Title: Arrow: “Inmate 4587” Review
Release Date: October 15th, 2018
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
Arrow has returned for its seventh (and maybe final?) season. Oliver Queen is now in prison due to a deal he struck with the FBI in the finale of season six and by doing that, he has given his friends a chance at a normal life.
Wow. This premiere was amazing. It was probably even better than The Flash premiere that aired last week. Almost immediately, you can see the changes from new series showrunner Beth Schwartz. Less forced drama, more epic action (those fight scenes with Oliver and Rene in particular), and a focus on Oliver Queen.
That’s been a problem with Arrow over its run in my opinion. At times, the series has diminished Oliver’s skills and character development in favor of showing off his supporting team. This prison dynamic gives us the best of both worlds. Oliver gets to be a grizzled, brutal vigilante while his former teammates get to drive the main plot forward.
This new plot seems to be revolving around the Green Arrow imposter that has been guarding The Glades. He’s obviously someone we’ve seen before or he wouldn’t be wearing a mask. Could it be Roy? Oliver Queen from another Earth? Maybe its future William who has somehow traveled back in time?
Flashbacks were a huge part of Arrow for its first five seasons and in the sixth season, the show decided to stop them. It made sense. These flashbacks were meant to show Oliver’s path to becoming “The Hood”. I wasn’t sure where these supposed new flashbacks would take us. Turns out, they weren’t flashbacks at all. Instead, they were flashforwards of an adult William following in his father’s footsteps. It appears that the much older Roy Harper (who was on Lian Yu for some reason) may act as William’s teacher, much like Slade Wilson was to Oliver.
I don’t know where these flashforwards will take us but I’m excited to find out. Getting back to Oliver’s situation, this was exactly what I wanted to see. I was a huge advocate of the canceled Green Arrow: Escape from Supermax movie and thought it would be great to see that story adapted to the small screen with Arrow someday.
Luckily, season seven is set to take a shot at this story and it appears that Oliver will be in prison for a while (unlike other Arrowverse shows and their underwhelmingly short takes on classic storylines).
Oliver quickly has to adapt to his new surroundings as he’s now in the same place as some of his most notorious foes. Not only that but he also has to deal with crooked guards and the men Diaz has inside the prison.
So, Oliver’s story was great and so was the reveal on Lian Yu but this still leaves the state of Star City after Oliver’s outing as Green Arrow. Diggle, Felicity, Curtis, Rene, Dinah, and Laurel have all retired from their vigilante days but it seems that things in Star City have only gotten worse in the Green Arrow’s absence.
Season six was incredibly frustrating at times due to the supporting team and their brief “Civil War” arc. I’m glad that with season seven the show is looking to veer away from the forced team drama in favor of some serious character development for Team Arrow. Dinah wants to clean up the streets “the right way”, much like her former mentor Quentin Lance wanted to do in the first few seasons. Rene isn’t ready to give up the vigilante life just yet and believes that this Green Arrow imposter is doing work that Team Arrow is meant to be doing.
Curtis, Laurel, and Diggle didn’t get much development here though, but this is likely to change in the coming weeks. There’s only a finite amount of screen time to go around after all.
Although this was a near perfect premiere, I do have one small complaint. We’ve established that Ricardo Diaz is a deadly foe for Team Arrow. It makes absolutely zero sense that Felicity would be able to hold her own against him in a fight. I don’t have a problem with Felicity as a character these days either, it’s just something that slightly bothered me.
Verdict: Overall, Arrow season seven followed The Flash in having a picture perfect premiere. Even though I had a small complaint, this was an all-time great Arrow episode. The show balanced all of its stories very well and has set up one hell of a mystery regarding the flashforwards with William. What remains to be seen is if season seven will continue this trend and act much like the series beloved fifth season, or will it falter along the way.
What are your thoughts on the Arrow season seven premiere? Let us know in the comments below!
- Oliver in prison
- Awesome fight scenes
- Less forced drama
- Balanced all of the stories well
- Flashforward scenes
- Green Arrow imposter may lead to a great reveal down the road
- Rene and Dinah
- Felicity holding her own in the fight against Diaz