Arrow: You Have Saved This City review S7 E22

You Have Saved This City couldn’t magically fix all of the problems from this season. It was far too much to ask of any season finale. Emiko and The Ninth Circle went out with a decided whimper, but the episode leveraged the departure of Emily Bett Rickards for an emotional final 20 minutes while making good on the Crisis on Infinite Earths tease from the mid-season crossover.

I really just want to rush through the first half of this episode because it was the result of trying to cover too much ground without laying enough foundation.

Curtis and Laurel return to help Team Arrow stop Emiko’s bio-weapon drones. This was interesting on two fronts. Wouldn’t Nyssa and Thea be far easier to have help than someone who literally has to travel from another Earth? Second, Oliver seemed pretty proficient zapping the drones out by himself with some freeze arrows…except for that one lady who decided stopping and looking at a drone was a smart move.

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Despite this act, Oliver thinks redeeming Emiko is the key to breaking the cycle of violence in his family. Well, Future William got that message just fine. Mia? Not so much.

And to help the odds for Team Arrow and add one person shy of maximum occupancy in the Arrow Cave, Ben Turner aka Bronze Tiger shows up to assist. Rene is the voice of reason saying this is cool and all, but if there’s flying drones spraying a biohazard he’s rolling to get Zoe. Diggle offers to have Lyla get her and Ben’s son, Connor.

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Wow! I so had not missed Curtis. Also, who is running Palmer Tech? Neron? Emiko is standing at the old Queen Consolidated building awaiting her showdown with Oliver. Sea Shimooka never was able to make Emiko believable as a villain.

Her performances have always felt so forced. What should be Emiko the character’s defining moment just feels like yet another try-hard scene. It’s also too bad the writers wasted so long in revealing her motives as this season needed more time showing Emiko as this calculating villain with a real vendetta.

I’ve neglected saying how great the fight scenes have been these last few episodes. They’ve been really good to close out the season and this episode was no different. That’s wasted on the generic, non-threatening Ninth Circle goons who can’t even use their numbers to be mildly menacing. The cops are back with Team Arrow after Sgt. Bingsley woke up from the attack at police HQ to tell them Emiko is the bad guy.

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Time for Emiko and Oliver. Oliver trying to say Emiko was responsible for the deaths of Tommy, Moira, Laurel and Quentin was absurd. Just as he finally starts to break through, Beatriz (who?) shows up and officially kicks Emiko out of the Ninth Circle with a dagger to the gut. Beatriz wipes the floor with Emiko while Oliver battles the faceless Circle goons.

By the time he gets to her, Emiko is dying and apologizes for making his life so terrible. She just wanted to be a Queen. See, this should have meant so much more, but the rushed nature of Emiko’s entire run didn’t make this feel earned or sincere. Oliver does take Emiko’s advice to hide Felicity and the baby. These guys have been so inept that I can’t imagine why that would be an issue. Also, Felicity has a sonic security system, Emiko…

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Back at the Arrowcave, Curtis is heading out so he can propose to Nick. Roy’s got to sort through his feelings and Oliver & Felicity are leaving Star City (again). Oliver says his greatest legacy is this team and the remaining six decide they should get the Mark of Four tattoos. Well, that awkwardly addresses that future subplot.

In the future, Connor and Zoe rescue Felicity, Mia, Roy and Dinah and Rene & William respectively. I loved how their was one Zeta guarding Rene and William and how Alena is now apparently a better fighter than Roy. This episode really tried to talk around what happened with Oliver in the future to the point it was annoying.

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Mia destroys the walls to the Glades with William’s help, which knocks out Archer? This whole subplot just felt rushed that it was best to just go along with it. Dinah, Rene, Roy and Felicity declare Mia and company the new four heroes to keep Star City safe while they go off into hiding. Too bad Diggle or Ben weren’t around to give any wise words to Connor…

Felicity takes Mia and William to Oliver’s grave and it just feels like the show has no steam left now even for a shortened final season. There’s no reason for it at all. Just have a crossover episode with Oliver prominently featured and call it a series.

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Back to the past, Diggle takes Oliver and Felicity to the log cabin we saw earlier. Oliver and Felicity mention getting shared custody so they can have William, but before that discussion goes anywhere, The Monitor shows up. He’s come to call on that favor Oliver wagered in order to save Kara and Barry. The Monitor spoils that he’s seen Oliver die during the Crisis. Felicity tries to pull her intimidation move she used on Ra’s al Ghul and this time it doesn’t work.

Despite my long stated loathing of Olicity, we get a very nice scene with Oliver tearfully saying goodbye. It was weird that Felicity didn’t cry as well since this was the last time she was going to see Oliver. I guess this means Season 8 is going to be Oliver and The Monitor gathering troops to fight the Anti-Monitor. And it’s also ironic how much Oliver’s endgame appears to be playing out like Tony Stark’s, right?

One more shot of the future as The Monitor reappears to take Felicity. This suggesting Crisis on Infinite Earths will end like the comic where Superman, Lois Lane and Earth Prime Superboy escaped death to live together in the abyss. That reminds me, I really need to re-read Crisis for a 30th time…

You Have Saved This City couldn’t repair this messy season, but the epilogue was powerful stuff that was worth catching for anyone who’s been invested in the series at all. I’m curious to see how next season plays out, but this was a tasty set-up for it.

Rating: First half: 5 out of 10
Epilogue Sequence: 9 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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