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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews The Arrow Season 07 Premiere!

October 16th, 2018 by Todd Black Comments

One of the hardest things for non-police procedural shows to do is to keep the interest of the person from season to season. For superhero shows, you run the risk of telling all the good stories in the first few seasons and then scrambling to tell new and fresh ones the long the show goes on. This is what happened to Smallville for a time, and Arrow has stumbled as well. But, with the Season 7 premiere, the series looks to be taking a lot of great steps in different directions, including one that NO ONE saw coming.

If you didn’t know, the original showrunner for Arrow, Marc Guggenheim, stepped down this year, and a new showrunner has come in the form of Beth Schwartz. You can see some of the changes in both the scenes and style of storytelling. It’s still very Arrow, but it’s different in its own right.

The main crux here is that Oliver is in prison at Slabside Supermax, and he’s trying to keep his head down so that he can get back to Felicity and William, who are now in police protection. Dinah is a Captain with the SCPD, Renee is running a youth center, Diggle is still with ARGUS, but with Curtis in tow, Laural E2 (Earth-2), is still pretending to be E1 Laurel. And now…a new vigilante is in town.

While a new vigilante isn’t anything new, the fact that the team has to react differently to it is very compelling. Because of Oliver’s deal with FBI agent Watson, they have to stop being vigilantes, else face the consequences. For Dinah, Diggle, and Curtis, this is easy. For Renee, not so much. He believe the new vigilante is inspiring hope like Oliver did, while the others are trying to make sure they don’t come under fire. Dinah arguably has the most altruistic motive though, by wanting to make the cops the good guys again by doing good work. It creates some very interesting dynamics, especially since we don’t find out in the first episode who is under the hood.

Meanwhile, Oliver’s stint in prison brings back a lot of old faces. Including Vinnie Jones as Brick (Season 03), Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger (first couple seasons), and Cody Rhodes as Sampson (Seasons 4 & 5). They naturally try and make Oliver’s make miserable, but he’s playing pacifist and won’t give them what they want. This all changes though when Ricardo Diaz returns and attacks Felicity and William. Though they live, it pushes Oliver over the edge, and he goes off in prison. Stephen Amell said that he “wouldn’t be a hero” by the end of episode 1 of this season, and he was right in many ways.

The biggest twist of all was when we saw a man go to Lian Yu in order to look for someone. Turns out, the man was looking for Roy Harper. That’s not the twist though. The twist was that this person was William, Oliver’s son, and this is a flashforward to the future. I’m very curious to see how this plays out in a meaningful way.

There was a lot of good acting in this premiere, including a lot from Felicity. The big standout was the scene between her and Oliver at the prison. The others got their chance to shine too.

My only real issues with this episode is two-fold. First, we see Diaz have Felicity dead to rights, and yet she lives because ARGUS “got there in time”. Really? You couldn’t show that in a meaningful way? Second, and easily the bigger offense. Oliver met a stereotypical “innocent inmate who wants his help”. He’s petite, and weak, and calls Oliver a coward because he’s trying to get back to his own family. Hearing him say, “I have a family too, did you ever think about that?” was so cringy I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. I mean, do we really need him? And sure enough, it wasn’t him that fueled the break at the end, so what is his purpose outside of giving Oliver an “ally”?

That aside though, Season 07 of Arrow looks to be off to a flying start. And that’s not even mentioning that the Longbow Hunters haven’t arrived on the scene yet.

4.5 out of 5 nerds

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians (guardians-comic.com). He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!