Arrow: Star City 2040

“Show them what heroes look like.”

You have questions?  We have answers.  Welcome to 2040. 

This episode is constructed around Mia’s origin story and therefore we begin approximately eight months in the future, with Oliver and Felicity welcoming their daughter into a homey cottage that is obviously not in Star City.  Cut to a training montage between a growing Mia and Nyssa al Ghul with Felicity looking on and Oliver noticeably absent.  I’d say it smacks of Wonder Woman but to be fair, training montages are all very similar and Wonder Woman is just the most recent of the famous iterations.

We soon learn Mia was raised believing her father was a hero but that circumstances we will, hopefully, soon learn forced the family out of Star City.  Relocated to Bloomfield, Mia becomes a home schooled, trained assassin living a cloistered existence to “keep her safe.” I can see how claustrophobic that might be. 

However, upon discovering that Felicity has been continuing her vigilante antics causes Mia to question everything else her mother ever told her.  It is the premise for everything we’ve seen Mia do this season and if you accept it then all her actions make sense. Yet I didn’t feel the moment was earned.  In my opinion it was missing two crucial things. 

The first being a clear understanding of how dangerous it is to be a vigilante in 2040.  We can infer that it is life-threatening but as Oliver’s absence shows, being a vigilante was pretty damn dangerous in 2019.  The second is the need to see Mia chafing under all the rules Felicity has imposed on her life.  Mia does little more than question why they live as they do. There is no hint of defiance until after her discovery of Felicity's escapades.  Regardless, it’s relatively minor in the grand scheme of the story and as I said above, once you get past it the rest of her behavior makes sense.  Moving on.

Her mother’s betrayal leads a disaffected Mia back to Star City to discover the truth.  She learns many things, but we’re led to believe that the truth is probably not one of them.  Instead, she finds violence, anti-vigilante propaganda, and apparently Connor.  I’d dearly love to know how that relationship started but given the number of unresolved story-lines and the rapidly vanishing amount of time to resolve them, I’m probably hoping in vain.  That Connor overcomes her obvious trust issues without telling her about how he grew up, who his parents are, or what he does for a living is impressive.  The jury is still out on whether their relationship survives his betrayal.  Connor's willingness to follow Mia’s lead despite his personal beliefs in the responsibility of heroes is a good sign. 

We depart from Mia’s origin to address the larger narrative.  Where are the bombs and who is trying to destroy Star City?  It turns out former vigilante turned Mayor, Rene has answers.  Eden Corps under the guise of Galaxy One is planning on leveling Star City to remake it in The Glades’ image.  Unbeknownst to Rene, they have no intentions of evacuating the inhabitants to do it. 

Speaking of Rene, we still have no idea how he went from Wild Dog to Mayor despite several indicators laid down.  Chief among them is his love for The Glades, his desire to keep it safe and his belief that the police have been next to useless. Then there is whatever event led to the dissolution of Team Arrow, the rise of The Canaries and the shattering of Rene’s faith in the power of vigilantes.  Add to this Quentin’s comments regarding Rene’s competency when he served as Quentin’s Chief of Staff and the contours of his transformation appear.  However, Rene was never the trusting sort.  How did he get taken in by Kevin Dale and Eden Corps or was it a case of the frog in the pot?

Then again, I should probably give up trying to second guess The Powers That Be.  I’ve been wrong at almost every juncture.  I originally thought Connor Hawke was a grown version of J.J. Wrong.  I didn’t believe that Felicity had put a beacon or whatever it was in the hozen she gave to William.  Wrong.  I thought someone other than Oliver and Felicity had kept William from ever seeing his parents again.  Wrong again. 

And yet I can’t help myself.  Not when there’s still a host of things we don’t know.  What sent Oliver and Felicity packing off to Bloomfield?  I imagine it’s the same thing that led to the hatred of all things vigilante in Star City.  What caused The Glades’ rise and Star City’s fall?  We know it has something to do with Felicity’s Archer program and I suspect it’s the cause of the rift between Rene, Felicity and the rest of Team Arrow. Where have Lyla, Diggle, and J.J. disappeared to?  Given how Connor refers to his parents it’s clear that they outlived whatever happened to Oliver.  But his comments and the fact Connor chose to follow in their footsteps makes it hard to imagine he abandoned his family to protect Mia or that his family would abandon the rest of Team Arrow. 

