In Review: Arrow – The Devil’s Greatest Trick

Cayden James discovers a secret about the Green Arrow and pushes him over the edge.

Synopsis: Cayden James discovers a secret about the Green Arrow and pushes him over the edge. Knowing everyone and everything he loves is in danger, Oliver must decide if he can do this alone or if he needs to turn to his old teammates for help. William starts to demand more of Oliver’s time.

Review: This episode works pretty much as Cayden James last dance. In the story, Oliver presents Cayden with some evidence they have gathered, which vindicates Green Arrow.

Amid all of this is the whole Team Arrow Split, which is getting old and boring. The writers need to address this pretty soon.

The saving grace of this episode is an absolutely wonderful performance by Michael Emerson as Cayden James. Emerson puts on a masterful performance of a man being torn apart by his own grief and his personal quest to avenge the death of his son at all costs. Which is something that ultimately ends up being his Achilles heel. 

Even when Arrow presents evidence to Cayden that the Arrow did not kill his son. Cayden is still set on blowing up the city and gives the Arrow an ultimatum. Find and bring his former associates to him or the city gets it.  In order to do this Ollie has little choice but to yet again call on Curtis and Rene for help due to the fact that they need to stop Dinah aka Black Canary from killing Black Siren. 

The stuff with Oliver’s son and his daddy issues was well played out and it was quite touching when Cayden tells Ollie to look after William at the end of the episode.

Overall. An average episode, which is only saved by a powerhouse performance from Michael Emerson. The flashbacks of Cayden James and his time with Helix and him watching his son play basketball were a nice touch and added a little extra oomph to Emerson’s already great performance. You wind up feeling a degree of sympathy for Cayden James by the close of the episode.

The reveal of who set Ollie and Cayden up was a little surprising given that most probably would have seen the guy setting them up as more of a thug than anyone capable of a master plan. I still suspect there is another villain that we haven’t met yet.

Arrow - The Devil's Greatest Trick
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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