Brief Thoughts On Arrow’s Mid-Season Finale
by Erik Amaya
Since next week’s episode of Arrow forms the second part of the “Elseworlds” crossover, this week served as the mid-season finale. And in true Arrow tradition, it threw a lot at the viewer. Besides showing Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) adjusting to life after prison, it revealed the identities of the New Green Arrow in the present and Black Star in the future, and made a few pointed comments about the rise of the Glades. It also established a new internal conflict for Ollie and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and made sure to establish the status of a character many hoped to never see again.
As much as we wanted his story to be over, Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) is very much alive and will seemingly be an A.R.G.U.S. asset when the series returns in January. But what could strike such fear into Diggle (David Ramsey) and Layla (Audrey Marie Anderson) that they would recruit Diaz? The mention of Kobra suggests the cult may finally appear on the series, but that could easily be a throwaway line. Whatever it is, we presume it will tie back to the rise of the Glades, which seems to be the real theme of the season.
To that end, we have the first inkling that Rene (Rick Gonzales) will become a political power in his own right and, perhaps, find himself leader of the Glades of 2048. Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) made light of his impassioned speechifying in the present, but what if he ends up being the right voice for the powers behind the restoration of the Glades? The cabal is clearly already in place and it seems the new Star City mayor is part of it. From Rene’s point of view, giving the Glades a real voice in city hall would be nothing but a positive. Nevertheless, he may regret the decision 20 years on.
And speaking of that future, Dinah and William (Ben Lewis) have met Black Star (Katherine McNamara) — a person who may be friend or foe depending on what Felicity’s game turns out to be. She could be the person planning to blow up the city or the person who stopped Felicity from doing it. Well, presuming she didn’t fake her death to reunite with Ollie. It is a delightful ambiguity, especially as Black Stars in DC Comics lore are very different. As we mentioned early in the season, the future storyline is the most interesting and it might be time for an episode to focus on it.
But before that, there’s still the New Green Arrow to deal with. Finally unmasked, comic book readers will recognize her as Emiko Queen (Sea Shimooka), another child of Robert Queen (James Sheridan). In the comics, Shado is her mother, but presumably that will not the be the case on Arrow because Shado is a much younger character in the Arrowverse. No matter her her mother may be, the way Emiko addressed Robert at his grave suggests he was in contact with her enough to send her on a mission similar to Ollie’s. Maybe she was his backup plan? In the comics, Emiko eventually became Ollie’s sidekick Red Arrow. Considering that name never stuck to Thea (Willa Holland), perhaps Emiko will finally take that mantle in The CW’s comic book realm.
Of course, these will be greater concerns in January, after Ollie (Grant Gustin) and Barry Allen (Stephen Amell) fix the universe in “Elseworlds.”