This article contains spoilers for the Arrow season six episode – The Dragon.
Last week’s episode had Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) in almost every scene. Maybe in an attempt to make up for over working their lead actor in episode 18, they gave him almost all of episode 19 off. I’m not kidding, he shows up in one scene at the very end. The focus of this episode is Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) making a trip to Blüdhaven to meet with a criminal organization called The Quadrant. The second story is Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) and Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) finally working together on Helix Dynamics again. Everyone else got the night off, which was fine because I think Oliver has alienated almost everyone and it was about time to see just what makes The Dragon tick.
We find out that Diaz was an orphan, bullied by a kid named Jesse and traumatized by it. It’s what set him on the path to being the criminal he is. The trip to Blüdhaven is so Diaz can have a meeting with the Quadrant. He believes that joinging them would turn his setup into a criminal empire. Laurel comes a long in a black wig so people don’t connect her and Diaz together. They meet with Eric Cartier Jr. (Austin Holmes), the son of one of the Quadrant members. Diaz offers access to Star City for all the groups nefarious needs for free, in exchange for a seat at the table. Cartier basically gives Diaz a test, first to locate where the FBI is keeping one of his dad’s former associates and then actually getting the guy out of FBI custody. He is able to do this with Laurel’s help, but when he walks the guy out to Cartier’s waiting car, the driver opens fire on both the snitch and Diaz. This was something Diaz thought might happen so he was wearing a vest.
Diaz and Laurel go back to Cartier’s club, take out his men and force him to tell them where and when the next Quadrant meeting was… conveniently that very evening… Diaz then goes to the meeting and sends Cartier in with C-4 strapped to him and he blows up, taking out part of the guards with Laurel’s sonic scream doing a number on the rest. Diaz follows in an brutally kills a few people. He then goes into the meeting room, surrounded by guards and makes his pitch. Eric Cartier Sr. (J. Douglas Stewart) if, of course, pissed because Diaz killed his son and refuses to work with the ‘street trash’. The others listen to his offer, but point out that there are no empty seats at the table. Diaz kills the older Cartier and takes his seat so they can talk business. We then see him wearing a ring with four diamonds indicating he was now a member of the Quadrant. But there is one more thing he needs to do while in Blüdhaven. He drives out and finds Jesse (Paul Moniz de Sa), meets Laurel on a rooftop with the guy, then covers him in lighter fluid and set him on fire. Diaz no longer considered himself a loser at this point and got the revenge he always wanted on Jesse. We don’t know his motivation for going after Oliver yet.
Meanwhile in Star City, Felicity and Curtis start working on their company again and try to avoid the conversation about their two teams, especially since Felicity isn’t part of a team anymore. She finally tells Curtis what happened and he tries not to gloat. Then they see a news report about a big explosion and that the Green Arrow was seen on sight but no one knows if he’s alive. This freaks Felicity out because she doesn’t know if Oliver is okay. She ends up going back to the apartment, trying to track his bow when he comes walking out of William’s room. She is relieved to see him but hates not being able to help him. He promises her that he will always come home.
It was nice seeing them focus on Diaz as he has been pulling the strings all season but didn’t seem like a major character until after the death of Cayden James (Michael Emerson), which is who they focused on for the first half of the season. This episode helps develop his character quite a bit, but it also sets up Laurel to turn against him. At one point she equates him to Zoom (Teddy Sears) from the Flash, the guy who brought her to Earth-1. She becomes disillusioned by his actions and the burning of Jesse at the end may have been the final straw. There is a scene in the trailer below where Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) says, “You’re telling me you’re scared of a thug like Diaz?”, and then they cut to an image of Oliver, but my guess is he’s talking to Laurel who may have come clean to him about her involvement with Diaz.
Synopsis for next week talks about Oliver turning to an old friend to help battle Diaz. He doesn’t have many left, which makes me think maybe he goes to Anatoly (David Nykl). Rene (Rick Gonzalez) returns but has trouble adjusting to being Wild Dog again and Quentin discovers something shocking… hence my guess about him talking to Laurel there. We’re down to four episodes left in the season with a promised ‘game changing’ finale.