Arrow: Inmate 4587

“I’ve always done what I have to do. Right now, this is what I have to do.”

When last we saw Team Arrow, Oliver had sacrificed himself and his identity to protect his family, keep his friends out of jail, and save his city. Given the givens I’m not sure what other options he had but things certainly have not worked out as he hoped.

In his absence, Star City’s crime rate is on the rise. The FBI has not located Ricardo Diaz but they have succeeded in curtailing any opportunity for Team Arrow to resolve either issue. It also appears that A.R.G.U.S. may have gotten its hand slapped for the assistance they’ve been providing Team Arrow. Lyla has been dragged to “HQ” to make amends.

This is not to say that Team Arrow has forgotten Oliver’s directive to continue his mission and save Star City. Each has tried to honor him in their own way. Curtis, like Diggle before him, has joined A.R.G.U.S. and is now the head of R&D (Lyla is no dummy). Wild Dog is following in Wildcat’s footsteps opening up a gym to enable the residents of the Glades to defend themselves and their loved ones. And like Ted Grant, he’s finally learning the value of patience and discipline. Both Dinah and Laurel received promotions in the intervening five months. Dinah has taken over as Police Captain. And Laurel has settled into her Earth-1 persona and is the new District Attorney for Star City. Although whether she is friend or foe still remains to be seen.

The odd person out is Felicity. She has given up her life as “The Bitch with Wifi” to become Erin, single mom, and friendly neighborhood barista. That all goes sideways when Diaz shows up at her door. Unable to go toe to toe with him physically, the best she can manage is serve as a distraction while William makes his getaway. Helpless is not a good look on Felicity and she decides she’s done following Oliver’s playbook. She loves him and she’ll wait for him but just as with all the other members of Team Arrow, she has to fight back.

Oliver, to quote Ricardo, is finding out how hard it is to be in prison. He could live with incarceration, bad food, and random violence. Lord knows he’s been through worse. Do the words “five” and “years” and “hell” mean anything to you? It’s the frustration of not being able to protect his family that is weighing on him. His answer is to keep his head down and his nose clean in the hopes of getting a reduced sentence. His fellow inmates, several of whom he placed there, have other ideas. Oliver’s desire to get to his family overrides his need to protect those weaker than himself and he stands by as a fellow inmate is beaten for seeking Oliver out. The confirmation that Diaz is still out there and has made a play for his wife is what brings the real Oliver to the fore. In full view of the corrections officer, Oliver gives Diaz’s mouthpiece a beatdown that would have killed or at least permanently maimed anyone in the real world.

All of this was to be expected. Especially the beat down. What was less expected was the addition of a Green Arrow wannabe into the mix. When I first saw the trailer, I, like Rene, assumed it was Diggle. Oliver left him the suit, after all. However, Dig was never an archer and Star City’s newest vigilante most definitely is. His presence complicates an already complicated existence for Team Arrow. He seems to be following in Oliver’s footsteps. Does that make him virtuous? Even if he is, aiding him is against Star City’s law prohibiting vigilanteism. For the remnants of Team Arrow assisting this new Green Arrow also runs the risk of losing the immunity deal that Oliver paid so dearly for. And what if this archer’s motives aren’t so pure, as Dinah asked. What if his goal was not to save Rene? He simply wasn’t the target.

Dinah’s objectives are clear. She will use her position as Police Captain to continue Oliver’s mission. That means remaining above the FBI’s reproach. If that includes arresting vigilantes, including Rene, so be it. Rene, on the other hand, has never been one for passivity. He’s contented himself with teaching self-defense for lack of any other options. Having a new Green Arrow to rally behind may be more temptation than Rene can bear.

Then there is the elephant in the room. I’ve been conditioned to think of all things island-related as flashbacks. And in a world where time travel is a thing, having older versions of William and Roy does not necessarily mean I’m wrong. Could our mysterious emerald archer be the Roy Sr. sent back in time by an apparently affluent William? Or could we be looking at a season of flash forwards instead of flashbacks? Either way, color me curious.

By necessity, this episode was filled with a mountain of setup. However, they gave me enough to make me crave more.

3 out 5 world saving espressos

Parting Thoughts:

Hope Springs, Felicity and William’s temporary hiding place, is a DC Comics city located in West Virginia.

Did anyone else think that “Erin’s” polite customer was a stooge for Diaz?

The Powers That Be have forgotten the “Chekov’s gun” rule of storytelling. A baseball bat was prominently hung on William’s door and no one ever used it.

Does Lyla’s trip to HQ mean she is not Top Dog? Did we know this before?

I’m not a lawyer but isn’t perjury grounds for disbarment? She claimed Tommy was the Green Arrow in Oliver’s trial. How is Laurel still a lawyer much less the DA?

Not only is Nick Anastas still alive, he and Curtis are still together. One spot of good news in a bleak season opener.

Those corrections officers really suck at their jobs.

Quotes:

Oliver: “I am not that person anymore.”

Felicity (as Erin): “Saving the world one espresso at a time.”

Rene: “Gross builds character.”

Brick: “Now, I bet you really wish you hadn’t stopped Merlyn from killing me, don’t you?”

Felicity: “You? No. You’re polite and nice. And your hygiene is fairly on point from what I can tell.”
Customer: “The bar seems pretty low.”

Curtis: “I just happen to be smarter. Boo-ya!”

Boat Captain: “You pay me a lot of money to do very stupid things.”

Felicity: “Thank God you monologue.”

Yorke: “Time's up, 4587.”
Oliver: “I need a bit more time.”
Yorke: “And I don’t care.”


Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.

1 comment:

Deborah Gallegos said...

Great review👍🏼 I’m not so sure about these flash forwards as a season theme, though.