Wednesday, June 19, 2024

I like my women… misguided

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Seven years ago when Arrow started its run, nobody thought it would lay the foundation for an entire universe. The wide assembly of women in the show was one of the reasons that also inspired this series. It’s time to pay homage to the many great women created trough the 7 seasons of Arrow. Let’s start things of with a closer look on the first part of female characters of the show: women who were misguided but found their way.

Moira Queen

Moira was a women of high social standing. She came from a old highly regarded family and was practically Starling City’s royalty—no pun intended.

She was a successful businesswoman and philanthropist who had an impeccable image even though her marriage to Robert Queen was far from perfect. Both parties had numerous affairs, which often resulted in children, but in the public eye they seemed like the perfect family.

As the matriarch of the family, Moira always took charge of social events but she didn’t shy away from business. After her husband’s death she became the CEO of Queen Consolidated. Preventing the company’s bankruptsy.

She was always shown as a poised madam and often seemed cold or aloof. You couldn’t be more wrong. Moira had a fire inside of her but knew that you had to keep your calm to achieve your goals. With that being said, there are multiple scenes were her emotions are shown for example her meeting with Oliver when he returns from the island or her determination and confidence during her mayoral campaign.

The Queen matriarch was a problem solver and wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. Her decisions often had bad consequences, as shown by the Undertaking, but were motivated by her love of family and the need to protect and provide them with the best live.

Also the redemption story line for this character made me cry my eyes out. It showed the unconditional parental love to her children when Moira took the choice from Oliver and sacrificed her live for Thea’s. Doing that after we could watch how her character tried to better the lives she destroyed made the impact of her death even bigger.

Moira Queen was a character that strongly reminded me of old royalty with the way that she carried herself alas she was only human and often made huge mistakes. One thing is sure all her decisions were driven by the love for her children and her family’s well-being. She may have carried herself as a royal but she was first and foremost a mother. Never judging and always offering her strength and comfort to her children.

If there’s a possibly of being misguided for the right reasons that’s exactly what Moira Queen was.

Emiko Addachi (Queen)

Emiko was one of those surprise character that threw us for a spin on Arrow. She’s a new addition of season 7. Emiko is the result of one of Robert Queens many affairs. Growing up in the Glades with just her mother and a barely there Robert as father.

After Oliver’s imprisonment she became the new Green Arrow. Trying to serve justice in Star City. We don’t know much about her. She was trained by Dante and possesses skills very similar to Oliver’s. I would tentatively say their skill levels are even.

Her appearance on the show offered some family drama and a new way to explore sibling bonds and showed the hardships of building relationships between family members who grew up very differently.

As we slowly grow to like this knew long lost sister who can kick butt and isn’t easily intimidated or influenced by her older brother it is revealed that Emiko is this season’s bad guy or in her case girl. Being the leader of a criminal organisation called the Ninth Circle.

This revelation naturally puts a strain on the forming brother and sister relationship. Although it seems to only affect Oliver who want to persuade his to turn a new leaf and become good again. Emiko on the other hand seems just fine the way she is. Making the main villain this season a part of Oliver’s family adds to not only the characters but also the story, making it more emotional and complicated. Especially if we factor in the blind spot Oliver has for his family.

Emiko’s character raises the question of nature vs. nurture. It makes me wonder if she met someone else instead of Dante in her formative years if she could become different. It’s also important to remember that all of her actions including killing her mentor are motivated by the murder of her mother. The newest Queen is driven by grief and revenge. She will stop at nothing to avenge her mothers death, this draws parallels to the start of Oliver’s journey.

Emiko’s motivation also opens the door for questions about what’s to happen after she carried out her revenge.

Evelyn Sharp (Artemis)

We meet Evelyn shortly after the death of Laurel (the Black Canary). She is impersonating the fallen hero trying to avenge her dead parents. She’s just a teenager who suffered at the hands of Damien Darhk. That’s our first glimpse at this character.

