Previously on ARROW

Much like the other shows in the ARROWVERSE, which managed to reveal the true Big Bads of their seasons within the last couple of episodes, ARROW shows us what the team will be really facing as the season winds down with this episode.

At least, I assume they do. Stuff based on comic books can get a little confusing with all the little double- and triple-crosses that go on.

While Earth-2 Black Siren and current Star City District Attorney Laurel Lance already discovered that Emiko Queen is the one who finally killed Ricardo Diaz, she continues digging into what Oliver’s long-lost sister’s deal is, and gets grazed in the arm with an arrow for her troubles. But it’s the arrow to the arm that helps Oliver see that there’s more to his half-sister than meets the eye.

Emiko’s standoffishness with her brother gets a little more fleshed out here, as we flash back to when she was younger and Robert Queen, her father, tells her mother that he’s choosing to stay with Moira over them and basically kicking them out of the plush condo where they’ve been staying. Her father leaving them is a festering wound that won’t heal for Emiko, and it eventually led her to be trained by a super secret organization called the Ninth Circle, and they’re in Star City to cause some trouble for our heroes.

The NINTH CIRCLE is a more recent addition to Green Arrow’s comic book rogues gallery, having been introduced by writer Benjamin Percy during his Rebirth run on the title. The organization basically took over Seattle/Star City, caused Oliver to be penniless and framed him for murder, sending him on a hero quest before he finally managed to DEFEAT them.

Considering that they introduced Dante, a very bad man that ARGUS has been hunting, a few episodes back, I probably should have seen the introduction of the Ninth Circle coming. I almost always end up surprised when TV showrunners use more recent comic books for inspiration instead of referencing older, more classic works.

With the introduction of the new evildoers on the show, it should come as no surprise that Emiko is not only a soldier within the Ninth Circle, but she’s also a pretty high-ranking officer. Thankfully, Oliver’s discovery of her involvement with the Ninth Circle doesn’t get drawn out, as he follows Laurel’s tip and finds her with Dante. Emiko manages to convince Oliver, for a time, that she’s part of the organization against her will, but trying to kill her half-brother not long after pretty much means the jig is up.

Will Oliver be able to bring his sister over to the good guys to eventually take down the Ninth Circle? Sure, that’s how things go in the funny books – albeit with the surprise return of Moira Queen to complicate things – but that certainly doesn’t mean the story on the TV show will follow the same path. I’m OK with this particular thread not being tied up nicely and having Oliver’s toughest opponent be his own half-sister.