Saturday, February 3, 2018

Arrow 6x12 Recap: "All for Nothing" (A Whole Lotta Nothing) [Contributor: Marilyn]

"All for Nothing"
Original Airdate: February 1, 2018

The title is pretty much an indicator of the whole episode. Everything the team did was for nothing. Well. Almost. Felicity (with Alena for the assist) pulled a last-minute minor save but it feels like almost too little in the face of everything else that was lost.

To recap: Oliver and the SCPD are trying to get around Cayden James’ chokehold on Star City. They bring in ARGUS (and ARGUS divers), but Cayden sees the move and takes the divers out. Oliver is running out of patience and city money to keep paying this madman. He tells Thea to move ahead with setting up shelters for the citizens. They won’t save everyone, but it’s a start. William is tucked away in a safe house with Raisa and a Playstation 4. Meanwhile, Quentin is being followed by Black Siren, and I care so little for this storyline.

Dinah meets with Vincent and he tells her that he didn’t know about Cayden’s plan to take the ARGUS agents out. He’s very concerned with making her believe that he’s on her side. She is, and they kiss. We get some flashbacks to how the two of them met five years ago, and how they worked undercover together. And, ultimately, how Dinah believed he died when the blast from S.T.A.R. Labs hit. It’s re-treading covered ground and a huge indicator that things aren’t looking good for Vince’s future on this show.

Elsewhere, Cayden is getting suspicious. He knows there’s a mole in the operation and is determined to figure out who. He doesn’t like unexpected surprises and not being able to trust his comrades. Back at the bunker, Oliver and Felicity reconnect. She reads the stress on his face and tries to ease it as best she can. They promise that once Cayden James is dealt with, they’ll go on a honeymoon to Aruba. Their sweet moment is interrupted by an alert from one of Felicity’s computers — they’ve located Vigilante. Felicity contacts Dig and he and Oliver meet up to confront Vince and demand to know where Cayden James is located. Vince tries to convince them that he’s on their side but Oliver isn’t buying it. He’s about to shoot him with an arrow when Curtis and Rene pop out and say that they’re working together. They were going to share that information... eventually. And I’m sure it’s not just me who finds that hugely hypocritical given the reasons NTA had for splitting off from OTA in the first place.

They all converge at NTA’s new headquarters — H.I.V.E. — which Felicity compliments, mind you (remember that for later). Things are tense between the two factions and Oliver clearly is reluctant to trust Vince. They discuss finding the bomb that Cayden has hidden and Vince lets them know it’s not going to be that easy. But Felicity has a plan for how to find it. But it’s going to take some significant risk from Vince to accomplish it. He’s willing to do it, much to Dinah’s chagrin. Oliver wants to speak with him alone and that ends up being a growling match between the two vigilantes. Oliver does not trust him but Vigilante doesn’t care; Dinah trusts him, that’s all that matters. Plus, Vigilante knows Oliver needs him to try to save the city.

Elsewhere, Thea meets with a city official to try to see if they can find more money to send Cayden. She’s clearly at the end of her rope. So she talks to Quentin, noticing how upset he is. He tells her about Black Siren and Thea urges him to try to talk to her. Quentin thinks she wants to reach out but is afraid. Thea is willing to help him reach out to her. Frankly, I don’t really care about the storyline as a whole, but long story short, he finally talks to her and tries to convince her that she’s just like his dead daughter. Predictably, she doesn’t care for that and takes off.

Meanwhile, Dinah is concerned that Oliver pushed Vince, but he assures her he’s doing it because it’s the right thing. She’s afraid of losing him again. He promises her that she won’t. Famous last words much?

Now it’s NTA’s turn to come to OTA’s territory. And instead of saying something remotely polite, Curtis runs down the bunker. Ugh, I’m about done with Curtis. His arrogance is getting to be the worst thing ever. Dinah, thankfully, is all business and they connect with Vince over the comms while he runs this operation against Cayden James. Felicity gets him into the server room and he gets the “sniffer” working but before it can finish downloading, Cayden pops up and confronts Vince. NTA and OTA look on in horror as Cayden grills Vince and the latter tries to stall for time until the information is entirely uploaded. Felicity feeds Vince what to say to Cayden to get him to buy that he knows what he’s doing in the server room. There’s a lot of posturing and threatening quips traded. It looks like Cayden buys it and the information is all uploaded so Vince grabs the drive and heads outside to transmit and then dispose of it. Vince is headed back to Helix when he’s intercepted by Anatoly and Cayden. The former tazes Vince and down he goes like a sack of potatoes. Oh come on, who didn’t see that coming?

