Spoilers ahead for Episode 17 of Arrow Season 7, called “Inheritance.”
Arrow will come to an end after its eighth and final season next fall, but the Arrow-verse is still going strong thanks to The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, despite Supergirl primarily taking place over on Earth-38. Naturally, fans didn’t waste time beginning to speculate that an Arrow spinoff could be in the works to continue expanding on Oliver Queen’s legacy. Emiko Queen’s emergence as Oliver’s younger and previously-unknown sister seemed like she was being set up to step into the spotlight as the Green Arrow of Star City.
Now, after the events of “Inheritance,” it looks like Arrow is probably not setting Emiko up as the leading lady of a spinoff, if a spinoff does happen. Emiko showed her true colors in the latest episode, and those true colors aren’t very pretty for somebody who would star in a superhero series unless it was a show about the Suicide Squad. Or Ghost Initiative, I suppose.
As it turns out, the hints that Emiko is up to something shady and has an alliance with Dante weren’t red herrings. “Inheritance” didn’t beat around the bush in revealing that Oliver’s sister is very much one of the bad guys, and not just because of Emiko ditched the green hood and showed off an intense eye makeup game. Seriously, does that girl have a squad of evil minions whose sole job is maintaining her eyeshadow?
Emiko did actually try to convince Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow that she was still one of the good guys for a while, and Wild Dog was convinced that he could trust his instincts that she wasn’t up to anything. Laurel tried to warn Oliver that his sister wasn’t to be trusted, and it guaranteed that Emiko saw her as an enemy.
Throw in some flashbacks revealing Dante as the man who had trained Emiko, some stolen drones and sarin gas, and Emiko barking orders as the person in charge of the evildoing of the week, and it’s pretty clear who the new baddie is. In fact, I have to wonder if Emiko is the real big bad of the season. If The Flash can switch Cicadas as the big bad of its season, why can’t Arrow do it?
Whether she is or is not the big bad at this point doesn’t necessarily matter, even though she did set up Laurel to lose everything by leaking a photo of her with Diaz from her Black Siren days, setting the stage for the “Birds of Prey”-esque episodethat’s coming. What does matter is that Emiko might not be redeemable enough that she could anchor her own Arrow-verse show.
That’s not to say that Arrow can’t go the extra mile to try and redeem her. Oliver did some pretty awful things via flashback, and even his early days as the Hood made him seem more like a serial killer than a superhero. Besides, if Oliver could forgive Slade Wilson enough to work with him, he can probably get over what Emiko did if she comes to truly regret her decision. Could Arrow redeem Emiko enough for folks to want to watch her in a solo show?
I’d argue not. There aren’t that many episodes left in Arrow, considering Season 8 will run for only ten before the series comes to an end. The ratings aren’t great and haven’t been for a while. If — and it truly is a big if at this point — Arrow does want to launch a spinoff, gambling that viewers will want to tune in to watch the young woman who betrayed all the heroes would be a huge risk.
Besides, there’s another Arrow candidate ideally suited to carry on the legacy of Oliver Queen, and a recent episode illustrated that her show could be awesome. The all-flash-forward episode of Season 7 starred Katherine McNamara as Mia Smoak, a.k.a. the daughter of Felicity and Oliver. That’s two legacies right there!
Throw in Mia’s half-brother William and John Diggle’s adopted son Connor Hawke, and there’s an Original Team Arrow 2.0 set up and ready to go. If Nora zooms back to the future from The Flash, she could even join up, and crossovers wouldn’t be out of the question just because the Mia spinoff would be set in the future. Legends of Tomorrow is literally a show about time-travel, and the Legends frequently break the rules.
Legends of Tomorrow is also proof that an Arrow-verse show doesn’t necessarily have to be part of every crossover to still very much be a part of the universe. A spinoff set in the future would also simplify the situation if few members of the Arrow cast want to stick around The CW. Stephen Amell was ready for the show to end, and it’s probably safe to say that others are as well.
Instead of major characters moving away from Star City for some reason, they could just not be in the mix in the future. Who knows? Maybe Emiko could come back as a villain. She did just hijack Felicity’s Archer program in “Inheritance,” and Archer is a big deal in the future.
So, if Arrow does go for a spinoff, my money at this point would be on Mia rather than Emiko as the star. Obviously only time will tell. Batwoman hasn’t even scored a series order yet, and that project has been in the works for a while. Any Arrowspinoff — starring Mia or Emiko or anybody else — would likely be a ways off.