Arrow kicked off its seventh season with a new person wearing the hood of the Green Arrow, and the midseason finale (not counting Arrow's leg of the "Elseworlds" crossover) finally revealed that none other than Emiko Queen stepped up as the new Emerald Archer. Comic fans knew Emiko as Oliver's half-sister by way of Robert Queen, and the episode didn't shy away from the family connection. Now, Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz has weighed in on why Emiko came to Season 7:
The intention wasn't to replace Thea, or once one sister left to introduce a new sister. We were just excited about this character from the comic books, and we just felt like it was time to bring her into the fold. [The fact that] Queen secrets are still happening from the grave, I thought, was really interesting, and that there was a whole hidden life that Oliver that didn't know about.
Thea Queen was once a key part of Arrow as Oliver's half-sister, and a hole was left in the show after her departure in Season 6 with no indication of if and when she might return. According to Beth Schwartz, however, Thea's departure had nothing to do with the arrival of Emiko, and the purpose was not simply to fill the "sister" hole in the ensemble. As it turns out, the Arrow team just wanted to debut a version of an intriguing comic book character.
Oliver's reaction to the news that he has another sister is difficult to predict at this point, but I wouldn't blame him if he just rolls his eyes at how his parents manage to continue complicating his life even after they died. The poor guy's family drama just never ends. That said, he's become more of a family man in recent years, taking in his son and marrying Felicity. He may welcome the extra help as well!
Perhaps he'll welcome an unexpected little sister, even if he does meet her because she took on his superhero mantle while he was in the clink. We'll have to wait and see. My biggest question at this point is of the identity of Emiko's mother. In the comics, Emiko is the daughter of Robert Queen and Shado, and that is very unlikely to hold true in the show for oh-so-many reasons.
Will Emiko's mom on Arrow be somebody fans recognize, or a brand new character? We've only been able to speculate throughout the winter hiatus so far, but Beth Schwartz promised in her chat with EW that an answer on that front is forthcoming, saying this about the midseason premiere:
We're gonna really be seeing a lot from her perspective. We have a really cool, fun opening where we learn about her mission [and] why she's taken up the Green Arrow suit. We'll explain in this episode who her parents are.
The midseason premiere is titled "My Name Is Emiko Queen," so that at least seems to confirm what the midseason finale claimed about Emiko's father. Her reasons for taking on the mantle of the Green Arrow definitely remain a mystery at this point. Has she secretly lived in Star City and formed an attachment to it? Does she feel a connection to her brother and/or father, and so wants to help the city because of them? How did she learn her skills to pass as the Green Arrow?
The very good news is that we don't have that much longer to wait. After more than a month off the air, Arrow is returning with a new episode on Monday, January 21 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. For more superhero premiere dates, swing by our 2019 midseason premiere schedule.