyone around him. His identity is becoming a known secret. It is time for the city to choose: a madman or a vigilante?
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