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Recap / Arrow S 6 E 13 The Devils Greatest Trick

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James threatens to set off a giant bomb in Star City. Dinah's obsession with revenge for Vincent's death pushes her to defy Oliver.

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Dinah throws this at Oliver for Vincent's death claiming he let him die, not caring that Oliver chose to find James' bomb to save the whole damn city instead.
  • Batman Gambit: Everything that's happened (Owen's murder, Oliver's indictment, the team splintering) was all part of Diaz's plan to take-over the city as a new crime boss.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Cayden James is put in custody only to be killed by Ricardo Diaz, Dinah is at odds with everyone, and Rene and Curtis still refuse to come back to Team Arrow. Meanwhile, Quentin learns that Black Siren didn't want to kill Vince, so he's doubling down on his efforts to reform her.
  • Blatant Lies: Black Siren claims that she killed Owen. Nobody buys it apart from Dinah, who has very clearly fixated on any reason to kill Laurel.
  • Call-Back: Oliver mentions to James that he has bad experiences with a Big Bad surrendering, referring to Adrian Chase's gambit last season.
  • The Cameo: Barry appears in a flash so Oliver and Diggle can catch up to Cayden before he leaves town.
  • The Chessmaster: Ricardo Diaz has been playing everyone for fools from the word "go", having manipulated Cayden, the FBI, and Team Arrow in order to keep his enemies divided and unable to stop his rise to power.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Diggle still gets motion sickness when Barry moves him at super-speed. At least this time, he managed not to vomit.
    • The captured Black Siren is fitted with a power inhibitor collar from Earth-X.
  • Corrupt Cop: Diaz reveals that the new police captain is in his pocket.
  • Create Your Own Villain: This episode once again stresses how inhumane A.R.G.U.S.' treatment of Cayden James was and that it was a major factor in his development from hacktivist to terrorist.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When Oliver and John have cornered Anatoly, the latter asks to be imprisoned out of town, due to the bomb that is set to explode soon.
  • A Death in the Limelight: Similar to Vincent last week, Cayden James receives a lot of focus via flashbacks the same episode he dies.
  • Death Seeker: This episode implies that Black Siren may be one. She continues to taunt Dinah despite knowing how badly Dinah wants to kill her, and falsely volunteers herself as the mastermind of Cayden's rampage despite knowing that he likely intends to kill whoever was responsible for his son's death.
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  • Despair Event Horizon: This episode's flashbacks reveal that it wasn't A.R.G.U.S.'s torture that broke Cayden; it was learning of his son's murder.
  • Deus ex Machina: Cayden James has skipped town, a nuke is scheduled to go off, and Team Arrow needs to convince him that his grudge against Oliver was forged from doctored evidence. The solution: The Flash comes all the way from Central City, drops them off, then disappears all while unseen.
  • Dies Wide Open: Cayden James dies with wide open eyes.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Cayden James, who was presented as the apparent Big Bad all season, is defeated and later killed. Ironically, the true Big Bad is revealed to be Ricardo Diaz, who had previously been presented as the Disc-One Final Boss working for Cayden.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: What was the catalyst for A.R.G.U.S arresting Cayden James? He used his hacking skills to go after a pharmaceutical company that was engaging in black market sales; he made sure those profits disappeared.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Despite initially being advertised as the season's Big Bad, Ricardo Diaz has, up to this point, been the villain with the least amount of focus, and who has the least motive to go after Oliver. By contrast, both Anatoly and Laurel have personal histories with Team Arrow, leading Oliver and Dinah respectively to assume that they are responsible. Diaz seems to have been counting on this, as it keeps everyone's attention off him while he quietly takes advantage of the situation to grow in strength and take over Star City for himself.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: Laurel warns Quentin to stop trying to see the good in her, because she doesn't want to have to enjoy killing him.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title is an obvious reference to poet Charles Baudelaire's quote "The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist", made famous by The Usual Suspects — where a Hidden Villain, Keyser Soze, is the true mastermind. Also consider that in Christianity, a dragon is often used to symbolize The Devil.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Ricardo Diaz turns out to have been this for Cayden James.
  • Face Death with Dignity: James tries to, but is clearly horrified in his last moments.
  • Forgot About Her Powers: Not once in the fight with Laurel did Dinah use her powers like she did in the previous season's finale.
  • Give My Regards in the Next World: When killing Cayden, Diaz tells him to say hi to his son for him.
  • Graceful Loser:
    • Upon being caught by Oliver trying to flee the city, Anatoly just quips that if Oliver insists on sending him to prison, he should send him to one outside of Star City.
    • After breaking down and being arrested, Cayden surrenders without any fuss or any ulterior motive, and even returns the money he'd extorted from Star City and provides Oliver with the best intel he can about where to find his former allies. His final words to Oliver aren't delivered with any spite or sarcasm; he just sincerely asks that Oliver be a better father to William than Cayden was to his own son.
  • Heel Realization: In the end, James realizes how neglectful he was to his son and how much his son would have hated him for what he became.
  • Hidden Depths: Black Siren's comments to Quentin imply some rather intense self-loathing on her part; she claims to enjoy being evil and having murdered Vincent and tries to convince Quentin that she's irredeemable, especially when he maintains that she can be a better person.
  • Hypocrite: Dinah accuses Oliver of being blinded by affection for Laurel because he doesn't believe that she killed Cayden's son, even though he's shown no such affection in a long while. Dinah herself is blindly fixated on Laurel being pure evil to justify killing her, to the point that she, a trained detective, doesn't see through Laurel's obvious lie about killing Owen.
  • Ignored Expert: In the flashbacks, Alena advises Cayden not to go outside due to the A.R.G.U.S. warrant on his head. He doesn't listen, as he doesn't want to disappoint his son again, and it promptly costs him his freedom.
