Arrow Season 7: 10 Biggest Questions After The Midseason Premiere
WARNING: Spoilers for Arrow season 7, episode 10.
Arrow returned in a big way with its season 7 midseason premiere, "I Am Emiko Queen." As the title suggests, the fan theory that the new Green Arrow would turn out to be Oliver Queen's half-sister from the comics was confirmed. Her background on the show, however, is radically different from that of her comic book counterpart.
Apart from revealing and exploring Emiko's character and motivations, "I Am Emiko Queen" largely devoted itself to answering the questions raised by the Arrow midseason finale. Surprisingly, Oliver Queen took a back-seat to Emiko for most of the episode, as he investigated the identity of the new Green Arrow and was floored by the revelation that she was his half-sister and that his father had a second secret family that he'd abandoned. This left Oliver with a momentary crisis of faith, as he tried to wrap his head around the fact that Robert Queen, who he already knew was no saint, was even worse than he'd ever imagined.
Meanwhile, at ARGUS, John Diggle was forced to improvise in order to save his wife's investigation into a vast criminal financial group, when an ambitious underling walked in on him offering a plea deal to Ricardo Diaz - the one lead they had on tracking down the group's mysterious leader, Dante. Diggle lied and said they were reactivating The Ghost Initiative - a program which employed expendable criminals as agents for covert missions requiring plausible deniability in exchange for time off their sentences. By the episode's end, Diaz was being fitted for one of the organization's trademark explosive implants, to ensure that he would obey orders under threat of death.
In Arrow's future of 2038, Zoe Ramirez and Dinah Drake confronted the last person they wanted to talk to about the bombing plot that threatened Star City - Mayor of The Glades, Rene Ramirez. A drastically different man from the vigilante of two decades earlier, the former Wild Dog is now more concerned with protecting his city-sized gated community than the lives that might be lost if Star City were destroyed. Yet for all that this episode explained, it still raised a number of new questions. Here are ten of the questions on the minds of Arrow-heads after the season 7 premiere.
10. Who Is Emiko Queen?
In the Green Arrow comics, Emiko Queen was the result of an affair between Robert Queen and the assassin known as Shado. Kidnapped at a young age by the rival assassin Kodomo, Emiko was raised as Kodomo's own daughter and shaped into the tool of his vengeance on both of her birth parents. Eventually, Emiko learned the truth of her parentage and resolved to assist her half-brother Oliver in his endeavors as the Green Arrow, with the intention of taking up his mantle someday.
Apart from being the daughter of Robert Queen, none of this applies to the Arrowverse version of Emiko Queen. Raised in The Glades - the worst neighborhood in Star City - Emiko was the daughter of a woman named Kazumi Adachi, with whom Robert Queen had a lengthy affair. In a letter to his friend Walter Steele, Robert Queen claimed to truly love Kazumi and Emiko, and asked Steele to look after them in the event of his death. It was implied that Moira Queen discovered the affair, hid the letter and gave Robert an ultimatum - abandon them or lose me and your other children.
9. Where Did Emiko Queen Get Her Training?
One aspect of Emiko's background that Arrow midseason premiere does not explore is how she learned the skills that enabled her to become the new Green Arrow and excel in the role. Unlike her comic book counterpart, Emiko wasn't trained from birth by a professional assassin in the way of the bow or the other skills that she has displayed over the course of Arrow season 7. It's possible there's more to Emiko's mother than was readily made apparent in this episode, as Emiko says nothing about her mother beyond how the two made blanket forts when she was a child. Was Emiko trained by her mother to be a warrior? There's nothing in the episode to prove or disprove this idea.
8. Who Is In Emiko's Book?
Much like Oliver Queen in the first season of Arrow, we see that Emiko is working her way down a list of criminals in a small notebook. A quick examination of the names confirms that most of them are people Emiko believes were responsible for killing her mother, including arms dealer Jason Stent and arsonist Jon Cortez, whom she fought earlier in the season. We only see one page of the book in "My Name Is Emiko Queen" and when Emiko speaks of the list at the end of the episode, it sounds like she composed it herself. Still, given that we see her flip through several pages of the book before coming to the list in the opening montage, it seems likely she has written down - and subsequently fought - many more criminals than we see on the one page.
7. Who Killed Kazumi Adachi?
Emiko's detective work led her to the conclusion that a soldier of fortune named William Glenmorgan was her mother's killer. With the help of Wild Dog and Mister Terrific, she is able to storm Glenmorgan's compound and bring the man himself down. When she confronts him, however,, Glenmorgan says that he couldn't have killed Kazumi Adachi because he spent the last two years working a covert mission in Santa Prisca and just came back to Star City last month. The mysteries of who framed William Glenmorgan and who really killed Kazumi Adachi are sure to fuel Emiko's storyline for the rest of the season.
