Arrow's midseason finale left fans with a lot to take in, particularly when it comes to the villains.
Spoilers for tonight's midseason finale of Arrow, "Irreconcilable Differences," below.
While tonight's episode saw Team Arrow dismantle down to its original membership, another team was coming together. In the final moments of the midseason finale, Cayden James' (Michael Emerson) villain team revealed itself. While we already knew that Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) was working with the super hacker, audiences now know who else is helping James with his nefarious plans, and it's a lineup with some very personal connections to Team Arrow, or what's left of it.
Oliver's (Stephen Amell) former friend and Bratva buddy Anatoly Knyazev (David Nykl), Dinah's ex-partner Vincent Sobel/Vigilante (Johann Urb), Diggle's (David Ramsey) drug dealer Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), and someone named Boots (Tobias Jelinek) are working with James. With each villain having their own personal connection to the team, the breakup of Team Arrow couldn't have come at a worse time. As Echo Kellum, who plays Curtis/Mister Terrific, said during a set visit earlier this year, "Ricardo Diaz is out there, and Anatoly is out there, Black Siren's out there, so you'll see this kind of 'all hands on deck' atmosphere[.]"
The odds aren't getting any closer to being in the favor of anyone on Team Arrow at this point, either. As if the FBI prosecuting Oliver on a myriad of charges stemming from him being the Green Arrow wasn't quite enough, they also decided to leverage part of the team -- specifically Rene/Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) -- to testify against him, a particularly harrowing situation since they threatened Rene with his daughter in order to get him to talk.
But while this is bad for Team Arrow, a splintered team is good for the bad guys. With Oliver down to largely just himself in the field, Anatoly and Diaz in particular will have a little more in the way of opportunity to expand their criminal enterprises without fear of being taken down by the team. It also plays to James' favor, too, as his only real obstacle is Felicity, someone easier to work past when she doesn't have people in the field helping her while she works her computer magic. That has to be good for James' plans to destroy Star City, if that's really all he's up to.
There is one villain, though, that may be find herself on a different path, though. While Black Siren has been nothing but an evil thorn in Oliver's side this season, there was a brief glimpse of something good in her tonight. Instead of killing Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) by screaming in his ear tonight, she whispered that he should run, thus saving his life. Since it was revealed tonight that she lost her version of Quentin when she was a child, it's possible that she might just have a soft place in her heart and hope for a second chance.
Arrow will return from winter hiatus on Thursday, January 18, 2018.