Arrow‘s seventh season had its highs and lows, like any season of television. However, its highs were higher than in recent seasons and its lows are no where near the lowest the show has ever been. All in all, season 7 of Arrow is getting an A from me.
Let’s take a look at where all the characters ended up, the season’s themes, and some storylines we may or may not have enjoyed:
The biggest triumph for Oliver Queen this season has been not succumbing into his darker impulses, and actually understanding why he shouldn’t.
I think in previous seasons Oliver has understood that killing the bad guy isn’t morally right. That killing people = wrong. However, during his stint at Slabside he actually got to spend time with criminals, and saw that they are people too. Who were also not born with his privilege, and therefore he cannot claim the high ground considering they all ended up in the same place.
He remained hopeful while he was locked up and away from his family. What actually made him consider backsliding was learning that Emiko was partially responsible for The Gambit sinking. Which accompanied with a reminder of his initial trauma on the island, would have definitely been enough for Oliver Queen to get murdery. (Someone please tell me, did The Gambit ever actually blow up? I thought Merlyn intentionally lead it into bad waters and then it sank. Right?)
But when we were so graciously blessed with the presence of Tommy Merlyn, he told Oliver to be a hero by leaning into the best parts of himself. Not the worst. And alas, my Tommy aching heart was revisited… I love that guy.
By the end of the season Oliver was his true self-sacrificing hero self and went with The Monitor to the multiverse to stop a “Crisis.” And do we really expect anything else from Oliver? No, not really.
But I do share Felicity’s sentiments and heartbreak when she says, “why does it always have to be you?”
This was the season of Felicity Smoak. While Oliver was in prison, she was the main character. Sorry Oliver, but it’s true. And that’s honestly the way it should have been.
Her fight and conviction in getting Oliver out of prison was the emotional thrust of 7A, more so than Oliver wanting to get back to his family. You could feel her desperation and heartbreak in every scene and in every moment. It’s almost like she didn’t know how to turn that off when Oliver got home, and I’m glad they didn’t just sweep under the rug what Felicity went through during that time.
She got to face her demons (or dragons… see what I did there?) by finally confronting Diaz with a chance to kill him, and deciding not too. Therefore making Dark!Felicity a well handled and a true highlight of the season.
Smoak Tech. Finally. Why couldn’t they have done this SEASONS ago? I don’t know. Why was she fired from Palmer Tech in the first place? I don’t know.
But it finally happened, and I’m so grateful for lines like:
“You can be pregnant, and be CEO of a company, and a deputized vigilante by night. Women really can have it all.” -Felicity Smoak
Felicity’s exit from the show was clearly taken very seriously. They gave us a bittersweet, but ultimately satisfying ending for her character. After she made all the tech she wanted to make, after she vigilanted her heart out, and most importantly, after she knew William and Mia were safe and had each other: she went to be with Oliver. Wherever he is.
Felicity’s importance was never squandered or questioned in that moment, but rather celebrated. She is the heart of the show, and in the end she followed hers.
Diggle, Diggle, Diggle. We got some Dyla action this season, which was good. I’m always pro-Dyla. However, Diggle’s weird thing about not wanting to help Felicity get Oliver out of prison was just that… WEIRD. And never really explained (to my satisfaction).
Diggle got his own episode, which I enjoyed. However, Diggle’s backstory besides the whole army and dead brother thing should have been explained SEASONS ago. And its lack of acknowledgment was way more frustrating than the lack of development regarding Smoak Tech for all those seasons.
It wasn’t a great John Diggle season, but Oliver and Diggle did get some good brotp moments. However, the hope was that with Oliver in prison, we would get some quality Felicity and Diggle time. Whenever those two are allowed to interact (alone) its just a joyous amount of brother and sister love.
You know what would have worked better? Is if Felicity and Diggle disagreed on how to get Oliver out of prison not if they should do it. We still would of had some great Delicity time and Dark!Felicity going on her own. Everybody wins.
Where did John Diggle end up? I assume he is still vigilante-ing with the team and adopts Connor at some point. They haven’t even mentioned where he is in the future.
