Arrow – Season 7 Episodes 10 – 22 Review

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Arrow’s seventh season comes a wobbly end, but ultimately a good end. In fact the finale feels very much like an overall series finale, which given Season 8 is not only the last season, but only 10 episodes, it probably for all intents and purposes is the big ending. So let’s have a look at the build up to this grand finale, and see how much of it actually worked…

Synopsis:

After a series of events that started with getting out of prison and finding out he has a long-lost half-sister and ended with a weird near-universe-ending, body-swapping “Crisis”, Oliver Queen is starting to slip back into his old life…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

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“Yo Emiko, what’s with the file labelled “Secret Ninth Circle Plans”?”   “That’s… a typo.”

Oliver Queen / Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) – Oliver has had a hell of a time of it recently, but he has to concentrate on making amends with his half-sister Emiko, and keeping his city safe now he’s officially working with the SCPD.

Felicity Smoak / Overwatch (Emily Rickards) – Felicity is dealing with a lot at the moment, but she can still concentrate on her new business, her newly deputised husband, and a potential family…

John Diggle / Spartan (David Ramsey) – John is still working for ARGUS, trying to find the mysterious Dante and his equally mysterious terrorist group “The Ninth Circle”.

Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) – Curtis is beginning to question ARGUS’ methods, but truly believes he can change them from within… He may need to take his rose-tinted glasses off…

Rene Ramirez / Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) – Rene is happily working alongside the new Green Arrow, without knowing anything about her past beyond her mother was murdered. A far cry from what he’s like in the future…

Dinah Drake / Black Canary (Julia Harkavy) – Dinah is still the Captain of the SCPD, despite her decision to deputise Oliver Queen being met with a lot of resistance…

Laurel Lance / Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) – Laurel is not on her native Earth, but she’s starting to like not only the people, but the “having a job and not killing people” part as well…

Emiko Queen (Sea Shimooka) – Emiko and her mother were left to squalor and ruin when Robert Queen left them behind to hide his shame, now her mother is dead, and she wants revenge… on everyone involved in her suffering.

Dante (Adrian Paul) – Seemingly the leader of a hidden terrorist organisation known as The Ninth Circle, and #1 on the ARGUS hit list…

Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) – Ricardo is locked up in ARGUS, being forced to reveal information about Dante and the Ninth Circle. Diaz isn’t the type to comply easily, however…

Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) – Roy is currently searching for Lazarus Pits alongside Thea, but in the future he’s very nearly a broken man, clinging onto a new generation for hope…

William Clayton (Ben Lewis) – William is Oliver’s son, but in the future he is more interested in tech and boyfriends than fighting and saving any city… at least until his mother-like figure Felicity went missing…

Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara) – The daughter of Oliver and Felicity, Mia is doing her best to survive in a rough future, detesting the vigilantes than ruined her upbringing and Star City in general…

Plus more!

The Good:

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Oliver hallucinates about Tommy again… Jeez, get over it already!?

The central storyline of Oliver and Emiko I felt was well done, in the end. It started off that Emiko was just like Oliver and was consumed by revenge against the bad guys, then it turned out she was a bad guy (girl, I guess) and the person she most wanted revenge on was her and Oliver’s father for leaving her and her mother alone. She soon kills fellow Ninth Circle member Dante when she finds out he was responsible for killing her mother, but continued to try to wipe out a good chunk of the city and drag Oliver’s name through the mud … or flat-out kill him. In the end she reveals she could have saved her half-brother and their father from their watery fate but decided not to, which nearly leads Mr. Queen to kill her in revenge, only to once again remember the lessons he’s learnt over the course of seven seasons and try to bring her to the good side instead, which admittedly fails as she soon dies by the hands of her former colleagues anyway. Either way, I liked the back and forth, and the fact we managed to avoid “I have to do this alone” brooding Oliver, finally showing that some of the lessons he’s had to learn four or five times have actually sunk in.

The actual overall end sees Oliver and Felicity retire to a hidden countryside house to raise their daughter, which they do for a few months until the Monitor arrives and reveals what has been obvious since the cross-over: Green Arrow himself had made a deal with him, an exchange of his life for the sake of the multi-verse. We’ll see how that plays out at the end of the year, but the flash-forwards that have been on the show then actually end the episode, showing Oliver’s two children saving the future city, his legacy continuing on, and an older Felicity seeking out The Monitor and leaving with him to be with her husband… It was a good ending, showing that even long after our heroes’ time is done, the city is still in good hands…

The flash-forward was actually quite fun overall in the end. I’m not sure how in just a few decades it becomes so… future dystopian, but it had its moments, and SOME of the aging effects were good. SOME. It all tied nicely into the current day finale as well. I’m not quite sure what they’re going to do for 8 or 9 episodes before we get to Crisis on Infinite Earths, but it hopefully it won’t take away from this ending.

There were some good standalone stories as well. Crazy psycho Stanley from prison ends up on a killing spree in Star City and very creepily kidnaps Oliver, Felicity and child William, together they only just survive and Stanley was very convincing in his role once again. Laurel goes through one more “I thought I was evil still, but turns out I’m actually becoming nice” sequence, which features Sara dropping in from Legends of Tomorrow to talk to her sister from another Earth. Also Roy rejoins the team but in the meantime he had been killed and resurrected using a Lazarus pit, causing him to lose his mind temporarily and kill two innocent policemen during a mission. Overall there was a lot more I liked than disliked…

The Bad:

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“Hey John, these criminals we’ve been keeping… they’re not very nice!”

There were still some negatives, mind you. Ricardo Diaz had out-stayed his welcome and I was glad when he finally got killed in prison because… yeah, I was kind of over him. Dante and the Ninth Circle was underdeveloped, and clearly just there to add to the Emiko storyline, so in the end people were just fighting people in black hoods with little emotional investment while Oliver or Rene dealt with Emiko verbally, leading to her escape. There was a lot of that, actually, a lot of stopping and starting until we got to the final two or three episodes.

Episode 12, which was mostly presented like a documentary from within the show, was therefore just annoying, and uninteresting. I applaud them for trying something different, but I feel it didn’t really work.

Speaking of Rene, I didn’t buy his future self being a politician who was being manipulated by an evil corporation. I know a few decades had gone by, but I was on his daughter’s side when she said how much he’d sold out, to the point where it was hard to swallow. I know he came round in the end, but still…

An episode focusing on John Diggle’s adoptive father (with the last name Stewart… Hmm…) whom he hates turning out to be a hero who covered for his father was alright, but predictable in the extreme. I assume John will take on his last name and inevitably become John Stewart the Green Lantern in the Crisis on Infinite Earth storyline at the end of the year, fulfilling what was clearly a jokey thing from fans from Season 1…

Overall Thoughts:

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You can tell that’s Future Dinah as she has grey hair!

Overall the second half of Arrow’s Seventh Season is actually an enjoyable wrap up to the series as a whole, but Oliver and Felicity get closure and a send-off, even if one sent off with it leading to the big finale at the end of the year, and the flash-forward was entertaining and showed us that it all works out in the end… A good conclusion then, to Arrow as a whole, even though there is still one, heavily reduced, season left.

4 Star Watch

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