Previously on ARROW

Oliver Queen has been through a lot since he got back to Starling City after being stranded on Lian Yu (and globe-hopping as a secret agent). For the 150th episode of ARROW, the show takes another trip down memory lane, in the guise of a documentary crew following Oliver as a new deputy of the Star City Police Department.

The documentary is a Hail Mary play from Oliver to try and get more support for his new job. But things get dicy when a new villain comes into the city, hunting vigilantes. Wearing a high-tech exosuit, the bad guy has been collecting masks – he has one from Wild Dog, Huntress and Rag Man, and the latest addition is a mask from Emiko Queen, Oliver’s newly-found half-sister and the new Green Arrow (or NGA as Rene calls her). In order to take the new threat down, Oliver gets the gang back together to do what they do best.

But a bigger issue looms for Oliver – the mayor is still opposed to his hire as a SCPD consultant and also believes that Oliver and Dinah are making the threat (Curtis calls him Chimera) to also help garner some support. She challenges Oliver to a public debate, which Oliver declines to attend out of fear of putting peoples’ lives in danger. But the mayor insists, and Diggle convinces Oliver that doing the Town Hall meeting may be the best option for drawing Chimera out.

Predictably, Chimera attacks the Town Hall, leading all of Team Arrow to retaliate to take him down. Also predictably, the mayor then arrests Rene, Curtis and Diggle for violating the Anti-Vigilante law.

Arresting Rene makes sense. He’s just a guy with a gun and a hockey mask trying to stop bad guys. But arresting Diggle and Curtis makes no sense. ARGUS may be a paramilitary organization, but they seem to be sanctioned by the U.S. government, so how do they count as vigilantes? They’re soldiers! I suppose it works for the purposes of the story, but flashing a dog tag or something really could have solved Oliver’s anti-vigilante problem.

The problem does not last long, though, as the mayor decides to not push District Attorney Earth-2 Laurel Lance to press charges and instructs Captain Dinah Lance to deputize the rest of Team Arrow as members of the Star City PD.

With the documentary crew following Oliver around, the show’s 150th episode takes another opportunity to run through the history, showing comments from characters long gone, including Roy Harper, Cyn and Quentin Lance discussing the Hood and Green Arrow’s impact on Star City, along with cameos from Sara Lance and Barry Allen. The crew even spoke with Ricardo Diaz. Come to think of it, they seemed pretty comfortable in situations where highly-secure information was being bandied about. I wonder if Oliver just had Felicity wipe all the footage…

I am glad, though, that the whole episode wasn’t done as though it was part of the documentary. It never works as well as the showrunners probably hope that it would. But the highlights and brief cut-ins worked well, interspersed with the characters working outside the camera’s eye. Mostly, that came with Oliver’s son, William, who comes home from his boarding school with a chip on his shoulder, lashing out at everyone. We don’t find out why until the end, though – he’s been kicked out of his boarding school.

The main reason for the documentary, though, seemed to be to lead in to the final scene – a brief flash forward as two characters use the documentary to find the Arrow Cave in the future. The characters are more parts of Green Arrow lore, most importantly Connor Hawke, who was already established to be John Diggle’s son. The girl was called Maya on IMDb’s page, but I think she’s more likely Mia, a character created by Kevin Smith on his run on Green Arrow.

I am back to being interested in the flash forwards.

This was a great way to celebrate the show’s 150 episodes – much better than the 100th EPISODE, which was part of the INVASION! crossover. I’m not sure where ARROW goes for the back half of this season, since we don’t really have a big bad, but I’m still enjoying things on the whole. Hopefully they keep up the same pace for the last 10 episodes.