(WARNING! CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SEASON 7 EPISODE 20 OF ARROW!)
After the fallout of last week's episode, it appears the Emiko has gone full Ninth Circle. The team must track down the bioweapon mentioned in "Spartan" and stop The Ninth Circle from using it. That leads to a call to an old friend, but an ultimately frustrating circular episode of Arrow this week. Aside from two major developments, which I will talk about near the end, let's talk about what happened in "Confessions".
The reason I say that the episode was circular is because we kept reliving the same moment over and over again. Now granted they were from different perspectives, but still yielded about the same results. Oliver and Diggle track down the source of the bio-weapon and trace it back to its source. The problem is, that the Ninth Circle also seems to know where it is, which means they are going to need backup. So Oliver puts in a call to Roy Harper, who comes in off of his mission with Thea and Nyssa. Roy is more than willing to help stop a terrorist organization in Star City. The problem is what happens while they are trying to acquire and secure this bioweapon.
I won't bog you down and all of the details, so I will just some them up this way. Team Arrow and The Ninth Circle both end up in the same place at the same time to get the bio-weapon. Problem is, the 9th Circle got there first and now team Arrow must get it back and stop it at the same time. Not to mention, and Emiko is also in the building and they want to take her down as well. To sum up, there's a lot of fighting, they do end up stopping The Ninth Circle and stopping the bio-weapon. The problem comes when two security guards from the building are murdered and we do not know by who. This is when most of the episode is spent in the interrogation room where Dinah and another officer question members of Team Arrow to find out which one may have been responsible. With each interrogation comes a different version of the story, and as a story is being told, we see things play out from that team member's perspective. At the time, it seems like Dinah is doing everything she can to pin this murder on one of the members of Team Arrow. This was incredibly frustrating because it felt like Dinah was playing both sides once again, and that was one of the things I didn't like about the early part of the season. Ultimately what ends up happening is Oliver admits that it was Emiko who was responsible for both guard being killed.
Look, I'm not saying this should not have been a part of the episode. What I am saying is, it went on for far too long. I felt like the ultimate Point could have been made a lot quicker and they could have devoted more time to some of the most interesting aspects of the episode that we had yet to see. The first of those, involved who was actually responsible for the murder of the two guards.
We see the scene play out once again where Renee cannot stop Emiko, Oliver and Diggle secure the device and Roy being knocked out by the Ninth Circle. Only this time, Roy pops right back up and is full of rage. He has absolutely no trouble taking out the Ninth Circle at this point. Honestly, he was really taking it to another level. As it turns out, he actually couldn't stop himself. As the guards try to stop Roy, he ends up killing the both of them. Oliver ends up snapping him out of it, and the team is left to find out what they're going to do about their current situation. So the whole interrogation thing was a ploy to throw the suspicion off of the team and on to a known terrorist in killer in Emiko. So the question now becomes, what really happened with Roy? Oliver goes to talk to him, and that's when we find out that Roy had actually died during one of his missions with Thea. So it wasn't the Mirakuru we we're seeing take Roy over, it was actually bloodlust from the Lazarus Pit. Of course, Oliver says he will do whatever is necessary to help his friend. They all know that exposing Roy puts the entire team and their operation with the Star City PD in jeopardy. So this lie will just have to do for now.
There is still one more bombshell left to drop, and it's a big one. Felicity has tracked down Emiko's location to an abandoned building that they believe could be the headquarters for The Ninth Circle. So the entire team, including Roy, goes to try and take them down once and for all. How do you think that worked out? The big moment here is when Oliver confronts his sister face to face, asking her why she is doing what she is doing. Emiko brings back the creedo of the Queen family needing to suffer for what happened to her, and that she will destroy everything that Oliver loves. That's when we find out that Emiko knew the Queen's Gambit was going to explode all those years ago and did nothing to stop it. Who is responsible for who's future now? Just as quickly as that bombshell is dropped, a literal bomb goes off in the building seemingly trapping all of Team Arrow inside. It feels like we've been at this cliffhanger before, but here we are again wondering who will survive the explosion.
While I understand the importance of this episode, in the big points that we learn from it, it just feels like the attention was put in the wrong place for the majority of the episode. It seems like more time could have been spent on what was happening with Roy, or even giving us more of Emiko's perspective a bit more. The action was spot on, it's always great to see Colton Haynes, but it just feels like the direction of the episode could have made it feel a lot more epic. It dragged so much in the middle that it almost took me out of it entirely. I'll be honest, those and reveals were big and that's great, but would so precious few episodes of the series left I need that to happen throughout the entire episode. As we reach the climax of this 7th season, hopefully that will be the case from here on out.
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