Arrow heads into a “bye week” with a stunning episode that sees Oliver Queen and his daughter Mia meet for the first time since the latter character developed object permanence. Thanks to as-yet unexplained time-travel shenanigans, Kate McNamara’s Mia, Joseph David-Jones’ Connor Hawke, and Ben Lewis’ William end up in the Arrow bunker in 2019. Remarkably, how or why this happened is not examined at all in the episode.
Similarly, it pushes the limits of credibility that Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen doesn’t reach out to Barry Allen, an expert on time-travel shenanigans. (Obviously, this is for practical reasons, as the casts of the Arrowverse shows will be doing a lot of crossing over this year.) Still, the episode played well and gives us some insight into what the future of Arrow might be.
Fair warning, this post will be spoilery for all of Arrow’s final season episodes through number four “Present Tense.”
The Arrow Spinoff Starts with Daughters and Absent Fathers
Image via screengrab
Mia Smoak and Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance (of Earth 2) are daughters who both lost their fathers at a young age. While much of Laurel’s arc over the past three seasons dealt with that, we get to see Mia’s relationship with that trauma for the first time. Clashing with her father, blaming him for “abandoning” her is all pretty standard stuff. The show does allow Mia and Oliver to get to a less confrontational place. However, it’s Laurel who is able to get through to her. This version of Mia is the one we will follow in the future series, and this relationship with her co-headliner will be an important one.
It’s an interesting choice that the character of William (who behaved much like Mia when he was played by a child actor) is the voice of reason here. Perhaps it’s just that he knew his father just enough to miss him. Even though he also only just met Mia, he relates to what she’s feeling. Also, the scene where William came out to Oliver, who already knew, was sweet. Still, this episode was a good way for the Team Arrow characters to face up to their legacies through the perspective of their time-traveling children. (Comic book stories!) It’s a dynamic that works for this episode and could help build the foundation for the series that follows this one.
Oliver and Mia Meet and Finally We Forget the Crisis for a Minute
Image via CW
More so than any of the other series, the looming Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover dominates the narrative of Arrow’s final season. Allowing Oliver and Mia to meet and crack a case together gave fans the kind of one-off story that’s a hallmark of the show. Big fight sequences between people with bows and in Deathstroke masks. The stakes in Arrow have been huge, what with the fate of all universes everywhere hanging in the balance.
Nonetheless, Team Arrow busting up some bomb-setting terrorists felt like a return to form. That Oliver undertook this mission with his son and daughter is a nice touch. The stakes will certainly ramp up in the latter episodes, especially since Oliver is now looking to kill a god. Yet, this episode was a nice change of pace, and it gives us an idea of what to expect when the new Green Arrow takes over the CW.
Oliver and Mia Meeting Sets Up How Spinoff Could Come to Be
Image via CW
Once time-travel enters a show’s narrative, all bets are off. It’s a tricky plot device, because there are so many ways to screw up the story execution. It also undercuts the stakes, because (at least in the rules of this corner of the DC multiverse) time can be rewritten. The key exchange between the father and daughter, however, is that the Star City of the future is a dystopian nightmare. Oliver may realize that his mission to prevent the destruction of everything succeeds. But his primary mission, to save his city, fails. The Arrow spin-off will be titled The Green Arrow and the Canaries, yet we still don’t know if it will be set in the present day or Star City of the future. It might be both.
Arrow’s Crisis episode is it’s third from last. Thus, the penultimate episode will be the “backdoor pilot” for the spin-off series. Marc Guggenheim said that the episode had to be titled the name of the series but was supposed to be called “Livin’ In the Future.” (In keeping with the tradition that the penultimate Arrow episode of each season is named after a Bruce Springsteen song.) Our guess is that somehow the Crisis storyline leads into obliterating the future where Team Arrow fails. Mia Smoak (and hopefully William and Connor) end up in the present day to prevent that future from coming to pass. All this begins when Oliver and Mia meet, which by the rules of Arrowverse time-travel means that already the future will start to change.
What do you think? Did you like that Oliver and Mia got to meet? Do you think this is how the Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff will go? Share all your thoughts, reactions, and theories in the comments below!
Featured image via CW
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.