‘Arrow’ Season 7 Premiere: “Inmate 4587”

Arrow returns for a 7th season, and things aren’t going well for Oliver!

Last season ended with season big baddie Ricardo “The Dragon” Diaz finally defeated by Team Arrow.  However, it did not come without a cost.  In order to “save the city” from Diaz’s control, Oliver enlisted the help of the FBI, which forced him to finally reveal the truth that he is in fact, The Green Arrow.  Upon Diaz’s defeat (and subsequent escape) Oliver turned himself in.  He charged the rest of Team Arrow to carry on and continue serving the city in their own way while he was to go and serve a prison sentence for being a vigilante for the past 6 years.

Picking up 5 months later, the episode starts with Oliver going through his routine.  He has the same nightmare in which Felicity and his son William being killed by Diaz (since he’s still at large).  When he wakes up, he has to carry on in prison and keep his head down.  Of course, those there with him are not going to make his life easy.  His guard addresses him mockingly as “Inmate 4587” (hence the title), and him being the Green Arrow is not doing him any favors.  For one, a few people he put away are in the same prison as he is.  He has a few runs in with Bronze Tiger, Brick, and Derek Sampson, and they continue to try and find an excuse to fight him.  A newbie prisoner needs Oliver’s help, but he knows he can’t get a parole if he’s constantly fighting, so he totally keeps to himself and goes through his daily routine.

While Oliver is in prison, Felicity and William are in their own type of prison.  Forced to go into witness protection since Diaz is still at large, Felicity is a local barista and William is going to a school he cares not for under an assumed name.  she feels just as isolated from how her life was in the same manner that Oliver was.

The rest of Team Arrow has moved on from the life of being a vigilante.  Curtis is a researcher for ARGUS, and Diggle in an operative for them as well.  Dinah is now the captain of the Star City police department.  Renee is trying to do his part by leading a self-defense class for kids who live in The Glades.  Renee is the only one who really misses the life, and he’s reminded of it by one of the people in his classes who reminds him that their life is still rough, and at least the vigilantes kept them safe.  That all changes when someone wearing the Green Arrow outfit starts attacking criminals.  Renee sees him as a hero while Dinah knows that with the anti-vigilante bill, she now has to be the one to bring him in.

Meanwhile, Diaz has found out where Felicity and William are hiding and tries to kill them.  Felicity to her credit goes in full mama bear mode and manages to fend off against Diaz as she beats him with a pipe in their struggle.  At the same time, Oliver is getting attacked in prison by people connected to Diaz, who the tell Oliver the bad news that Felicity and William have been killed.  To Oliver’s surprise and relief, Felicity visits him in jail the next day telling him that she’s done hiding and wants to take the fight to Diaz.  She sends William away to boarding school so he can remain safe.  With Felicity fighting back, Oliver decides it’s time for him to do the same thing.  He finds the prisoner who attacked him and proceeds to beat him within an inch of his life.

Thanks to Curtis and Diggle’s intelligence, Dinah is able to lure a trap for this new Green Arrow imposter by staging a sting on a criminal he was tracking.  When the police seem to have the drop on the new Green Arrow, Renee decides to create a diversion to help him escape.  It’s revealed later that this Green Arrow is a modern-day Robin Hood, as he robbed the criminal and used the money to invest in the community as evidenced by Renee’s gym receiving new equipment.  That was the last straw for Dinah though and she tells Renee the next time he tries something like that, she will take him down too.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Arrow without its famous flashbacks.  Throughout the episode, we see a young man head to Lian Yu.   It appears that whoever this person is, they are going on some sort of pilgrimage and retracing all the steps that Oliver did while stranded on the island way back in season one.  The clever twist is that these are not flashbacks, but instead flashforwards (taking a cue from Lost).  The young man is revealed to be a much older William who runs into of all people, a much older Roy Harper as he reveals who he is.

Next week’s episode is titled “The Longbow Hunters” after a group tasked with hunting down the Green Arrow in the comics.  It’ll be interesting how they show up in the Arrowverse.