Arrow: Star City 2040

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Student/Teacher conference, Mia style

 

Much of this season of Arrow (the second to last, we recently learned) has been accented by flashes forward to a not so great future for Star City. As I’ve commented before elsewhere, heroes never seem to have good times in the future. It’s always dark and gritty and things are falling apart and no one came close to living happily ever after. I’m still very much hoping this future can be changed. Maybe it’s time to call either Barry or Sara. This episode is almost entirely set in that future.

 

The episode opens in rural Bloomfield, where Oliver makes his only appearance at Felicity’s side as she gives birth. I think they missed an opportunity by not having whoever was attending Felicity be their long-time ally Dr. Schwartz. Felicity gives birth and there’s a montage of Mia growing up. Her education isn’t exactly normal; we see her aging as she trains with Nyssa al-Ghul, a personal favorite of mine. Nyssa doesn’t seem to age as Mia goes from girl to young adult, but then, with her family connections to the Lazarus Pits, that’s certainly possible. We can certainly see why the older Mia does so well in the fighting cages later. The training that we see ends with Nyssa saying she’s ready, and giving her a bow. Black, not green, but oh, well.

 

Later, Mia gets home from a shopping run and can’t find Felicity. After some minor tension building, she pops up and they chat about the town, the woman who runs the market, and which Wizard of Oz character the lady’s sons are like. Later, Mia does some archery practice in the house (I suspect “No archery in the living room!” takes the place of playing ball inside in this house), and accidentally opens a secret room. This is when we learn Felicity is still hacking for justice, has been lying to Mia about it, and Mia isn’t happy. She runs off to Star City and we see where her codename (which was really a stretch) and tenure in the fights come from.

 

Mia does her own impressive trick, like Oliver’s salmon ladder, and she and William set off to scale the wall, sneak into the Glades, and find Felicity. The climb does a decent job of showing both of their strengths, and that she inherited some of their dad’s trick arrows. We still haven’t found out what Oliver’s status is in this future, although by 2046, courtesy of the Legends, we know that Oliver is believed dead.

 

In the ruins of the Bunker, Roy and Dinah don’t know where Mia and William took off to, and are trying to locate the bombs they’ve been chasing all season, which is arguably more important. Dinah notices some discrepancies in the police files, and they pay a visit to a questionable source of hers. He’s not feeling friendly, but between them, Dinah, Zoe, and Roy get some surprising intel out of him. It also looks like some of Roy’s rage issues might be back, but without the Mirakuru strength he once had.

 

Having gotten into the Glades, William and Mia end up at a company called Galaxy One. Mia is impressed with how nice the Glades is, compared to the urban decay of Star City, and William tells her Star used to be like this. He comes up with a way to get them inside the building. William is doing the rich businessman thing, ala Bruce Wayne or Oliver Queen, and Mia is “Miss Margo” his assistant or associate depending on who you talk to. I do wonder if this is a nod to Margo Lane, the Shadow’s long-time lover and assistant. William’s plan hits a snag, but they get unexpected help from Connor Hawke, who turns out to have some impressive credentials and gadgets. We get some hints about what Connor has been up to, his and Mia’s shared past, and a plan to get what they need to slip into Galaxy’s hidden levels, where Felicity is, they hope, being held.

 

Back at the Bunker, the team gets an unexpected visit from Mayor Rene Ramirez, the former Wild Dog and Zoe’s very displeased father. We learn a bit more about what’s going on, and Zoe (and I) are very disappointed in Rene’s choices. Rene is surprised to learn Roy is alive, and doubtful that Felicity is. William and Mia’s undercover mission goes well, and we learn who is in charge of Galaxy, as well as a bit about William’s corporate background. Dinah and Zoe prep for their own mission, and Dinah makes sure Zoe’s ok with what they’ve learned about Rene.

 

Connor, Mia, and William begin their infiltration to the secret sub-levels with some banter between Mia and William. When they get to the lower floor, Mia and Connor show some impressive fighting skills with bow and sticks, while William shows some intelligence and stays out of the way. They finally find Felicity, who greets them with essentially an old Three Dog Night song: “Mama Told Me Not To Come.” They get her out amid some minor arguing with an emotional reunion. Felicity has no intention of leaving without defusing the bombs, which aggravates Mia to no end and leads to another argument. Mia comes off as fairly selfish in my view. Felicity is sorry her daughter is upset, but is calmly resolved to do the right thing. They also meet up with Roy, Zoe, and Felicity.  Mia and Connor have their own scene where they compare notes on being the children of heroes. We don’t know the fates of Diggle or Lyla in this timeframe, either.

 

Everyone links up as they break into the big storage room where the bombs… used to be. Rene shows up with some bad news, but at least he’s finally seen the truth. Felicity and William techno-babble at each other, not pleasing Mia, and Roy shows his computer knowledge is out of date, while the team forms a desperate new plan. They infiltrate the conveniently masked party to find Keven Dale, who runs the company and is apparently the big bad. The whole thing is clearly a trap, although he was expecting “one of the Canaries.” He sics a bunch of guards on Mia, and she shows she’s Oliver’s daughter and a good student of Nyssa’s. The one big inconsistency in the fight is Dale’s order to “take her alive,” after which everyone starts shooting at her. They must have those weird somehow non-lethal guns Wild Dog and Spartan use. With some teamwork, distraction, and even subtle help from Rene, they manage to win and escape.

 

Later, Rene gives a statement about the “vigilante attack” in the Glades, and makes their lives a bit harder, but keeps his cover as their now inside man. I do notice that he names Roy, Dinah, and Felicity as the attackers, but manages to leave Zoe out of it. The team makes some vague plans for their future, Mia storms out in a huff, and Felicity goes to talk to her. Rene learns some ominous things from Dale, and Mia pushes Felicity on why this seems so personal to her. In a flashback to the present (time travel is confusing), we learn exactly that.

 

What I liked: I really like Katrina Law’s Nyssa, and it was great to see her again. I think this is her first appearance since the big blow up on Lian Yu. Mia is an interesting character, and she could be great if she’d get a slightly smaller chip on her shoulder. She and William played well off each other. I’ve also always liked Roy Harper (and am annoyed about his recent death in the comics), and I’m glad he’s playing a part in things again. Eden Corps was an interesting choice (see below) for a villain group. I’m interested in learning more about Connor, and I’d love to see a new team of Connor, Mia, Zoe, and William (maybe with occasional guest appearances by Nora West-Allen). The twist at the end I didn’t see coming and it explains a lot.

What I didn’t: Rene has been a lot of things, but he’s generally not stupid. I’m finding it a bit hard to believe he got this tangled up with bad guys and thought their plan was actually a good idea. I wish they’d clarify Oliver’s status in this time.

 

I’d actually probably watch a spin-off show of this future group. I enjoyed the episode. I’ll give it a high 3.5 out of 5.

 

So why does Eden Corps sound familiar? They’ve never been a widely known group, but they have two important past appearances. In the comics, they were the terrorist group that launched the plot that ultimately killed Oliver Queen (hey, it’s comics, no one dies forever). On The Flash, they were the ones behind the bomb that Barry spent the whole episode trying to defeat in “Flashtime.” In that episode, they were led by Veronica Dale. I doubt the last name is a coincidence.

 

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