Finally, do the events of this episode mean Mia accepts her father’s, or should I say her parents’, mantle of hero?  Or was this a one-time occurrence?  She realizes that although they saved Star City, this won’t be the last attempt to destroy it.  I have little doubt that she is well on her way to herohood, but I suspect her journey has a few more twists and turns before she reaches her final destination.  Needing to protect her mother from the crazies in search of the $10M reward may keep her on the hero path for now. 

As for Felicity, we discover the Archer program is the culmination of her mission to build the perfect security system.  It also  appears to be the foundation for Smoak Industries but is now in the possession of Galaxy One AKA Eden Corps.  I'm looking forward to seeing how that plays out.  It is notable that she never stopped pursuing Oliver’s quest to save Star City in the hopes of bringing both their children home. 

Once again, we are faced with the certainty that after Oliver’s many years of hell, he failed.  This does not make me happy!  Especially since I presume he sacrifices himself on either Star City's or the world at large’s behalf.  That said, this was another strong episode and I can’t wait for more.

4 out of 5 DNA replicators. 

Parting Thoughts: 

Is it Mia that warranted her own Arrow icon or was it a representation of Future Star City?

We saw a recurrence of Roy’s anger issues.  I’m sure that’ll get addressed soon.

Eden Corps is straight out of the comics. Galaxy One is not.  Eden Corps intentions may have been honorable, but their actions were just shy of terrorism.  In the comics, Veronica Dale AKA Hyrax was a short-lived love interest of Oliver’s.  She was also responsible for his death.  This is not the first mention of Eden Corps in the Berlanti-verse, Veronica Dale of Eden Corps was responsible for setting of A.R.G.U.S’s nuclear bomb in “Enter Flashtime" on The Flash.

Connor Hawke is an agent of Knightwatch which in the comics is the military arm of the D.E.O.   Is that where this universe’s Alex Danvers works? 

No surprise that Felicity was William’s angel investor. 

I was pleased with the well placed pieces of continuity. Felicity was kept alive to take the blame for the explosion. What's left of Team Arrow shows up just in time to help Felicity by following the same breadcrumbs in a different way.

Quotes:

Mia:  “What the Frak?” (Is Mia a Battlestar Galactica fan or did she inherit that from her mom?)

Mia: “You’re a vigilante.”
Felicity: “No, not exactly.  Technically yes. By definition…”

William: (watching Mia) “Of course you can do handstand pushups.”

Mia: “No one gets to kill my Mom, except me.”

Mia: “Galaxy One is one of the richest companies in the world, and heavily guarded.  They’re not just gonna let us walk right in."
William: “ Actually, that’s exactly what they’re gonna do.”

William: “As much as I love relationship drama when it’s not my own, do you think we could focus on the task at hand and not blow our cover immediately?"

William: "Stealing stuff covertly?  I don’t do that.”
Mia:  “Well, lucky for you, your sister does.”

Rene: “I didn’t think you were alive.”
Roy: “Nice to see you too.”

Dinah: “How is it you got all of the age and none of the wisdom?”

Rene: “I used to believe that being a vigilante helped solve problems.  You and I both know it’s not that simple.”

Connor: “This is the access point to the sublevels.  It’s the only unlisted elevator bay in the building.”
William: “The random full-body DNA scanner wasn’t a dead giveaway?”

William: “You know, I’m really enjoying all these heartfelt brother-sister moments.”
Mia: “You’re just more useful to me not dead.”

Mia: “You’ve been a hero in training since you were a kid.”
Connor: “So have you.  The only difference is I got to choose.”

Felicity: “You came back.”
Mia: “Don’t make a big thing of it.”

Connor: “Now that we are all caught up, what time do the bombs go off, and how do we stop them?"

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

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