Arrow recap: 'Star City Slayer' features a big Blackstar reveal and some goodbyes
At the beginning of Arrow season 7, showrunner Beth Schwartz promised that the season would feature many big reveals. To her credit, she has delivered on that promise. In the first half of the season, we got the surprising flash-forwards, Talia al Ghul’s return in “The Demon,” and the introduction of Emiko Queen as the New Green Arrow. The one thing all of these twists had in common is how obvious they should’ve been from the beginning; whether or not that’s a positive or negative is up to you. Personally, I like the fact that the show didn’t try to be too clever. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the twist that ends last night’s episode “Star City Slayer” definitely falls into that “wow, should’ve seen that coming.”
Last night’s flash-forwards pick up with Dinah, Zoe (a.k.a. “pampered girl from the Glades playing vigilante dress up”), Roy, and William heading to the old bunker to see if that’s where Felicity hid her bombs since they haven’t had any luck with the Archer system. Instead of finding the bombs, though, they find Mia and Connor, who knock them out and tie them up. In the ensuing interrogation, Mia shares that she’s actually trying to find Felicity, who still alive, and stop whoever is trying to pull a sequel to 2013’s Undertaking (2 Under 2 Taking? The Undertaking: The Glades Strike Back?), and she learns that William is Felicity’s son. I’m not sure if this is a choice or not, but McNamara’s tough exterior wasn’t completely convincing.
Anyway, Dinah and Roy manage to escape their bondage like they’re Mister Miracle and proceed to fight back against their captors. When Mia gains the upper-hand and threatens to slit Dinah’s throat (which was, hilariously, just slit in the episode’s present storyline), William draws a gun on her and threatens to shoot, but Mia doesn’t believe him because, as she reveals, her name is Mia Smoak — which makes her Oliver and Felicity’s bloody daughter and William’s half-sister. Yes, there’s yet another secret Queen family scion running around Star City, because apparently that bloodline, like life and Drake Bell, always finds a way. And, God, I’m already exhausted.
As I mentioned before, we should’ve seen this coming. I mean, the character’s name is Mia. In the comics, one of Green Arrow’s Speedy sidekicks was named Mia Dearden, so it makes complete sense that if the show was going to introduce a character with that name that she would have some major ties to Oliver. But the problem here is that the show just pulled the “secret family card” with Emiko a few episodes ago, and we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of what Emiko’s arrival in the present day storyline means for both Oliver and the show itself. Throwing another new major, status quo shifting character like Oliver and Felicity’s daughter into the mix feels like a lot. But, hey, I’m willing to approach this story with an open mind and to reserve judgement until it all plays out.
NEXT: Goodbye, Curtis
Meanwhile in the present day, Rene, Diggle, and Dinah start tracking down a serial killer who sent them threatening notes as Curtis considers a job offer from the Kohler Humanitarian Institute in Washington D.C. Given how things have been going at A.R.G.U.S. lately, Curtis seriously considers the job even after Diggle offers to promote him to the head of the shady government organization’s tech division because he wants to help as many people as possible.
The team runs some tests on the serial killer’s latest victim, and discover that he was immobilized using a rare paralytic. So, Curtis tracks the most recent drug shipment to a creepy house in the Glades, which is where they find our good old friend Stanley, who slits Dinah’s throat. Thankfully, Curtis is able to use the t-spheres to temporarily heal the wound and buy them time to get Dinah to a hospital. (Many points to director/Everwood alum Gregory Smith for creating an appropriately creepy atmosphere both in the house itself and in the entire episode). But the trip to the house wasn’t a complete failure because Diggle discovers Stanley’s next target…
Speaking of which: Oliver was absent from the Team Arrow mission because he and Felicity had their hands full with William, who was being reasonably difficult in this episode. Oliver tries to talk to William about his expulsion, but instead William flies off the handle and becomes the latest person to criticize Oliver’s tendency to ignore other people’s wishes and make unilateral decisions. Honestly, I’m glad the show acknowledged how hurt William must be over, well, everything. In fact, it makes emotional sense that William would be so upset that he would actually call his grandparents and ask them to take him away.
Of course, Oliver himself is deeply hurt when Samantha’s parents show up and threaten to sue for custody of William. Later on, he and William end up getting in screaming match, which, again, feels like a completely reasonable thing to happen in this situation. Their argument not only gives you a sense of William’s pain, but also Oliver’s over the realization of just how much he’s hurting his son, whom he loves. William tells his father he just wants a normal life, and Felicity suggests they should at least consider it since he is the Green Arrow again.
The Queen family time, however, gets interrupted when Stanley breaks into the apartment and drugs them using his paralyzing agent. From there, Brendan Fletcher proceeds to give a gloriously demented, scary, and unhinged performance as he explains that he’s been targeting both Oliver’s foes and victims to show that he’s the only one who understands Oliver. In some ways, Stanley feels like a great stand-in for toxic and bad fans, especially in the moment he realizes that Oliver is about to reject him. Thankfully, Stanley monologues long enough for the drug to wear off, which allows William and Oliver to take him out with a glass bottle.
As the episode, we were treated to two goodbyes. First, Oliver agrees to let William move to Central City with his grandparents. Second, Curtis decides to take the job offer in D.C. because he believes developing tech there would help him achieve his goal. Even though everyone’s sad to see him go, they definitely support his decision. Reader, I’ll admit, I was moved during his tearful goodbye with Felicity since, in case you forgot, Echo Kellum’s first scene on the show was with Emily Bett Rickards. Before leaving, though, Curtis hands Helix over to Felicity, therefore setting up Smoak Technologies in the future.
Wall of Weird:
- Captain Singh made a cameo in tonight’s episode when Dinah called him for help on the serial killer case and for advice on how to handle the fact that everyone now knows she was a vigilante.
- Okay, I love the fact that the Arrowverse is taking full advantage of the fact that they can reference Batman-related things now. In tonight’s episode, Stanley says his brother tried sending him to Arkham Asylum
- I will say that part of me is wondering if the introduction of Felicity and Oliver’s daughter as a very skilled fighter has something to do with the overall future of the Arrowverse. At the TCA press tour, CW President Mark Pedowitz talked about how they’ve started thinking about the next generation of DC superhero shows, which makes sense since Arrow, which was just renewed for an eighth season, is getting old. And with so many potential young heroes running around Arrow — Zoe Ramirez, Emiko Queen, William, and now Mia — could it be possible that the powers that be are at least considering using these characters from the future storyline to launch the aforementioned next generation of shows. Like, McNamara has a bankable fanbase from Shadowhunters, so it would be surprising if CW wasn’t at least trying to milk that for all it’s worth.