Ep702 “The Longbow Hunters” (10/22/18)
Directed by: Laura Belsey
Written by: Jill Blankenship & Rebecca Bellotto
Felicity is determined to find Diaz by any means necessary when Diggle tries to keep her on the outs and Oliver is forced to ally with an old enemy.
Ep703 “Crossing Lines” (10/19/18)
Directed by: Gordon Verheul
Written by: Onalee Hunter, Sarah Tarkoff, and Elizabeth Kim
Still in prison, Oliver faces his biggest challenge yet. Meanwhile, Felicity gets an intriguing offer, and Diggle asks Curtis to go undercover for ARGUS.
Ep704 “Level Two” (11/5/18)
Directed by: Ben Bray
Written by: Emilio Ortega Aldrich
Oliver and Felicity each make drastic moves to find Diaz; the new Green Arrow swoops in when arsonists target Rene's community center; Dinah faces pressure from the mayor to capture the vigilante.
Ep705 “The Demon” (11/12/18)
Directed by: Mark Bunting
Written by: Benjamin Raab & Deric A. Hughes
Felicity learns something new about Oliver that shocks her. Meanwhile, Diggle asks Curtis to go undercover for ARGUS. Dinah works with an unlikely ally.
**recaps and Images courtesy of IMDB.com**
Five episodes into this seventh season of Arrow and the change in direction that comes from a change in showrunner (from Marc Guggenheim to Beth Schwartz) has fully reinvigorated the season, resulting in a drastic shift in tone and focus from the previous season. Early in the show’s run, there seemed to be a concerted effort to include small nods to the comics canon– rewards for long time fans of the character—and while these haven’t completely fallen off in recent years, there seems to be a renewed effort to draw from the source material resulting in a far more exciting narrative structure.
Schwartz and her writers room are drawing heavily from the critically acclaimed “New 52” comics run, written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino. In said arc, Richard Dragon (a very loose source character for Ricardo Diaz) attempted a takeover of Star City using a band of outlaws and miscreants known as the Longbow Hunters, similar to the team he has recruited here. Of Diaz’s team, only Red Dart is a comics member of the Longbow Hunters, however Kodiak hails from a different arc from the same run, where he was the head of the Shield Clan, a rival clan of an ancient order of clans that included an Arrow Clan. I suspect his inclusion means we can expect to see more elements from the Lemire/Sorrentino run in the near future.
The third member of the Longbow Hunters is a recent addition to comics canon. The Silencer made her debut in a self-titled series at the launch of DC’s “New Age of Heroes” in 2019. The initiative has met with mixed reviews and poor sales, although I would argue that Silencer is by far the most intriguing character of the bunch and the best executed of the several series. With the power to silence all sound in her near vicinity (typically a tech-based power in the show, as is often the way for powers in Arrow), Silencer squares off against both Canaries in what is possible the most well-executed fight sequence in seven years of the show.
The use of flash-forwards as opposed to the flashbacks longtime viewers are used to has been a touch too infrequent to really develop much in the sense of a cohesive narrative. These sequences do not appear in every episode, as we follow the path of an older William and an even older Roy on their return to a devastated Star City. The problem with using such a narrative device, of course, is that it restrains and restricts what the writers can do with certain events and particular characters. It is through this device that we know somewhere along the way Team Arrow fails to protect Star City from being overrun with crime, allowing the Glades to rise up as some sort of totalitarian, dystopic nightmare. We also learn that Felicity dies somewhere along the way (although no body=no death is one of the comics narrative commandments, so this could be a bait and switch). We also know from these sequences that William is never retrieved and that Dinah lives through the chaos to come. Small details such as these could end up being a thorn in the sides of the writers. Easily enough overcome, of course, but a thorn nonetheless.
A few other noteworthy items: Felicity still cries in nearly every episode but it does appear she cries a bit less than previous seasons. The production value in this season seems to be slightly better than last season, although its possible that with much better writing and a more engaging story, I simply don’t notice the budget as much. Watch out for Ollies’ prison buddy, Stanley; they portray Stanley as too innocent and exceptionally clingy—a sure marker that he is more than he would appear. Vinnie Jones as Brick is still Vinnie Jones as pretty much every character he’s ever played, but at least he’s not the Juggernaut, b&$#c.
If you are among the droves of fans who have lost touch with Star City, now is the time to come home. Big things are happening in the Arrowverse this season and Arrow is leading the way at the moment, back to being King of the Mountain.
Arrow: A New Era
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Acting - 7/107/10
Music - 6/106/10
Production - 6/106/10
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