Arrow: 7.03 Crossing Lines
Inmate 4587 and Crossing lines have thus far proved that this season is taking a different stance, moving in a very different direction and once again bringing the series to life. The only complaint is with the supporting characters like Rene, Curtis and Dinah, and their usefulness and place moving forward. While Crossing Lines does little to rectify this issue, it equally doesn’t feel dragged down because of them, the storyline is well thought out and executed.
So far, season seven has provided three prominent plot developments; Oliver’s continuing ordeal in prison, Felicity’s intense hunt for Ricardo Diaz, and Diggle’s place within ARGUS. Additionally, there are the flash-forward scenes with Roy and William but I only realised that it was missing in this episode at the end, which is testament to how engaging it was. The supporting cast, while taking a back seat, managed to provide some decent comic relief and amplify the action sequences. Well, Rene and Dinah anyway…poor Curtis!
Oliver in prison continues to blossom very steadily: it’s intriguing, incorporates some excellent tense sequences and remains mysterious, and I love it. Oliver is like a cat with nine souls as he once again may have to sell his in order to protect his family, attempting to get closer to Diaz. Although this may be a recurring arc for our hero, this time around the developments feel natural, at no point do ulterior motives take away from current agendas. The pacing is superb, character motivations are clear and the story has incorporated some unidentified, potentially serious aspects into the mix. The fight sequences seem to be getting more brutal as the weeks go on but they’re not over the top, again they develop naturally and have just the right amount of flare and excitement.
Felicity’s arc is another that continues to impress and develop naturally and although the performance by Emily Bett Rickards isn’t the greatest, the character’s progression is. Her determination to bring Diaz to justice (or at least what she considers justice) is compelling, and while the story direction may be obvious, getting there is thus far a lot of fun. It’s allowed Agent Watson to have growth, get redemption and make up for her lacklustre existence in last season.
The longbow hunters alongside Diaz make another impactful appearance this episode. Their incorporation has been excellent so far, the action is fantastic and the characters have proven very fascinating. With any luck we’ll learn more about them in coming instalments. Most notable is Silencer, who has stolen the spotlight from all minor and major villains. She immediately stands out due to her ability to empty a room of sound, causing the canary cry to be useless, and affecting the characters og Laurel and Dinah.
Last season Diaz proved himself to be an excellent antagonist, every on screen moment was palpable. While this time around his presence is intensified thanks to the longbow hunters, thus far he has yet to make a huge impact. His raid on the CDC proved a bit underwhelming, stealing what is suggested to be a Mirakuru-style drug. This development feels fruitless, he showed previously that he can fight and is naturally powerful; adding to that at this stage makes little sense.
Lyla and Diggle’s little side adventure was easily the most forgettable part of Crossing Lines, clearly it was setting up future progressions. Having little to do with the main plot, their character arcs have a taste of familiarity about them, with Diggle once again distrusting Lyla. Thankfully an interesting development came from it: a mysterious figure seen speaking with Lyla. Could this be the Demon? Could this be the new big-bad to replace Diaz and the hunters? That alone makes the side-story worth it.
Although we learned nothing new from the flash forwards this week, a gripping well written episode has been made without them, and at no point did I find myself pining their use. Crossing Lines continues to move plot threads forward at a steady pace, keeping things exciting and cryptic. The supporting cast may have taken a needed back seat but, honestly, it’s made little difference to the enjoyment. I would rather continue to see them in the background than them being removed entirely. It’s exciting to see this new rejuvenated Arrow series doing so well, let’s hope it continues that way.