Arrow's 150th episode made its debut tonight, and it brought fans some pretty satisfying nods in the process.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Arrow, "Emerald Archer", below!
The episode was structured around a documentary about Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Team Arrow, and how their vigilante work has impacted Star City. As the documentary crew continued filming, Team Arrow stumbled upon a masked man dubbed Chimera, who had been seemingly killing or attacking various other vigilantes and stealing their masks.
While there might not have been as many overt nods in "Emerald Archer" as there were in the show's 100th episode, "Invasion!", there was still quite a lot that caught our attention. So, what did we see? What did we miss? Read on to find out.
From the get-go, "Emerald Archer" made it clear that it wasn't an average Arrow episode -- right down to how the installment opened.
Instead of a traditional "My name is Oliver Queen" speech, the episode began with the fanfare and title card for Warner Bros. Pictures, before going into the documentary that made up a lot of the episode.
It was a delightfully tongue-in-cheek moment, one that utilizes DC and The CW's place in the Warner Bros. arsenal without having to create a fictional movie studio.
And of course, we have to talk about the narrator of the documentary, who is none other than Kelsey Grammer.
Grammer is perhaps best known for his work on Cheers and Frasier, as well as voicing Sideshow Bob throughout decades of The Simpsons. His brief appearance in Arrow is just his latest entry in the comic book adaptation space, with him previously playing Hank McCoy/Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand. (He also was rumored to portray The Chief in DC Universe's Doom Patrol, a role that ultimately went to Timothy Dalton.)
While Grammer's role in the episode sort of faded away as it went on, it still proved to be a pretty awesome use of the celebrity narrator trope, similarly to how iZombie utilized Paul Rudd for a fake documentary last season.
Of course, you can't have a landmark episode like without bringing back some of the show's previous characters, something that "Emerald Archer" did in spades.
Former main cast members like Thea Queen (Willa Holland), Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), and Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) all made appearances within the Emerald Archer documentary, as well as some other surprising faces as well.
Some of the episode's more supporting players also had noteworthy names, which honored the various people who have worked behind the scenes to bring Arrow to life.
One of those was the documentary's director, whose last name was known as Pedowitz -- a play on The CW president Mark Pedowitz.
One of the most unexpected returns in the episode was Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus), a
While Arrow had previously established that Sin's real name was Cindy, her last name was a new revelation -- and a pretty nice Easter Egg as well. The last name is a reference to Gail Simone, a beloved writer of the Birds of Prey comics who co-created Sin in 2006.
Another behind-the-scenes reference came with "Nutter and Winter", an intersection of streets where the SCPD found an injured Rene Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez).
Nutter was a reference to David Nutter, a prolific television director who helmed Arrow's pilot episode all those years ago. Nutter has also directed several episodes of The Flash, and the upcoming pilot for Batwoman.
Winter is a reference to Glen Winter, who served as Arrow's director of photography for Seasons 1 and 2, and one of the show's producers for Season 4. He also has served as a producer on The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.
The villain of the week was a foe almost uniquely suited for a kind of "very special episode", as his M.O. allowed for a sort of trip down memory lane of some of Star City's former vigilantes.
Once the villain was introduced, Curtis quickly gave him the nickname of "Chimera", something that largely stuck as the episode went on.
Weirdly, there are a lot of established DC characters who share the name of Chimera, although they don't really bare a resemblance to this episode's interpretation.
Another name-drop in the episode came with "Dr. Schwartz", the woman who was treating Emiko Queen (Shea Shimooka) when Oliver dropped her off at the hospital.
This served as a reference to current Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz, who has worked on the show since early on in Season 1. Originally serving as one of the show's writers, Schwartz became a co-producer starting in Season 4, and later took over for showrunner when Mark Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle stepped down.
Once Chimera was apprehended by Team Arrow and the SCPD, his real name was revealed -- and it was one heck of an Easter egg.
Chimera's full name was Kevin Meltzer, which definitely seemed to be a nod to former Green Arrow writers Kevin Smith and Brad Meltzer.
While Smith is probably best known as a director and podcaster, he ended up having a pretty memorable run on Green Arrow in 2001 and 2002. His arc with Oliver ultimately became Green Arrow: Quiver and Green Arrow: Sounds of Violence.
Meltzer ended up following Smith's Green Arrow run, penning 2002's Green Arrow: The Archer Quest.
And of course, the episode's final scene seemed to have dropped a pretty major DC Comics name.
At some point in the Arrowverse's future, Maya/Blackstar (Katherine McNamara) could be seen watching the Emerald Archer documentary, despite Connor Hawke (James Arnold Taylor) pointing out that it was technically outlawed in the post-apocalyptic Star City. As Connor pointed this out, he seemed to call Maya "Mia".
For Green Arrow fans, that name certainly holds a significance, as Mia Dearden is the one who holds the Speedy mantle in the comics. While the comic version of Mia essentially served as the inspiration for Thea, the fact that a character in Arrow's future might have that name certainly feels noteworthy.9comments
Arrow airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.