But everyone REMAIN CALM JOHN DIGGLE IS ALIVE!
I hope so.
Strangely, the future stuff was a highlight. In the beginning it was incredibly slow and we all rolled our eyes at the “Felicity is dead” thing.
But once Mia was revealed as Oliver and Felicity’s daughter it was full speed ahead! Honestly, the only thing I care about going into season 8 are these flash-forward kids, and eventually getting them reunited with Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle (and Lyla).
William and Mia have a great, comedic, brother-sister bond and chemistry. Connor and Mia also have the potential to be an epic ship. And JJ is apparently evil?
They also set Mia up for an interesting heroes journey of her own, that I’m truly invested in. I just want those kids to be okay, kick some ass, and be together.
See, they built this whole world separate from OTA, but also inherently connected it, making it ripe for a spinoff.
Dinah’s struggle this season has been the choice between vigilante-ing or cop-ing. That struggle lead to some frustrating moments from her character. And during episode 7×20, when she was faking everyone out, the only reason it was believable was because turning on them is TOTALLY something Dinah would do.
In the struggle, they made her different viewpoints and reasonings become less and less sympathetic. In the end though she chose vigilante-ing.
Also, she lost her Cry. Which was more so treated as an afterthought than anything else.
He was Emiko’s sidekick. Nothing else really. But less Rene is always a good thing. He wasn’t infuriating me though, so that’s a plus.
Curtis unceremoniously left for greater pastures in Washington DC. It was ultimately a good decision for the story, because this character only took opportunities from Felicity, and never gave any in return.
As the seasons went on he became more of a drain than an asset.
Goodbye, Curtis! I hope you and your fourteen PhD’s have a safe flight.
Black Siren had two jobs this season:
- Being the character who facilitated the discussion of redemption. What is redemption, and how does one achieve it?
- Being Felicity’s friend.
Female friendships! What a concept! I’m honestly just grateful that there was time spent on a friendship between these two women, and that it had nothing to do with Oliver. Felicity and Siren’s scenes were funny and fresh.
And while Siren was trying to be a better person, Felicity championed her. And while Felicity was Dark!Felicity, Siren encouraged a better way. All in all, I’m pro a Siren-Felicity friendship.
What is redemption?
Well to start, you can apologize to the people you hurt and try to be a better person, and make better choices. Redemption isn’t instant gratification. It’s a long road, and it depends on what you need redeeming for. Siren eventually realizes this, which is why I was happy with her decision to go back to earth-2 and try to make it right there.
The Big Bad
Ricardo Diaz and Emiko Queen.
Unfortunately, both were lackluster villains in a pretty strong season of Arrow. But doesn’t the season live or die on its villain?
I think that’s mostly true, but with the impending “Crisis” looming over us all season, and the future telling us that things are not going to go our way, the question of their threat to the team was dropped along the way.
Maybe the true villain of the series is Robert Queen. Or maybe there is never one true villain, and in the season of redemption they manufactured multiple people who have done various nefarious deeds to illustrate the importance of taking responsibility for your own actions. Not one person is responsible, and that’s usually the case in life.
Or… I could be giving this show too much credit.
All in all, Diaz was categorically the WORST villain in Arrow history, while the Emiko Queen reveal would have been more interesting seasons ago.
Ah, Olicity. The lifeblood ship of this Arrowverse.
Oliver and Felicity’s struggle this season was communication. But they truly got through it stronger than ever.
It’s beautiful seeing a marriage of a superhero couple through episodic television, and no matter the trials, tribulations, and time that occurs between these two, their love, commitment, and friendship prevail. Always.
I love that Oliver and Felicity are allowed to have the fight. Because when they do fight, it’s never a question of love.
We also got to see them come to terms with parenthood, and what that both means for them. In a perfect world, they would have gotten joint custody of William and Mia would have grown up with both her parents and her big brother. But alas, this is Arrow.
Olicity is epic, reaching decades, the multiverse, and all of our lives.
It’s bigger than the freaking universe.
Arrow will be back for a final season this fall! Be sure to catch all of Pure Fandom’s coverage to tide you over during hiatus!