Arrow Re-Nocked is back for season four of Arrow! I’m going to be copying the same format I use for my The Flash Zoom-In for these reviews, which should give you a bit more of my opinions and less me recapping an episode you’ve hopefully already seen!
Warning: SPOILERS may follow!
1. While I for the most part enjoyed season three of Arrow, a lot of people were very down on it and tired of the tone and story that came along with Ras Al Ghul and the League of Assassins. I was a bit worried that this season’s big bad Damien Darhk would just be another Ras with his own League called H.I.V.E. but I was dead wrong. I was pleasantly surprised by both Neal McDonough’s acting and the character himself. When Ras talked about him last season, he made it sound like Damien was just a weaker version of himself, because Ras ended up beating him out in the running to become the next Ras. What is awesome and frankly the best part of this new season is that Damien introduces the dark mystical arts into the CW DC Universe. The fact that they’re brave enough to do magic before the giant film studios that is Marvel did, really shows that The Flash isn’t the only show with the balls to take risks when sticking with the comics, Arrow now does as well (and Constantine but it got cancelled and will make an appearance in Arrow). I mean… he stops freakin’ arrows with his mind! Awesome!
2. Olicity! With the relationship between Oliver and Felicity having taken off last season, there is a completely reasonable excitement for us fans, who aren’t all full grown men like myself, to be excited about this new season. With the promise of Arrow becoming slightly lighter and upbeat this season compared to the last two seasons, we get some hilarious scenes of suburban couple Ollie and Felicity. While I’m not sure how I feel about Felicity’s reaction and lying to Ollie when it came to helping Team Arrow, I really enjoyed this brief moment seeing our favorite couple trying their hand at a normal life. I really liked the parallels of Oliver running through the woods, which made me flash back to season one episode one, but having him instead exit the woods into a cul-de-sac neighborhood where he lives. Even though they return to Starling City in the end, I really hope the #Olicity story continues throughout this season!
3. Oliver finally comes back into his role in this episode, but I feel like he did it unrealistically slow. No matter who Oliver was trying to become, I don’t think the Oliver we’ve scene grow over the past three seasons would stand by while innocent people are being threatened or killed. I really didn’t care for this element of tension where Oliver just paced around the new Arrow Cave when everyone else is trying to stop a massive threat. In the end all it took was Felicity telling him she didn’t want to be a boring suburban couple to make Ollie change his mind? That reminds me… Did Oliver ever finish going through his Dad’s book of names? Did he forget his goal of fixing his father’s mistakes just because Ras got into his head? I’m glad that this episode is over and we can start seeing the real Green Arrow. While his televised speech was a bit cheesy in how they brought it about, it was nonetheless kind of awesome. Go Ollie go.
4. The flashbacks really didn’t do a whole lot for me this episode. Honestly, they haven’t been doing a whole lot for me since Oliver got off the island at the end of season two. Really all I remember about last season, was Ollie and Maseo running around China chasing people and Akio dying to the virus. Although in this episode it was funny to see Oliver try to commit his first act as a hooded vigilante. When he failed and fell off the building I couldn’t help but smile, but I’m starting to get to the point of thinking that Oliver is a mere two years away from season one episode one and he doesn’t have a whole lot of the skills he shows then (or half the scars). All we’ve really got left to go through is the Russian mob history and heaven forbid his training by the League. This premiere had a pretty awesome sky diving sequence though. Welcome back to Lian Yu Ollie.
5. Let’s sit down and talk some Team Arrow for a moment. Thea is now Speedy who wants to be called The Red Arrow, and she’s entering Roy-like frenzies where she wants to just stab the crap out of some random bad guys. Dig is now Magneto without any of Magneto’s powers, and Laurel is… well she’s a version of Black Canary that’s gotten way stronger physically, worse at actually fighting and already ignoring her sonic scream collar. I had a hard time believing that Laurel could pounce into the police station in full get up without anyone there recognizing her. Sure people were getting killed and what not, but honestly they should have kept the blonde wig. Finally, why is it wrong that Thea stab someone when Dig is busting caps like it’s no one’s business? Don’t tell me those are ‘stun bullets’ because that’s a load of crap. Even if his aim is dead on, there’s no way he doesn’t accidentally kill a few.
6. Lastly let’s talk about the second of this episode everyone is flipping out over, myself included… Hal Jordan. Well not actually him, but his neck and his jacket. Okay, so we have no clue if that’s even him, it could be anyone with the last name of Jordan, but that is an old fashioned fighter pilot jacket. Can the CW just stop jerking us around by our ears and just tell us if we’ll ever see Hal or any Green Lantern or not? I know that they’ve been around saying that it’s just a wink to the fans, but honestly it’s getting to the point of being cruel. Now it seems like they’re saying “Well we could give you Hal Jordan if we secured the rights, but we don’t want to go through all that hassle so here’s his jacket”. I’m holding out that we’ll get a Lantern cameo. Please? At least give us Guy Gardner, you know WB isn’t going to be using him!
This episode was a really fun and intriguing start for the fourth season of Arrow. If you weren’t drawn back into the show by the end of this episode, then you probably won’t care too much for the rest of the season, because the twist at the end of this episode was crazy! I’ve been talking with my colleagues here at GWW about who’s grave Oliver is seen crying over at the end of this episode and I’ve come up with a few ideas. Firstly, the show obviously wants us to think it was Felicity’s grave due to Felicity’s lines directly before the scene… It’s not her grave. Honestly, if it was Felicity’s grave Barry would be way more torn up too. My theory at this point is that it’s Laurel or Speedy with the minor possibility of Diggle. Fans love Diggle, Felicity and Thea (since last season) but I don’t come across many who are that attached to Laurel. Even Oliver in the comics divorced Dinah (Laurel) Lance, so I can see them wanting to mess with our heads before finally delivering the safe exit of Laurel. It would be okay with the fans and devastating for Oliver, so I’m betting on that play since it’d make the most sense. Plus with Sara returning in Legends of Tomorrow, do we really need two Canaries? Nope!
The winner of The Flash vs Arrow this week for me is clearly Arrow. While The Flash‘s ending got me pumped for episode two, the ending of Arrow‘s premiere has me pumped for the entire season. See you next week Arrow fans!