Well, hey, as much as I love Arrow, season 3 overall was a little letdown. While we would like to attribute that to the fame of the Flash, Arrow did have its own flaws. Thankfully, the writers have set up the one thing that could rectify those flaws: the Green Arrow. He did not fail this premiere.
Okay, before I go on, there are possibly going to be major SPOILERS ahead! I’m not giving away the whole story but there are certain plot points I can’t ignore. So if you haven’t watched the episode and are reading this to see if you should, let me summarise it for you: It’s good. So go watch it, then come back.
SPOILER BARRIER Similar to the Flash, Arrow’s season four premiere is set 6 months after the events of the Season 3 finale. Oliver and Felicity are settled in nice and comfortable, away from the mess that is now “Star City”. When the new swarm of villains proves too much for Team Arrow to handle, they call their arrowhead (HA!) back.
Enter season 4’s main nemesis: Damien Darhk.
Alarmed by the power Darhk possesses and sick of being the brooding, dark vigilante (that was so in fashion post-The Dark Knight), Queen takes up the title of the inspiring, improved hero: the GREEN ARROW. Well, at least now it means youcan make a left turn.
If you did not get that reference, stop ignoring the spoiler warnings. Turn around, take that walk of shame and go re-watch the episode.
The most notable difference in the new season is the treatment of Ollie’s character. The promise of the lighter tone towards Arrow has been upheld with us seeing much more of Oliver Queen’s happy and contended side. He seems to be extremely well settled with Felicity Smoak (who wouldn’t be?) almost ready to pop the question. Even with his dark past, in-love Oliver is very much at ease and actually embracing humor… which is odd, because seeing him smile just doesn’t feel right.
And in vein of this new Ollie, the Green Arrow now takes on a much more inspirational and a leader-like persona as the new vigilante. The new suit is actually a lighter shade of green too! Yet, what hasn’t changed is the friction between Diggle and Ollie, which is going to take a while to mend. The clash between the two characters (which pains me so, just forgive him already!), is brilliantly written and shows a lot of promise for some character drama between the two of them. Speaking of characters, Damien Darhk is no small fry. So far, he appears to be the most formidable foe Oliver and Team Arrow have been up against. Yes, even when compared to Ra’s Al Ghul. Casting for this character could not have been any better with Marvel Studios alum Neal McDonough playing the ex-bestie of Ra’s. And while it would seem like Damien’s just another dick clad in a tuxedo asking his henchmen to go around beating up people and stealing things, turns out he has he has mystical powers.
So I guess that makes him a mystical dick clad in a tuxedo.
However, in the midst of such great characters, the episode highlights the stark weaknesses of Laurel and Thea’s characters. Laurel Lance, while no longer relegated to being the damsel in distress, is now little more than a sidekick replacing her sister’s role, her position as femme fatale now compromised by Thea who just seems to be replacing Roy and barely has any development outside of being used as a reference point for Ollie’s own flaws from his early days. Hopefully, the rest of the season builds up these characters to their potential.
Also, with the tying up of loose ends from Season 3, the flashback storyline takes a back-seat apart from the agonizing tease of another green-clad superhero. (Seriously, just bring him into the show already!)
Coast City In the flashback scenes, Oliver ends up in Coast City, famous for its pizzas, beaches and one Hal Jordan a.k.a Green Lantern. With the color spectrum of emotions and Ferris Air introduced in Flash, it is surely only a matter of time before he gets his appearance in this universe.
H.I.V.E Not the first time this organization has been mentioned. Now, it is apparent that Damien Darhk has direct links with H.I.V.E and Diggle would have some information on this.
STAR City Starling city is renamed to the original name from the comics. It’s done in the memory of Ray Palmer who pitches the idea when taking over Queen Industries. The town assumes Ray passed away in the explosion but we know what’s up, don’t we?
Ivy Town The town Oliver and Felicity left Starling City for. In the comics, it is home to Ray Palmer, the Atom! At the end of season 3, he is caught in an explosion when experimenting with nanotech. Will we possibly have links between the tiny man and this town?
Jacket in Coast City Bar YOU HAVE GOT TO STOP TORTURING ME LIKE THIS. JUST SHOW HIM ALREADY.
Week long breaks like this makes blood pressure tablets an hourly necessity for me. A week is just too long, man.