Arrow recap: The 5 most shocking moments from Season 7, Episode 8

Arrow--Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW. Acquired via CW TV PR
Arrow--Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW. Acquired via CW TV PR /

A revelation-packed new episode of Arrow saw Oliver readjust to life outside prison, a big advancement in the 2039 plotline and the new Green Arrow’s secret identity revealed.

Continuing the quality resurgence that began with the first episode of Arrow Season 7, “Unmasked” featured lots of meaningful storytelling progression, a few quality character moments and several shocking reveals. Undeniably, the biggest shock of the week was finally finding out who was underneath the hood the New Green Arrow. And despite what my colleague Stephanie Caffrey and I believed, the new Emerald Archer is not 2039 William (Ben Lewis).

That said, this episode had more going on than its titular shocking unmasking and its very intriguing implications. It also featured some significant developments in the 2039 plotline and it would be fair to say things got even darker. Things weren’t much better in the present as Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) finally confronted their long-simmering marital issues.

And separately, Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) made a fateful decision that was almost certainly the one that ended up dooming Star City in the future. Plus, one of this season’s least engaging subplots suddenly got a whole lot more interest. In fact, this installment was so compelling, I’m almost bummed next week’s episode will be the annual crossover.

Arrow, The CW
Arrow–Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW. Acquired via CW TV PR /

5. “Excuse me, Miss, uh, Blackstar?”

Following up on their investigation from a few weeks ago, William and company located the mysterious Blackstar (Katherine McNamara). In addition to being a brutal recreational cage fighter with a contentious past with Dinah, Blackstar is a black market broker.

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When confronted, she initially claimed that she sold just Felicity some bomb components. But some snooping suggested that the pair was actually working together to plot Star City’s destruction. Facing a dead end, the team agreed to go see Zoe’s (Andrea Sixtos) estranged father Rene (Rick Gonzalez) to seek answers.

In the present day, Rene is both a deeply committed father and ardent vigilante supporter but in the future, he’s neither. Clearly, something monumentally bad happens to him to break his faith. And since we now know William doesn’t take up his father’s’ mantle in 2018, it seems like this bleak as hell future is immutable. If that’s the case, it really makes the present-day events of this season feel futile. No matter what they do, it seems Team Arrow is fated to fail their city.

Arrow, The CW
Arrow–Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW. Acquired via CW TV PR /

4. “I guess some people don’t change that much after all”

So, this episode’s main plot was that someone using Green Arrow’s gimmick was killing random members of Star City’s upper crust. However, the group quickly figured out this was not the same vigilante that helped them take down Diaz (Kirk Acevedo). It was eventually revealed that the rich jerk had paid a mercenary to kill off his old business partners as Arrow.

Consequently, Oliver retook his mantle to take down said jerk with the SCPD. When the new mayor demanded Dinah arrest Oliver, she revealed that she had made Green Arrow an official member of the police department.

This was a shocking moment for several reasons. One, Oliver, can now operate in the open as a vigilante. Two, Dinah has reversed her previous anti-vigilante stance and is now subverting the law in making a superhero part of the force. And three, Dinah’s groundbreaking hiring decision will likely be the catalyst for Star City’s dystopic future.

By officially sanctioning Green Arrow’s activities, Dinah has irrevocably altered how the city’s legal system functions, which somehow led to the city’s downfall. Once again, this episode suggests that Team Arrow is doomed.

3. “This is me because of you!”

Initially, it seemed like Felicity and Oliver had effectively taken up where they left off before Oliver was sent to prison. However, cracks appeared as the mercenary of the week attacked the Queens at home. Used his martial arts skills to take control, but reacted more strongly by shooting him in the chest. Her actions led to a long-overdue talk in which Felicity said that the person she was before Oliver got locked up is now gone. And that as a result, their marriage may not be on solid ground anymore.

While Oliver and Felicity have had their ups and downs over the years, I’m not sure that their marriage will make it out this season intact after the shocking argument. Despite standing firmly behind Oliver through his self-destructive behavior last season, she is clearly been holding onto a fair bit of resentment. And having to become more ruthless and independent in the face of Diaz’s assault has shown her that being with Oliver isn’t always the best thing for her. Right now, it’s hard for me to figure out how the Olicity will repair fractures that are that severe.

2. “Hello Mr. Diaz”

Over the last few episodes, Diggle (David Ramsey) and Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) have been investigating some sort of wide-ranging conspiracy that involves Diaz. But with everything else going on, that subplot has mostly been on the back burner. Things changed tonight though as the pair found proof that all of the Arrowverse’s major terrorists groups were communicating about something related to the Longbow Hunters. Needing more data, Diggle and Lyla arranged a meeting with Diaz, who survived his stabbing last week.

Though a suitably shocking swerve, I’m not sure how I feel about Diaz being alive. The show closed the book and his character pretty definitively last week. And his having another major showdown with Oliver feels like it would to diminishing returns.

On the other hand, if he is just the bridge to whoever the season’s real Big Bad is, I can live with it. And I am curious to see how Oliver and Felicity will react to the fact that Lyla and Digg are working with their tormentor. Also, Kirk Acevedo said that after I’m glad will be seeing him again on Arrow.

Arrow, The CW
Arrow–Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW. Acquired via CW TV PR /

1. “I’m not giving up, not ever”

Finally, the most shocking moment of Arrow Season 7, Episode 8 was the reveal of the identity of the new Green Arrow. Well, technically, I should say partial reveal as the character’s name and backstory haven’t been disclosed yet. What is known is that the new Arrow is a young woman who believes that she is Robert Queen’s daughter. Given that actress her appears to be of Asian descent, I assume that she’s Oliver half-sister.

In the comic’s canon, her counterpart would be Emiko Queen, the daughter of Robert and Shado. She was trained in martial arts and archery by the mercenary Komodo. Though initially an ally of her villainous mother, Emiko eventually took up her brother’s legacy and became a hero called Red Arrow. Now, given the characters age and the age of the actress who played Shado on earlier episodes, her origin will need to tweaking, but I expect the broad strokes to be similar.

As such, I’m really curious to see exactly what her agenda really is. Is she, like Oliver, trying to atone for Robert’s mistakes by rooting out corruption in Star City? Her dialogue seemed to indicate that she knew him, so he could’ve charged with a similar mission. Did she become Green Arrow out of respect for Oliver? And if so, why is she keeping him at arm’s length? Or did she come to Star City to kill her brother for reasons unknown?

More. Arrow recap: The 5 most shocking moments from Season 7, Episode 7. light

And is she really a hero, or just someone pretending to be? If it turns out the city’s new hero is actually a supervillain in disguise, I could see how that revelation would ultimately lead to Star City’s rigidly anti-vigilante future. Either way, I’m very curious to see how this game-changing development will play out over the rest of Arrow Season 7.

Did you think “Unmasked” was a good episode? Leave your answer in the comments below.

Arrow airs on The CW Mondays at 8 pm.