Arrow recap: 6 best moments from 150th episode special

Arrow -- Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
Arrow -- Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

The 150th episode of Arrow took a deep dive into the show’s history while also advancing Season 7’s main storyline in several intriguing ways.

Eschewing its normal format, this week’s installment of Arrow – the 150th episode of the series – was inconsistently presented in form of a documentary about Oliver (Stephen Amell) that was narrated by Kesley Grammer. While the episode’s halfhearted commitment to the gimmick made it seem unnecessary, “Emerald Archer” was really enjoyable.

A number of the show’s old stars popped by, a new villain was introduced, and Team Arrow reunited, the future timeline got some much-needed explanation, the show’s status quo was changed in a major way. And the anniversary special featured one of the season’s best action sequences.

6. All the cameos!

In a nod to Arrow’s near decade-spanning history, a number of the show’s supporting characters were brought back as talking heads for the documentary “Emerald Archer: The Hood and the Rise of Vigilantism.”

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As such, the episode was filled with fun little bits of nostalgia featuring Rory Regan, Sara Lance, Roy Harper, Thea Queen, Barry Allen and Quentin Lance. The most enjoyable cameos were Quentin, who admitted that Star City benefited from Green Arrow’s presence, and Barry, who badly lied about knowing Oliver secret identity.

5.  “I think I’ve grown out of ‘kiddo’”

Although most of this episode’s returns were just cameos, Oliver’s son William (Jack Moore) looks to be back from boarding school for good. Now old enough to be a full-fledged sullen teen, William resents his dad and stepmom for sending them away. Apparently, they didn’t explain the whole being hunted by a monster thing to him?

Anyway, William was actually expelled from school so he’ll be hanging around indefinitely. On the plus side, he is now besties with Zoe (Eliza Faria) and Rene (Rick Gonzalez) is so worried about their relationship he already threatened to shoot William. Their dynamic has the potential to be a fun running gag.

Arrow — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Arrow — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

4. “He had them all on display, almost like trophies”

So, this episode’s A-plot involved a new villain Curtis (Echo Callum) named Chimera for some reason. Theoretically, he was the person stalking Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) last week as his thing is that he either injures or kills vigilantes and claims their masks. It was established that sometime in the past, he tangled with Huntress and Ragman. The armored baddie entered the episode by putting Emiko (Sea Shimooka) on the shelf and nearly killing Rene.

Though he had a striking introduction, a cool look and a compelling origin – he was saved by the Hood in Arrow Season 1 and became obsessed with superheroes – but he ended the episode in police custody. I hope we see Chimera again this season because he’s too interesting and unique to be a one-off antagonist.

3. “You really shouldn’t be in here with us”

Even in an episode largely built around nostalgia and table setting, this installment of Arrow still found time to include an awesome action sequence. With the “Emerald Archer” crew in tow, Olive and SCPD tracked Chimera to Star City’s sprawling warehouse district. There, hero and villain had a thrilling and chaotic battle that felt more intense than usual because it was filmed with handheld cameras. Seven seasons in and Arrow is still the king of practical action scenes of television.

2. “Welcome to our town hall discussion on vigilantism”

“Emerald Archer’s” B-plot revolved around Mayor Pollard’s (Laara Sadiq) crusade against vigilantism in Star City. Annoyed by Oliver being on the SCPD’s payroll and the emergence of a new Green Arrow, the Mayor called for a town hall to show criticism at the city’s savior in public.

Sensing an opportunity to catch Chimera, Diggle (David Ramsey) convinced Oliver to reassemble Team Arrow take down one more villain. The group succeeded when Chimera attacked the town hall but was subsequently arrested under the city’s anti-vigilante ordinance. Laurel opted not to press charges but the group did violate their immunity agreement so they looked to be headed to prison one way or the other.

However, in the episode’s best moment, Mayor Pollard experienced a change of heart. Having her life personally saved by Dinah and her sonic scream, Pollard decided to allow Team Arrow to operate in her city, as long as they joined Oliver in being official deputies. As such, the group is now the Arrowverse’s first contemporary superhero team. Sadly, we would later learn this seemingly awesome development doesn’t end for Star City.

Arrow — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Arrow — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

1. “Vigilantes were the death of Star City”

Initially, it seemed like “Emerald Archer” was going to end on a happy note with Oliver taking the documentary crew to the Bunker, which he vowed to rebuild. However, in a flash forward to 2039, it was shown that the sanctioning of vigilantes apparently led to Star City’s status as a walled-off dystopia.

This information is revealed in a conversation between Blackstar (Katherine McNamara) and “Conor Hawke” (Joseph David-Jones) as they watched the documentary looking for clues on the Bunker’s location. The episode ended with the duo arriving in the Arrowcave, which is an overgrown ruin in the future, and Blackstar noting that the city’s heroes ultimately got what they deserved.

This flash forward was fascinating for several reasons. One, it revealed that for reasons unknown Diggle’s son John Jr. takes up the same alias he used in the Legends of Tomorrow episode “Star City 2046.” That suggests John meets a bad ending sometime in the next two decades. Two, it revealed that Blackstar’s real name is Mia. In the Green Arrow comics, Mia Dearden is one of Green Arrow’s protégés who takes up who goes by the moniker Speedy. As such, I’m thinking she’ll end up being revealed as the daughter of Arrow’s Speedy, Thea Queen.

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And third, Team Arrow and vigilantism as a whole is blamed for the fall of Star City. However, given what we’ve seen of Future Team Arrow, I don’t think everything is what it seems. I’m thinking they were framed for the city’s near destruction, possibly by the organization that’s manipulating Future Rene. Also, given how bad things in 2039, I can’t imagine the season ends without some form of time travel.

Who do you think really ruined Star City?

Arrow airs on The CW Thursdays at 9 pm.