Arrow, ‘Unmasked’: Surprises Abound in a Twisty Midseason Finale

Arrow, Season 7, Episode 8, “Unmasked”

Remember what I said last week about Diaz being dead? Well, scratch that. I guess in the Arrow-verse if a guy can walk around with a loosely bandaged cut to the femoral artery, then Diaz can survive getting stabbed in the lung or liver, despite most of the corrupt guards of the prison (Daiz’s would-be rescuers) being either dead, or beaten to a pulp on his orders. Hey, at least we got thirty seconds of Olicity bliss before they flushed that one down the toilet, too. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Arrow:

What’s the scoop:  Since it’s the midseason finale, this hour was designed to shock and amaze (and possibly frustrate). We get a fairly generic framework of Oliver trying to work his way back into society by being the poster boy for a prison reform movement’s fundraiser. It is there that Ollie runs into a frenemy from his playboy days, Max Fuller, and one of the attendees is killed by a green arrow. Another would have been hit if not for Ollie’s fast reflexes. Oliver becomes a consultant for the SCPD, and assists Dinah (and Rene) to catch the killer.

Meanwhile in B-plot land: We touch on Diggle and Lilah rooting out the corruption inside ARGUS. They discover that The Longbow Hunters are connected to a web of a criminal organization, bound together by that painting. So, Diggs and Lilah of course turn to Diaz for help, without giving Ollie a head’s up. I’m sure that will work out just fine.

On the island of the future: The gang tracks down the last person Felicity called, a cage fighter named Blackstar. They do some digging on her, and it looks like she’s still going to try to carry out Felicity’s plan to blow up Star City. After William learns Team Arrow got some sweet ink together, the team must go to The Glades and meet their leader –- Rene!

Sex and the Olicity: As smart as Felicity is, she still doesn’t know that you aren’t supposed to sneak up on a recently released prisoner in the shower. With that lesson learned, there’s some face touching, and what we can only assume some pre-party boning. The whole killer subplot only serves the purpose for a hit to be called on Oliver. The couple are attacked in their home, despite Felicity’s obsessive attempts to perfect her security system. During the struggle, Felicity pulls her gun, uses a husky voice, and then shoots her would-be assassin. Ollie is shocked by all of this. Felicity then explains the evolution of Mama Bear mode (and she’s not in the wrong in any of it). Oliver cutting a deal with the Feds while Diaz was still running free put Felicity in a difficult position. She had to keep herself and Ollie’s son alive, both from a food on the table perspective, and from a death could be around the corner at any moment perspective. Along the way she got help anywhere she could, be it from not-Laurel or Anatoly. She’s been living with this mindset too long to just switch it off now that Ollie is out of prison. She ends her story saying she’s not sure if what is best for her is best for them. Happy Anniversary, Ollie!

What about the action: We were treated to another hallway fight, and a quick chase of the new Arrow through a construction site. The most significant piece is a mask-less Oliver seen helping the police capture Fuller, signaling the former vigilante is on the same side as the cops, now.

What’s next: Oliver has another half-sister. She’s been the new Green Arrow this whole time! Hopefully, she’s also pregnant with Diaz’s love child so we can really bring this show back to its soapy roots.

Last impressions:  There’s a lot to chew on during the hiatus. The good ship Olicity is taking on water. Ollie has a secret sister who seems hell-bent on completing her father’s mission. Diaz is helping ARGUS on the down low. This episode was all right, despite a number of moments that had a “book report written on the bus, on the way to school” feel to them. It’s going to be interesting to see how the show handles the Olicity developments. If Oliver helps the police full-time, that doesn’t leave Felicity with a lot going from a story and character perspective, other than her tougher persona. Plus, it’s real. You can’t be ok with Oliver getting to ease back into daily life, and expect Felicity to immediately fall out of survival mode just because her man is back in her life. Like Supergirl the night before, it seems like the Arrow writers’ room felt compelled to throw dirt on what should be happy moments, just for the sake of stirring up concern during the long break.

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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