Arrow’s season 7 efficient premiere set about righting the show’s ship while also introducing some interesting twists and the second episode continues to build on that table-setting. “The Longbow Hunters” marks the introduction of the season’s new villains, and also complicates the already-unusual dynamic between the former members of Team Arrow.
As I mentioned, the episode introduces the Longbow Hunters, the trio of assassins that Ricardo Diaz hired to exact revenge against, well, everyone. We first meet the three villains — Red Dart, Kodiak, and Silencer — as they infiltrate one of ARGUS’ offsite safehouses and steal, well, a super battery. What makes them stand out from previous villain groups on the show is that they appear to have some fun while doing their work, especially Red Dart and Silencer, the latter of whom uses noise-suppression technology to sneak up and kill her enemies. I’ll admit, though, that I find Kodiak kind of silly but in an endearing way. It’s like Arrow looked at itself and was like, “Okay, we have a guy with a bow and arrow, a sword guy, what’s the next outdated weapon we can give someone? Oh yes, a deadly shield.” (Yes, I know Kodiak is a character from the comics, but that still doesn’t make the fact that he uses a shield as an offensive weapon any less funny).
Anyway, the Longbow Hunters’ theft sets everything in motion, including the rising tension between Felicity and Diggle. Following her decision to fight back, Felicity is eager to go after Diaz, so when the Longbow Hunters come up she begs Diggle to let her get involved. But, as Diggle reminds her several times, this is ARGUS, not Team Arrow, so Diaz can’t be the focus. Part of Diggle’s stance is also due to the fact that his boss reminded him that retrieving the battery is their priority since ARGUS isn’t chartered from criminal investigations.
So, Felicity takes matters into her own hands and recruits Curtis and Rene to help her track down the Longbow Hunters’ lair. It’s empty when they arrive and in their excitement, they accidentally trip an alarm that erases all of the data on the laptop. Oh, also Diggle shows up with an ARGUS tactical team right at that moment. And cue a firm scolding from Diggle, who is forced to reveal that ARGUS is so anxious about the battery because it can be used to power an energy weapon.
In the wake of Felicity’s blunder in the field, Diggle revokes her computer access at ARGUS, which leads to the duo’s first fight in, well, I don’t know when. Felicity accuses Diggle of giving up on Oliver and the mission and even brings up the fact that he declined Oliver’s desire for him to pick-up the Green Arrow mantle. While some of what she says isn’t totally fair — specifically that the last six years clearly didn’t mean anything to him — it’s easy to understand where she’s coming from because she has lost everything, and it also makes sense that she’s channeling her pain into finding Diaz. Furthermore, the tenacity with which Felicity is trying to go after Diaz feels very much in line with how she acted back in season 5 with Prometheus and teaming up with Helix.
Diggle gives Felicity her space, but eventually pulls her aside to talk some more and reveals he didn’t pick up the hood because he saw what it did to Oliver and Felicity’s family and he couldn’t do that to Lyla and Little John. Like Felicity, it’s completely understandable why Diggle made his decision, and I’m glad that the show recognizes both of their viewpoints and it never feels like it’s choosing sides. Furthermore, David Ramsey and Emily Bett Rickards turn in pretty great performances in the scene, too.
NEXT: Black Canary and Black Siren!