Black Siren is out of the picture on Arrow, but the Ninth Circle is shaping up to be this year’s big bad. Last week’s episode seemingly gave the Laurel of Earth-2 a fitting sendoff. More importantly, Oliver Queen finally found a piece of info that could win over his estranged half-sister, Emiko. Her mother was murdered on the order of Dante, the leader of the Ninth Circle. Unfortunately, both Dante and Emiko have proven to be elusive. In Arrow season 7 episode 19, John Diggle reluctantly turned to someone from his past for help.
Who You Gonna Call?
Dante got away again after Oliver and Diggle foiled his attempt to steal a Department of Defense vault drive. Reluctantly, Diggle took Oliver to meet General Roy Stewart, his step-father. Stewart was genial towards Diggle, but he declined to be helpful. Diggle was also openly hostile towards Stewart, much to Oliver’s surprise. Later, Felicity and Alena were attacked by Dante and his men inside Smoak Tech. Stewart’s forces repelled Dante and rescued the women. However, Dante escaped with Archer, Felicity’s advanced surveillance program.
After the incident, Oliver brought Stewart into the team’s headquarters, although Diggle continued to be frosty towards him. When Diggle and Stewart investigated a lead, they were captured by the Ninth Circle.
Stewart endured torture to retain his military secrets. Yet he immediately folded when Diggle was tortured. He even gave up his intel about a biological weapon called Cygnus X-1. Afterwards, Diggle’s anger turned to amazement as Stewart used his shoelace to cut his binds. They contacted Team Arrow through Diggle’s helmet and made their escape.
In the aftermath, they worked closely together to find the Ninth Circle and destroy Archer. Oliver even dug up the truth about Diggle’s real dad. Apparently Diggle’s father didn’t die a hero, as he was always led to believe. Instead, Stewart allowed Diggle to hate him while worshiping his father to mold him into a hero. The two men reconciled their differences and parted on good terms. Meanwhile, Felicity contemplated what to do now that Archer was gone.
The Truth About Emiko
During the battle with the Ninth Circle, Oliver finally came face-to-face with Emiko. Naturally, she didn’t believe him when he told her that Dante had her mother killed. But Oliver’s sincerity appeared to wear her down, especially when he told her that he cared about her. Dante interfered in the moment and ushered her away. Later, Emiko shot several arrows into Dante’s body and demanded to know why he killed her mother.
Dante admitted doing it because he felt Emiko’s mother made her weak. In response, Emiko murdered Dante. However, she showed no signs of wanting to turn on the Ninth Circle.
In the future, Mia and Connor tried to find a specific part to examine the high tech helmet of the Galaxy One trooper who slaughtered the Canaries. Connor revealed his association with the Deathstroke gang. More importantly, the gang itself was led by John Diggle Jr., who grew up to hate his parents. Connor told Mia that he and J.J. were once close. Unfortunately, J.J. ordered his men to kill Connor while he was there.
After making their escape, Connor and Mia returned to Felicity. She then informed them that Galaxy One was using a version of her Archer tech. That makes their new operatives virtually unstoppable. Elsewhere, a private army of Galaxy One soldiers prepares to march.
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