To say I was underwhelmed by Arrow’s follow-up to an epic all-future episode the previous week would be an understatement. But that’s exactly what happened with “Inheritance,” the final episode before Arrow’s final mini-hiatus of this season. You’d think it would pack a little more punch. Even the reveal at the end — involving Emiko and the Queen’s Gambit — didn’t do it for me.
While Arrow is trying to drive the whole family focus home, the Emiko Queen storyline continues to miss the mark. It lacks the emotion that we once got with Thea Queen, and yes, I’m comparing them. As we well know, Arrow is good at recycling storylines — usually for the worse. Well, let’s look at the bright side: at least OTA is thriving. All is well.
Let’s break down the good, the bad, and the so-so in Arrow‘s latest episode, “Inheritance.”
Felicity Smoak-Queen is a badass. But you already knew that. Getting to watch this superwoman balancing being Overwatch and launching her company and being a wife all while she’s pregnant was just phenomenal to watch. Obviously, this Smoak Technologies storyline is one that I’ve been clamoring for forever. A chance for Felicity to get to start her own company. And by herself. Arrow tried to force Curtis into the picture because it appeared that they ran out of storylines for him, by himself. Felicity has never needed Curtis or anyone else to do what she does. She’s a frickin genius. So when Arrow sent Curtis packing and opened the door for Felicity to start Smoak Tech, it was like the Arrowverse gods opened their arms to embrace me.
More Female Friendships, Please!
One of the fatal flaws of the Arrowverse as a whole is the lack of female friendships, as evidenced across the board of shows. And when we do get a nice female friendship, it’s typically ignored or forgotten. This season we’ve gotten some Felicity and Laurel friendship, which shockingly I’ve enjoyed, and I was more than thrilled with Alena’s return. Not only that, but Arrow remembered that Felicity promised to involve her when she started her own company. And here we are. Here’s the thing, not all characters need to be main characters. Alena is a perfect example. I don’t need this show to make her a series regular. But I would like for this show to have her recurring and give us those moments of friendship between her and Felicity. I just need more female friendships in general, please!
Diggle’s Advice to Oliver
If there’s been one thing I’ve been more than thrilled about in these past few episodes it’s that Arrow has remembered that Oliver and Diggle know each other. They even have a relationship. And they’re really good together. Imagine that! I was feeling nostalgic watching Diggle be his Yoda self and advise Oliver in how to handle this whole Emiko situation. Being reminded of just how well Diggle knows Oliver. Diggle making the connection between him and Andy and warning Oliver to be careful because of his blindspot for family. Besides, any moment where Oliver and Diggle can talk — just themselves — is something that I will gladly watch all day.
Back when Emiko Queen was introduced in the mid-season finale, I promised I’d give her a chance. If the show could do right by her character in a way that didn’t feel like it was overcompensating for the lack of Thea, then perhaps this would feel fresh. But at this point, I’ve seen enough of her character to have enough. Emiko is just blah. Boring. I don’t care. And at this point, I feel like this show is repeatedly forcing her down my throat. Multiple episodes focused on her, when we haven’t even had episodes focused on integral main characters. Not to mention that Emiko is a reminder that we don’t have Thea anymore. Thea, Oliver’s sister, who this show wasted because they ran out of story. Emiko is a reminder that we could have Thea. But we don’t. Le sigh.
We’ve Already Played the Wronged by Father Card
Arrow is no stranger to recycling storylines. The latest? A daughter wronged by her estranged father storyline, which feels redundant and lacks the emotion of the original storyline. Obviously, I’m talking about Thea and Malcolm, which while not perfect in its execution felt much more powerful than this storyline with Emiko and Robert. And a large part of that has to do with the fact that we had an established bond with Thea. We cared about her. We knew her. We even knew Malcolm, to a degree. And that made that storyline work. But this whole Emiko/Robert thing just lacks originality and emotion, in terms of the show. I know that this is Arrow pulling from the comics, but you also have to pay attention to storylines you’ve already executed in the past so you’re not recycling. But then again, Arrow has never really been good at that.
Believe it or not, I’m actually intrigued by this whole Laurel redemption arc. The thing I’ve always said, regarding Black Siren, is that I’d be game for this redemption arc — if it was done right. And what this show has been doing thus far, it feels acceptable. We haven’t just heard that Laurel wants to atone and be better, we’ve seen it. We’ve seen it through her friendship with Felicity, how she’s trying to be the best DA, how she’s trying to follow things by the book. She’s not perfect, but there’s definitely progress. There are some things that she still needs to answer for — the murders she committed — but it looks like this show might be taking that path after Emiko leaked some info that will shine a spotlight on Laurel. I put this under the so-so category basically because Dinah was forced on us. While I understand Dinah is the Captain, she didn’t really feel necessary in Laurel’s story.
Emiko Was Complicit in Queen’s Gambit Sinking
While I understand that this show was looking for a WOW moment in revealing that Emiko knew of Malcolm Merlyn’s plan to blow up the boat that carried Robert Queen and his son — our hero — Oliver Queen. I get that this show was looking for a way to show that Emiko was pissed after Robert siding with Oliver over her. He loved her idea of Queen Material Inc., but he made it clear that it wasn’t possible because Oliver was set to inherit Queen Consolidated. But the whole thing feels too convenient. Earlier this week, I wrote about how Supergirl’s having Lex Luthor be the mastermind behind everything that’s happened this season — even though he was introduced just an episode ago — seemed convenient, as well. But it works. The difference? When you have a villain like Lex Luthor you’re willing to overlook that aspect because of what he brings to the table. Emiko Queen, who this show appears to be setting up as the Big Bad, doesn’t carry the same clout. So it, quite frankly, doesn’t work. It feels lazy.
Arrow returns April 15 with new episodes.