  • It's All About Me: Dinah cares more about killing Black Siren than saving the city from the bomb.
  • It's All My Fault: In the end, Cayden blames himself for Owen's death, realizing if he hadn't prioritized his hackitivism over being a parent, he'd still be alive.
  • Jerkass Ball: Rene still has a firm hold on it, blaming Oliver for the snafu at the meeting with Cayden, and continuing to insist that the two groups' alliance to save the city has changed nothing about their falling out.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Dinah is borderline irrational about her desire to kill Black Siren, but she's not wrong to point out that, unlike Vincent, Laurel hasn't shown any desire to change or help the heroes, and she has shown enjoyment of the murders she committed before Vincent. Granted, it's undermined by Dinah's bias where Vincent is concerned: while he did hold off on killing criminals at her request, he showed no remorse for having killed many in the past, nor for the innocent people that were caught in the crossfire, nor for his past attempts at killing Oliver.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Dinah uses her cry on Quentin of all people when he tries to stop her from killing Black Siren. She even believes Black Siren's bogus confession that she killed Owen.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Black Siren needlessly indulges in Evil Gloating towards Dinah, only strengthening the latter's resolve to kill her.
    • In the flashbacks, the two A.R.G.U.S. agents apprehending Cayden James don't even give him the time to watch his only son's sports game till the end.
    • Ricardo Diaz had Owen murdered for no reason other than to motivate Cayden.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Black Siren really doesn't do much to convince Dinah not to go through with her revenge. Aside from the needless Evil Gloating mentioned above, she also shows that she had literally no reason to obey Cayden James' order to execute Vincent, as she unceremoniously blasts him unconscious when she comes near him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Seeing the always calm and collected Cayden James cry during the flashbacks after learning about his son's death is surely disturbing.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • When William arrives at the meeting between Team Arrow and Cayden James, Cayden speaks to him politely, even complimenting Oliver on his son's bravery.
    • Despite having previously arrested Cayden outside of Owen's basketball game, one A.R.G.U.S. agent offers sincere condolences about Owen's death.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Unlike the previous Big Bads of the last five seasons, Diaz's ultimate plan has nothing to do with destroying Star City. He points out much more profitable it is to simply take it over.
  • The Reveal: Ricardo Diaz is the one who killed Owen, sent Cayden the doctored video of it, and sent the press the doctored photo of Oliver as the Green Arrow. All of this was part of a plan to take over the city.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Throughout the episode, Dinah pursues revenge against Black Siren to the point of insanity. She's willing to keep hunting her despite knowing that the city is hours away from destruction, has to be physically restrained to hear out any reason to spare her, and, alone of the entire cast, fully buys into Black Siren's obvious lie about killing Cayden's son.
  • Sanity Slippage: Quentin seems more and more desperate in his attempts to redeem Black Siren. In the end, he is even willing to take Cayden James's word as an argument and goes so far as to abduct Laurel to forcefully reform her.
  • Start of Darkness: The flashbacks this episode focus on Cayden James going from hacktivist and slightly neglectful father to the terrorist and mass murderer he is in present day.
  • Taking You with Me: During his Villainous Breakdown, Cayden states his intent to set off the bomb, killing himself and most of the city, if it means managing to kill the person who betrayed him and killed his son.
  • Talking to the Dead: While preparing to blow the city up, Cayden speaks to his deceased son, promising him justice.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Dinah's bloodthirstiness puts her at odds with everyone...even Rene and Curtis, who recognize the seriousness of the situation and work in tandem with Team Arrow with little difficulty (though Rene still insists on taking a cheap hypocritical shot at Oliver).
  • Tranquil Fury: Cayden is surprisingly calm when he finds out somebody close to him killed Owen and framed Oliver. It makes him even scarier.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cayden James completely loses it during the climax of the episode.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Quentin claims he couldn't care less if Dinah killed Black Siren. Then he shows up to stop her from killing her.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Everyone calls Dinah out on how self-destructive she's become by being willing to kill Black Siren even if it would endanger the city. She makes it clear she wants to kill the latter even after all is said and done.
    • Quentin calls Dinah out on how she was willing to give Vincent a second chance but not Black Siren; she retorts that Vincent actually made the effort to prove himself, while Black Siren has done nothing but be a "murderous psycho" in league with other murderous psychos, and that Quentin is deluding himself to think she's willing to change. This is sadly her irrational bias hard at work, as Laurel already saved Quentin once.
  • Wham Episode: Ricardo Diaz is revealed to be the one who killed Owen and kills Cayden James, taking over as the true Big Bad, just like he was advertised at the start.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: The flashbacks show that Cayden was quite the neglectful father due to his hacking activities.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: James, who failed to be a good father and couldn't even say goodbye to his son, is being allowed by Oliver to visit Owen's grave in exchange for information on his former allies. But then Ricardo Diaz shows up and kills him before he can do so.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When Black Siren insists that she'll never be the Laurel that Quentin lost, he agrees, but still refuses to let her off that easily.
    Quentin: No, you'll always be you. But you can be better.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Cayden promises his partners an airlift out of the city before the bomb goes off, but it never shows, leading them to realize he's leaving them to die.
    • Diaz returns the favor, killing Cayden after he's been captured.
  • Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb: William is really not the brightest kid, going after his dad despite knowing that the city is dealing with a terrorist threatening to blow up the entire city.

Example of: