Some people were born to be bad, and others were raised to be bad. Emiko Queen is the latter of the two.
Emiko's true intentions were the main focus on Arrow Season 7 Episode 17, and while I appreciated the new twist added to an otherwise dull character, getting to this big reveal left a lot to be desired.
Arrow Season 7 has had a lot of fun elements going for it that made it stand out as one of the show's best seasons. However, Emiko was not one of them.
The New Green Arrow mystery and the half-sister reveal had a ton of potential, but most of it got squandered after the introduction on Arrow Season 7 Episode 10.
Similarly to Dinah, her character felt forced into the show, and she hadn't made much of an impact since her big arrival. Multiple times she would pop up and not do anything.
So when I learned that Emiko was going to be the main focus of "Inheritance" I came into this episode with very low expectations. The only exciting thing going on with her was that she had a secret that only Laurel knew.
Rene: Why are we taking Laurel's word about anything?
Felicity: Hey, Laurel's changed a lot. She's been a really good friend to me. Not saying that your sister's evil, but she's changed a lot.
All of those secrets have now gotten revealed, and Emiko's finally interesting! Instead of being a replacement for Thea, she's the supervillain not named Diaz we've been desperately waiting for all season long!
Emiko's allegiance with the Ninth Circle was a fun surprise, but I would've preferred a smoother transition to get there. Except for that one hint from Laurel, there were no clues about Emiko at all.
Arrow didn't invest enough time into getting to know her that her transition from good long-lost sister to evil long-lost sister felt a little rushed.
Perhaps they've been building to this moment since the beginning of Season 7, but it doesn't feel that way. Flashbacks like the ones involving Emiko and Robert Queen are super important moving forward.
For the first time, Emiko's background and motives seemed much more clear, and while she may be a villain now, she's a villain with a sob story, and those are always the best kinds of villains.
Emiko: Do you ever even think about us?
Robert: All the time and I wish things were different, I really do.
Emiko: Since the day you left, I kept holding out and thinking one day you'd do the right thing and become the father I deserved. That's never going to happen, is it?
Emiko's new character direction should be an exciting one moving forward, and her leading the Ninth Circle will provide Star City with a new threat, which it needed.
I loved the Slabsibe story arc, but my major complaint throughout Season 7 has been the lack of a new villain. It's unfortunate that the new villain only got introduced at the tail-end of the season, but better late than never I guess.
One concern I have about this whole scenario is how it will affect Oliver's character development. Arrow Season 5 and Arrow Season 6 saw him become this holier than thou superhero who could get super irritating at times.
His time at Slabside gave him the necessary edge he'd been missing, and I worry it will disappear again now that he has to face his sister.
If I abandon her now, I'm no better than my father. If I can help redeem her, selfishly I feel like I will redeem my family just a little.Oliver
He may claim that he wants to stop her, but Oliver is a much more sensitive man than anyone realizes, and I hope Oliver doesn't revert to the whiny, "this is not the right way to do things" kind of hero he became.
To defeat Emiko, he's going to have to embrace the inner badass he was at Slabside and take no prisoners. Even though that's the only way he can stop Emiko and the Ninth Circle, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
Emiko's name has not gotten mentioned at all in the 2040 timeline, yet her plans for Felicity's Archer Program and the fact that the Ninth Circle blew up some abandoned buildings using the drones sounds way too familiar.
Emiko and the Ninth Circle could be the evil behind the destruction of Star City in 2040 and the rise of the Glades. It would make sense why Rene's the only Team Arrow member that wasn't against everything that happened.
Rene and Emiko have a special bond that could still get salvaged despite her lies and deceit. Rene's always been a loyal person, and he could've have gotten blinded by their relationship.
All of this future talk is speculation, but a huge bombshell got dropped at the end of "Inheritance" that suggested what's happened in the past may not be as it seemed.
We've assumed since almost the very beginning of Arrow that Malcolm Merlyn was behind the ship crash that left Oliver stranded for five years. It seems like that story may be false.
Emiko somehow played a role behind that ship crash, but what kind is a mystery. I hope Arrow lets it remain unknown for a little longer. It will be a much more emotional affair if we find out what Emiko did at the same time Oliver does.
Emiko may have left us with the most questions, but Laurel also left me wondering where she will end up, and more importantly on what side will she end up?
Laurel's attempt at being good has sneakily been one of the most intriguing storylines to track on Arrow because she is so hard to nail down. You never know where exactly Laurel stands.
Laurel: You're a psycho.
Emiko: And you make me sad. Trying so hard to become someone you're not, and for what? So that the city will take you seriously as a hero? That is almost as ridiculous as you wanting to be one.
Laurel: Geth the hell out of my office. Now!
Emiko: I thought I was punishing you for following me, but maybe I just set you free.
Laurel is another person whose future is very unclear. We don't know where she is, what she's doing or if she's even alive in 2040.
The answer to that won't come until she decides what she wants to be moving forward. She's done a pretty darn good job at being a DA (frankly I think Dinah's always looking for an excuse to blame Laurel for things), but I think its high-time she puts on that Black Siren outfit once again.
However, I don't understand why everyone assumes that once she puts on that Black Siren costume, she's automatically going to become evil again?
Hasn't Oliver proven that people can change, and maybe Laurel's going to use her Black Siren powers for good?
I always appreciate knowing where exactly characters stand, but Laurel is at her best when she balances that fine line. She should remain a tweener. Sometimes she's good, sometimes she's bad; it just depends on her mood, and I respect that.
After being gone for a very long time, Alena returned, and not much came out of it.
Hopefully, her presence becomes much more substantial moving forward, even if her objective is to help Felicity get the Archer Program off the ground, she should at least get developed.
Characters who have no reason to exist are the worst kind of characters, and it's been so long since we last saw Alena, we need a reason to want to care about her again.
"Inheritance" had some solid moments, but was unable to live up to the standard set by Arrow Season 7 Episode 16. Even though the Emiko reveal has the potential to be huge for the rest of Season 7, I would've preferred to get there using a more compelling route.
What did you think of "Inheritance"?
What role do you think Emiko played in the ship crash?
Do you think Emiko and the Ninth Circle are the behind the 2040 plot?
Which side do you think Laurel will take: Team Arrow or the Ninth Circle?
How do you think Alena will factor into the rest of Arrow Season 7?
Let us know in the comments below and if you need to catch up, make sure to watch Arrow online right here on TV Fanatic!
Brandon Viera is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.