This week’s episode opens seconds after last week’s ended, with Oliver trapped under rubble from the building collapse triggered by Emiko, Oliver’s half-sister, and this season’s Big Bad.
Soul-searching seems to be the common throughline this week, with many characters questioning their value in the world, and whether they still deserve a place in it. Will I be a good parent? Will I provide a safe environment for my child? How can I live with myself after I have caused the deaths of innocents? Can I ever be a good person again?
In particular, Oliver spends the entire episode hallucinating, self-torturing, and still wondering if he can stop Emiko. He is accompanied by the figment of an old friend. Thankfully Oliver has stopped the hand-wringing about whether he can swing her back from the Dark Side, at least for one week.
The flashforward adventures of the Queen kids 20 years in the future continue, with Future Felicity still trying to stop an authoritarian government from turning the city into a police state and using the Archer software she invented to hunt down all vigilantes and metahumans. I have appreciated the visual difference the flashforward events have been given; a desaturated, bluish, dystiopian appearance that easily makes them an obvious contrast to the scenes taking place in the present.
One tense sequence features a character appearing to sacrifice themselves to save the rest of Team Arrow, but it has no drama or suspense whatsoever for the viewer, since we already know that character survives in the flashforward adventures. Why wouldn’t they choose a different character for this, one we aren’t sure is around 20 years from now?
Oliver has YET ANOTHER face-to-face showdown with Emiko, but ONCE AGAIN she escapes. This season’s events seem like a broken record that keeps on skipping…skipping…skipping.
The season 7 cliffhanger of Arrow happens next Monday on The CW.