Arrow Season 7 Episode 2 Review: The Longbow Hunters

The highly anticipated Longbow Hunters make their Arrow debut and they do not disappoint.

This Arrow review contains spoilers. 

Arrow Season 7 Episode 2

The Longbow Hunters finally arrive on Arrow , and with them they brought some sweet tech, a long overdue Diaz ass-kicking courtesy of one John Diggle, and some epic team-ups from some surprising pairs of women. The team concept came up a lot this episode – who’s on which one, does one even exist, and Diggle & Ollie’s attempts to do their best without the meaningful backup that they’re used to. After the schism of last season, an extended arc focused on healing those wounds in a real way and getting back to valuing their collective contributions could be a nice way forward.

Oliver is now navigating Slabside openly as the Green Arrow, which turns out to be a bit better than he thought it would. Oliver finds a way to keep his deal – he literally uses the shiv to get rid of York – without injuring or killing the guard, even though he’s been a rat bastard since day one. Yes, he gets the guy in huge trouble at work, but he tried other options first, and the guy deserved it for other prisoner brutality. Mostly I’m shocked that this gambit worked at all, given how crap our prison system is.

In flash-forward land, William and Roy are trying to unravel Oliver and Felicty’s mysterious actions, while we try to understand how they got there from here. I sort of doubt Felicity and Ollie just ditched him for no good reason. The token Felicity left him from Thea turns out to be a GPS, and it looks like the writers are smartly doling out this story line in small, enticing morsels – don’t saturate the episode, and leave us wanting more. I remain cautiously optimistic about whatever labyrinthine set of circumstances led both of these men to Lian Yu, and their road back to Star City.

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I’ve been skeptical about Laurel’s path toward redemption, full of stutter steps and awkward backtracks as it was last season. Arrow has wisely chosen the hardest road for her, which will ultimately be more convincing to the audience: winning Dinah over. On the surface the two have so much in common, which is part of what makes their pairing so promising. The sonic dampener tech from the opening made for a cool fight with Black Siren – she wasn’t counting on two canary cries, reinforcing the notion that they can only take down Diaz and the Longbow Hunters by being a team.

While I had seen artwork and casting for the Longbow Hunters, it still surprised me to see two interesting and capable women villains, which says a lot. Here’s hoping they never sleep with Oliver Queen. With a majority women writers room and an even gender split of directors for the first time in the show’s history, I just might get my wish. 

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Diaz’s flame gun was cool as hell, and got even better when it turned he and Dig’s fight into a flame train. Diggle was looking good out there – in a one on one fight, he nearly took Diaz out, in an incredibly satisfying beatdown. I hope more of the Longbow Hunters means more rough fights, slick tech, and visually arresting set pieces. I still have a lot of questions about our stylish new villains, namely, why does Felicity know the longbow hunters “better than anyone?”

Felicity is single-minded in her focus on Diaz, to the point where Curtis had to step in and finish the job and she walks away from Diggle and Argus so she can work with someone else whose sole focus is Diaz. Felicity’s singlemindedness is understandable, but it resurfaces an old problem: she has never been held to account for her near-constant digital espionage, and her willingness to do just about anything for Oliver, a trait that pushed her character to harm others like Curtis without thinking or ever apologizing in season 6. (Did she ever tell Curtis she blew their startup money? Isn’t that fraud? Isn’t it her fault he needs the Argus job in the first place?)

As much as I’ve struggled with the remnants of season 6 Felicity that are on display throughout this episode, if they were necessary to get us to this fed/felon duo, so be it. I am SO HERE for this Agent Watson/Felicity Smoak team-up! Agent Watson was criminally underused last season (get it?) – lots of build up, then she disappeared for most of the season and was MIA during most of the trial and cropped up for a random episode or two at the very end.

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Felicity is a character I have always loved, but who hasn’t always gotten the writing she deserves. It’s hard for those without capes not to feel like they’re second fiddle on superhero shows, and that goes double when they’re also a female significant other of a male hero. Felicity’s intelligence, perseverance and loyalty have always been what makes her special, and this team-up seems like a great way to showcase all three qualities, outside of the authority of Oliver or Diggle. If Rene, Curtis, or anyone else comes in to help on this mission, which seems likely, they’ll be answering to Felicity and Watson. This, this I like. Season 7 and Beth Schwartz, keep killing it, please.

Stray observations

Felicity’s new look was sadly short-lived. Come on, not even the septum piercing?

It’s nice when details like the fact that William has an ex-boyfriend can be dropped casually. 

Can William get some therapy? The poor kid still has nightmares about his mother’s murder, making his trip to Lian Yu fraught AF.

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Pour one out for Quentin Lance.

Dang, Oliver. It’s pretty metal to stab yourself in the stomach.

Is anyone else suspicious of Oliver’s new prison friend/barnacle? That guy makes me nervous. 

Keep up with all our Arrow season 7 reviews and news right here!

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4 out of 5