The Longbow Hunters arrive and Laurel makes amends in the latest Arrow

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Oct 23, 2018, 6:14 PM EDT (Updated)

Star City has a few new Big Bads, and they made their presence known in a big way this week — and it all happened as the remnants of Team Arrow are arguably as fractured as ever.

Spoilers ahead for “The Longbow Hunters,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow, which aired Monday, Oct. 22, 2018.

Felicity got the spotlight this week, fresh out of hiding and ready to jump to offense in an effort to track down Diaz. The story took full advantage of the five-month tie jump from last season, as Felicity quickly realizes Team Arrow is a thing of the past — and without a Team Arrow, she doesn’t have much to do as Overwatch. Diggle is running the investigation through his ARGUS team, with the priority of recovering a stolen piece of weapons technology. It all comes to a head as Diggle makes the call to let Diaz escape to protect the weapons tech, a calculated move but still not the one that prioritizes the needs of the defunct Team Arrow.

Felicity has trouble adjusting to this new normal (with even her old teammate Curtis now on ARGUS’ payroll) and by episode’s end strikes out to find new allies. That might arguably be the biggest twist of the episode, as Felicity heads over to the FBI office to team up with the agent responsible for putting Oliver behind bars. Hey, she said she needed new allies, right? Twist!
As for the new Big Bads: We’ve known since last season’s finale that the Longbow Hunters would be coming to town, and they have finally arrived. The introduction was action-packed — including a sneaky heist at an ARGUS facility and a little high-tech train robbery — but the execution came off a bit… well… comic book-y, for lack of a better term. The weapon tech of a shield and darts came off as more gimmicky than intimidating, which made it hard to believe when this team of baddies cut through Diggle’s team (and Diggle’s gun, literally) like hot butter. The lingering threat of Diaz provided some narrative urgency, but still, these Longbow Hunters really didn’t come off as threatening as expected. There’s still a whole lot of season left to work out the kinks, to be sure, so no need to hit the silly panic button just yet.

Arrow cast
Earth-2 Laurel Watch: Earth-2 Laurel presumably spent the off-season landing the job of DA in Star City and studying up on enough legal knowledge to do the job (not bad for a criminal from an alternate universe, right?). Much of her story last season focused on her quest for redemption with the help of the late Quentin Lance, and we see that payoff here. After teaming up with Dinah in an effort to stop a Longbow Hunter, Laurel apologizes for killing Dinah’s former partner Vince last season. It was a big moment, and if we’re going to see these two sonic-powered ladies team up more in the future, helps to clear the air. Laurel also seems to be very clearly in the anti-Diaz camp, after last season’s flipping and flopping.

Meanwhile in prison: We’re a few episodes in now, and yep, Oliver is still in prison. He’s trying to run an investigation into Diaz from behind bars, and has to make friends with some old rogues to gather intel. Oliver spends much of the episode trying to get rid of a guard as part of a deal for info on Diaz, and eventually frames the guard for stabbing him to get him removed from the floor. Here’s hoping that intel from Brick is worth it.

Future William and Future Roy: The flash-forward onion peeled off a few more layers this week, as we learn the arrowhead Felicity gave William is what led him to Lian Yu in the first place. He also alludes to Oliver and Felicity “left” him, though we’re not clear on the context of that. Future Roy also helps William track down a mysterious grave that houses Oliver’s bow and arrow, which came bundled with a message we don’t get to see. But, whatever it said, it leads Future Roy to say they need to return to Star City. So does this mean we’ll get to see Future Star City? What was on the note? Still plenty of questions left to ask.

New Green Arrow betting pool: With Oliver and Diggle seemingly not under that hood, the most obvious option is Roy. Perhaps he returned home to take up the mantle once Oliver went to prison? But why hasn’t he reached out to Felicity or Diggle, if it is him? If not Roy, then who? A new character? Heck, maybe even a time-displaced Future Roy?

Next week: Oliver joins a prison gang? Apparently?