Arrow: Unmasked review S7 E8

Unmasked didn’t drag out the secret identity of the new Green Arrow while redefining Oliver’s new role going forward. It was an interesting switch to the status quo, but one that might not be sustainable long term.

It was a little surprising after all the buildup that we see the new Green Arrow so casually. Due to the size, I figured this might be the random way the show introduces Connor, but this is definitely not Connor. Sea Shimooka kinda gave me a Fergie vibe.

This was a cold reveal and didn’t explain much until the final scene. More on that in a moment.

After all the effort of establishing this ‘family unit,’ it’s hilarious that with Oliver now out of prison William is going to stay away in bordering school. The whole reason he went away — outside of William being an awful character — is because Diaz was on the loose. With him in prison there’s no good reason to keep William away. So with William’s departure we’ve essentially killed off any impact of Prometheus’ master stroke.

Silly question, but where is the scar from Felicity’s neural implant? The one that is the only reason she’s able to walk?

Oliver has to face the public as the honoree at a fundraising gala for inmate rights. I fully appreciated Lyla asking if they’re friends with Laurel now. This was a quickie cameo for Laurel and Curtis this week driving home the fact that Team Arrow is super bloated right now.

An archer kills one of the sponsors and everyone immediately assumes it’s the new Green Arrow. Rene is insistent that GA III is a dude and isn’t to blame. With Dinah and Oliver tagging along, he tries to speak to GA III, but she opts to run off. That was a useless scene. But it did convince Oliver the new GA isn’t the murderer since another target was killed during their ‘meeting.’

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I hated the Hush-style reveal that the rich guy Fuller that Oliver had beef with back in the day debuted this episode and was ultimately the bad guy. Fuller hired an assassin who could mimic Arrow’s fighting style and once Oliver got too close, he was the next target. That’s way too obvious and lazy.

The assassination attempt did force Felicity to shoot the invader and fess up to her choices while Oliver was in prison. Felicity logic is infallible. Oliver calls her out for shooting a guy and she says it’s nothing he hasn’t done a million times, but she always gave him the blues for it too. Emily Bett Rickards just hasn’t been very good at these dramatic scenes this season.

To take Fuller down Oliver tries a new approach. After having Diggle drop off his spare suit, he’s going in unmasked stating this time it’s about accountability. Yeah…but secret identity.

It was impressive that Oliver’s archery isn’t off at all. Maybe it’s just like riding a bike? They might never top it, but man do I appreciate Arrow directors doggedly trying to do a Daredevil hallway fighting scene. It almost feels like their new obsession. I won’t complain as it’s led to some strong fight scenes.

Still, the mayor isn’t happy about Oliver’s involvement. These officials always come off so stupid. He just helped bring a murderer in just like he did before he was in prison and while he was at Slabside. Dinah fixed it though and just made Oliver part of the SCPD. That seems an amazingly inspired solution.

In the other current day subplot, Lyla and Diggle find a connection between Kobra, the Basilisk and the Longbow Hunters. To crack the code, they’ll need Diaz’s help. Suicide Squad Take 40? It’s too bad this wasn’t the first time we’ve seen Diaz all season as this just seems like a transparent way to keep him in the mix again.

The future subplot is still going slow. For some reason, Roy has to stay behind while Dinah, Zoe and William check out a fight club and a fighter named Blackstar (Katherine McNamara). Another quick question: name the last time on Arrow a man beat a woman in a fight? Blackstar was aligned with Felicity and Dinah thinks they were in cahoots on blowing up the city. Much like fetch, Dinah trying to make William a hero isn’t happening.

arrow unmasked review - oliver and felicity

Back in present day, Felicity tells Oliver about all the stuff she did. And after being so desperate to get him out of prison, Felicity decides she needs a break. Why does Felicity always go relationship rogue in time for the big crossover? Now half the time is going to be spend on Oliver trying to win her back. At least they can’t crash anyone’s wedding this year.

The mysterious Green Arrow is at a graveside talking up Oliver to her father — Robert Queen. Yep, Arrow has brought Emiko in. That’s cool as we were running short on sidekicks/partners to hang out with Oliver. Hopefully this will be played much differently than the Thea sidekick subplot. I’m curious how Emiko will be treated since Thea covered all the main Emiko beats (half-sister, becomes an archer/ninja and has a snarky attitude). We’ll see.

Unmasked’s final scene is the same glimpse of Earth-90 we got from Supergirl. I could definitely make out Firestorm, Hawkgirl & Hawkman, Stargirl, Huntress and the Smallville Green Arrow. That’s an odd collection of heroes so maybe the Monitor is playing a Crisis on Infinite Earths move of collecting heroes from various worlds for his plan?

As the last regular edition of Arrow until 2019, Unmasked had some interesting developments and left a ton of questions. I’ll break them down before Arrow returns to the main plot on Jan. 21.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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