(WARNING! CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SEASON 7 EPISODE 11 OF ARROW!)
There was A LOT happening this week in Star City. We had a meeting that I have been waiting for pretty much since Arrow began, the return of some familiar faces, a lot of emotion and David Ramsey in the director's chair. No room for flash forwards this week, Arrow didn't have a moment to spare. Let's see just what "Past Sins" will be haunting the show this week.
Let's start with a meeting that I'm not sure I can wait any more to talk about. Oliver and Emiko Queen meeting for the first time. As big of a fan as I am of the Green Arrow comics, this was a big one for me. I have always loved their dynamic on the page, and it did not disappoint on the screen. Sea Shimooka gives us the tough as nails, but emotionally scarred, Emiko that absolutely hits the mark. Just so happens that she meets Oliver at a time where he is trying to be more open, transparent and clear up his image. I actually would have been disappointed if this first meeting went well, given the circumstances. It just so happens that Oliver wasn't done dealing with something that his father did in the past.
Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
After an interview that Oliver had on TV about what happened on the raft when this all started, there was a grim reminder that there was a third man on that raft. Now the son of the man that Robert Queen murdered on that raft is out for revenge. Once again Oliver has to deal with the man that his father was, and even deal with the feelings that he is no better than his father. This is certainly a problem that we have seen Oliver face before, but this time things felt different. Even at the point where Oliver is facing being gunned down, there was a certain sense of acceptance and calm about him. It's amazing how far he has come since the beginning of this season and the hell that he went through in prison. While it's nice to see Oliver come to terms with the past (again), with Emiko now in the picture, this can't be the final time that we revisit this issue. Still, the writers have done a good job at using this plot point only when it suits the story, and not using it as a crutch.
The other major part of this episode is the obvious elephant in the room, and that is Ricardo Diaz. A.R.G.U.S. is using him to get information on someone named Dante, who has been funding acts of terror all over the world. You saw how they got Diaz to cooperate last episode, but before this Suic...I mean...Ghost Protocol can be put into play, it needs to be tested. That brings Curtis in, and he is not happy with the program being reinstated and even less happy to see Diaz as a part of it. When Diggle orders him to test the chips inside their heads, it doesn't go well. To make matters worse, China White, Cupid and Kane Wolfman are also a part of it.
Pictured (L-R): Liam Hall as Kane Wolfman, Echo Kellum as Curtis Holt, Kirk Acevedo as Ricardo Diaz, Amy Gumenick as Carrie Cutter/Cupid and Kelly Hu as China White -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This is the part where I say, "Damn you, David Ramsey!" That goes for the writers too, quite frankly. I fell for it hook, line and T-Sphere. During the escape, we see Diaz kill Curtis in a parking garage. That broke me for a moment, until we find out that it wasn't real. Curtis created a VR program that helped allow them to get what they needed from Diaz while he thought he was making a clean getaway. It was quite brillant, and it's good to know Echo Kellum isn't going anywhere any time soon. Still, Curtis is not happy about the way things are going at A.R.G.U.S. right now. Could this be the setup for an exit and the start of his own company?
The other thing we got to see was a softer side of Black Siren. Laurel sees a familiar face that she knew in Earth-2, and what we get from that is quite an emotional story. It turns out this man killed her father on Earth-2 in a drunk driving accident that Laurel blames herself for. This leads to a very nice moment with Felicity. There really seems to be the start of a bond forming between the two of them. They have been through a couple of things together now, so this could the final turn to the side of good for the former Black Siren. On a side note, turns out the guy wasn't from Earth-2, but was still a bad dude that was dealt with by the SCPD.
Photo: Dean Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Having David Ramsey behind the camera for this episode was extremely important. This is someone who has been a part of this story, and been embedded with these characters since the show began (or at the very least, since the character debuted.) In an episode with so many deep and complex emotions for multiple characters, you need someone with that kind of familiarity. I believe that really showed through, especially when it came to Oliver dealing with issues that go all the way back to Season 1. The scene near the end where Oliver and Emiko take the first step towards getting to know one another may not seem important now, but I think we will look back at that as a key moment in the future of the show. This was a foundation episode, especially leading in to a big bad who seems to be hunting down vigilantes. This may seem a big similar to what Cicada is doing with metahumans on The Flash, so I'm curious to see what the angle is and how long it will last. This really has been the most consistently good season of Arrow in recent memory. I'm also curious to see where these flash forwards eventually go, because I can't put my finger on it quite yet.
What do you think about this season of Arrow so far?