Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer.
When we last saw Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and his team, the FBI was breathing down their necks, and they had managed to stop, but not capture Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) who is a psychopathic crime boss intent on taking over Star City and destroying the Green Arrow. But in order to stop him, Oliver had to do the unimaginable. He had to confess to not only being the vigilante but also be willing to spend the rest of his foreseeable future in prison. And if the prisoners, whom most of them he put in there, have their way, Oliver’s future won’t be that long.
As our hero struggles to stay alive in general population, the rest of his friends are struggling to figure out their place in the world now that the team has been broken up. If they continue their vigilante ways, the FBI threatens to take away their immunity and thrown them in prison. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is driven to paranoia wondering just when Diaz, who is still on the loose, may find her and William (Jack Moore) and kill them both just to get back at Oliver. And while the team contemplates their next move, a new Green Arrow appears on the scene. On one hand this new hero seems to appear at the right time to stop the criminals, but at the same time there are a number of accusations piling up against the vigilante connecting to several murders. Most everyone is extremely cautious about this new player in the city, but Rene (Rick Gonzalez), driven by his desire to help the city, is the only one who reaches out and ultimately teams up with the stranger.
As the viewers expect, Oliver will find a way out of prison and return to his old mission. The new twist is that in order for him to return to the Green Arrow suit, he must do it legally by working with the police department under the watchful eye of Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) who has kept her identity as the Black Canary secret. Of course, doing things the legal way isn’t always the most effective way and sometimes it needs a little help from the old way. While the new team spends its time trying to track down a new criminal organization called the Ninth Circle and headed by someone named Dante (Adrian Paul), a secondary story begins to play out.
In the first five seasons, Arrow had two stories going on at the same time. The first was about Oliver returning home and becoming the Green Arrow. The second was what happened to him during the five years he was presumed dead and was stranded on a deserted island. But instead of using flashbacks that correlated with various plot points, this time they are using a flash forward involving their grownup kids Mia (Katherine McNamara) and William as they try to solve a mystery that a long-missing Felicity gave to them via a secret message.
The future storyline featuring the children of the Arrow team, has a lot of potential and is something that would be worth looking into as even a possible spinoff. It would continue the story, bring fresh life into it, and still could have cameos from the original cast.
The four-disc Blu-ray set contains all 24 episodes from Season 7 and contains five special features and deleted scenes. “Gag Reel” is very typical with nothing interesting or worth spending the time watching. Thankfully, it’s short.
“Elseworlds” is the entire 3-part crossover event that the Cinema Sentries crew previously tackled and can be found starting here. “Inside the Crossover: Elseworlds” - Producers and showrunners from Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and Batwoman have a moderated round-table discussion about how they came up with the various concepts for the crossover event and what aspects they wanted to portray about their characters. This discussion is occasionally interrupted with video footage and comic book writers, such as Bruce Timm, who discuss the original concept of what Elseworlds was and what were the originating reasons behind its development.
“Best of TV’s Comic-Con Panel San Diego 2018” - All five of the CW’s DC panels are presented; Supergirl, Arrow, Black Lightning, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. It’s nice that they’ve finally put all the different panels on the discs as it gives those who have not been to Comic-Con a chance to experience what it is like. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really capture the true essence. While the audience interaction and general crowd noise can sometimes be annoying when you are actually there, leaving them completely out of the panel videos makes for a very sterile and bland presentation. The panels also occur before the newest season, which requires you to make sure to watch them before you start watching any of the episodes. If you do not remember to do that, then they are irrelevant as they are talking about what took place the year before. It would be more advantageous to place the most current Comic-Con panels on the disc as they would discuss what happened on the season you just watched and set you up for what’s to come on the next Blu-ray release.
“Villains: Modes of Persuasion” is various artists and writers talking over various clips from the shows and photos from the comics about what makes a villain. A villain is the hero of his own story and tends to have strong tendencies in Ethos, Logos or Pathos that make them stand out above the ordinary.
The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p High Definition 16x9 1.78:1 with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Since Arrow has a large number of scenes that are shot in the dark, it’s very important that the video quality have a good light/dark contrast and be very clear so the audience can understand the numerous action scenes and what is happening. The quality on the discs is consistent with previous releases and is very crisp and clear even under difficult settings. Audio is important as well as there are a number of shootouts and loud noises going on during the action scenes and it would be very easy for dialogue to get lost or for it to become one loud jumble of sounds. Thankfully, it does not and all of the different elements can be individually heard and helps to accentuate the visual experience that is going on.
It's hard to believe that Arrow has been on for seven years now, and even more surprising that they announced that Season Eight will not only be a shortened season, but it will be the final one as well. While the show has remained true to its original vision and quality, it’s not too difficult to see the end coming as it’s beginning to feel as if they are repeating themselves. How many different archers can continue to show up while keeping the storyline fresh. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least seven. And when I think about specific outstanding episodes, it’s difficult to think of any. That’s mostly because the episodes are just one giant storyline running throughout the entire season, but sometimes it’s nice to have something different. The crossover series is probably what stands out most because Oliver gets to be a completely different person. He gets to be Barry (Grant Gustin) Allen / The Flash.
Even with its faults, being that it was the originator of what is now fondly called the "Arrowverse," it’s still enjoyable to watch. There’s something comforting about having characters you know and a cast that you’ve spent so many years with, which will leave the audience looking forward to Season Eight.