Arrow: Inheritance

“Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s what family does, isn’t it?”

Emiko’s true colors shine through the facade of partner, friend, and sister. Why do I get the feeling Oliver will be left to pay the price?

We discover that instead of using her weekly sparring matches to forge a relationship with Oliver, Emiko has been using her brother-sister bonding time to assess his strengths and weaknesses. Granted, it wouldn’t take a genius to note Ollie’s hero complex. Which is why Laurel’s accusation of Oliver’s familial blind-spot hits so close to home. The narrative that Emiko is in over her head with some very bad people feeds into so many of those weaknesses. His need to be the protector. His desire to believe in her goodness if not her innocence. And most assuredly in the idea that none of this would be happening if not for his parents.

At what point do the faults of the parents cease and the child assumes responsibility for their own life? I don’t doubt Moira’s threats or her willingness to act on them. However, given the billions of dollars at his disposal the idea Robert was forced to cut his own daughter off without a cent instead of providing for her future is as laughable as his behavior is reprehensible. Especially in light of his treatment of Thea who wasn’t his biological daughter. The moment Robert tells Emiko he can't help her because the company is for Oliver despite their mutual understanding of Oliver's lack of interest was particularly telling. Emiko’s attempts to win her father’s affection despite Robert’s repeated rebuffs make Emiko’s bitterness understandable.

Does that justify her actions? I believe Emiko’s version of her history with Dante. Just as I believe that Robert Queen is more responsible for the hardening of Emiko’s heart than Dante is. Robert closed off one path and Dante offered her another but no one made her take it. Those were not the only options available to her. She chose the life of a criminal with open eyes. Lest we forget, she was already a pickpocket who did odd jobs for the Bertinellis when Dante met her.

But knowledge can cut both ways. And I wonder if her acknowledgment that Oliver is not like their father is evidence of cracks in her resolve. She didn’t take advantage of the opportunities to kill Oliver and Rene when she had them. Yes, I know she told her henchmen to kill Oliver but by then she knew his fighting abilities and was well aware they were no real threat to Oliver.

This won’t make her any less dangerous. Especially since Team Arrow believes Emiko is Dante’s Right Hand at best rather than the leader of the Ninth Circle. Not to mention they unwittingly gave her knowledge of the Archer program. Like any tool, it has the capacity for great good or great evil depending on who wields it and it could be a particularly handy little tool if worldwide regime change is your jam.

Speaking of the Archer program, Felicity has recruited fellow former Double Helix member and Tech Village employee as her Chief Technology Officer. Alena has always been portrayed as a younger and more idealistic version of Felicity but I’ve never trusted her. I think it goes back to her lack of remorse about accidentally killing a man. I can’t help but think that her involvement with the company is the reason the Archer Program becomes the property of Eden Corps or Galaxy One or whatever they are calling themselves in 2040.

In other news, Laurel’s journey has not been as smooth as we’ve been led to believe. Felicity believes she’s one of the good guys. Oliver is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt but I think Dinah was right. Laurel doesn’t know who she is. She’s trying to be the person Quentin hoped she’d be, but she doesn’t know how. She’s intent on bringing the guilty to justice but she’s not above bending a few laws to do it. The problem is she’s bent and broken just enough laws for Emiko to paint her into a corner. Unfortunately, this Laurel’s first impulse is not to take the high road.

Emiko sought to destroy Laurel’s career for merely following her. What will Emiko do now that Team Arrow is actively trying to thwart her?

I love the fact that there are no easy answers here. Emiko would probably have been a loving person with a good head for business had her father treated her as a beloved daughter instead of a mistake to be disowned just as Earth 2’s Laurel might have been more like her Earth 1 version had her father lived. But that is not the world they live in. Emiko needs to be stopped and Laurel may need to be as well. Sadly, Oliver may be the only one up to the task.

How is it possible to enjoy something this much that continually fills you with dread?  Another in a series of strong outings.

4 out of 5 sarin-filled drones

Parting Thoughts:

No flash forwards this week. I was disappointed, although I’ve realized I’m more interested in them as a means to suss out what might be coming in the present day than for what is occurring in that storyline.

Dante and the Ninth Circle are relatively recent additions to DC Comic lore. Although it’s impossible to deny Dante’s Inferno was the original impetus for the name. And just for the record, the Ninth Circle of Hell represented treachery.

Even sparring with his sister can’t dampen Oliver’s competitiveness.

Oliver mentions Thea wanting a sister. If things had been different would she have thought of Emiko that way? After all, biologically, they weren’t related.

It’s still not clear why Emiko decided to don her brother’s hood. Was it a ploy to draw Team Arrow out? To what end? How could that play into whatever regime change the Ninth Circle is planning?

Quotes:

Emiko: "Your past gets more mysterious every day."
Oliver: "Could say the same about you."

Rene: "You're saying Dante runs a secret society responsible for centuries of worldwide regime change?"

Felicity: "Laurel's changed a lot. I mean, she's been a really good friend to me. Not to say that your sister's evil, but she's changed a lot."

Laurel: "You really know how to take the fun out of everything."

Oliver: "Yeah, I mean, If I was working with a known terrorist, I'd want to keep it quiet, too."

Emiko: "Do you know who I am?"
Dante: "The suspense is killing me."

Felicity: "John Diggle, you give the best gifts."

Emiko: "Dante will find me. It's just a matter of time. And you will all be targets.
Oliver: "Yeah? Well, it won't be the first time."

Dante: "Being a father means more than blood."

Gustavo: "You know your dad thought he could convict me too. Must be a family defect."

Felicity: "A little brother-sister crime-fighting duo time. I like it."

Oliver: "You went looking for a family and you chose the Ninth Circle?"
Emiko: "Better than living as a Queen."

Diggle: "Do you want to talk? Not even to the guy who found out his long lost sibling was secretly an evil double agent?"
Oliver: "Being reminded that this has happened before is not really making things better."

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

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