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Arrow mixes things up a bit in the Sixth Season finale with Oliver (Stephen Amell) leading Team Arrow into battle with the FBI against Diaz (Kirk Acevedo). Although Diaz’s power is broken at the end of the season, the finale doesn’t wrap up the villain’s arc, allowing the crimelord to return and plague Star City next season. As for Oliver, Arrow writers follow The Flash‘s lead by sending the hero to prison (although Oliver is actually guilty of the crimes he’s imprisoned for). That also seems to mean the return of the rest of Team Arrow (which I have very mixed feelings about) to protect the city in the hero’s absence (although I doubt it will last more than a couple of episodes).

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The day of Oliver Queen‘s (Stephen Amell) trial has arrived. As we saw in The Flash earlier this season, the trial will take only a single episode. Of course what makes this one different is Oliver is actually guilty of the crimes he’s been accused of and the entire Star City judicial system is under the thumb of Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo). While something of a mess, much like the trial itself, “Docket No. 11-19-41-73” works fairly well offering some surprises including the return of Christopher Chance (Wil Traval) resurrecting a First Season Arrow cast member to become the public face of the Green Arrow.

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While the previous episode of Arrow was focused primarily on Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), “Shifting Allegiances” splits the focus across multiple stories. We get the crime boss attempting to force Mayor Lance (Paul Blackthorne) into doing him a favor, Diggle (David Ramsey) and A.R.G.U.S. attempting follow Quadrant leads back to Diaz, Rene (Rick Gonzalez) returning to the field and working with Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) and Curtis (Echo Kellum) to attack Diaz’s drug operation, and Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) attempting to convince friend-turned-enemy Anitoly (David Nykl) to turn on Diaz. Anitoly refuses Oliver’s offer, but in delivering him to Diaz he gives the hero perhaps his chance to save the city in a one-on-one fight between the Arrow and the crime lord (who, unfortunately for Oliver, isn’t above cheating to win a fight).

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An offshoot of the League of Assassins created by Malcolm Merlyn before his death arrive in town for Thea (Willa Holland) and a map her father left behind. The Thanatos Guild believes Thea is the key to unlocking a great prize Merlyn discovered shortly before his death. The arrival of Nyssa (Katrina Law), another former daughter of the demon who understands Thea’s desire to distance herself from that life, helps persuade Thea to fight rather than run, but uncovering just what the Guild is after will change Thea’s destiny. The episode’s B-story feels mainly like filler as Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) and Curtis (Echo Kellum) investigate corruption in the police department.

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There’s a shake-up in Star City as Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) comes forward pretending to be this world’s Laurel Lance putting Oliver (Stephen Amell) in a tough spot and preventing Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) from taking revenge on the super-villain for her recent actions. Meanwhile, Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) consolidates his power and influence in the corrupt police force apparently leaving him as the major villain over the remainder of the season. Add to that the return of Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), captured by Diaz’s cronies, and there’s plenty for Team Arrow to deal with.

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Returning from mid-season hiatus, the first two episodes of Arrow heat-up the fight between Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and the team led by Cayden James (Michael Emerson) who is so overconfident after fracturing Team Arrow he reveals the full roster of baddies under his control before hijacking Star City’s infrastructure and holding it for ransom to the tune of $10 million a day. The episodes also reveals James’ reasoning for attacking Oliver’s city, although it appears the villain is blaming the wrong bow-and-arrow wielder for the death of son. Despite bending to the terrorist’s demands, the latest piece of information may offer Oliver an out if it turns our he can’t defeat the villain as either the mayor or its hooded vigilante.

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IF ARROW WAS HONEST

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The four-part crossover concludes with the death of one of the Legends (helping the show write off the character of Firestorm which it never learned to use properly), the arrival of the other Legends (better late than never), and our heroes’ return to Earth-One for a final confrontation with the Earth-X invaders. Keeping half the Legends in reserve until the final episode does help boost our heroes numbers in the final episode, but is a disservice to Ray (Brandon Routh) who, given his tenure in the Arrowverse, certainly draws the shortest straw this time around. The death of Stein (Victor Garber) is hardly surprising, but how he is kept alive from his critical wounds at the beginning of the episode, and his sacrifice, both work well.

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Things are looking pretty bleak for our heroes at the beginning of “Part 3” (and aren’t a whole hell of a lot better by the end). Most of our leads are captured and imprisoned on Earth-X, the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) is preparing to carve out Supergirl‘s (Melissa Benoist) heart, and Cisco (Carlos Valdes), Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), and the Arrow B-team are trapped in the particle accelerator. Enter Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller). Well, a new version at least (complete with his comic book trademark glasses the previous Earth-One Cold was too cool to wear). We also get a new hero in the Ray (Russell Tovey), a grizzled General Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan), and a last-ditch plan for our heroes to make it back to their Earth before it is too late.

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“Part 2” of the four-part crossover focuses on the fallout of Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris‘ (Candice Patton) wedding and the explanation of who the villains from Earth-X are and what they want on Earth-One. While our heroes manage to push back the Nazis in “Part One,” the second episode offers a counterpunch from the evil dopplegangers (whose identities seemed fairly obvious to everyone except, apparently, our heroes). Heavier on action than the first episode, there are still smaller conversations shoehorned in here and there to give those not in the fray something to do. “Part 2” also offers small cameos to Arrow‘s B-team who arrive to provide support against the Nazi horde.

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