Arrow – Season 7 Overall Review

Arrow S7

Arrow’s penultimate season was a mixed bag, but in my opinion definitely swung more towards good in the end. It actually felt like it wrapped the whole show up neatly, leading very little for it to do in its shortened final season at the end of the year… so let’s take a look then, shall we?

Synopsis:

Five months after being exposed as Green Arrow and into his prison sentence, Oliver tries to maintain a low profile in hopes of getting a reduction to his term, an effort which is complicated when he’s being stalked by Diaz’s associates…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

Arrow S7 1

It’s most of the cast! … From the present, anyway…

Oliver Queen / Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) – Oliver Queen has been stuck is prison for months now, deep down knowing this was the only way to stop Diaz, even if the fact that the criminal in question being still at large plays in the back of his head…

Felicity Smoak / Overwatch (Emily Rickards) – Felicity has been playing single mother to William while in protective custody, constantly aware that Diaz might make a grand return at any moment…

John Diggle / Spartan (David Ramsey) – John has been getting on with life as an ARGUS agent, worried about his good friend in prison, but knowing there wasn’t anything that could be done about it…

Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) – Curtis has dropped his vigilante ways and started working in ARGUS’ tech department. A steady job, helping to stop crime but not having to get regularly beaten up? Sounds good!

Rene Ramirez / Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) – Rene has his daughter back, all because of his willingness to drop his “Wild Dog” days and give up the vigilante way of life… unless life makes that difficult, of course…

Dinah Drake / Black Canary (Julia Harkavy) – Dinah is the head of the SCPD and as such has no qualms with staying on the right side of the law… especially when the Mayor is keeping an eye on things…

Laurel Lance / Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) – Laurel, originally a nasty version from Earth-2, is starting to settle down on this Earth, even starting to mellow out and actually help some of her old enemies…

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.

Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) – Diaz may have escaped with his life, but his long-thought-up plans have been ruined. All that’s left is sweet revenge, and he’ll take his time doing so…

Danny “Brick” Brickwell (Vinnie Jones) – Brick works for Diaz, at least through several proxies of Diaz anyway, as he’s behind bars. He’s managed to amass a group of allies around him though, which is handy for tormenting the former Green Arrow…

Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) – In the future, Roy has been living on Lian Yu as a hermit, it’s only an adult William that says he’s on a mission for Felicity that makes him consider going back to society…

William Clayton (Ben Lewis) – Now a grown man, William is on a mission for Felicity, though he doesn’t know what that is. All he knows is it starts of Lian Yu, the Island that turned his father into the Green Arrow…

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:

Arrow S7 4

Funny how the whole prison story seems like ages ago now…

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.

While unoriginal (it’s not even been a year since Barry Allen was in prison!) I did enjoy the first seven episodes, featuring Oliver’s struggle behind bars, and the fact he’d been in there for five months previous and was shown to struggle adapting back into his normal life in Episode 8, means it wasn’t a story point for the hell of it. His struggle with prison life, especially not striking back at other prisoners to damage his chances of an early release, was a good change of pace… until he felt his family on the outside was threatened, then it was fun seeing him beat the crap out of one of the less pleasant inmates…

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…

Arrow S7 2

Brother and sister, coming together to help save the city they both didn’t really grow up in and rescue the mother they both resented… awww.

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.

Oliver’s relationship with Stanley, who for most of the episodes you do believe he’s actually either been wrongly accused or just someone who made one mistake but isn’t cut out to be in prison, is great. Seeing him worship Oliver for being the Green Arrow, but eventually show his true colours during the big escape sequence in trying to kill him, then actually killing Brick for “picking on him” before escaping was good stuff, in an unsettling way. When he’s out he 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.

There were some good standalone stories as well. Episode 7 as a whole was a good episode, it focused solely on Diaz breaking into the prison and riling up the inmates to try to finally kill Oliver after his plans to off Felicity and William first had failed. Some good fight scenes and a satisfying ending to Diaz (for the most part…)

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:

Arrow S7 5

Great mid-action shot, shame it’s from the crap Episode 12…

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.

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…

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.

The Longbow Hunters, a group of well-trained thugs with special equipment Diaz hires, end up doing pretty much nothing, so… hooray?

Overall Thoughts:

Arrow S7 3

Here’s a shot of Emiko, because, you know, she was the central focus of the majority of the season…

Arrow Season 7 had some rough parts, but overall I think it was a strong season, especially since it’s so late in the shows run. The central storyline with Oliver and Emiko had some good twists and turns, and the flash-forward was a bit different and led to a good overall conclusion to the entire series. Should be interesting to see where it goes from here for its final 10 episodes…

4 Star Watch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s