Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW
S7 E20
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Arrow’s seventh season will be remembered for its willingness to experiment. It began with Oliver in prison for the first half of the season, which also gave us a quasi-bottle episode that chronicled Oliver’s war against Diaz inside Slabside. Then, there was the documentary-style 150th episode. And now we have tonight’s installment, “Confessions,” which finds Arrow embracing its inner Usual Suspects and telling a story through a series of interrogations and flashbacks.

We begin with a pair of dead bodies: two Star City Metro Station guards who were beaten to death. Surprise, surprise, Team Arrow was on the scene earlier. Not only that, but they’re the prime suspects in the murder. Dinah and Sergeant Binglsey return to the precinct and take a stab at interrogating Oliver, who maintains the team’s innocence and keeps reminding them that they were simply trying to foil a terrorist attack on the city. Nevertheless, Dinah insists on Oliver recapping everything that led to the guards’ deaths. Cue the flashbacks!

Three days earlier, Oliver and company realized that Emiko and the Ninth Circle needed to steal a device from a company called Aerodyne to use the bioweapon. Unfortunately, Aerodyne’s leader is crooked and refused the team’s protection. So, they had to recruit a mask who wasn’t deputized to break in and protect the device from Ninth Circle: Roy, a.k.a. Arsenal, who took a break from destroying Lazarus Pits with Thea and Nyssa to bless Star City with his glorious parkour skills. Unfortunately, Virgil and his Ninth Circle goons manage to defeat Roy and abscond with the device they need.

From there, Dinah questions the other members of Team Arrow (Felicity’s interrogation was my favorite) and flashbacks reveal more details about the disastrous mission:

After failing to stop the Ninth Circle from stealing the device, Felicity figured out that the Ninth Circle was going to target the Star City Metro Station. So, Green Arrow, Spartan, Wild Dog, Arsenal, and Felicity mobilized to stop them.

After arriving on the scene, they all split up to cover their basis. Spartan and Wild Dog paired up, but then Wild Dog caught a glimpse of Emiko and ran after her. Roy accompanied Felicity to the computer room, but then he dashed off to fight the Ninth Circle goons who showed up and eventually knocked him unconscious. And Oliver went off on his own, found Virgil, and destroyed the bioweapon device.

At some point, though, all of them heard gun shots and ran toward the sound — well except for Roy, who was unconscious. There are a couple of fake-outs as to who was standing over the bodies when they converged on the platform, but then Oliver finally confesses that his sister Emiko was indeed responsible for the murders. Dinah and Binglsey assume Oliver was just trying to protect his sister and let him go, with the mayor’s blessing, too.

Of course, this isn’t what happened at all!

It turns out that Roy did kill the guards. After being knocked out, he jolted awake and went on a rampage, taking out any Ninth Circle goons he could find. The guards had the poor misfortune of crossing paths while he was consumed by rage and he beat them to death with a pipe, and he didn’t stop until Oliver showed up on the scene.

In other words, all of Team Arrow just spent most of the episode lying to the police to protect Roy, including Dinah who was also at the metro station in costume as Black Canary and was in on the charade the whole time. Everyone recognizes the huge risk they’re taking by lying, but Oliver is determined to stand by Roy because he figures out what’s wrong with him: He’s suffering from Lazarus Pit-induced bloodlust. And Roy confirms this, explaining that the Thanatos Guild killed him, but Thea and Nyssa revived him using the pit before they destroyed it. After his resurrection, Nyssa gave him the lotus for the bloodlust, but that hasn’t been working because the Mirakuru changed his body somehow.

Felicity receives a hit on Emiko’s location, and the rest of the team, including Roy, mobilizes once again to stop her. Spoiler alert: it’s a trap. Emiko lures Oliver away from the team and drops some big secrets on him: Emiko reveals that she let Robert Queen die on the Queen’s Gambit and plans on killing Oliver and ruining his legacy with the bioweapon because she believes that’s what the Queen deserves for all that it has done to her. Then, she proceeds to set off some bombs and drop an entire building on her not-so-dear brother, who remains trapped under the rubble when the hour ends.

Overall, I thought this episode was okay. The structure didn’t really work for me because none of the other members of Team Arrow made sense as the murderers except for Roy. Not only is it impossible to imagine Diggle, Rene, or Oliver beating the guards to death under any circumstances, but the show also hinted at Roy’s bloodlust problems way back in “Star City 2040.” So, it was pretty obvious where this was going from the start. That being said, I appreciate that Arrow tried to break away the formula, the fight scenes were great as always, and the ending makes me very excited for next week’s episode.

Wall of Weird:

  • “And Roy is incredible at parkour,” Felicity, explaining to Dinah why they recruited Roy.
  • Oliver asked for Roy to come back instead of Thea because he’s worried telling her about Emiko will reopen old wounds and he’s trying to protect her from that until Emiko has been apprehended. This is some disappointing and old-school Oliver behavior, but it makes sense because I don’t think Willa Holland is returning any time soon.
  • Last thing: Emiko plans on sending footage of Roy killing the guards to Sergeant Bingsley.

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Billionaire Oliver Queen — under the vigilante persona of Arrow — tries to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society.
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