You have to be a pilot to fully appreciate this. Stupid controller. Arrogant butthole https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrYGoJTj0RU
1. The pilot has a duty to do what is safe. If the controller give a bad command, he has a duty to point it out or do what is safe. It is not the controller who "controls" ultimately. It's the pilot's plane.
2. The controller vectored the pilot into oncoming traffic from JFK (or Laguardia maybe). This is not wrong strictly speaking, but it's not orthodox. The dangerous are obvious. It's not like heading into oncoming traffic on the road. The air is open, and the planes can manage strictly speaking. But again, it is not a good idea. This is why the pilot follows the order, but is thinking it is a bad one in the back of his mind. He should have asked the controller if he was mistaken, even told him he refused to take that heading for safety reasons. But that is a judgment call, and the real jerk here is the controller, even if the pilot would ultimately be at fault if there was a crash. That is what the NTSB would say I think. But the controller would be partially at fault.