6. Who is William Glenmorgan?
The name of William Glenmorgan may ring a bell with comic book fans, particularly those with an interest in Golden Age jungle comics. William Glenmorgan was the full name of Congo Bill - one of DC Comics' classic great white hunter characters. Bill would later become a superhero after acquiring a magic ring which allowed him to swap minds with the legendary Great Golden Gorilla. Surprisingly, Congorilla (as William called himself when in his gorilla form) was granted membership in the Justice League for a time, but Bill ultimately resigned to focus his efforts on building a superhero team that would focus on protecting Africa.
Page 2 of 2: More Questions From Arrow's Midseason Premiere
5. Why Is Curtis Willing To Help Rene and Emiko?
Over the course of the Arrow season 7 midseason premiere, Rene Ramirez slowly convinces Emiko Queen that he can help her in ways beyond patching her up after she's shot. She ultimately agrees to partner with Wild Dog in raiding William Glenmorgan's compound. Emiko is not pleased when Rene shows up with Curtis Holt, but eventually relents when Rene points out that Glenmorgan's compound has a top-notch security system that is far beyond their ability to overcome. For Mister Terrific, however, disabling Glemorgan's security protocols will be as easy as pie.
Given Curtis' character arc over the course of Arrow season 7, it seems oddly out of character for him to agree to help Rene and Emiko out. Curtis has seemed quite content in his new role in Research and Development at ARGUS and had been decidedly outspoken about his fears about being arrested for doing anything that might even come close to violating Star City's new anti-vigilante laws. So why is he so eager to help Rene and a total stranger now?
4. Why Can't They Call The Ghost Initiative The Suicide Squad?
While the names Suicide Squad and Task Force X aren't mentioned in "My Name is Emiko Queen", it is clear what John Diggle is referring to when he suggests reactivating the Ghost Initiative. No matter what they call the defunct ARGUS program which offers convicted criminals time off their sentences in exchange for acting as government agents on covert missions, it still sounds a lot like the classic Suicide Squad comics even before Ricardo Diaz is fitted with one of their infamous brain bombs. Lyla Michaels even evokes the specter of Amanda Waller - her predecessor as Director of ARGUS, who ran the original Task Force X before her death in the Arrow season 4 episode "A.W.O.L."
It's unclear just why the show is going through such lengths to avoid using the Suicide Squad name. It's possible the non-competitive block on using them instigated when the team got their DCEU movie remains and that calling the group "Ghost Initiative" is the only way to dance around the issue legally. Or, given how badly perceived the 2016 Suicide Squad movie was by many, perhaps Arrow is intentionally trying to avoid being associated with the film? In either case, fans are sure to wonder if there's a place in the new team for Ben "Bronze Tiger" Turner, whose redemption arc in early season 7 left many wondering if Task Force X might be returning soon.
3. What Happens To Change Rene In The Next 20 Years?
One of the more amusing aspects of "My Name Is Emiko Queen" is the ironic contrast between both versions of Rene "Wild Dog" Ramirez we see over the course of the episode. In 2018, Rene is eager to partner up with Emiko Queen and get back into the vigilante business. In 2038, Rene is the mayor of The Glades and firmly against vigilantism in any form, particularly as represented by the Canaries and Dinah Drake. It is never said precisely what caused Rene to change his tune on vigilante justice or how he got into politics, but we do learn that things did not go well for him the last time he confronted Black Canary.
2. Who Is Rene's Mysterious Ally In 2038?
When we first see Rene Ramirez in Arrow's flashforwards, he is being introduced by a sharp-dressed man at a fundraising breakfast for his reelection campaign. Later, Rene is seen talking with this man, telling him that the Canaries have somehow learned about the plot to blow up Star City. The sharp-dressed man is undeterred by this news and, when Rene asks if he had something to do with Felicity Smoak's death, the man admits that she became a liability and asks if Felicity dying was a problem. Rene says that it is not and the man says he is relieved, because he would hate for Rene to be getting cold feet at this point. It's clear that this man is involved in the bombing plot but we don't know his name, who he's working for or what they have on Rene to ensure his compliance with their schemes.
1. Is Arrow Introducing The Ninth Circle Into Its Present And Future?
It was suggested in Arrow's midseason finale that the shadowy financial group that Lyla and Digg are tracking through ARGUS is the Ninth Circle - a criminal cabal of bankers from the Green Arrow comics who secretly finance various elicit operations around the world. In the comics, the Ninth Circle is overseen by a man named Dante. This is the same name as the man running the secretive group Lyla and Digg are trying to uncover.
Based on the events of "My Name is Emiko Queen," it seems that the Ninth Circle may also be behind the plot to blow up Star City in the year 2038. In the Green Arrow comics, one of the projects of the Ninth Circle was transforming several large cities into what they called "Star Cities" - communities run entirely on laissez-faire capitalism, with no social services or public works beyond what the private sector supported. This sounds very much like The Glades under Rene Ramirez's leadership and the plot to destroy the ghettos of Star City sounds very much like the end result of a Ninth Circle scheme. Even if the name of the Ninth Circle is not referenced, it still seems that Arrow is giving a shout out to one of the more interesting new enemies in the Green Arrow: Rebirth comics.
Arrow season 7 airs on The CW on Mondays at 8 PM EST.