Oliver Queen, you have not failed this season.
The second half of Arrow Season 7 will be arriving shortly but before it does let's reflect back on some of the best, worst and most questionable moments from the first half of the season.
Season 7 has been almost a reboot of sorts for the show, revisiting its roots in many ways. Oliver embraced his dark side once again as he transitioned into his new role as Inmate #4587.
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He may have been released but don't be surprised to see that dark side stick. Oliver wasn't the only one embracing his inner badass either. The Felicity we once knew is long gone and if the flashforwards are any indication, an evil Felicity is on the horizon.
Join us below as we revisit the first half of Arrow Season 7, and make sure to hit the comments with your thoughts on this season so far and what you hope to see happen in the second half of the season.
Arrow returns Monday, January 21 at 8/9c on The CW.
If you need to catch up, you can watch Arrow online right here on TV Fanatic.
Also feel free to catch up on our Arrow Reviews!
Best Character - Oliver Queen
It's extremely hard for the protagonist of a show to stand out as the best character in the series, but Oliver somehow managed to do it. Oliver Queen needed to be freshened up after a couple of stale seasons, and he was in his attempt stay alive in his new role as Inmate #4587. His first months at Slabside saw a complete transformation of Oliver, he became a shadow of the hero he was once. Yet, he realized in order to survive, and get out of Slabside with his sanity intact, he would have to embrace the dark side that once consumed him years ago. The self-righteous hero who had us rolling our eyes last season became a badass who kicked some serious ass. His transformation has made him the most compelling character in the Arrowverse. And now that he's been released, his journey looks to just be getting started.
Most Improved Character - Laurel Lance
Since the release of "The Dark Knight" in 2008, it's become clear that the best heroes are those that toe the line between good and evil. Laurel Lance/Black Siren has toed that line since the beginning of this season as she attempted to change despite all her instincts. It was a great change of pace for Laurel who felt miscast and misused in her role last season. Her being this evil sidekick for Diaz never allowed her to reach her full potential. She's finally been allowed to do that, and it's been compelling watching her struggle to continue to try to do the right thing, even when her instinct is to take the violent, not-so-heroic route. The show must continue to let Laurel show her range as she continues to figure out who she really wants to be.
Worst Character - Dinah Drake
Dinah's been a part of Team Arrow for a long time now, yet she still hasn't managed to form a real connection with Arrow Fanatics despite how hard the show has tried. She's dominated screentime on Season 7, playing a prominent role in both the present and future timeline. Her characters motive this season has been super bland. Her motive to "find justice the right way" has gotten more eye rolls than applause. Even with her strong presence, Dinah was just too boring and too self-righteous to make us care about what she's doing. Something needs to be changed about her character because her overbearing presence in both timelines is dragging Arrow down.
Most Intriguing New Character - Blackstar
Blackstar, played by Shadowhunter's Katherine McNamara, was introduced at the tail-end of the first half of Season 7, and little is known about her even though she had a kick-ass introduction. If there is any way to get Arrow Fanatics excited about a new character, have them kick some serious ass in a steel cage. Hook, line, and sinker. The only thing that was revealed about her in the future timeline was that she once worked for Felicity and knew about Felicity's plans. There are so many things to unpack with Blackstar, and there is no character who Arrow Fanatics are more excited to learn about.
Best Twist - Oliver’s Long Lost Sister aka The New Green Arrow
The New Green Arrow mystery was introduced at the very beginning of the season, and most people assumed, including Arrow Fanatics and the citizens of Star City, that the new vigilante was a man. That was already quite shocking when it was revealed on Arrow Season 7 Episode 8. However, the big twist came at the end of the episode when it was revealed that the new Green Arrow shares the same father as Oliver! It was never once hinted at throughout the entire series that Robert Queen had any other children. The reveal came completely out of left-field, and if the Arrow comics are anything to go by, this new reveal gives Arrow so much story to work with moving forward.
