Felicity’s partnership with Helix on Arrow exploded, by the end of the episode literally, in “Dangerous Liaisons.” To find Adrian Chase, Felicity made some harsh choices and found herself up against Team Arrow. “Dangerous Liaisons” was a detour from the main action of Prometheus vs. Oliver but it was a necessary one as it defined Felicity’s journey on the show thus far and where she might be headed in the future. There was one element of the episode that Arrow kept a secret, the leader of Helix and the person who Felicity helped free from ARGUS, Cayden James. There’s enough evidence to suggest that in trying to take down Adrian Chase, Felicity just created and released the next’s season big villain for Team Arrow.
Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire
Fans might not even have to wait for season 6 to have Felicity’s actions come back to bite her. It is certainly possible that Chase was prepared for Felicity tracking him and set up the EMP explosion that went off at the end of “Dangerous Liaisons.” The more likely answer to the EMP mystery is that Cayden was behind it all. Cayden gave Felicity the tracking tech and that tech blew up, one plus one often equals two. Still, even if Arrow does pawn the EMP off on Prometheus’ incredible level of preparedness there are some other hints about Cayden being very bad news.
Arrow spent a lot of the episode with Lyla talking about Cayden as a dangerous man, a loose nuke. Some of this was trying to justify her actions to Diggle but it just made Cayden seem like an incredibly important character. The whole situation was akin to the end of Arrow season 3 where Ra’s al Ghul and others talked about the threat of season 4 villain Damien Darhk but we never actually saw him. It’s worth pointing out that Cayden’s face was never seen as well. If there’s anything that tells us Cayden will back for a reappearance on Arrow it is the fact he wasn’t cast. If Cayden was nobody he would be cast as nobody but that didn’t happen.
The quick way that Helix cleared out of the episode was also suspicious. It was easy to guess that Helix was simply using Felicity and her connections but “Dangerous Liaisons” was confirmation. The second that Helix got what they wanted, Cayden, by exploiting Felicity, they were gone. It would simply be bad storytelling if Arrow spent all this time building up Helix only for them to disappear forever with their dangerous leader.
Creating a Monster to Defeat a Monster
Cayden and Helix might not become the season 6 villains. They might just return as Felicity’s uneasy allies. It is a far better story for Cayden to be the next Big Bad for Arrow. Arrow is a show that loves its consequences and foreshadowing. “Dangerous Liaisons” put a lot of work into Oliver warning Felicity about the consequences of her actions and how crossing the moral line can result in hell having to be paid later. In the episode Oliver told Felicity that she was making the same mistake he did when he created Prometheus. To not capitalize on this idea by making Cayden the next villain is just a waste.
Arrow‘s best villains have been the ones that have challenged Oliver and the team mentally. The show can still do action incredibly well but the biggest challenges are the most cerebral and emotional ones. A battle against Helix and Cayden James would likely be all cerebral and very emotional for Felicity. There might be some mercenaries and mini-bosses for Oliver to punch but Cayden would be sitting at the top and he’s bound to have as many clever contingency plans as Prometheus.
Cayden as a villain would also be a welcome change of pace. Arrow season 5 has challenged Oliver a lot and forced him to become a different person and hero. It is only right that the series also changes around Oliver. Most of Arrow‘s villains have been those with a personal grudge or connection to Oliver. Slade wanted revenge, Ra’s wanted Oliver to rule, Damien wanted Oliver’s control of the city and Prometheus wants Oliver’s destruction. It is about time that a villain’s primary motivation concerns another member of Team Arrow. Cayden being Felicity’s responsibility and nemesis will flip the usual Arrow formula on its head in some fascinating ways. It would also open the door for future seasons of the show not being Oliver feeling guilty for 20-plus episodes.
But what do you think? Should Helix and Cayden be the next major Arrow villains? Will they be the next villains? Did you ever trust Helix? Would you like see the next villain be someone who Oliver isn’t responsible for creating?
(Image courtesy of The CW)