Just when it looked like Oliver had found a new sister to bond with, things take a surprising turn this week as we learn a whole lot more about Emiko — and turns out she’s definitely no Thea Queen.
Spoilers ahead for “Inheritance,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow, which aired Monday, March 25, 2019.
Turns out Emiko isn’t just working for the Ninth Circle — she’s running it.
After revealing last week that Emiko has been working with new big bad Dante, Laurel wasted no time bringing that factoid to Oliver’s attention. Then, by the second act or so, Oliver had confirmed it was true. This is one of those plot points they’ve been known to drag out in the past, so nice to see them just get to the meat of that reveal in “Inheritance” and start dealing with the fallout. Oliver is keen to give Emiko the benefit of the doubt, something she uses to her advantage to manipulate him for a while to get the drop on Team Arrow.
The big reveal, though, wasn’t that Emiko was bad — it’s that she’s actually in charge of this mysterious, nefarious group. We learn through flashback that Emiko was basically raised and trained by Dante (after spending her youth as a delivery girl for the Bertinelli crime family, nice throwback there). Dante brings her into the Ninth Circle, and somehow she’s risen up the ranks to actually run the organization. As comic fans are likely aware, the Ninth Circle is a fairly recent addition to the Green Arrow comic canon, introduced in 2016’s Green Arrow Rebirth. The group is no joke, and wields enormous power. In the comics, they literally melt off the skin of some of their followers, though no word on if the live action version will follow suit here.
At this point, it’s hard to tell exactly how much of Emiko’s story is true or red herring. She spares Rene after having a clean shot to kill him, so she’s obviously at least somewhat conflicted. But, she’s ice cold with Oliver and actually orders her lackeys to kill him — and torches Laurel’s career by surfacing an old photo of her and Diaz, essentially turning her into a fugitive. This being Arrow, I’m still inclined to believe Emiko will find some redemption before this is all said and done. Just a gut feeling.
In the B-story this week, Felicity continues to develop the Archer security system that will keep the rich in power a few decades down the line in Star City circa 2040s. Felicity recruits her old pal Alena to help her with the project, making her the CTO of the upstart Smoak Tech. It’s clear Felicity develops this from a perspective of trying to help the world, but knowing how it all ends up, you can’t help but feel for her naïveté when it comes to this powerful technology.
As the show heads toward a season finale — which will be followed up by a final, shortened season — it’s clear the writers are having a bit of fun with the fact that they’ve really turned over about every rock you can, story-wise. While Oliver grapples with his sister’s betrayal, Diggle pops in to point out he’s been there. Literally. Because, a few seasons ago, his own brother turned out to be working for the bad guys. So yeah, seven seasons in, this show is starting to show its age. But, it’s still telling compelling stories — and putting an end date on it should help Arrow go out on top.
The big shock late came from a flashback to Emiko’s time serving with the Ninth Circle. Turns out she was in on Malcolm Merlyn’s plot to sabotage the Queen’s Gambit and (attempt to) kill Robert and Oliver Queen. Now we know who Merlyn hired to pull it off — the Ninth Circle. We get to see more of that story from Emiko’s perspective, as Robert abandons her and her mother, and rebuffs Emiko’s attempts to join the family business years later. So yeah, it’s understandable why she’d be upset.
We know the Ninth Circle is trying to obtain these cool little military drones to attack stuff, but why? We still don’t know much about their endgame, or what Emiko is trying to pull off with their resources.
Up next: Arrow is on hiatus until April 15. But, when it comes back, Laurel goes throwback Black Siren. But, if you’re still jonesing for some Arrowverse next Monday, Legends of Tomorrow returns from its midseason break. So, you can always strap in with the Waverider crew.