Title: Arrow: “Living Proof” Review
Release Date: May 6th, 2019
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
The reason behind this is due to Oliver’s entire arc this season being (finally) pushed to the forefront. All season, it’s been said that Oliver is in this cycle of hate and murder brought onto him by his family. Oliver himself has said this throughout the season as well. He’s been making strides in an attempt to break that cycle by working out in the open without a mask and even working alongside the SCPD.
All of this was brought up by Tommy Merlyn, who popped up this week as Oliver’s conscience of sorts while he was trapped under the building. Colin Donnell and Stephen Amell were on fire this entire episode delivering fantastic performances. I hope we somehow see Donnell return as Tommy in the final season but if this is the last time we see him, I’m happy with it.
I’m sure some people believe Oliver should have killed Emiko on that rooftop just as he did in that hallucination (we’ll get to that in a bit). In most cases, I would agree but it just doesn’t fit his character this season. Emiko is a villain. There’s no doubt about that and I don’t think redemption is on the table for her. At least not anymore. The redemption is for Oliver. In a small way, Emiko is just another name on his father’s list of wrongs. If he kills her, Oliver is just continuing that cycle, just as Tommy said. There’s a lot of problems with Arrow when it comes to character development and plot holes but rest assured, they’ve knocked Oliver’s personal arc out of the park this season.
Since I brought it up, there was one pretty sizable plot hole in “Living Proof”. If everything we saw when Oliver “escaped” was a hallucination, why did Emiko say that she knew about Felicity being pregnant? There is no way Oliver could have known this information going into the fight. Don’t get me wrong, that interaction between Oliver and Emiko was pretty sweet but that line stands out as one of the few faults this episode had. Come to think of it, the flashforwards would probably be my only other issue this week but that’s only because of William’s stupidity.
It seems that “Living Proof” set up Felicity’s exit from the series. She’s going off the grid to protect her kid from the Ninth Circle. That’s sort of what I expected but what I didn’t expect is Emily Bett Rickards putting in another great performance. I’ve been pretty critical of her in my reviews when it comes to the emotional side of things but she’s been killing it this season. I know this is going to be a controversial statement but I’m bummed she won’t be in the final season. I’m guessing she’ll end up making a heroic sacrifice to save William in the season finale next week to wrap up her flashforwards storyline.
So, I’ll admit that I was a little too harsh with my “Confessions” review. That episode expertly reintroduced Roy to the present-day storyline, gave him a worthwhile arc for the remaining episodes of the series, gave Team Arrow a more clouded moral code, and displayed it all in a semi-refreshing format. “Living Proof” was a direct continuation of that cover up and the serious ramifications it’ll have on the future of Star City.
Because of Emiko, the Ninth Circle, and Roy (to an extent), vigilantes will become enemy #1 in Star City going forward. We knew this was coming since the earlier flashforwards but this was probably the only way they could have done this storyline without ruffling too many feathers. It also explains why Roy exiled himself to Lian Yu. I can’t wait to see how Arrow deals with this.
Roy essentially tried to sacrifice himself so he could save the team and not have to live with what he’s done. It was a good scene but it was a little undercut by the fact we knew Roy survives since he’s in the flashforwards. Dinah’s pep-talk to Roy after this was nice as well and went a long way to helping this character out of the rut she’s been in over the past few episodes. Sidenote: I can never tell in these CW shows these days but are they setting up a thing between Roy and Dinah? Because, based off of their interactions here and in the flashforwards, I think they are.
Overall, I’m still enjoying these flashforwards but it feels like we’ve really hit a speedbump on any sort of plot developments. Will Mia become the next Green Arrow? Can they stop Galaxy One? What happened to Laurel and Connor Hawke? Why is Rene still wearing that terrible wig? I have no idea and it’s been that way for weeks now. Here’s hoping they aren’t saving everything for the final season.
Verdict: “Living Proof” may not definitively be the best episode of Arrow season 7 but it may just be my personal favorite. Oliver’s character development over, not just this season, but the past few years was brought to the spotlight. His decision on whether or not to kill Emiko is going to make for some exciting TV next week as this series wraps up its season with a jam-packed episode.
- Oliver's character development this season has been so well done. The only comic-book TV equivalent to this would probably be Matt Murdock's in Daredevil season 3
- Emily Bett Rickards, Stephen Amell, and Colin Donnell put in awesome performances
- Tommy returns!
- That action sequence at SCPD
- The consequences that came out of "Confessions"
- Dinah's pep-talk to Roy
- Since it all was in Oliver's head, Emiko shouldn't have said anything about knowing Felicity was pregnant
- William's stupidity
- The flashforwards are still enjoyable but they need to move along a little quicker