The Green Arrow is back! It's just not the Oliver Queen version.
If Arrow Season 7 Episode 1 is a sign for what's to come for the remainder of the season, buckle up because we are in for one hell of a ride. "Inmate #4587" may very well be the best season premiere in Arrow history, and that's saying a lot because Arrow knows how to kick off a season.
Now I know what a lot of you are probably thinking, sure each season always has a great kickoff, but then the rest of the season becomes frazzled and kind of goes all over the place. After Arrow Season 5 and Arrow Season 6, that's a fair assessment.
However, call me an optimist, but I have a strong feeling that won't be the case with Arrow Season 7.
The main reason for my optimism is because there is a sense of mystery that hasn't been on Arrow since its first season. There were also many small elements sprinkled throughout "Inmate #4587" that felt like old times.
Arrow is going back to its roots, and Oliver Queen's journey has so much potential to be spectacular again.
While the story itself may be spectacular, the situation Oliver is in is the exact opposite. Mr. Queen's mental state is at a super fragile place right now, and the quiet and timid Oliver we saw throughout the episode was destined to crack.
It was surprising how long it took before he fell apart. But the journey Oliver went on throughout the episode was remarkable. Stephen Amell is never given enough credit for the range he possesses. His acting chops are often overlooked because of his abs. What a shame.
I'll admit I was a little hesitant about the whole prison storyline, mainly because it was just done on The Flash Season 4. Yet, it was clear after only five minutes that Oliver in prison is a much more complex storyline than Barry in prison. Comparing them is almost impossible because the story being told is just so different.
And maybe I'm a little biased because Arrow has always been my number one Arrowverse show, but Oliver's prison stint is sure to outclass Barry's.
One of the reasons is due to a new character named Stanley. Oliver is so used to relying on his BFF Diggle and his wife Felicity to help him get through the hard times, but they can't be there for him now.
While Stanley isn't exactly Oliver's number one fan after Oliver let him get beaten up, I do see a blossoming friendship in the works.
Oliver pretty much warned all of the other prisoners by way of delivering a beatdown to a couple of inmates that you don't want to mess with him. Stanley seems smart enough to know aligning with Oliver is the right move even if Oliver did let him get hurt before.
It would also be a smart decision for Oliver because, as Diggle warned him, Oliver's mental state is in grave danger if he continues to keep his head low and stay isolated from his jail mates. Stanley could very well be the person who keeps the Oliver we know and love intact mentally.
It makes sense now why there is a new Green Arrow out there, because the old one is a coward.Stanley
One person whose mental state is also quite fragile is Oliver's wife definitely Felicity. The computer genius is now a barista thanks to the witness protection program that's in place for her and William. Felicity earns the worst Demotion of the Year Award.
She's doing her best to be strong for William, but it's obvious as soon as a customer asks her out that Oliver's absence is breaking her heart.
Customer: You could always change my mind over dinner? Unless that just put me on your creepy customer list?
Felicity: You're asking me out?
Customer: Now I'm regretting it.
Felicity: No, like I'm flattered and everything. Woah, still got it.
Unfortunately for Felicity, customers hitting on her wasn't her only problem. Unlike previous seasons that tended to drag out things, Diaz returned suddenly and unexpectedly at Felicity and William's new home.
Felicity embraced the inner badass she only brings out every so often and managed to fight off Diaz long enough for William to escape.
Their fight was switched back and forth between Oliver fighting off a bunch of Diaz's goons while he was naked in the shower!
This sequence was television at its finest. Seriously, I've watched it again about five times.
If that wasn't enough to make you love this episode, Felicity and Oliver later had a heart-to-heart. That was after he thought Felicity got killed by Diaz because one of his goons said so in the shower fight.
Seeing the love and relief in his eyes when he sees Felicity walking in was so romantic and beautiful. It was a moment that will go down in the Olicity history books.
Felicity, being the strong-willed woman she is, tells Oliver she can't be under witness protection anymore and needs to fight back. One of my wishes for Arrow Season 7 was to bring back badass Felicity, and it looks like my wish was granted!
It was almost poetic how Oliver tried to give it one last college try and begged her to reconsider, but in the end, he knew the woman he married wasn't the type of person who could just sit around and do nothing.
Olicity really are perfect for each other, and anyone who says otherwise clearly hates love.
I love you and I will always, always wait for you but I can't let what happened to William and I happen again. I can't. I have to fight back. You of all understand that.Felicity
While Oliver and Felicity had to deal with Diaz and the whole prison situation, Dinah and Rene were dealing with a new vigilante.
I've always been more invested in Oliver and Felicity than in other characters, but the new vigilante that looks exactly like the Green Arrow is super exciting.
There are many endless possibilities!
Jason Stet...you have failed this city.Vigilante
The major theory from the flash-forward was that it's going to be Roy. I don't think that's the case. I think the whole William and Roy flash-forward story will be something completely different from the vigilante story.
While it was mainly Dinah and Rene dealing with the new "Green Arrow" on "Inmate #4587," Oliver will eventually want to do something about the copycat. It's in his nature.
The only downside of the episode was how little we saw of Diggle and Laurel. Hopefully, both of them get stories that are more fleshed out as the season moves forward, but at this point, I'm not too concerned about these minor issues. I'm excited to finally have the old Arrow back!
What did you think of "Inmate #4587"?
What is your first impression of Oliver in prison?
Who do you think is the new vigilante?
Let us know in the comments below and if you need to catch up make sure to watch Arrow online right here on TV Fanatic.
Brandon Viera was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in May 2019..