‘Arrow’ S6E13 Recap: “The Devil's Greatest Trick”

Throughout this season of Arrow, Cayden James has been our ultimate heel.  After all, you don’t cast "Ben Linus" himself, Michael Emerson, for no reason unless he’s going to be the ultimate foil.  He’s laid his plans carefully and concisely throughout the past twelve episodes.  After breaking escaping prison, he’s taken his time to enact his revenge against Oliver and Star City, forcing Team Arrow to disband, obtaining a weapon of mass distraction, and threatening to hold the city hostage.  This week, the deadline draws near as he’s about to destroy the city.  Only Oliver, Team Arrow, and the Outsiders are able to try and stop him.

The episode begins with four hours remaining until Carden James is to detonate the bomb and kill everyone in Star City.  We know that his main motivation is to get vengeance on Oliver because he believed that the Oliver killed his star athlete son as collateral damage from his Green Arrow vigilante activities.  Oliver discovered that when his son died, he was not even in town, but the evidence he saw says otherwise.  Of course, this means that the video has been doctored, the same way it was when he was outed as the Green Arrow four months ago.  However, James doesn’t believe him, so he’s moving forward with his plan.

Felicity’s former Helix fried/foe Alena temporarily joined Team Arrow to provide additional Overwatch tech support on trying to decode who doctored the video of James’s son’s death.  Through their extensive (and quick) hacking and analysis of the video, they determined that the real killer was a hired assassin, who of course, ended up dead later on.  Oliver took this news to James in the hopes that he would call off the bomb.  Thanks to a certain scarlet speedster getting Oliver and Diggle to speed into James’ path, they manage to show him the video.  After reluctantly seeing the death of his son, he realizes that the video was doctored, meaning someone in his inner circle is responsible for it.  His cabal isn’t as tight-knitted as he would have thought.  That doesn’t mean that he is willing to call of the bomb just yet.  James tasks Oliver with finding his three former compatriots and bringing them to him, so that he can interrogate them.  If Oliver doesn’t do it in time, the bomb will still go off.

Realizing that he can’t do it himself, Oliver asks the Outsiders to help him find Anatoly, Dragon, and Black Siren.  The problem is that with Black Siren killing Vigilante last week, Dinah is hell-bent on getting justice: i.e.: she wants to kill her.  At the same time, Quinten is convinced that there is some piece of his daughter in her Earth-2 counterpart and he wants to save her somehow.  Oliver and company get Diaz and Anatol, while the Outsiders manage to capture Earth-2 Laurel.  Once they have all three, they tell James, who wants them to meet up at an old theater where the bomb is also located.  However, Oliver’s son William also hears this info and doesn’t want to lose his dad like he did his mom, so he shows up there as well.

At the big showdown, James confronts all three and is willing to set off the bomb.  Black Siren falsely confesses, but James (like all of us) isn’t buying it.  After her proximity to James detonator de-powers her power dampening collar, a fight breaks out between all the groups.  Black Siren and Black Canary fight it out while Curtis and Renee take on Dragon and Anatoly.  Oliver is left with James.  His son briefly gets involved and even remembers his own son who dies (all this episode’s flashbacks focus on Cayden James being an absentee father who ended up imprisoned which led to his son dying).  Finally blaming himself, he’s ready to set off the bomb, but Oliver uses an arrow at the last moment to spear him in the arm, stopping him from setting it off.  Dragon and Anatoly manage to escape while Dinah manages to shoot Black Siren, but Quinten helps her escape with the hope that she will turn a new leaf.

Cayden end up locked behind bars and even willing to Help Oliver recover the ransomed money as well as point out where Anatoly and Dragon could possibly be.  That’s when the real bad guy is finally reveals.  Dragon, who this season seemed like small player finally lays his cards on the table.  With a few cops on his payroll, he manages to freely enter the police station and confronts Cayden.  There, he reveals that it’s a better idea to take over the city, than to blow it up.  The whole time, he’s been playing Cayden James, Oliver, pretty much everyone.  With Oliver under investigation and Team Arrow broken up, the city’s ripe for the taking.  The only other person in his way is Cayden James.  He then proceeds to kill him in the police station, and now our real big bad has finally been revealed.

Arrow is also going on a hiatus until March 1st, but when it returns, Team Arrow will finally face off against their former teammates, the Outsiders.