Arrow recap: Team Arrow rises in the revelatory and future-set ‘Star City 2040’

Arrow took a trip to the future in tonight’s “Star City 4040.” While the hour — which was written by Beth Schwartz and Oscar Balderrama, and directed by MVP James Bamford — didn’t shed any light on what Star City’s warehouses look like in the future (disappointing me, and probably only me), it did answer some questions about Mia’s childhood and saw Team Arrow rise once again to stop a terrorist attack on the cursed city they love so much.
We begin nine months in the future at a secluded and picturesque house in the middle of the forest. Bamford’s camera smoothly glides through the halls as a woman’s shrieks of pain are heard in a distant room. Eventually, the camera enters the upstairs bedroom, and we see Oliver comforting Felicity through her home birth. And from here, there are some questions: Why did Oliver and Felicity decide to have their baby in this secret home instead of at a hospital? Does the situation in the present get that bad within the next few months that they’re forced to go into hiding even before Mia is born? Obviously, we know that their plan to save Star City fails, but who knew it would happen so quickly.

From there, we’re treated to a pretty cool montage that follows Mia through the years as she trains with Nyssa in the backyard. Honestly, this was probably my favorite part of the episode. Even though Katrina Law has very little dialogue, it was just kind of comforting to have her back and to watch her teach her ex(?)-husband’s daughter. Once Mia is grown, Nyssa believes she’s finally ready to wield her father’s weapon of choice and she presents her with a brand new bow and arrow set.
Of course, this training montage raises one question that has plagued the flash-forwards since they began: What happened to Oliver? The episode never answers this question, but his absence from Mia’s training definitely supports the theory that he dies sometime in the future. (The other evidence of his impending death is the fact that Arrow is ending in the fall and that Oliver made a deal with the Monitor at the end of “Elseworlds” that is guaranteed to play a role in “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”) While I understand the show can’t confirm Oliver’s fate so early, it’s still somewhat frustrating and distracting to hear everyone talk around him throughout the entire episode.

Mia and Felicity’s seemingly calm life in the woods is disrupted by the leading cause of drama on Arrow: lying. One night, Mia discovers that her mother isn’t just managing Smoak Technologies from their home; she also has a secret lair where she’s been hacking away, like the good ol’ days, to take down some corrupt company that involves Rene and Kevin Dale. Mia is pissed that her mother’s been lying to her and ends up running away because she now believes that vigilantism ruined their lives. So Mia escapes to Star City and uses Nyssa’s training to become Blackstar.
From there, we jump ahead an undisclosed amount of time and we find Mia and William scaling the wall of the Glades. Meanwhile, Roy, Dinah, and Zoe, who are still trying to find the bombs, receive a visit from an angry Rene. The Glades’ mayor explains that he’s working with Galaxy One to blow up Star City because he wants to rebuild it in the Glades’ image (how very Damien Darhk of them!). Apparently, Galaxy One has assured him that it will evacuate the city before any bombs go off, though. The team rightfully points out that Rene is being naïve if he believes that Galaxy One — which is a front for something called Eden Corps — actually cares about saving the citizens before the bombs go off. But, Rene ignores them.

NEXT: Team Arrow rides again

Billionaire Oliver Queen — under the vigilante persona of Arrow — tries to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society.