Welcome back Arsenal! While Colton Haynes has been gracing our screens as Roy Harper in the 2040 flash forwards of Arrow, this week Oliver’s former protégé is back in present time to support the team in their fight against Emiko in this week’s episode titled “Confessions”. And boy, it’s a killer return.
In the aftermath of Dante’s brutal murder, Team Arrow is now on the lookout for his killer, Emiko, and the bio weapon she was able to escape with. They learn that in order to spread the chemicals, Emiko is in need of some very specific tech – a thermal fogger. It is so specific, indeed, that only one company facilitates it. Oliver and John approach Aerodyne Initiatives about protecting their machinery, but they decline the offer, which throw the team for a loop and leads Felicity looking into them.
Felicity learns that the man behind the company has accepted payments from the Ninth Circle, and the team decides the only way to stop Emiko is to find the device and destroy it. They call in the big guns, aka Roy Harper, who has spent the last few months traveling the world with Thea and Nyssa in search of the Lazarus Pits. Roy claims that they have found and destroyed two of them, and that Thea seems to have found her passion.
The team heads out on their mission, which leads them to an abandoned subway station – and this is where things go sideways. Two security guards end up dead, with the security footage scrubbed, and Team Arrow is faced with tough interrogation by Dinah and the SCPD. The episode flashes back and forth between the character’s statements and the events of the night, and everyone becomes a suspect.
It is clear that all of them are lying, but it is unclear who they are really protecting. Felicity claims she was left alone in the server room, while Roy was knocked out by the Ninth Circle, and Rene got injured by Emiko herself before she was able to flee. John claims he was the second person to arrive at the scene of the murder, and admits to seeing Oliver there, which places the Green Arrow as the prime suspect.
Oliver eventually confirms that he was the first person at the scene and that the killer was, in fact, Emiko. Ultimately the SCPD have to release Team Arrow as Oliver’s reasoning for protecting his sister is believable, and they do not have enough evidence to keep them.
Back at the lair, the truth is revealed – Roy was taken by blood lust and viciously attacked the security guards, beating them to death with an iron rod. The team immediately agrees that Roy has to be protected at all cost, and that they will have to come up with a story and stick to it.
Oliver confronts Roy about the blood lust, which he knows is unrelated to the younger man’s previous stint with Mirakuru, and has been triggered by the use of the Lazarus Pit. He has seen it happen to Thea and Sara so he recognizes the signs. Roy admits that yes, he did die in an attack by the Thanatos Guild and Thea and Nyssa brought him back. They previously contained the blood lust with the help of an elixir, and Roy can’t explain his outburst.
At the end of the episode, Felicity finally gets a lead on Emiko, and the team heads into an abandoned building at the edge of the city which they believe to be the head quarter of the Ninth Circle. Oliver separates from the group and heads straight for Emiko.
She tells him that she was the one who scrubbed the security footage which shows Roy killing the guards, which she has now delivered to the SCPD to ruin his and the team’s legacy. She also reveals that she knew about Malcolm’s plan to sabotage the Queen’s Gambit, and she readily let her father die. She then causes the building to crumble through a line of explosions, and Oliver ends up buried under the rubble.
Is the Green Arrow dead? Was Oliver’s last heroic deed trying to save Roy Harper’s life and freedom all for nothing? It’s hard to believe, but there are only two more episodes to go this season, and, well, never say never. Considering the limited time Arrow has to wrap up his penultimate season (and its final one with everyone’s favourite Felicity Smoak) this episode seems like a waste. “Confessions” is a bottle episode if we have ever seen one (and we have, Breaking Bad’s “Fly”…). Sure, at this point in the season it is far too late to develop Emiko into a decent villain, that ship has sailed, and there’s definitely not enough time to give Felicity and Smoak Tech the time it deserved.
With two episodes to go, would it really be that bad if the series’ titular hero was, in fact, no more? At least he wouldn’t have to witness the misery brought on by his half-sister. Yes, there’s 80 more minutes of Arrow until the end of season, but judging from the events in 2040 we highly doubt that the outcome of this battle is a positive one. With Felicity disappearing and John and Oliver nowhere to be found in the future, it’s truly a bleak one.
Not even the reappearance of Roy Harper made this week’s episode any more relevant. Frankly, quite the opposite. Roy, who used to be a major character, has died and come back to life and the series brushes it off within ten minutes as if it was something that happened every day. Arrow seems to be in a hurry to fit in as many unexplored storylines as possible, but that only takes away from the grand scheme of things: there is only 12 more episodes of Arrow to come.
Roy: I never asked you to cover for me. I didn’t want you to.
Oliver: You never have to ask me. Ever.
Catch Arrow Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.