Man prison is rough!
If you haven’t watched season 6 of Arrow, please do so, it was awesome, especially the second half and heavily influences much of the first half of season 7.
Arrow suffered quite a bit last season, not the character, but the series itself, the story took an unusual amount of time to get going, but once it did it changed everything. Season 7 starts pretty much a few weeks following the end of season 6 and establishes the new normal for Oliver Queen and Team Arrow.
Oliver has now a new semi-permanent residence, and its not a good one, this residence *cough* acts as the backdrop for most of the first half of Season 7 and frankly its a good story generator. Oliver is faced to try and play nice with some of his former enemies while still trying to keep himself and others around him safe, something that proves to be nigh impossible given his current surrounding. But like any good hero, he tries anyway.
Another part of the story involves a time jump of sorts to a not so distance future in which something in Star City isn’t quite right, people have been divided into two distinct classes, the haves and the have nots and are living in two very distinct parts of the city separated by a wall. Where this story is going we don’t exactly know as it is clear it will be resolved in Part 2 of Season 7. New and old characters are involved in this story and it looks like it will have some form of impact in the present, but we just can’t be sure at the minute.
And then there is the story involving Oliver’s apparent replacement or step in, yes, there is a new Green Arrow, one with a bit more of a shoot to kill policy than Oliver. We learn a bit about this character, including who is under the mask and frankly its an interesting twist and it will be interesting to see who Oliver deals with it eventually.
All of this while the real villain from Season 6 makes a return with a vengeance and emphasis on the vengeance part, frankly I am really digging this guy, he just a nasty piece of work. He returns to torment Oliver again and again, going after his family, friends and eventually in one hell of a ending to the first half of Season 7 him in his new surroundings.
It seems to me that some of the best parts of both Season 6 and 7 only start to show themselves whenever Ricardo Diaz shows up. The villain is so evil and so direct with his aggression that he literately rocks Oliver off his feet in each encounter with since ease that its a delight to watch. It makes the anticipation for eventual defeat that much more juicy especially when you know it is coming.
With Oliver changing his scenery for something a bit more comfortable after most of the beginning of Season 7, we see him getting back to what he does best with a little bit of a twist. It ends the first half of the season with a lot to process, twists, turns and reveals. It also implies things are going to change once again in the second half of the season, something I will enjoy watching.