Arrow: 7.06 Due Process
Due Process is easily the most well rounded episode to date, effectively stitching together Oliver’s prison ordeal with everything happening outside of it. For once, no character felt left behind with all sharing equal limelight. Support characters like Rene and Curtis didn’t feel shoehorned in, their placement in the fight sequences and talky moments were excellent. The story continued to push forward with Ricardo Diaz, and the flashback scenes made a huge return with some excellent little morsels of mystery.
Laurel is now on the good side, and her relationship with Felicity was a prominent arc and strangely a very good one. Watching Laurel face her demons, confronting doubt at every turn was a nice change of pace for her character. While the idea of her becoming a competent D.A. in such a short space of time is a bit farfetched, her speech to the judge attempting to free Oliver felt sincere and convincing, even if the end result wasn’t as desired. The dynamic she has with Felicity is different, in an ok sort of way, getting help to be a better person by doing the right thing. The question still stands; is the character of Earth Two Laurel redeemable? I say no, but I like the current direction.
A direction less enjoyable is Felicity’s arc, and her continuing decent into madness. Torn between doing the right thing to get her husband back and getting revenge on Diaz offers a change which, while refreshing isn’t landing as well. Every time she, as Anatoly says, “embraces the inner demon”, the performance takes a huge hit; the villain role just doesn’t suit her, even if the flash forward scenes suggest that very thing.
Speaking of, they played a far more significant role this episode. The information depicted had the perfect balance between mystery and anticipation, with a healthy pacing. Felicity’s company having a tennis ball passcode was a nice touch for seasoned viewers, and a logical way to make sure only certain people could get access, although surely, as the balls were only holograms, the arrows weren’t necessary? Who would’ve thought that three simple words could generate such excitement: the ‘Mark of Four’ found on Oliver’s bow by Roy could mean any number of things, and I can’t wait to find out what. Future Dinah talking about Felicity’s bad behaviour had me believing more that these sequences take place on another Earth and her current antics are simply misdirection.
The actual villain, Diaz, needs to up his game and soon. While the fight sequence between him, the longbow hunters and old Team Arrow was a spectacular showdown, the once ominous baddy is becoming a bit limp, opting for a traditional, more predictable approach of let’s blow up the city. Ok, getting caught is obviously part of his plan to get close to Oliver as; clearly, he has affected Diaz just as much as Diaz has affected him. So far, this season he has yet to be as ruthless and bring the evil persona we witnessed last season. Perhaps he will when face to face with Oliver.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get better with the prison story-arc, deception is thrown into the mix in the form of Oliver’s friend Stanley. Up until now, Stanley has been a snivelling, brown nose friend to Oliver, getting protection from the likes of Brick, Sampson and Turner. In a genuinely surprising twist, it would seem Oliver is being manipulated which, if true, could be incredible, especially if he was placed there by Diaz. The idea that he got past Oliver cements that he isn’t a well-rounded superhero, he has flaws and was never the brains of Team Arrow. It’s refreshing to see and makes him that little bit more relatable.
After last week’s slip, Due Process was an encouraging instalment, finding a happy medium for all characters. It has set things up nicely for Oliver in prison, potentially teasing a showdown between him and Diaz, as well as other prison inmates. Seeing the team (minus Oliver) back together, talking about missions at ARGUS, was actually pleasant.. I’ll never quite understand how they’re all able to move around government facilities like the SCPD and ARGUS so freely, but it’s entertaining nevertheless. There’s plenty of story to tell before the long awaited cross-over event and the seeds have been placed well. If the execution continues on this road then, we are all in for a wild ride.