HOLLYWOOD—It has been quite some time since we last spoke about the CW series “Arrow.”  Season 6 really ended on an epic note with Oliver Queen being exposed as the Arrow and being taken to jail. Yes, America, the writers did that. Did I expect that to ever transpire? Not in a million years, but it shows the series is not afraid to tap in dangerous waters to say the least.

The seventh season kicked off with the episode, ‘Inmate 4587’ showing a stark reality for our hero behind bars. As a viewer, you’re not concerned about Oliver’s wellbeing behind bars. We know he can take care of himself, but you can only push a person so far before they snap. We’ll discuss more of that later. The public sphere being unaware of the hero’s identity is always a strong selling point, it seems once that is exposed it changes all, so I like that “Arrow” is willing to take that risk and drive the narrative in a direction that is unexpected for fans.

Oliver is having haunting dreams; those dreams involve Felicity and William being in danger as a direct result of Oliver’s nemesis Diaz being on the loose. Diaz wants his revenge against Oliver and eliminating the people Oli care about most is key. Let’s be honest Felicity and William are Oliver’s driving force behind bars, he is counting down the days until he’s released.

Back in Starling City, someone is posing as the Arrow and it has Dinah, who has taken on the position of Chief of Police looking to nab the perp. One thing that is certain, we know it’s not Oliver, but I have my suspicions which I will explain a bit later. This seventh season seems like a reboot, everyone has been given a fresh start including Rene, Oliver, Felicity, William, Diggle and Dinah; the heroes we know, aren’t really the same people anymore. They have changed and taken different trajectories in the world without Oliver being behind bars.

Rene is busy teaching boxing and the art of discipline, Dinah is loving her role as the authoritative figure in Starling City, Laurel is ever-present as the Mayor, but it seems crime in Starling City is still prevalent. If anything the criminals have appeared to amplify their dirty dealings knowing they have nothing to fear, but they do. Felicity has gone back to her hacker style and has made it her mission to protect William at all cost, but it’s apparent she is scared to death of being hunted by Diaz and Oliver not being by her side.

Oliver met a new buddy in the pen, but our hero was in no mode to make new friends or protect those who cannot protect themselves. At first I thought it was just Oliver being cold, but I had to take a moment and reflect: he’s trying to get back to his family. One mistake behind bars, one fight, one casualty and his stay is extended. I will admit Dinah annoyed me to new heights with her new ethics and moral code; take a look in the mirror you were doing all types of illegal stuff last year.

Just as Dinah was about to make her bust on the new vigilante or ‘Arrow’ in the shadows, Rene created a diversion to allow our hero to escape. My theory has me thinking this person is Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) who returns as a series regular this season. Not 100 percent certain, but the final moments of the episode, which appears to be a flash forward seemed to confirm that theory; more on that in a bit.

Oliver’s worst fear was confirmed when Diaz located Felicity and William and a brutal fight emerged, where Felicity looked like a goner, but Diggle and crew came to her rescue in a nick of time. There was so much emotion in this episode, because watching Felicity pour out her fears to Oliver who could do nothing, but ask her to re-enter the witness protection program was disheartening. She didn’t want to live in fear and hurrah for her because anyone who has been a victim of a crime understands that wholeheartedly. You want to be in control of your life, not someone else dictating when and where you go.

Oliver, realizing some of his enemies behind bars were responsible for the attack on Felicity and his son, decided to enact a bit of justice in brutal fashion. Oli realized prison is a hard place to survive, but at the same time he would not compromise his morals. I loved every minute of it because it was almost like the security guards wanted Oli to put a beating on a few people and rightfully so.

Now the final moments of the show totally threw me for a loop, as that guy who had been running through the woods of some secluded place was revealed to be a much older William, who was sent there by Oliver. The big surprise, that mystery figure lurking in the woods was none other they an aged Roy Harper. So how does Roy play into all this and what is this future glimpse supposed to tell the audience. Is something inevitable going to happen to our hero? “Arrow” has moved to a new night people, Mondays at 8 p.m. on the CW.