‘Arrow’ 7×19 Review: ‘Spartan’

Even John Diggle wasn’t enough to save this episode for me.
Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the end of the season, and I’ve had to put up with a lot on this show this year. Maybe it’s the fact that this is an episode I should’ve gotten back in season 2 or 3. Maybe it’s the fact that I know this show ends after the season 7 finale when Felicity exits.
I’m trying to savor every episode, but I’m so far “meh” with what this show has become that it’s making it quite difficult. I want closure, I need closure. I wish Arrow were ending with season 7. I wish the crossover event didn’t dictate when it ends. I wish the crossover event didn’t dictate how Arrow’s mythology developed, force to introduce supers into the mix.
I have a lot of thoughts when it comes to what has become of Arrow. But right now, I’m just tired. So let’s trudge through these last episodes while cherishing all of the Olicity and OTA I can get my precious hands on.
Let’s discuss Arrow’s latest episode, “Spartan.”

It only took seven seasons, but we finally got John Diggle’s backstory.

It isn’t the norm when one of the cornerstone characters of your show has to wait seven years to get a real glimpse at his backstory. But we finally got to meet John Diggle’s father — his stepfather that’s actually more of a father — and it helped in understanding why Diggle has been distant from his family.

Sure, we met John’s brother Andy in season 4, but when it comes to getting a better understanding of what said character has gone through in his life, it helps to get to know the whole family.

Dig’s father, General Stewart — how many Green Lantern references does one need to make before they actually pull the trigger, huh — came a knockin’ at what was the perfect time from a plot standpoint. Here was Team Arrow fighting to get Archer back from the Ninth Circle, and it was the perfect time to infuse some daddy issues.

For once, it wasn’t Oliver dealing with the daddy issues. And it was another nice parallel between Oliver and Diggle and the similar circumstances they’ve gone through. If only it happened sooner.

Better late than never, I guess.

Felicity’s legacy will be lasting and impactful.

At a time where Felicity is contemplating her legacy, it feels especially emotional considering that Emily Bett Rickards is establishing Felicity’s legacy on Arrow, as she exits after season 7. As Felicity yearns to be remembered as something other than Overwatch, we all hope that Felicity is remembered for how she was a hero that never needed a costume or powers to be strong or super.

Speaking of…

Felicity wants her legacy to be lasting and impactful. And she also wants it to be something other than just Overwatch. Felicity wants to help people in more than one way. While she loves saving people as Overwatch, being able to create the kind of technology that can help them is something too enticing, especially for a hero like her to pass up.

From the moment Felicity Smoak graced our screens in season 1, she was destined to leave a lasting impact. No one knew it yet. But that’s exactly what came to happen. She changed the entire dynamic of this show, for the better, and inspired a new generation of girls when it came to being a hero without a cape.

So it’s fitting, as Alena told Felicity, that it wasn’t some technology that was destined to change the world. FELICITY SMOAK was destined to change the world. And even after she takes her final bow in the season 7 finale, that’s a legacy that will live on long after Arrow ends after next season.

Mia and Connor have all kinds of sexual tension.

There was a moment in this episode between Mia and Connor that felt like the beginning of an epic OTP. Where, after an episode of Mia bickering at him about not trusting him, the two locked eyes and everything else seemed to melt away.
Like mother/father like daughter. Like father/mother like son.
Because I’ll be damned if Mia and Connor don’t have it. You know, it. The chemistry. The sizzle. The body language that conveys several emotions at once while leaving you wanting to know more. All I know is that when Mia and Connor are on screen, I can’t help but yearn for a spinoff that features our Next Gen OTA, with our OTP being Oliver and Felicity’s daughter with Diggle’s son. Talk about carrying on a legacy.
There’s been some unanswered tension between Mia and Connor since they first appeared on our screens, and it stems from Mia’s inability to trust Connor after he refused to open up to her. Not that she’s much better. Comes with being Oliver’s daughter.
We learned a little about Connor’s upbringing. There was a question as to how this came to be — how Connor is Dig and Lyla’s adoptive son — and we learned that Connor was actually the son of Bronze Tiger, who entrusts Diggle to raise him. We also learned about the other son, J.J., who after being referred to as the other son probably prompted him to turn evil. So, yeah, J.J. is evil. Because of course.
While I’m hoping that this Mia/Connor dynamic shifts — because the future resets with Mia growing up with Oliver and Felicity and her older brother William — something tells me, should this get a spinoff, that this will be a focal point for the series.

Can we stop wasting precious time with this Emiko crap?

Arrow feels like a ticking clock at this point as the end of each episode signals another episode closer to an Arrow without Felicity Smoak. And I’ll be damned if this show isn’t wasting valuable time on some random sister that doesn’t deserve Oliver’s benefit of the doubt or the airtime she’s getting.

At this point, it’s the same old thing at this point. Oliver believes he can save Emiko. Rene thinks this isn’t the real Emiko. Then, Emiko goes and proves them both wrong. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s repetitive and not in the slightest bit entertaining.

Even now, as Emiko killed Dante, who killed her mom and turned her against Oliver, I’ve had enough with this storyline. There are actual important characters that have been around since the beginning that deserve attention.

Arrow airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.

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