After taking a bit of time off, the flash-forward story was front and center this week, peeling back more than a few layers about what has happened in the intervening decade or so where this future world has picked up.
Spoilers ahead for “Level 2,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow, which aired Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.
No time was wasted getting Future William and Future Roy off Lian Yu and back to civilization this week, as the duo pick up strolling the rough-looking streets of Future Star City. The episode unpacks a lot about this future, and it becomes clear very quickly that Star City has absolutely fallen apart in ways that would almost make Gotham City blush. We meet the future version of Dinah Drake (who is seemingly back to her vigilante ways at this point) as she rescues Roy and William while they recovered a piece of tech from Felicity’s old office.
She reveals that the Glades have apparently rebelled and built a wall separating themselves from the rest of Star City, and the police are working as anti-vigilante enforcers. On the other side, Dinah and a grown-up Zoe (Rene’s daughter) are a part of some vigilante resistance trying to save the city. Exactly what that means we don’t know yet, but it stands to reason Roy and William are about to find themselves a part of this cause.
Future Dinah also brought the biggest jaw-dropper of the episode: Felicity Smoak is dead at this point in the future. At least, she’s dead as far as Dinah knows. Roy and William came to Star City following clues and a signal they believed had been sent by Felicity, so there’s always a chance she faked her death or that could be some type of fakeout. Actually killing a character like Felicity in the future would be an absolutely wild twist, especially doing it offscreen like that. So, at this point, my money is on fakeout.
Back in the present, Felicity enlists the help of Earth-2 Laurel, who has somehow figured out how to be a lawyer and has fully assumed the life left behind by the late Laurel Lance. She seems to be well on her road to redemption at this point, though she can’t resist Felicity’s invitation to try and torture the Silencer for information on Diaz. The gambit fails, but it does create the opportunity for some bonding moments between Felicity and Laurel, and it’s actually Laurel who talks some sense into Felicity when she’s considering going full-on torture chamber to gather intel. These two make for an interesting team-up, and it looks like we’ll see more of that to come.
Though it didn’t get a ton of space to breathe amid all the future twists and torture subplots, Oliver also had one of the most interesting stories this year in prison. Now in Level 2, he’s meeting with a psychiatrist who makes him track back what made him a vigilante in the first place (his promise to his father), and whether that was the right thing for his father to do. He puts Oliver into the shoes of the father, as Oliver realizes he actually might be setting William on a path of violence by following in his father’s footsteps. It made for an interesting thought, and it’ll be interesting to see if that line is pursued much further as Oliver digs deeper into his search for the Demon. Which might be the psychiatrist himself, maybe? Just guessing here.
Who is the New Green Arrow? No clue, though theories range from a time-displaced adult William or Roy to someone completely new. As far as details from this episode, the New Green Arrow doesn’t seem to be huge or tall in stature, meaning future William or even a woman could be under that hood. The New Green Arrow wears a full face mask, so no hints there. He also brings some killer intel to the case this week, seemingly out of nowhere. Is he/she just that good at investigating? Or does the New Green Arrow have some future intel to help fill Oliver’s role? Give us your best theory below.
Beebo is everywhere. The furry blue cuddle monster also showed up in this week’s Supergirl, too.
Present-day Dinah is clearly having trouble keeping the peace, and trust in the police is still pretty much nonexistent after Diaz corrupted most of the force. We see her start to channel the system from good ol' Quentin Lance, trying to find the best way to do good in a broken system. Nice to know he hasn't been forgotten.
One other future tidbit: Zoe says her father wouldn’t be caught dead in Star City. What has happened to future Rene that he’d ditch Zoe and leave her to fight this battle solo?
Next week: Oliver gets wrapped up in some prison experiment that aims to wipe his mind clean.