This week’s episode marks yet another milestone for the superhero series that kicked off a whole universe. Arrow celebrates its 150th episode, and it does so in style – documentary style. In “Emerald Archer” a camera crew follows our titular hero around to uncover all his deepest darkest secrets.
The episode, and the documentary Emerald Archer: The Rise of the Hood and Vigilantism, opens with a statement given by the late Quentin Lance in 2014, as he talks about the work vigilantes have done. He states that the police aren’t enough to protect the city.
The documentary makes the point that vigilantism is not inherently negative, and poses the question whether it should be considered a legal option, working alongside government forces. Does the end result justify the means?
Emerald Archer features a look at the last few years of vigilantes in town, and includes statements by some of our favorite characters, especially those we haven’t seen in a while, such as Thea Queen, Sara Lance, Barry Allen, Rory Regan, and Sin. They all speak about the sacrifices the heroes have made for the greater good.
In the middle of filming, Felicity arrives home with a surprise – William has returned from school. Despite being home the boy seems unsettled and even snaps at Felicity for installing protective software on his tablet, before finding solace in his friend, Zoe. He reveals that they have been in contact while he was away at boarding school.
After Felicity looks into William’s time at school she finds a fake school website with tampered exam results, so William admits that he has been expelled and did not take his exams.
The camera crew follows Oliver along on a mission, where Wild Dog was attacked and the new Green Arrow, Emiko, has been kidnapped. Oliver and the SCPD look into the case and, after working with ARGUS, they track down the attacker, which Curtis lovingly titles Chimera. At the location the team finds a lot of vigilante memorabilia, primarily a variety of masks, including the Huntress’ and Emiko’s.
They follow Chimera to a building previously owned by Adam Hunt, Oliver’s first target back in Starling City, where they find Emiko. She warns Oliver that the attacker is coming for him. Still, the mayor forces Oliver into a public debate with her on vigilantism and the law, where Chimera attacks.
Oliver has begrudgingly agreed to Diggle’s suggestion to get back together Team Arrow, even if it means they could face repercussions for violating the anti-vigilante law, so the team go up against him together.
With the cameras rolling Team Arrow, with Overwatch on the comms, is able to bring Chimera to justice, who turns out to be someone Oliver saved when he first returned to the city and has become obsessed with vigilantes since. The mayor claims to have no choice and arrests Rene, Curtis, and John.
As a result, Dinah threatens to quit her post as Captain, and Oliver offers to turn himself in. The mayor reconsiders and offers to deputize the remaining members of Team Arrow, so that they can assist Oliver and Dinah in making Star City a safer place. Oliver returns to the destroyed foundry, vowing to rebuild it.
In the final scene, a flash-forward, we see Maya/Mia watch the Emerald Archer documentary, which apparently was banned from being distributed in the future. She is interrupted by Connor (Hawke), and she urges him to follow her to the ruins of Team Arrow’s foundry. Mia is very clearly anti-vigilante, stating they “got what they deserved”, so why was she hell-bent on finding the foundry?
Arrow doing a documentary episode narrated by Kelsey Grammar has to be the best thing to happen yet this season. The first 10 minutes of the episode are some of the most unique and most entertaining of the series to date. We always love reuniting with loved ones (even though Tommy Merlyn was missing …), but some of the cameos were a happy surprise.
Apart from the familiar faces the break in style was refreshing, and, with Arrow, revisiting the past should always fill the fans with nostalgia. Because, as hard as it might be to remember at times, the first two seasons of the series were incredible. The end of the episode has set off a new era for our heroes, as the whole team is able to operate at the light of day, without their masks to fight for justice. They truly have become heroes.
Wish brings us to the biggest question. What the hell happens over the next 10 years that throws the city into such disarray and finds vigilantes banned and killed? And who is Mia? Is this the infamous Mia Dearden, original speedy and protégée of Oliver Queen?
And of course, the return of Connor Hawke, who we first met on Legends of Tomorrow. Is this Connor also the son of John Diggle? And if so, what is his relation to Mia? Is the 2045 the legends have visited possibly the real deal?
Felicity: Do you want to talk?
Felicity: That wasn’t so much a suggestion as it was one of those mom-things where if you don’t talk now you’re grounded.
Dinah: I thought you didn’t care about vigilantes?
Mayor Pollard: Believe me, Captain Drake, I’m anything but sanguine, but your little stunt of deputizing Oliver Queen has set off a firestorm.
Dinah: That’s funny. I think that’s actually a different superhero.
Catch Arrow Monday’s at 8/7c on The CW.