This post contains spoilers for Arrow.
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Oliver takes a back seat in Arrow’s return so “Shattered Lives” may instead focus on his estranged sister, Emiko Queen. We learned the identity of the new Green Arrow shortly before going on break, but Elseworlds meant that we didn’t have any time to explore before going on hiatus. Everyone’s back in Star City and in the correct bodies this week, so now we’ve got some time to focus on Ollie’s little sis. If only that were time well spent.
Arrow’s return is interesting by no fault of Emiko or her plot. She too was following a list, but it’s not Robert Queen’s this time. Instead, it’s of her own making in an attempt to find out who it was who murdered her mother a little over a year ago. How did Emiko learn to be the Green Arrow in record time? Currently unclear. What we do know is that she and Oliver both have a penchant for getting shot and subsequently discovering their respective teams.
Emiko has all of Oliver’s skills from the beginning of his journey, but she has all of his flaws as well. Can’t begrudge her that, but we already know this arc. Hopefully the younger Queen will get a little more interesting as her story progresses. If the show can make Rene Ramirez a compelling and empathetic character, it can do anything.
While Rene and Curtis team up with the reluctant Emiko, Oliver and Felicity dig into the Queen family history to see if they can get to the bottom of the whole long-lost sister situation. As is standard with the Queen family, Oliver doesn’t love what he finds. Turns out Robert didn’t just have an affair, he had a whole other family that Moira buried after his death. Emiko and her mother were in the Glades this whole time, right under Oliver’s nose.
Before his death, Robert reached out to his best friend to ensure Emiko was taken care of. For those of you who don’t remember Walter Steele, he’s Oliver and Thea’s charming stepfather. Presumably, Walter never received the letter that Oliver and Felicity found in Moira’s secret storage unit. Reasonably, his stepson's pretty upset about the whole situation. Ollie’s spent so much time trying to reason with and right the wrongs of his family, but each time he wipes the slate clean, some new transgression pops up.
Speaking of transgressions, John Diggle is in big, big trouble, and it’s about to get worse. He and Lyla continue their investigation on Diaz in an attempt to take down the elusive Drake, but none of their methods seem to be working. Johnny Boy’s solution is to offer Diaz his freedom without permission from Lyla or the knowledge of his two best friends, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. After he and Lyla are questioned by a nosy subordinate, Dig thinks on his feet and says that they’re interrogating Diaz in order to bring back Project Ghost (it’s the Suicide Squad).
There are a million problems with what John did in “Shattered Lives” but Lyla might have been a little bit more receptive had she not just had to explain herself to a lower-rank creep with delusions of grandeur. All the same, it wouldn’t have bought him much. Amanda Waller was a complicated woman who had Lyla Diggle’s respect, but Lyla swore never to resurrect the Suicide Squad again for obvious reasons. Though, after all that, the biggest problem here is that we’ll continue to be forced to deal with the mediocrity of Ricardo Diaz.
Things wrap up with Felicity convincing her husband to go see his sister. We don’t get any conversation between the two of them, but he does arrive in frame right as Emiko tells her mother’s grave that no one will stop her revenge. At the very least, it’ll be interesting to see how Emiko ties into the flash forwards. She’s not mentioned in the pact made between Team Arrow, so we can expect things either don’t go well between the family, or she doesn’t make it very long.
While there’s no mention of the new Emerald Archer in the future just yet, the OG hasn’t come up either. What we do know so far is that The Glades have prospered under Rene’s guidance as Mayor, and that he paid a steep price to get it there. Someone’s using him as a chess piece, and that someone also offed Felicity Smoak. Rene seemed pretty chill with the news that a member of his family was murdered, but you can’t trust a man with that hair to make good choices anyway.
Shout out in the comments if you had thoughts on this week’s episode. Next week we’ll have some solid brother/sister time!