Worst Twist - Diaz Is Still Alive
It was clear from the beginning of Season 7 that Diaz has overstayed his welcome on the show. While it was pretty obvious that Oliver didn't actually kill him on Arrow Season 7 Episode 7, it would've been nice if the show kept the character off-screen for a while, leaving an air of mystery surrounding his whereabouts. Yet, it was revealed way too quickly that Diaz is alive and well, locked up in Slabside. The worst part? He's going to be working with Diggle and Lyla, which means his presence in Star City will continue to be heavily felt.
#FriendshipGoals - Laurel and Felicity
Talk about a pairing we never knew we needed. Laurel and Felicity have been working together throughout Season 7 in an attempt to free Oliver from Slabside. Despite their relationship starting out as strictly professional, the two have quickly formed a bond and their friendship has been a major highlight of Season 7. They share undeniable chemistry and have way more in common than anyone would like to admit. They both struggle with the darkness inside them, and Laurel has been the key to keeping Felicity's newfound darkness in check. Hopefully, these #Besties will continue to pal around despite Oliver being released. These two solving crimes together breathed new life into the show, and Arrow Fanatics are living for it!
#2019FitnessGoals - Oliver Queen
Oliver Queen has always been shredded, he's been God's gift to humanity since the beginning of Arrow. However, since there wasn't much for Oliver do in prison, especially because he didn't have any friends at Slabside, working out was one of the go-to activities for him. Oliver's Slabside workout routine turned his six-pack into an eight pack and added muscles to his body not seen on most normal human beings. If something were to happen, and Oliver was in desperate need of money, he should consider selling some fitness DVDs called "Oliver Queen's Prison Workout." He's sure to make a fortune.
Villian We're Most Excited About - Stanley
The best villains are always those who seem like friends but turn out to be foes. That was the case with Stanley, Oliver's fellow inmate and only friend at Slabside. Oliver tried to avoid being friends with anyone at Slabside but the little scamp weaseled his way into Oliver's heart. The two became pals but things took a turn for the worse when Oliver found out Stanley killed one of the guards. It turned out the little scamp was a bonafide psychopath who was super obsessed with Oliver and the Green Arrow. Arrow Fanatics only got a taste of what's to come with this psychotic lunatic and after killing Brick and escaping Slabside, we know he'll figure out a way to insert himself in Oliver's life once again and wreak havoc on Star City.
Villian We Need To Get Rid Of - Ricardo Diaz
The villain of the season was a tried and true formula that has been done on each and every Arrowverse show. So, it seemed inevitable that Diaz's journey was coming to a conclusion at the end of Season 6. Yet, he appeared again on Season 7 and played a very prominent role. Bringing him to justice was Oliver and Felicity's motive throughout the first half of the season and when it looked like they finally did just that on "The Slabside Redemption," he was brought back to the surface by Diggle and Lyla. Unless Arrow figures out a way to reboot his character and make him different, he needs to be let go just like the rest of the villains of Arrow's past.
Best Episode - "The Slabside Redemption"
This episode had everything comic book fans and Arrow Fanatics could ask for. From non-stop action sequences to an emotional reunion, from start to finish it was one of the best episodes Arrow's produced in a really long time. The Slabside story arc was the best story told on Season 7 and "The Slabside Redemption" was the perfect way to culminate it. Oliver's emotional journey as Inmate #4587 led to this "Shawshank Redemption" break out. While Oliver was the main focus in the episode, there were also standout moments for Stanley and Turner. Turner became the hero we knew he could be and Stanley became the psychotic villain we all wanted him to be. Most importantly though, "The Slabside Redemption" finally gave Oliver some closure when it came to Diaz, which was a long time coming. If you love watching Oliver kick some serious ass for 45 minutes, this is the episode for you.
Worst Episode - "Level Two"
It's been a pretty solid season of Arrow so far, but Arrow Season 7 Episode 4 stands out for all the wrong reasons. The episode's main focus was on Dinah and her identity crisis. "Level Two" focused so much of its time on Dinah's melodrama, and how she defined "justice" changed. If that wasn't bad enough, she was also a major focus in the flashforwards. Roy and William's journey was quite interesting up to that point, but the introduction of Dinah fell flat, and the storyline only started to pick up steam again thanks to the introduction Blackstar. Oliver's story was also watered down. His only involvement was in a therapy session that was quite dull. If it wasn't for the humble beginnings of Laurel and Felicity's friendship, "Level Two" would've been a snooze fest.
