Title: Arrow: “My Name Is Emiko Queen” Review
Release Date: January 21st, 2019
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
This isn’t a slight at the character or the actress (Sea Shimooka). In fact, I thought Shimooka did a great job with what she was given here. The problem with this episode is that there was so…much…going…on. And not in a good way.
Let’s go through all of the plot-threads real quick for proof of this. We had Oliver and Felicity looking into Emiko’s past. Emiko and her mission. Rene’s desire to be a part of that mission. The flashforwards that show how much Rene has changed. And finally, there was the sub-plot with Diggle and Lyla. The two have recreated the Suicide Squad. Wait, they can’t call it that. I think it was the Ghost Protocol. No, that’s not it.
(Short rant incoming)
Ghost Initiative. That’s what they’re calling it. Look, it’s basically the Suicide Squad and honestly, Why DC won’t allow multiple versions of characters to exist on TV and their films is beyond me. I’ve never claimed to be an intelligent individual (I’m probably far from it) but I’m smart enough to know that the terrible Suicide Squad DCEU movie has nothing to do with the Arrowverse. Changing the names of established things and restricting the network in what they can and cannot use is terrible. It does nothing for The CW or the DC movies.
Sorry about that. It’s just frustrating.
So, you may be shocked to hear (after my rambling) that I actually like the idea of bringing the Ghost Initiative back. It may give Ricardo Diaz something meaningful to do and we could see some memorable villains pop in for some screentime. Although I’ve been highly-critical of Diaz as a character, Kirk Acevedo is such an incredible actor that I can’t blame the writers for wanting to keep him in the loop.
Rene’s parallel arcs from present day to the flashforwards was fascinating. His character’s likability is the personification of a roller-coaster and these two sub-plots meshed perfectly to showcase this. In the present day, we see the hero who wants to keep fighting, even if his friends have moved on. The future is bleak though for Wild Dog. Something happens that changes his entire outlook on life and turns him into what appears to be a slimy politician. I can’t wait to find out what changed him, how his relationship with Dinah deteriorated, and if he’s actually on-board with destroying Star City (Like Felicity, I’m guessing that he’s not).
Oliver and Felicity seem to be fine, which is weird considering how their relationship was beginning to fall apart over the last few episodes. Once again this has to be said. Stephen Amell has turned into a fantastic actor over the course of this show. His reaction to his father’s latest betrayal and the fact that Emiko is his half-sister was totally believable. He’s spent so much time righting his father’s wrongs. After getting out of prison, this was supposed to be his time to create his own legacy so he can pass it on to his son. Instead, he is once again having to answer for his father’s wrong-doings.
Emiko Queen’s story-arc is rounding out this review, which may seem like an afterthought. That was by design because that’s what it felt like the entire episode. For an episode directly called “My Name Is Emiko Queen”, it didn’t really feature her at all. The flashforwards went to Rene and there were too many sub-plots to switch to every five-ish minutes for me to get invested in her story. Even though I enjoyed the Rene flashforwards, the focus should’ve been primarily on Emiko here. Give her the screentime and show us how she got here through some flashbacks.
Here’s what I have so far. She has a list and wants revenge, like Oliver. She wears the hood and works alone, like Oliver. She is a talented fighter who can handle most enemies, like Oliver. I’m guessing the pattern is pretty obvious. I know, she’s supposed to be close to The Hood persona from season one. That was fine until she was revealed in “Unmasked”. But, it would have been nice to get a glimpse of something new. Hopefully, future episodes develop her character better.
Still, a flashback oriented episode featuring Emiko could possibly be on the way sometime later this season. Her fighting ability is too good for Arrow not to take a trip to her past and path to putting on the hood.
Arrow is in a weird spot right now. It doesn’t feel like Diaz is making a triumphant return to the spotlight anytime soon. This shadow organization seems to be an antagonist for the flashforwards or a setup for next season. So that leaves the question. Who is the main antagonist? The person who killed Emiko’s mom? The Longbow Hunters? I hope it won’t be the latter.
Verdict: “My Name Is Emiko Queen” is disappointing. There were too many arcs to follow, which left every story with too little screentime to grab my attention. This is especially true for the new Green Arrow, Emiko Queen, who should have been thrust into the spotlight. Also, a lack of a major threat for Team Arrow is putting them in a rut until either the A.R.G.U.S. arc comes into play or another antagonist rears their heads. It wasn’t all bad though. Rene’s parallel arcs, Stephen Amell’s performance, and Emiko’s motivation were major highlights in an otherwise sub-par Arrow episode.
- Stephen Amell's performance
- Rene's arcs
- The flashforwards continue to be riveting
- Return of the
Suicide SquadGhost Initiative
- Too much going on
- There wasn't enough time to flesh out Emiko's character
- No official reveal for the "big bad" has me worried that Diaz or The Longbow Hunters will return. Hopefully, the role will go to the Dante Organization instead
- Oliver and Felicity's relationship seemed fixed? Maybe? I'm not sure