In the season premiere of Arrow, we learned that someone has an inner Martha Stewart, some people have a hard time letting things go, and sometimes all you need is a name change to gain a little perspective. Let’s take a closer look at ‘Green Arrow,’ shall we?
Our season begins with Olicity, in what I am assuming is the same 6 month time jump as the The Flash, living in domestic bliss with a white picket fence and all the trimmings. Our playboy-turned-vigilante-turned-domestic-goddess has embraced his new life, and all is good. So good, in fact, that he’s about to pop the question to Felicity. Not so fast there, my dear Ollie! Just as he’s about to do the deed, Laurel and Thea show up, pleading with Oliver for his help.
Turns out, all hell has broken loose in Starling, oops I mean STAR City in the wake of Ray Palmer’s death and The Arrow’s absence. A new big bad has moved in, one the remaining vigilantes refer to as Ghosts, a set of mercenaries wreaking havoc around the city. The kind that kill themselves with cyanide capsules instead of being interrogated. Needless to say, the rag tag bunch is in way over their heads. Especially when the city council is attacked and everyone but Captain Lance is killed. Enter Damien Darhk and all his delicious, evil glory.
Felicity talks Oliver into returning, although he is adamant that it’s only short-term. Diggle is still unhappy about what happened with Lila and R’as and only begrudgingly decides to work with Oliver. With a little digging, they realize that Darhk’s play is to blow up the new high speed train station that links Star City to Central City. Of course, the good guys foil the plan, but not before they get a taste of Damien Darhk and his arrow stopping, life sucking, mystical powers. This is one serious big bad, and he needs a proper adversary. Oliver decides to stay in the city, donning the new suit that Cisco made for him before his brief retirement, and rebranding himself the Green Arrow. On TV. In a close-up. Sure, he used the voice changer, but everyone can see who he really is.
The episode closes with a few surprises. Turns out Captain Lance is working with Damien Darhk, although it seems to be rather reluctantly. This is an interesting turn for the character, given his previous stance on working within the confines of the law. It will be interesting to see what this new relationship is all about.
The second is through the use of time shifts. In the flashback sequences, we see Amanda Waller track Oliver down in Coast City (where we get a blink and you’ll miss it hint at Hal Jordan!) where she drugs and kidnaps him, before forcing him back to Lian Yu. In a flash forward sequence to six months from now, we see Oliver and Barry Allen at a gravesite. Ollie tells Barry that he knows the death isn’t his fault, but he will make the killer pay. The identity of the dead person has yet to be revealed.
Okay, so this was a pretty awesome way to start off the new season. I will fully admit that season 3 was pretty up and down and kind of lost some of the magic that the series had over its first two seasons. I think that the showrunners were more interested in getting the R’as Al Ghul mythos out there that they didn’t really think the entire thing through, leading to uneven storytelling. It looks like they are heading back in the right direction with the introduction of Damien Darhk. Neal McDonough brings a slithery, darkness to the role and I can’t wait to see him in action through the rest of the season.
I also really like that they aren’t going to be glossing over the Thea and the Lazarus Pits stuff. It’s obvious she’s got some issues that stem from both he psychopathic father (I miss John Barrowman, he needs to come back soon!) and her dip in the pits. I am interested to see what her blood-thirstiness leads to and where exactly it takes her.
And finally, how happy was I to see the island again? I felt the flashbacks from last season were completely unnecessary and kind of shoe-horned in to give Maseo a reason to betray R’as. They just didn’t flow with the rest of the storylines and were rather unbelievable (and yes, I realize that striving for believability in a show based on a comic book is kind of ridiculous. So sue me!). The flashbacks were at their best when they were on the island and I am really happy to be going back there. Hopefully the magic will return with the change of setting. And that flash forward was just enough to keep even the most hard-core doubter intrigued. An excellent start to what is hopefully an excellent season.
Make sure to check back for updates – right here on Geek Nation.
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