ARROW 7.19 Review: “Spartan”

He split Emiko's arrow in twain!

This post contains spoilers for Arrow.
Check out our last review here.

We post the spoiler warning every post, but it feels important that I remind you early, because we are going into spoiler territory immediately on this one. Knowing that John becomes a Green Lantern on another Earth did not take away from the excitement when we find out that his name should actually be John Stewart. Fans have been making edits of John Diggle as the Green Lantern since Arrow’s first season. To see such a thing come into play as the series comes to a close brings an incredible amount of joy. Add that to the fact that his stepfather, Colonel Roy Stewart, is played by the one and only Ernie Hudson, and you’ve got an incredibly squee-worthy episode on your hands.

The long and short of “Spartan” is that Oliver is still on his quest to save his sister, Emiko. While on that quest, Team Arrow crosses paths with Colonel Stewart, who’s quickly revealed as John’s stepfather. Their relationship is tenuous at best, but the two must work together to stop the Ninth Circle from acquiring a chemical weapon. Said chemical weapon, when coupled with their newly stolen ARCHER tech, could mean terrible things on a global scale.

While the team was working to save John and his stepfather from Virgil and his lackeys, Felicity uncovers that everything John knew about Colonel Stewart was a lie. He told John as a child that his father had died a hero when, in reality, he died because of his own negligence and took two other soldiers with him. “Spartan” is filled with bad news, but John and his stepfather are able to reconcile in a simple but still impactful moment.

I mentioned some bad news up there, so let’s recap all of that right quick. First and foremost, the Ninth Circle got the chemical weapon. They no longer have the help of ARCHER, since Felicity elected to destroy the program rather than let it stay in the wrong hands, but that also means the program she viewed as her legacy is now dead. That’s followed up by Oliver telling Emiko the truth, and it not doing a damn thing. She does believe him, and kills Dante for the murder of her mother, but it doesn’t look like she’ll be coming over to the light anytime soon.

There’s plenty of no good, very bad news going on in the future as well. With the help of Connor and Mia (and JJ via the Deathstroke gang), Felicity is able to boot up the helmet that Laurel sent back to the Canaries to investigate. She uses a lot of big Felicity words, but the long and short of it is that Galaxy One basically has an army of ARCHER powered super soldiers. It only took one to wipe out half the Canary network. It’s not a great day for the resistance.

How does ARCHER find its way into the future when Felicity killed the tech, you wonder? Alena steals it, that’s how. It hasn’t happened yet, but we definitely have that “what if” glance from the gal who absolutely intends to sell the tech to Will Magnus. Every super genius needs a friend with normal smarts with them at all times to point out when they’re about to turn into unintentional supervillains.

“Spartan” pushes us one episode closer to finale territory. We’ve only got three more to go before this Emiko saga gets the pity kill. It’s weird how separated it feels from what has otherwise been an incredible season. Everything else they’re doing, from the future all the way down to the team dynamics, has been incredible. But something about Emiko doesn’t quite mesh. We’ll see if that gets remedied before the season’s close.

You know what to do if you had thoughts on this week’s episode!