ARROW – SEASON 7 / CERT: 15 / SHOWRUNNER: BETH SCHWARTZ / STARRING: STEPHEN AMELL, DAVID RAMSEY, EMILY BETT RICKARDS, JULIANA HARKAVY, KATIE CASSIDY, RICK GONZALEZ / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Special Features: Villains: Modes of Persuasion / Two featurettes / Blooper reel / Deleted scenes
After being incarcerated at the end of Season 6, this most recent season of Arrow opens up with Oliver Queen (Amell) locked up in Slabside Maximum Security Prison. Given that the cat is well and truly now out of the bag that Oliver and the Green Arrow are indeed one and the same, the Emerald Archer isn’t exactly making friends during his stint in prison. Fear not, though, for the action of Season 7 soon switches to a freed Ollie who has new responsibilities and new threats to deal with. Upon said release, the Master Bowman has to attempt to build bridges with the former members of Team Arrow, becomes deputized as part of SCPD, has to deal with uber-prick Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) and the clinical Longbow Hunters, and then there’s the small threat of a mysterious new archer offing people left and right in Star City.
In addition to all of this ‘present day’ action, Arrow’s seventh season also shines the spotlight on the future. And by future, we mean that the series regularly jumps forward 20 years down the line as we see Oliver’s son William (Ben Lewis) seeking out some familiar faces in a desolate Star City that’s on the brink of destruction.
What Season 7 of Arrow does so well is that it manages to serve so many key characters well. When a show has so many important characters, it sometimes becomes near-impossible to juggle all of these and make each person feel relevant. For Arrow, that was something that the show navigated brilliantly here, not least during Oliver’s stint in prison and the immediate fallout of that. With Ollie’s arrest comes the threat of imprisonment for the rest of Team Arrow should they continue with the superhero gig. As such, this is a team very much fractured and at times with a chip on its shoulder against its leader. And likewise, the absence of Oliver brings an increasingly dark and vengeful streak to Felicity (Rickards) – with once-vicious Black Siren (Cassidy) often being the one to be the voice of reason as the Earth-2 version of Laurel Lance looks to integrate herself into this world.
For anybody who loves such shows, seeing how things unravel in the future is always a grin-inducing moment. With Arrow’s jump to 2040, it’s fantastic to see William’s mission see him come face-to-face with some of his father’s closest allies – plus there’s some fun surprises waiting for William in those future-set segments.
Elsewhere, the aforementioned mysterious new archer in the present-day Star City really steps to the fore once the narrative takes Oliver out of the prison environment. The identity of this archer is one of the big twists of Season 7, so we won’t spoil things here, but we’ll just say that the series handled this reveal in a clever way and made this all feel worthwhile and logical.
Rounding out this home release, the star piece of bonus material is the fascinating Villains: Modes of Persuasion special that delves deep into the many villains who’ve appeared across a whole host of DC TV shows in recent years. Added to that, the Inside the Crossover: Elseworlds featurette is a fun watch that looks back on this past season’s Elseworlds event that saw Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl coming together to see the heroes of those series fighting the good fight once again.
All in all, Arrow’s seventh season was one a blast on so many levels, with characters getting some stellar development, twists around so many corners, and certain moments that won’t leave a dry eye in the house.