Arrow ended its fall run with a scandalous reveal: The new Green Arrow is none other Emiko Queen, Robert Queen’s daughter from an affair and thus Oliver’s half-sister. Of course, this reveal raised many questions: What does Emiko want? Why did she become the Green Arrow? Who is her mother? Why are we just finding out about her now? As the episode title suggests, the winter premiere, thankfully, starts to answer these questions.
We begin with a pretty cool montage that follows Emiko as she runs around Star City crossing names off a list while she monologues about justice and the failures of the system. Her nighttime adventures eventually lead her to break into a security company building to find some man named William Glenmorgan; however, the security guards surprise her while she’s stealing something from the server and manage to hit her with a bullet as she tries to flee the scene. Of course, when Oliver shows up to examine the scene with Dinah and the SCPD the following day, he picks up her DNA sample and takes it home for Felicity to test it.
Felicity runs the sample through her computer and quickly discover that it matches Robert Queen’s and the new Green Arrow is Oliver’s sister. Look, I’ve never been in a situation like this, but I imagine this is not the way someone would want to find something like this out. By this point, Oliver has made peace with the fact that his father is a man of many secrets. Stephen Amell strikes the right balance between being shocked and resigned to the fact that his family is pretty messed up. Unfortunately, Oliver definitely isn’t prepared to learn just how messed up the present situation is.
Through some more computer stuff, Felicity finds an old storage unit paid for by Moira. They have all of the items delivered to their apartment and find a letter Robert wrote to Walter. In the letter, Robert confesses that he loved a woman named Kazumi Adachi and had a daughter with her, but he was forced to abandon them (because of Moira); he also asks Walter to take care of them in the event of his death. That obviously didn’t happen because Moira kept all of this stuff locked in a storage unit. So not only did Oliver just learn that his father had a secret second family, but that the Queens essentially abandoned them. This is a lot to take in for Oliver, who has a natural penchant for feeling guilty for other people’s actions. To be fair, it makes sense that he would feel this way because he returned from Lian Yu intent on righting his father’s wrongs, and it’s obvious he missed out on a big one. The script makes a really smart decision of drawing on the show’s history, particularly where Oliver started out, to handle this revelation.
So what happened to Emiko and her mother? Well, Emiko explains that to Rene, whom she reluctantly allows to help her in her crusade after he patches up her bullet wound. After Robert left, it was just her and her mother living alone in the Glades, and Sea Shimooka does a great job of conveying the pain and loss they felt after Robert’s departure. But then last year, someone put a bullet through her mother’s head and tried to cover up the murder by burning down the entire apartment. So, Emiko has spent the past year trying to track down the man responsible, and her quest has led her to the aforementioned William Glenmorgan.
The episode sets up a very interesting distinction between Oliver and Emiko. Whereas he became the Green Arrow to right his father’s mistakes and wrongs, Emiko took up the hood in order to avenge her mother’s death. In other words, we’re dealing with a redemption vs. revenge dichotomy here. Even though their goals are different, they do share some similarities. For one, Emiko, like Oliver believed at the beginning of his career, has embraced the darkness in order to achieve her goal. If there’s one thing we’ve seen over the past few seasons, it’s that that’s not a sustainable method of doing this job. And we can expect Oliver will probably impart this wisdom to her when he, in his quest to redeem the Queen family once again, eventually teams up with her. (The episode ends with him approaching her while she’s visiting her mother’s grave).
Next: Rene teams up with Emiko