Warning: spoilers ahead for the eleventh episode of Arrow Season 6, called "We Fall." If you haven't gotten to watch just yet, you may want to check out some of our non-spoilery articles until you catch the episode for yourself.
Arrow is the longest-running current superhero show on The CW, and it has had the chance to introduce a whole bunch of epic supervillains over the years. The show has gone in a new direction with Cayden James as the main villain of the season. Unlike past big bads, Cayden James wouldn't stand a chance in a physical fight with even the weakest of Team Arrow. Instead, he uses his intelligence, thirst for revenge, and knack for assembling groups to terrorize Star City as part of his quest to take down the Green Arrow. In "We Fall," James may have just proved that he's the most dangerous villain Oliver has ever faced.
"We Fall" got off to a deadly start thanks to Cayden James using his technological wizardry to turn the tech used by the folks of Central City into death machines. The cops had to ditch technology and go old school to create safe zones for people, and even those were put in grave danger when James sent his crew of fighters to attack. James had infiltrated just about every network in the city, causing outages and failures in everything from hospitals to cars to elevators.
Throw in his control of the harbor and his moves on the other ways in and out of the city, and he effectively cut Star City off from the rest of the country. By the end of the hour, he was turning off the internet, and Oliver only spared his city from descending into darkness and madness by wiring $10 million to James. Cayden James is everywhere in a way that Malcolm Merlyn, Deathstroke, Ra's al Ghul, Damien Darhk, and Prometheus never were.
Of course, this isn't the first time that it's seemed like Team Arrow was totally and utterly screwed in their fight to save the city from the supervillain of the year. In fact, Deathstroke's reign of terror was arguably more terrifyingly violent. The difference between Team Arrow facing Deathstroke and his goons in Season 2 and Team Arrow facing Cayden James and his villainous posse in Season 6 is that Team Arrow should have had almost all the advantages this time around.
The core trio's tech is more advanced than it was in earlier years. Diggle is back at fighting capacity. Oliver is able to pull strings as the mayor that simply weren't touchable by the idiot billionaire he seemed to be way back when. In fact, he's not even dealing with PTSD flashbacks to his five years of hell every week. Despite the setbacks of Team Arrow 2.0 breaking off and Digg's health struggles, Team Arrow is stronger than ever. They're just facing an enemy that is stronger than they are right now thanks to Cayden James, and that's something no supervillain before had truly managed. This Team Arrow would have had no trouble with some of the big bads of earlier years. At this point, they're losing to Cayden James and his various cronies.
Of course, we are only about halfway done with Season 6, and there's plenty of time for Team Arrow to get ahead of Cayden James. They're just not usually this far behind this early in a given season. The good news is that Oliver finally got young William's blessing to work as the Green Arrow, largely thanks to William now having a stepmom to take care of him in case his dad gets himself killed. Together with a determined Felicity, a healthy Diggle, and Quentin and Thea helping out on the civilian front, Oliver may be able to gain some traction. The big question is whether Team Arrow 2.0 will help or hurt before the two groups inevitably rejoin. Who knows? Maybe a long-lost ally could return to lend a hand.