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After the frustrations I felt during Arrow‘s 150th episode last week, I needed an hour like “Star City Slayer” to remind why I love this show, even when it’s at its most maddening. Unlike Diggle’s proclamation that everyone had each other’s backs, this week’s emotional payoffs actually feel earned. The action sequences aren’t about tracking down a vigilante-obsessed wacko whose motivations seem convoluted at best; instead, they’re tied to a villain whose creation we saw earlier this season during the Slabside arc, or they’re used to reveal the identities of some major characters in the flash-forwards. And while the “twist” at the end of “Star City Slayer” is something that many fans predicted months ago, it’s still a welcome development for not only how it connects major present-day characters to the new faces in the flash-forwards but for the emotionally compelling story it hints at, the story that takes place in the two-plus decades between the two separate storylines, a story that I hope we get to see a lot more of throughout the remainder of this season.
And what is this story exactly? I don’t know why I’m writing around it so much. If you watched the episode, you know the major reveal: Blackstar’s true identity is Mia Smoak, and she is the daughter of Felicity Smoak and Oliver Queen. Again, as I mentioned above, this reveal is something that many fans have speculated about and accurately predicted for months, but that doesn’t stop it from being great, not only because of what it sets up for Oliver and Felicity in the present (How will the two of them deal with Felicity’s pregnancy after having just sent their son away to live a normal, safe life?) but because it injects the flash-forwards with a new sense of urgency that they...
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