Since Arrow is coming back this week, I figured I needed to catch up. After the last episode, I was perfectly fine doing a review fast forward to next season. Inheritance wasn’t the best episode of the season and featured some legacy issues that have plagued this year, but at least it had a purpose.
This was an Emiko featured episode as she got the spotlight for the present day scenario and the flashbacks. I found it interesting that young Emiko (Miya Cech) proved more accurate to the comic book version and was a more versatile performer than Sea Shimooka, who plays Emiko as all rage, all the time.
The flashbacks saw Robert Queen return at various times to be remind us he’s an absentee and lame dad. Arrow has always fared well when they flesh out the backstory of the main villains. It’s worked for Slade and Prometheus, but Emiko’s hatred of Oliver feels too forced. Maybe it’s because the long lost step sister subplot should have been done before Season 7.
It’s not like Emiko didn’t know about Oliver’s existence and couldn’t have started this path of revenge. Just think how much more effective this season arc would have been if it was done in Season 3 with Emiko being the one to ‘kill’ Sara.
Watching Emiko try to destroy Oliver could have been the impetus to force Thea into action. And spared us the weak Ra’s al Ghul. I know that’s perfect hindsight, but the window on the revenge-seeking sibling is closed. And there’s that complete lack of connectivity with the current day events and the future storyline.
Connecting Emiko with Robert also makes her too sympathetic. Robert was a bastard and avoided connecting with her or bothered to listen to her ideas for Queen Consolidated because he was leaving it for Oliver. Not that I’m advocating Emiko going along with the plan to destroy the Queen’s Gambit was a good thing, but I understand.
In the present day, Felicity is still enhancing Archer, her DNA location system. Is it odd that no one on Team Arrow thinks this isn’t a massive invasion of privacy and could easily become a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands? Clearly Hydra isn’t a thing here in the Arrowverse. Alena returns to help Felicity. I always find it weird that Felicity is portrayed as this master tech, but whenever some game changing tech is implemented she needs someone — Ray, Curtis or Elena — to actually make it work.
Laurel tries to warn Oliver about Emiko, but as usual Oliver has his blinders on when it comes to family. The main question is how did Emiko manage to earn this immediate loyalty? By tapping into Oliver’s guilt over Robert?
Emiko and Dante steal something at Palmer Tech, which I thought went bankrupt years ago when Felicity was in charge. Team Arrow nearly makes the save, but Oliver only gets the warning to stop The Ninth Circle. The Ninth Circle were great Green Arrow villains in the outstanding Benjamin Percy comics run. The show is taking a more simplified version of them complete with wack looking ninjas who are basically just wearing hoodies.
Thankfully, Oliver tells Team Arrow of Laurel’s concerns about Emiko. Again, their allegiance to Emiko is surprising considering they’ve rolled so tight with Laurel. It seems real convenient that the team now questions if they can trust Laurel.
For her part, she’s not doing a lot to aid her cause. Laurel has been abusing her power as DA to get confessions and send criminals to prison. Ironically all of Team Arrow’s actions for the past six seasons were just as illegal since they weren’t deputized then. Dinah calls her out and after another suspect gets killed and Dinah says all she can see right now is the person who killed Vince. You’ve gotta appreciate some writer remembered Season 6, but this late in Season 7??
Team Arrow ‘rescues’ Emiko from Dante, but Diggle is leery of her. Rene seems like he’s falling in love. Emiko doesn’t keep the charade going for long. Clearly she wasn’t in it as she just tossed her Archer jamming device on top of a counter. How about using a little duct tape and put it under the counter. Oliver and Emiko have a cool, albeit slower paced fight than normal. As a reminder, dudes can’t win fights against women in the Arrowverse. It’s a fact. Emiko escapes and returns to Dante.
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Oliver is still on his Luke Skywalker kick, but Diggle reminds him sometimes family can’t be redeemed. I appreciate writers Sarah Tarkoff and Elizabeth Kim having some sense of continuity and reminding us of a key Season 4 subplot.
Time for a rematch with The Ninth Circle. It’s hilarious that everyone on team arrow wears masks/helmets but Oliver. Didn’t his mask do something beyond keep his identity secret? Emiko launches some sarin gas drones, which targeted vacant buildings for some reason. It was a show of force that didn’t really make a lot of sense. Why waste resources on a practice terrorist threat?
Laurel’s in deeper as Emiko leaked photos (she took at some random point last season as she knew Laurel would become chummy with Oliver and be the new DA?) showing her with Diaz. This has been a clunky subplot because Laurel’s redemption isn’t compelling. She is a murder and a criminal who’s now working an identity theft angle. Just because she shared some nice moments with Quentin and is now BFFs with Felicity doesn’t absolve her of her actions.
My biggest gripe with Inheritance was that Emiko was now suddenly the leader of The Ninth Circle with no explanation. Dante clearly seemed fully capable of leading the organization and Emiko snapping at him didn’t match up to Emiko’s rage response to Oliver that she owes him. And Emiko’s actions this season haven’t been consistent with a leader of a group either.
Emiko now has intel on Archer, which they can use. That’s fine and all as it supports my point, but what is The Ninth Circle’s goal? Finding the guy who killed Emiko’s mother? This seems like a waste of time for a crime group.
Inheritance established Emiko as the season’s big bad. She’s got a reason for wanting to take Team Arrow down and at least proves a formidable threat as we wrap up this season.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW