There’s a different vibe in this seventh season of Arrow. There’s this sense of hope and optimism that this season can almost consistently provide satisfaction. There’s this feeling that this change is showrunner is the exact change that this show needed to become relevant again.
We’re two episodes into Arrow’s seventh season, and I still feel as if this season is going to be more good than bad. Again, you never know this early on. And it’s easy to get sucked into a trap with things that pull on your emotional heartstrings.
But Arrow has me hooked right now. With Oliver’s prison storyline. With Felicity’s fiery determination to fight for her family. With these flash forwards that provide more questions than answers. Hell, even this dynamic between Dinah and Black Siren is entertaining. The only thing I’d gladly do without is the travesty that is Diaz and how this show continues to waste our time and insult our intelligence.
Join me in breaking down “Longbow Hunters,” where we discuss Felicity’s fiery passion to take down Diaz, Oliver’s fighting for his family, those flash forwards, and the gaping mistake known as Diaz.
Fight, Felicity, Fight
I would pay money to watch an entire show about Felicity Smoak (featuring John Diggle) until Oliver gets out of prison. No lie. I could watch an hour of “Felicity and Friends” and be eternally satisfied. With that said, I love that focus on Felicity and how she’s dealing with Oliver being in prison. In season’s past, Felicity would be forced to the sideline and us forced to watch only as Oliver deals with life in prison and not get to see Felicity’s perspective. I like this new Arrow.
During her brief reunion with Oliver in last week’s premiere, Felicity vowed to fight. To fight back. To fight back at Diaz. And fight she did. And fight she’ll continue to do.
Diaz — this poor excuse for a villain that I’m forced to write about in a way that lies that he’s formidable — took everything from Felicity. Her husband. Her family. Her sense of security. Her old life. And Felicity be damned if she’s not going to take down this rabid Pomeranian.
There’s this fiery sense of determination in Felicity’s eyes throughout this episode. Pay attention and you’ll see it. Every. Scene. This is a woman that knows what she wants and will risk anything to get it. She’s in pain, but she’s not giving in or giving up. She’s using this anger to fuel her fight. And the moment she finally gets Diaz — because we all know damn well it’s going to be her — it’ll be the most satisfying thing this season outside of Oliver and Felicity’s reunion.
There’s no doubt that her pursuit of Diaz compromises her as an ARGUS asset. Her only goal is getting Diaz. At first, she believes Diggle is her best way. Her brother, her oldest friend, someone that also loves Oliver. Makes sense. Only Diggle chose not to take on the Green Arrow mantle in his absence because he couldn’t subject his family to what that hood has put Felicity through, which is completely understandable. That doesn’t make Diggle selfish. That doesn’t take anything away from Felicity and Diggle’s relationship. That just means Felicity’s way to Diaz isn’t through Diggle. She has to find someone else to help her.
Which leads us to Felicity’s partnership with Agent Samandra Watson. The woman that, lawfully, ruined her life by locking her husband up. But right now, the goal is Diaz and only Diaz. And who else wants Diaz as badly as she does?
While everyone’s lives have gone on — albeit amid changes — Felicity’s entire life has been turned upside down. And it’s almost like these people that claim to be her friends haven’t realized that. They’re so caught up in their own lives that they don’t see their friend is hurting. So that makes Felicity believe that she has to do this alone. Without her husband. Without her son. Without her friends. So while there’s a sense of empowerment to how Felicity continues to fight for her family, it’s also heartbreaking to watch her have to do it on her own.
Survive, Oliver, Survive
You’ve gotta love parallels with your OTP. Especially when they’re separated by the bars of a maximum security prison. While Felicity continues to fight to get Diaz and get justice for what he’s taken from her family, Oliver continues to fight for his family in prison.
While this show has touted Oliver as being something different than the Oliver we’ve known of late — a hero, someone who looks to survive and not kill — all it took was seeing his wife and hearing her voice and pleading with him to let her fight Diaz to light a fire under Oliver’s ass and fight for his family, as well. Yes, Oliver is behind bars. But there’s still some things Oliver can do to protect his family. Making the other inmates learn not to f*** with him, for one.
Oliver laid an absolute beatdown upon some assholes last week in a moment that represented Oliver’s continued fighting for his family, as well as alerted the other inmates that you don’t want to mess with Oliver Queen.
Oliver was presented with a dilemma that tested his morality in an interesting way. Everyone in this prison seems to be obsessed with the idea that Oliver isn’t a hero, which again here we go with people questioning Oliver being a hero. Though they get a pass because they’re in prison. And Oliver is in prison. And who the hell thinks a hero would be in prison? (In short: Oliver is a hero, and he proved it with his actions.)
There was an interesting parallel between Oliver and Yorke, as both men seem to be fighting for their wife and child. It’s something that certainly made Oliver stop short and question what was being asked of him: To get rid of Yorke (presumably by death.)
