Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Arrow - Inmate 4587

Months after Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) turned himself in, Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) remains at large, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and William (Jack Moore) are in A.R.G.U.S. witness protection, vigilantes are outlawed, and Oliver struggles daily to keep his head down in prison and not make waves. A coordinated attack of Oliver in prison and Diaz finding Felicity and William will wake the hero out of his stupor and reignite his fire to do more than simply bide his time until his release. From the episode it looks like the show may be keeping our hero in jail for more than just an episode or two. However, that doesn't mean the streets of Star City aren't protested. A new Green Arrow (with his own list) has shown up to dispense some justice.

The biggest surprise (other than immediately letting us know Diggle isn't the man under the hood) is the show returning to its old formula. With no new flashback to show from Oliver's missing time, the show introduces flash-forwards of an older William (Ben Lewis) returning to Lian Yu in search of an archer named Roy Harper (Colton Haynes). The episode also sets up Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) to be the one to keep vigilantes off the street, likely leading to confrontations with the other former heroes. And it appears Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) has stuck around, but is she friend or foe?

All-in-all, "Inmate 4587" is a solid premiere offering a new mystery (who is the new Arrow?), glimpses of a future timeline, and Oliver struggling to make the best of a bad situation. Although Diaz makes an appearance, his role is reduced here (as are those of the other heroes, only one of whom suits up). With so many heroes the show got away from its core characters over the past couple of seasons, offering a chance for new stories but also splintering the focus of the show. Oliver's incarceration, much like his flashbacks to Lian Yu, help center the show a bit more while his friends, and the new archer, can provide action in Star City and the flashbacks can slowly reveal more about what happens to Star City and its heroes in the years to come. I'm curious to see where things go from here.

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