Taking a familiar concept out for a new spin, much of this episode is narrated by the new Green Arrow. Her voiceover carries a lot of the story forward. Towards the end, she even gets to borrow one of Oliver’s usual lines from his introductions: “My Name is Emiko Queen.” The show opens with her hunting criminals, training, doing research, and even crossing a name out in a book, all very much like Oliver near the start of his career.
Later, as a tv plays Channel 52 news about Oliver working with the SCPD, Emiko meets up with a source at a bar. He’s clearly nervous, but is reassured by her paying him generously. She’s hunting for a man named Glen Morgan, who is apparently part of the online black market. The man reluctantly gives her a security fob and gets shut down when he asks why she’s looking for him.
Using her new information and security fob, the new Green Arrow breaks in to a building that has some fairly heavy security. She uses one of Oliver’s trick arrows to get past the guards and steal some data, but her toys are apparently not as good as Oliver’s. This failing leads to her making a hasty exit, getting wounded, and going for help to the only person who has been on her side so far: Rene.
Dinah and Oliver, along with some other SCPD officers, work the scene of Green Arrow’s latest appearance. Oliver gets a very sharp example of how not all the police are happy he’s working with them, but offers his help anyway. Dinah, reluctantly, hands over a small piece of bloodstained glass since the police lab is so backed up and Oliver, as he reminds her, has resources that can help.
Emiko wakes up on Rene’s couch and grudgingly admires his first aid work. He asks questions she doesn’t want to answer, and makes an offer she doesn’t want. He admires that she’s working for the Glades when no one else is, and she shuts down his friendly overtures. Rene finally comments that stubbornness must come with the suit.
Lyla makes very little progress with Diaz, trying to get him to cooperate with ARGUS. Oliver gets home, makes Felicity happy that her new security system is working, and gives her the glass he got from Dinah. After jokes about other husbands bringing flowers, she runs the DNA and comes up with a surprise: the new Green Arrow shares DNA with Oliver on his father’s side. The new Green Arrow is Oliver’s sister, or half-sister apparently, and not Thea. Oliver’s family is just one big mess.
Emiko does some research and hits the streets again. Wild Dog turns up as her unwelcome backup, although I have no idea how he knew where she was going. She’s about as grateful as you’d expect from how she’s been acting so far. Felicity works her computer magic and finds out a few more family secrets, which have now expanded to include Moira.
While Emiko (I think she’s technically the fourth Green Arrow on this show?) stalks a rural estate, Diggle takes his turn at Diaz. Diggle isn’t playing games at this point, and makes an offer that ticks off Lyla and Assistant Director Bell, who shows up with some truly bad timing. In another glaring procedural error, Diggle was wearing his gun while interviewing a dangerous prisoner. Lyla is forced to go along with Diggle’s approach rather than make waves in front of Bell. They talk about the “Ghost Initiative,” which, as far as I can tell is the Suicide Squad with a new name. I wonder if this is more of the DC movies interfering with the shows.
Rene and Zoe leave the boxing gym and Rene gets a note with a unique delivery method. At Zoe’s urging, he goes to meet with the newest archer in town, and she asks him about his motives for what he’s doing and why he’s trying to help her. Rene talks about his own struggles and what it’s been like for him since Team Arrow broke up. Emiko is finally convinced enough to give him a chance. Felicity and Oliver go through piles of file boxes that have been in storage, finally leading to an important letter with some names we haven’t heard in a while. While Oliver absorbs more unpleasant truths, Emiko shows Rene her investigation in classic “wall with lots of pictures and lines” style.
Oliver tries to figure out what all his new information means. Felicity does her best to make him feel better, but he’s understandably upset about more darkness in his family history. Emiko tells Rene about her investigation, and why it’s a personal quest. Learning what her motivation is, Rene is more than ready to help her out. Lyla lets her displeasure with Diggle be known, and makes a cutting comment to end the conversation.
Seeing how much security is around Morgan’s estate, Rene brings in some help in the form of Curtis. Emiko is not happy about someone else being part of this, but they point out to her that his technical skills could be very useful. What doesn’t really play for me is that Curtis is very excited about doing this, whereas a few episodes ago he was furious at Diggle for making him go in the field. Curtis takes out the security system while Green Arrow and Wild Dog wade through an army of thugs to get to Glen Morgan. Arrow gets a surprise in her big confrontation, and, twisting another of Oliver’s lines, says she has failed her mission. The Arrows seem very concerned about failing. Did they have bad experiences in school?
In the aftermath of this revelation, Emiko is furious at herself, or just in general, about having been wrong. Rene offers to help her. She tries to send him back to his daughter, but Rene says he’s there in part at Zoe’s insistence. This, too, is inconsistent, because a big part of how Agent Watson flipped Rene against Team Arrow last season was his worry over losing his daughter. Now he’s back as a vigilante and risking losing her again?
Felicity talks to Oliver about what he’s going through. She points out that he’s learned more, as he wanted to, and he can be better than his father was. At this point, I’m wondering if Robert Queen’s suicide back when was just his way of getting away from his family complications. Lyla moves forward with her deal with Diaz, who smirks and makes threats. Emiko trains, glares at her mystery wall, and pays a dramatic visit to a grave with Arrow voiceover. That visit ends with someone surprising her there.
Back after a break, Flash-Forward theater continues the adventures of some of the cast. Zoe apparently works for her father, Rene, now the mayor of the Glades, which has split off from Star City. What we’ve seen of Star looks like post-apocalypse nightmare, but the Glades appears to be doing very well. After he gives a speech, Rene and Zoe argue about helping Dinah and Star City. Rene seems to have become a complete isolationist, not interested in anything that isn’t part of the Glades. Zoe appeals to the hero he used to be. Dinah has a much less cordial talk with Rene a bit later. They need access to the “Archer” program, which is some high-tech security system that keeps the Glades safe. Somehow, this is going to help them find all the bombs in Star City. After some threats and talk of Felicity’s murder, Rene agrees. Dinah and Zoe start using the codes for their search, while Rene has an ominous meeting with someone who seems to have a hold on the mayor.
What I liked: It was interesting getting to know why the new Green Arrow is doing what she is. She’s already better than Oliver was at the start, since he was only about his list, but she’s helping others on the way. I liked Felicity offering Oliver her support and encouraging him to do the right thing. Zoe did something similar for Rene. It makes sense not all the cops are fine with Oliver suddenly being one of them. I give them points for being confident enough in their story that the titular character was in very little of this episode.
What I didn’t: Diggle was generally the moral center of Team Arrow, and he seems to be drifting really far from that now. I’m so sick of Diaz. I was hoping we were done with him, but he lingers on. Someone needs to end that bit of evil. Curtis suddenly being excited about the new Team Arrow made no sense at all, nor did Rene deciding he was ok with risking losing Zoe again. One of the reasons I was happy about the future story was getting to see Roy again, but he’s been missing a lot. I don’t like what Rene seems to have become.
It was an uneven episode. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5. I’m hoping they fix some of these kinks soon.