But it was nice to see Oliver hasn’t lost who he is. How could he when he reminds himself what he’s fighting for: Felicity and William. He’s got a family. They keep him sane as he’s locked up in prison. Knowing they’re out there, knowing it’s his responsibility to protect them, knowing he has to return to them someday, Oliver doesn’t take that lightly. That hope and longing to be reunited with his family not only keeps him going but keeps him grounded and level-headed in how he’s approaching this entire prison thing.
So when it seems like Oliver can’t prevent Yorke’s death — be it at his own hands or someone else’s — Oliver stages an Oscar-worthy performance as he stabs himself pretending that Yorke did it. And he sold it. So not only did he fulfill his promise to get rid of Yorke, he did it the right way without compromising who he is.
Hey, Oliver has learned some things. Like how to hack into a computer. “My wife taught me a few things.” I almost died.
The Mystery of the Flash Forwards Continues
Much like the flashbacks (circa season 2) used to intrigue me, these flash forwards have added an exciting element to this season that provides so much potential for the imagination (or theorizing) with these little hints dropped here and there.
When we last left future Lian Yu, William had just taken a boat in the middle of a storm (an homage to his father) and came face-to-face with Roy Harper (Uncle Roy?) where there were plenty of questions, the first being: What the hell brought William to Lian Yu? Turns out it was the hozen that Felicity gave William in the premiere (in the present).
After some conversation, it turns out that Oliver and Felicity left William (which makes zero sense, unless something happened to them) and William is left picking up the pieces trying to make sense of it all.
- “You were with my Aunt Thea.”
- “I came here to forget about that.”
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, ARROW? WHAT DID YOU DO TO THEA?!
I feel like each flash forward and its little teases are going to kill me week in and week out. “Is so and so alive? What happened with so and so? Are so and so still together? Are we going to ever see other future versions of characters we know?”
Honestly, I’m a tad nervous to get my hopes so high for these flash forwards. Thinking about all of the possibilities they could do with these flash forwards makes it equally exciting and uneasy because you want to so desperately believe they won’t screw these flash forwards up like they once did with flashbacks.
All I know is that: WE’RE GOING BACK TO STAR CITY. Well, we’re going back to FUTURE STAR CITY.
Two Birds of a Feather
At first glance it appears as if someone in the DCTV universe got the memo that we desire less female on female crime and more female friendships in a world where they’re already ignored and/or under-appreciated. Only, I didn’t expect to get it with Dinah and Black Siren.
If forgiveness is the plan, then this show did everything to set that up, as well as a possible partnership (I won’t say friendship yet) between Dinah and Black Siren.
These two have every reason to hate each other. Dinah especially. Black Siren murdered Dinah’s boyfriend and laughed as she did it. While Black Siren certainly isn’t the villain she was at that point last season, you can’t say definitively that she’s not that “monster” she claims not to be. Words mean nothing. Actions are what counts.
With that said, Arrow has always been a show about redemption. No matter how bad you have it or what bad you’ve done, if you want redemption, you can certainly achieve it. Only it’s not something that’s handed to you. You have to earn it.
Perhaps this is where Black Siren begins her redemption tour: With Dinah. This is a woman whose life she ruined when she murdered the man she loved and set her on a dark path that nearly ended with Black Siren’s own death. That kind of crime isn’t forgivable, as Black Siren acknowledges. But this show certainly teased that while forgiveness might not be in the cards, acceptance and moving on might be.
“The Longbow Hunters” paired up our two canaries and their sonic cries as Dinah’s insistence to protect Laurel’s life took on precedence. What I don’t get is why was it important for Dinah to protect the DA? Unless she thinks Diaz could make a move to get someone in there? Anyways, this unlikely partnership brought these two together to take on the Longbow Hunters and to begin what’s sure to be an interesting journey for these two enemies. Redemption is always possible. Forgiveness? Well, we’ll have to wait and see on that.
Why Is This Show Wasting Their Time On Diaz?
Even after this second episode of a season that seems filled with promise I find myself asking: “Why is Arrow wasting its precious time on an embarrassment like Diaz?”
Did they like lose money in a bet or something? Or get a concussion? Because that’s the only logical reason behind it. Diaz is the worst villain I’ve ever seen on these DCTV shows — and that includes the villain that was a shark. He’s more laughable than CGI villains and as threatening as a Pomeranian. Sorry, I’d be more afraid of the Pomeranian.
Arrow really couldn’t come up with a better villain than Diaz? Diaz was the perfect example of what not to do with a villain. Which is make him a whiny bitch who has no right to be in the same breath as Oliver Queen, make him not at all threatening, and cast an actor who is as equally dreadful.
The one glaring flaw of Arrow’s season thus far has been the decision to keep Diaz. What’s the long game here? Drag this out while Oliver is in prison and then have another Oliver v. Diaz showdown, where this show has the audacity to act like Oliver couldn’t gut this guy like a fish in 3 seconds?
So much wasted potential. Be careful Arrow, don’t fall into old (bad) habits.
Arrow airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.