Most Romantic Moment - "I Will Always, Always Love You"
Sometimes all it takes is one look to make millions of people's hearts swoon, and that's exactly what Oliver did in this extremely tender and emotional moment. Oliver hadn't seen Felicity in months after being sent to prison and when he heard from one of Diaz's goons that Diaz killed Felicity, Oliver was in a panic. However, that turns into pure relief and gratitude when he sees her, pink hair and all, walk through the door. That one look would've been enough, but then Felicity managed to melt Arrow Fanatics' hearts, even more, when she told Oliver that she will always love him and always wait for him. It was a moment filled with romance and sadness, not knowing when these two soulmates would get to have another moment like this again.
Best Action Sequence - The Shower Fight
Season 7 has provided Arrow Fanatics with some of the best action sequences of 2018, but none were able to outshine the very first of the season. It was what every fight scene should be. The sequence flashed back and forth between Oliver fighting off goons in the shower and Felicity fighting Diaz. Felicity deserves a round of applause for her kick-ass abilities, but lets' face it, Oliver stole the show here. Kicking a bunch of people's asses while wet and naked, what can't this man do. Oliver Queen truly is a hero to us all.
Sexiest Scene - Reunited and It Feels So Good
Olicity was put through the wringer on the first half of Season 7, and Arrow Fanatics were eager to see the two reunite. They got their wish and then some when the two shared a post-shower love scene just a few weeks after Oliver's release. Olicity have had plenty of steamy moments in seasons past, but they didn't get to share a lot of screentime together on the first half of Season 7, so this reunion sex scene made up for the lack of Olicity before this. The pair may have had issues that they needed to deal with because both Oliver and Felicity had become different people during their separation, but one thing they didn't have to worry about was the physical chemistry they had in the sack. That's hot no matter where they stand in their relationship.
Biggest WTF? Moment - Olicity Breakup
Talk about a 180! Olicity began Oliver's return to Star City with some sensual love and ended it with a breakup! It came completely out of left field and was a huge blow to Olicity fans who eagerly anticipated their long-awaited reunion. It was obvious that Oliver returning to normal life was going to cause some issues for the pair, and adjustment to this new life was going to take some time. Perhaps if the show held off on this break up until later in the season, when the problems between the two escalated more, it would make more sense. Yet, Felicity telling Oliver she needs space almost as soon as he returned felt like a huge slap in the face to both him and Arrow Fanatics everywhere. The worst part was that the couple reunited on Arrow Season 7 Episode 10, rendering this whole break up pointless.
Biggest LOL Moment - Oliver & Barry in "Elseworlds"
"Elseworlds" was a total LOL fest within itself, but it was the interactions between Oliver and Barry, whose lives were swapped, that really brought out the laughs. It was a nice change of pace for Oliver who didn't laugh once on Season 7 before this crossover. The best part is that there wasn't one particular moment that stands out as the funniest. It was a three hour trip to chuckles city. From Barry finding out that Oliver was in bed with Iris to Iris telling Oliver (who she thought was Barry) that Barry wasn't her type. Even the crossover's tribute to Smallville at the farm scene had us all grinning from ear to ear. Arguably the best moment came when Cisco gave Oliver (who he thought was Barry) a big hug, while the rest of Team Flash watched in awe. It was adorable and hilarious. If you need a laugh, "Elseworlds" is the crossover event for you!
Overall Grade - B+
If this grade was solely based on Season 7's action sequences alone, it would've gotten an A+. The show's been stellar on that front. Oliver's story has also been stellar, and Slabside managed to be one of the most compelling stories told in 2018. Stephen Amell deserves a standing ovation for the exceptional work, both physically and emotionally, he delivered. The partnership of Felicity and Laurel also can't be praised enough. The pairing's quickly become a cornerstone of the show that hopefully will continue. The flashforwards started out great and were told at a solid pace, but the introduction of Dinah added a confusing layer that wasn't needed. And while Dinah's been pushed to the forefront, Diggle, Lyla, Rene, and Curtis didn't get nearly enough screentime. Let's hope that changes in the second half of Season 7.