After spending most of the season kicking around in the future-set flash-forwards, we finally get to catch up with present-day Roy Harper — and he’s back in town to fall right into a murder that threatens to get the team disbarred from the SCPD.
Spoilers ahead for “Confessions,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow, which aired Monday, April 29, 2019!
This was an odd episode, with a message that’s even a bit more odd once all is finally revealed. Most of the episode is framed over these broken-up interrogation scenes, with each member of Team Arrow telling a different piece of the story. As these things tend to go, they’re loaded with a few red herrings, with everyone from Oliver to Rene briefly set up as the possible killer. But it turns out the truth is far darker — Roy, back in town to help take down the Ninth Circle, snapped and killed these guards.
The reason? He was killed on his mission to shut down the Lazarus Pits (an offscreen adventure with Thea that started a year or so ago), so Thea used the pits to revive him. As we’ve seen before, those pits lead to a blood lust that is hard to control, and in the heat of the moment Roy snaps. So the entire team makes a pact to cover for him — using all these various interrogations as a ruse to frame Emiko for the murders. Yes, we know she’s killed a lot of people already, but these were Roy’s casualties. This was Roy’s crime, and Team Arrow helped him cover it up.
Which raises some interesting questions. We’ve seen Oliver veer from adamant to atone sins to doing whatever’s necessary to save the city and back again more than a few times. Yes, Roy couldn’t control himself, and I’m not making the case he should’ve gone down for these deaths. But assembling as a team to willfully lie to the police is a bold, controversial move — and one that’s largely glossed over in the quest to stop the Ninth Circle. It’s almost as if this episode got a bit lost in its fractured story gimmick and let some interesting angles and questions fall to the wayside in the process. Not a bad episode, per se, just one that feels like an awkward approach for the material.
Despite the team’s successful setup, it looks to all be for naught, as Emiko tells Oliver she has the security camera footage that shows the murders and the cover-up, and she’s sending it to the mayor to have Oliver and all of Team Arrow locked up and out of her way. As if that weren't enough, she also brings a building down on top of them, leaving Oliver pinned under some heavy rubble.
Emiko finally comes clean to Oliver that she knew the Queen’s Gambit was rigged to blow, and chose to do nothing. Considering Oliver has at least been trying to save Emiko up to this point, it seems that finally puts him over his breaking point.
Willa Holland seems to be mostly done with the show, though Roy notes that Thea is doing well off-screen. So, good to know.
Felicity is still keeping her pregnancy a secret, which makes sense with the world we see in the flash-forwards, where the team was unaware of her child with Oliver. We know Emily Bett Rickards is leaving Arrow at the end of the season, so perhaps she heads into hiding at that point? Clearing the way for a final half-season to do the heavy lifting of setting up Crisis on Infinite Earths?
Next week: The team is buried under rubble, and there are just two episodes left this season.