We meet her again in season 5 when she joins the new recruits of team Arrow. Evelyn is smart, witty, and very athletic. She also knows some hand-to-hand combat, which makes her a bit more experienced than some of the other recruits. She quickly finds her way in vigilantism.

In the beginning she idolizes Oliver and finds his mission very honorable. Sadly after learning that the Green Arrow wasn’t always as honorable and just as he is now Evelyn starts to resent her mentor. The growing feelings of resentment and disappointment are used by Prometheus who lures the young girl in and strengthens this feelings. This made Artemis betray team Arrow as she became a spy for Adrian Chase.

We didn’t get a clear answer as to what happened to Evelyn after season 5. We can assume that she didn’t survive the explosion on the island.

One can’t really hold Evelyn’s choices against her. She was driven not only by the grief and disappointment but also by her inexperience. In the end she was just a young girl who trusted to easily and was taken advantage of although she seemed to accomplish her goal of revenge.

Talia al Guhl

Talia was the older daughter of Ra’s al Guhl. That alone had to make her a great warrior and strategist. It also couldn’t be easy while growing up with the Demon’s Head as a father.

Talia became Oliver’s teacher in Russia, she stands behind the brilliant advice of separating the Arrow and Oliver. We all know how that turned out.

She first appeared in one of season 5 twists when it’s revealed that she also taught Adrian Chase. We also learn that she was deeply hurt by the death of her father even though their relationship was strained. Talia’s relationship with her sister isn’t any better. It’s just a rivalry and there seems to be no love lost between these two.

After Lian Yu exploded we don’t hear about Talia till season 7 where she suddenly appears and reluctantly assists Oliver at Slabside’s level 2. Although one could argue that she only offered to help for personal gain. In the end only the assassin escapes from prison. In spite of the forced partnership both Talia and Oliver accomplish their goals as the assassin delivers evidence to Felicity after.

It’s hard not to compare Talia to a cat she seems to have as many lives as one and is equally as intelligent and independent. She always goes her own ways and pops up unexpectedly.

Earth-2 Laurel Lance (Black Siren)

Earth-2 Laurel Lance made an appearance on the Flash before she transitioned over to Arrow. In the beginning she impersonated Earth-1 Laurel. Felicity quickly discovered her ploy.

She started as a villain first with Prometheus and then Diaz. Black Siren was a ruthless killer with no remorse. She wanted only whats best for her and didn’t care who got hurt in the process.

On earth-2  Black Sirens  lost Oliver and her father was killed by a drunk driver. That shaped this Laurel into the person we met.

Although she is selfish and ruthless the producers send her on an interesting journey to redemption. It all started with a connection between her and Quentin Lance of Earth-1. His believe and love were the turning point for this character. After his death she assumed the identity of Earth-1 Laurel Lance and started to change. I have to admit I wasn’t the biggest Black Siren fan but she grew on me especially in season 7.

Although her arc doesn’t lack cringy moment like the fact that she taught herself law in just a couple of months. Ironically the scenes where she is a lawyer are some of my favorites.

It seems that Felicity picked up where Quentin left because the friendship between these two is my second most liked aspect of Black Sirens story. Everything shows us that this shouldn’t work but the two women became true friends. Although they had a rocky start and it seemed more like exchanging favors than friendship it slowly evolved to the point where they won’t give up on each other. Laurel stopped Felicity from killing Diaz and in return Felicity didn’t allow Black Siren to fall into old habits.

What tides everything together beautifully is that Laurel finally understood that she has to face her problems on Earth-2 before she can finally be a hero and with the original Black Canary’s suit as a parting gift she does just that. Her journey “ends” in a success. She becomes one of the Canaries in 2040.

Black Sirens story proves that even misguided you can find a road to redemption and accomplish your goals although there will be bumps in the road.

Arrow told us stories of misguided women who found their own way, be it to redemption or something else. All of these capable and strong women somehow lost their way and became misguided for some time but they proved to us that in the end you’ll find your way and become a version of yourself that makes you happy.

Images courtesy of the CW

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