Star City and Team Arrow are still recovering from the aftermath of the battle between the Green Arrow and Ricardo Diaz. 

Previously on ARROW… 

Oliver Queen is in prison, as a result of the deal made with FBI Special Agent Samanda Watson at the end of season 6 to keep the rest of Team Arrow safe from prosecution. To make matters worse, he’s stuck in the penitentiary with some of the men he’s taken down as the Green Arrow: Brick, Stardust and Bronze Tiger. 

The three criminals have what Brick calls “a side hustle” on the inside, and after Oliver gets Bronze Tiger sent to solitary for having a weapon while attacking him, Brick wants Oliver to join the team, which Oliver refuses. Brick threatens his wife, Felicity, and his son, William, in witness protection to get Ollie to join up. They beat up a fellow inmate, desperate for Oliver to protect him, but Oliver walks away. All he wants is to keep his head down, his nose clean and maybe get released on good behavior, though I’m pretty sure the deal he made with Watson meant he was supposed to be put away for life. 

Felicity and William have their own problems. Ricardo Diaz, the man who tried to kill Oliver throughout season 6, finds the pair in witness protection and tries to torture Oliver by taking out Felicity, but she fights back, throwing coffee in his face and tussling with him until ARGUS shows up to save her. Felicity does not take to being attacked very well and sends William away so she can go back to Star City and help ARGUS and the FBI take Diaz down. 

Oliver really got a raw deal here. He makes a deal with the FBI to go to admit to being the Green Arrow and go to prison in exchange for immunity for the rest of his team AND help taking down Diaz. Sure, they took down his criminal empire, but the psychopath is still out there, running free while Oliver is dealing with guys trying to beat the ever-loving hell out of him. He should’ve at least stipulated that he’d turn himself in only when Diaz was behind bars himself. 

The attack on Felicity – and on the other whiny inmate – gives Oliver some stones and he seemingly makes another deal, this time with one of the prison guards. He walks into the prison yard and very violently takes out the guys who were tormenting him, hitting them with books, weights and his own fists. It’s old school Oliver Queen and it’s great. 

But wait, if Oliver Queen is in prison, who is the guy in the Green Arrow costume, taking out a weapons dealer in Star City and stealing cryptocurrency from the deal to give to ailing businesses in the Glades? No one seems to know, but Dinah Drake, the former(?) Black Canary, is trying to pin him down and take him in. She doesn’t want the FBI thinking they’re helping this new vigilante, but Wild Dog isn’t on board. He helps the vigilante escape when Dinah leads the Star City PD on a sting. 

Whoever this guy is, he has a list of people who have failed the city as well, as we see him crossing a name off the list at the end of the episode, but we have to wait for the reveal of who is under the hood. 

Of all the great stuff in this episode – and so far it’s my favorite premiere of the 2018-19 ARROWVERSE season – the most intriguing part is the flashes to Lian Yu, with an older William looking for someone, who is finally revealed to be Roy Harper. Much like LOST, ARROW has finished with its flashbacks and has possibly switched to flash-forwards? Or maybe this was a flash-sideways? Or maybe everyone is dead and the cast is all in purgatory waiting to move on together? At least William didn’t say he was looking for the Man in Black. That never ends well. 

The season 7 premiere of ARROW has me ridiculously excited for the upcoming season, and I wish I could stream it all right now. This had to be one of the best episodes of the series, and I hope they can keep this up all season.