Arrow season 7, episode 16, "Star City 2040" presented a story set entirely within the flashforwards to the not-too-distant future of a Star City fallen into dystopia. The action of the episode was largely focused on Mia "Blackstar" Smoak - the daughter of Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak. The story explored Mia's past, showing her upbringing, how she became estranged from her mother and why she developed a deep-seated hatred of vigilantes.
While the episode was a character-building piece for Mia, it also pushed forward on the central plotline of Arrow season 7's flashforwards. Someone was planning to blow up Star City to clear the way for an expansion of the Glades, which was once the worst neighborhood in Star City but later redeveloped into the ultimate gated community. The episode also revealed what makes the Glades unique and the envy of other cities is Archer - a CCTV-based security network that is run by an independent artificial-intelligence that is always watching for signs of trouble. Of course for the government of the Glades, which is overseen by the former Wild Dog, Rene Rodriguez, trouble is defined as any signs of vigilante activity.
Things came to a head between Rene and his former Team Arrow colleagues as they discovered he was aware of the bombing plot and he learned that his daughter Zoe had become one of a new gang of Black Canaries under Dinah Drake's leadership. This added a new sense of urgency to their mission, as the heroes of Star City worked to rescue a captured Felicity Smoak from the headquarters of the company revealed to be behind the bombing and simultaneously save their city. Here are all the questions Arrow-heads are asking after Arrow's "Star City 2040."
5. Why Did Nyssa Al Ghul Train Mia Smoak To Fight?
The opening scene of "Star City 2040" is a montage which shows Mia Smoak from birth to young adulthood. This scene also reveals just how Mia developed the amazing fighting skills that allowed her to excel as a pit-fighter in the Star City underground. While Mia may have had "impeccable genetics" (as her mother proudly noted), she also had the benefit of a fantastic combat training tutor - former League of Assassins member Nyssa Al Ghul.
While it makes sense that Felicity would want her daughter to be trained from birth to be able to defend herself and would seek out the best teacher possible, it is less clear why precisely why she would turn to Nyssa out of all the warriors she knows, or why Nyssa would agree to train Mia as an assassin in the first place. While Nyssa and Oliver parted ways amicably after their divorce in Arrow season 6, Felicity was still less than thrilled about the idea of Nyssa referring to Oliver as her husband and Felicity as her sister-wife.
The two women did eventually come to respect each other for their individual strengths, but their relationship was still frosty at best. Of course, Nyssa's belief that women should be able to protect themselves without depending on a man might be reason enough for her to train Mia on general principle. She may also have agreed to it as a way of honoring her ex-husband's memory, which would be a bit strange but would also fit Nyssa's complicated code of honor.
4. What Happens To Thea Queen In The Future?
The presence of Nyssa Al Ghul in this episode raises another question that came up early in Arrow season 7 - what happens to Thea Queen in the future? When Thea was last seen in season 6, she left Star City in the company of Roy Harper and Nyssa Al Ghul with the intention of finding and destroying all of the Lazarus Pits left on Earth to prevent other groups from attempting to restart the League of Assassins. Nothing has been said about the success or failure of that mission, but it was implied to be a failure given Roy Harper's skepticism about becoming involved in the hero business again when William Clayton found him on Lian Yu.
Roy also dodged the question when William asks him whatever happened to his Aunt Thea, in "The Longbow Hunters." While this doesn't necessarily mean that she died in action, it would explain why Thea never checked in on her nephew over the past two decades. It may also explain why Roy chose to live in exile even after he no longer had any reason to hide the fact that he was alive from the rest of the world.
3. What Is The Eden Corps?
When Dinah Drake asks her contact with the SCPD who arranged to have Felicity Smoak's murder faked, he fingers a group called Eden Corps. Dinah replies that Eden Corps hasn't been active for months. Her contact agrees, explaining that the group had been lying low but is active again and is operating out of Galaxy One - a company in the Glades that is a front for their operation. He also says that they're probably going "to start nuking cities again."
The Eden Corps name may be familiar to Arrow fans for several reasons. In the classic Green Arrow comics, the Eden Corps was an eco-terrorist group whom Oliver Queen attempted to infiltrate with the intention of bringing them down from the inside. He would go on to sacrifice himself in Green Arrow #101, in order to stop the Eden Corps' plot to unleash a biological weapon on Metropolis. The Eden Corps has also previously appeared in the Arrowverse as the terrorist group responsible for activating a nuclear weapon in Central City that pushed Barry Allen to new limits in the episode "Enter Flashtime."