Felicity brings Alena into the bunker to help go through the data on Cayden’s server. There’s a lot there — and a lot of junk too. Dinah and Rene get frustrated with waiting and head over to Helix to meet up with Vince. Of course, Vince isn’t there. He’s a captive of Cayden James who grills him about turning traitor. Ricardo and Anatoly both take turns torturing Vince, but he’s not talking. So Anatoly steps up his game. Time for the big (torture) guns. As soon as Dinah and Rene figure out that Vince is not at Helix, they run back to the bunker. Felicity has found a big warehouse where she believes the bomb is located, but they need the entire team there in order to find it. Right on cue, Vincent’s comm is activated and they hear him being tortured. Dinah is immediately frantic. She demands that they go rescue him. OTA is firm about taking out the bomb instead. NTA backs up Dinah. So the teams are split. WONDERFUL.

Dinah and NTA hit Cayden’s headquarters with a vengeance. Meanwhile, Oliver and Dig try to get to the bomb and have their hands full with Cayden’s soldiers. They’re looking for the bomb but they can’t find it. They’re running out of time. They do come across a bunch of innocent civilians tied up in a room with a smaller bomb. The purpose is to make them choose between saving the people or finding the bomb. Oliver tries to catch up with Anatoly while Dig frees the hostages, but the bad guys get away with the bomb. Meanwhile, Dinah reaches Vincent right as a small bomb goes off. Dinah is trapped underneath the debris and before Vincent can free her, Cayden enters with Black Siren — who uses her cry to blast Vincent into a wall, impaling him on some rebar. Dinah struggles to free herself so she can stop the inevitable but she’s unable to and is forced to watch as Black Siren uses her cry to basically blast Vincent’s brain to oblivion. Cayden and Siren leave and Rene and Curtis run in and free Dinah. But it’s too late. Vince is dead.

Dinah is shook and Curtis and Rene are at a loss. They want to help her but don’t know how. She tells them she’s grateful that they had her back and asks if OTA got the bomb. When she hears that they didn’t, she’s devastated; Vince died for nothing. Oliver and Dig return to the bunker and Felicity tells them that Vince died. They’re concerned for Dinah and Dig reassures Oliver that they made the right call, going after the bomb. But it’s not all for nothing: Felicity and Alena found some good stuff on Cayden’s server, including the footage of Cayden’s son’s murder. It’s clearly fabricated since Oliver wasn’t even in town. But even better, the fabrication is the same as the bogus “expose” photo from the start of the season. The person who leaked the photo and gave Cayden this footage must be close to him. But who? I’m wondering if its not Alena herself.

Thea tells Quentin that they might have been wrong about Laurel. She tells him that Black Siren killed Vince and Quentin is shaken by the news. She’s sorry to be the one to have to deliver it, but it’s time for Quentin to face some facts about his not-daughter. Over at Dinah’s place, she’s mourning Vince when there’s a knock at her door. It’s Oliver. He’s not there to apologize; he knows he was right to go after the bomb. But he’s also very sorry that Vince died. He tells her what they’ve learned about Cayden, and how they have some viable options for taking Cayden down for good. She doesn’t want to hear it. She’s ready to go back to being a killer and she plans to start with Black Siren. That’s the first smart thing she’s said in ages! I wish her the best of luck.

Compared to last week’s stellar episode, this week was solidly on the “meh” side of things. However, I did not find it to be entirely without merit. We had an adorable Olicity scene, which always fills me with a warm satisfaction. We got to see the advancing of this Cayden James plot, bringing us to next week’s climax. At least it looks like a climax. While I wasn’t super invested in Vince and Dinah’s story or their relationship, I like how it set up a Canary vs. Siren showdown. Also, the NTA crew continues to act like jerks, while OTA smells like a rose. That feels like vindication to me.

So not the best episode but not the worst either. I’m rather used to how Arrow operates after all these seasons, and episodes 10-15 each year tend to be more miss than hit, so this fit in well with that expectation. At least I didn’t see anything that enraged me, which is good enough in my book!


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