Arrow – Season 7- Ep. 1 “Inmate 4587”

Posted: 10/18/2018 in Uncategorized

Arrow-Season-7-Episode-1-Recap

Well holy #$%!knuckles as Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool would say- what a spectacular opener. Picking up on the traction from the stellar last season, this ep brings drama, action, a superior bit of violence and a great level of intrigue. Stephen Amell has offered that he wanted this season to be written as if this would be the show’s last. This very much feels like it could be. My giddy review follows.

Opening with the repetition of Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) daily routine and noting the marks on his prison cell’s wall, we quickly appreciate GA’s plight. His endeavor to keep his head down and reduce his sentence is doomed from the onset via the only sticking point I had with last season’s superior closing segment, namely his outing his secret identity. The same people he put away await him in the confines of the supermax prison. These include Brick (Vinnie Jones), Derek Sampson (Cody Runnels) and Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White). The prison moments are where the ep is superior. Watching Oliver demonstrate restraint even when provoked illustrates his commitment to getting back to his family. We know it will be short lived as this show is “Arrow” and Oliver is a machine. Amell’s performance in this run is among his best however, particularly with regard to a fellow inmate, Stanley (Brandon Fletcher) who is both bullied and actually assaulted. Seeing GA walk away is cringe inducing and it is meant to be. Seeing his emotional state when he sees Felicity (Emily Bett-Rickards) after her own tribulations is testament to Amell’s acting chops.

Felicity’s run is no less interesting as now in witness protection, she struggles to remain less than she is, with both a physical transformation along with taking a job far beneath her skillsets. Her interaction with a client at a coffee shop however played very well. It is in her interactions with William (Jack Moore) that we see the depth of her emotional investment. The inevitable return of Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) yields a holy hell moment and confirms the man’s reach even after GA and co decimated his resources. His attack on Felicity and Jack matches Oliver’s own attack in the prison shower. Felicity’s plan of action conflicts with Oliver’s though his later action in a prison yard incident was inevitable after one of Diaz’s men speaks to Oliver and pretty much sets a fire under him. Felicity’s course leads to a new direction for William. To be frank, the actor playing this role is underwhelming and this story arc might very well be a way of addressing both his lack of purpose and middling performance.

The remainder of team Arrow keep their heads down, though Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) lays down the law…literally… in her new role as police captain. John (David Ramsey) continues in his role with Argus, having found a home for Curtis (Echo Kellum). While we know all of this is temporary, the plot lines allow for a cool measure of how much last season’s aftermath has carried over. Every action has consequences and Oliver’s sacrifice play has had a far reaching impact. Then there’s Rene/Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez). Having lost a good bit of cred last season…his arc this season stands to course correct last season’s negative path. His trajectory ties in with the new hooded vigilante in town. While Dinah issues him a warning, we know Rene will do what he deems right.

The new “Green Arrow” arc ties into one of the best mystery building sequences on this series so far. The connection with Arsenal/Roy Harper’s (Colton Haynes) role this season is pretty mind blowing. The capper is Oliver’s yard sequence in which he reminds everyone, fellow inmates included, that he is a force to be reckoned with. The prison guard allowing him to ‘proceed’ is made all the more superior and includes a physically brilliant nod to  “the Count of Monte Cristo”, easily the greatest prison/revenge tale ever told. Arrow kicks off its season with remarkable aplomb and the confirmation that this is not only the first of the CW/DC’s super hero genre shows, it is still among its best. Arrow is simply outstanding and well worth your time.

 

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