Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-Ray/DVD I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.
Arrow’s seventh season continued the series’ slide from its glory days. Still, there were enough worthwhile episodes to avoid writing Season 7 as a total loss.
Everything started off promising with one of the best installments in the series with Inmate 4587, which shows Team Arrow’s new life with Oliver behind bars. A new mysterious figure is running around in a Green Arrow costume forcing Team Arrow to reconsider their stance on retirement. The threat of Diaz is exacerbated with the arrival of The Longbow Hunters, a group of mercenaries serving as the muscle for a yet to be revealed force.
Sidelining Oliver in prison for the first half of the season meant a greater burden was placed on the supporting cast. Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Oliver’s wife Felicity, has always tended to struggle in the dramatic scenes. With Katie Cassidy remaining a series regular the writers had to conveniently ignore Black Siren’s role in aiding Diaz last season and killing Dinah’s boyfriend.
Legacy issues such as the flashbacks that stopped being effective as early as Season 2 got a make over as Flash Forward featuring the future generation of Team Arrow. This group, mentored by the surviving members of Team Arrow, never quite clicked. Further complicating things, the writers’ efforts to avoid detailing Oliver’s fate became increasingly problematic. Even with the departure of many longtime performers, the ensemble still felt too bloated despite some key players being written off midway during the season.
As always, Arrow was able to overcome some of the questionable story decisions with superior action sequences. A strong fight scene went a long way to making an episode not feel quite so underwhelming. The writers backed themselves into several corners in the final few episodes, which led to abrupt conclusions to subplots and a lack of a satisfying payoff for the season’s big arc. The final episode, You Have Saved This City, ends the big conflict halfway through seemingly to skip to the more important teasers for the final season.
The video and audio isn’t much different from what you’d see on your standard HDTV with a decent audio setup. The Arrowverse doesn’t have the kind of budget that the home video presentation will ever be reference quality, but it certainly isn’t a step down from the network airing.
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One very cool feature, which is also incorporated in The Flash and Supergirl seasons, is the entire Elseworlds crossover is included. That means you won’t have to get all three season sets to watch the full crossover.
It’s something WBHE has done since the Arrowverse expanded, but it’s a very welcome and appreciated feature as well as inserting the crossover within the season. You don’t have to go to a special features menu to watch the crossover as it’s laid out within the season. That’s a nice way to maintain the crossover momentum and then just get back to the respective series’ season.
Elseworlds is so much fun it almost justifies getting the Blu-Ray set by itself.
Each disc includes a featurette, which is a nice way to break up the episode binge.
Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2018 (1:00:59)
Showing the unity of the Arrowverse, this is an extended look at the panels from Comic-Con from the Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, Black Lightning and Legends of Tomorrow. For Arrow fans specifically, the Arrow panel starts at 12:31.
Inside the Crossover: Elseworlds (45:01)
In this extensive and impressively thorough special feature, DC Daily co-host Hector Navarro chats with Arrow, Batwoman, The Flash and Supergirl executive producers about some of the challenges and logistics of the Elseworlds event as well as establishing a compelling introduction of Batwoman. One thing that stood out was the lack of diversity among the showrunners. There’s a decent ratio of men to women, but there’s a disappointing absence of POC decision makers. Navarro does a good job of keeping the conversation moving even if the showrunners are not the most enthusiastic or exciting conversationalists.
Beyond the showrunner discussion, which would typically be all you’d expect in this kind of feature, there’s also segments with DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation creators including Geoff Johns and Mike Carlin discussing the Elseworlds’ legacy from The Dark Knight Returns to Justice League: The Nail and Kingdom Come.
Villains of Persuasion (38:05)
In another well done featurette, DC talking heads delve into the mindset of villains. This one is a comprehensive look at villains beyond just the Arrowverse and includes Gotham, Krypton and DC Animation projects. These features add so much to the Blu-Ray value and they’re clearly not slapped together. The obvious effort here makes for nice diversions when you need a break from watching six episodes in a string.
This is the pretty standard botched lines and funny outtakes, which always tens to play out better in a series that’s more serious like Arrow. It helps to show another side of the performers when they’re goofing off and dancing after messing out tense vigilante dialogue.
You can purchase Arrow: The Complete Season Seven on LMF affiliate Amazon.com.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment