Arrow: Green Arrow

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

 

After a season full of struggles, “Green Arrow” tries to avoid the missteps the show made in its third season.

 

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

 

Let’s start with this: season three was average. It wasn’t great, nor was it awful. Really, it could’ve been a lot worse (like early Gotham season one bad). The problem was that season two showed what the Arrow was capable of. It was absolutely fantastic. So, to see the series flounder in the junior run was frustrating. There were so many problems that could’ve been easily fixed.

 

With that out of the way, “Green Arrow” was significantly better than 80% of what Arrow did in all of season three combined. I’m really excited to see where the season is going. If the flash-forward was any indication, both Arrow and The Flash should be a fun ride.

 

I loved that they opened the episode with Oliver running in the suburbs. Every single season has opened with him running (Season one and two: running on the island; season three running next to a train track), so keeping with that tradition made me smile.

 

After 70 episodes, Oliver Queen is officially the Green Arrow, who lives in Star City, and has a suit closer to comic canon. Look who’s embracing their comic roots. It’s marvelous. Between his inaugural Green Arrow speech and the sentiment he expressed in the flash-forward, this is truly a new Oliver. He now knows that the world doesn’t revolve around him, he’s not the reason bad stuff happens, and he’s no longer selfish.

 

From just this one episode, Damien Darhk is already an immensely better villain than Ra’s al Ghul. It looks like the show learned from its many mistakes with Ra’s. Darhk is front and center, has a cool mystical air about him (Yep, he stopped arrows midair with this magic. It was awesome.), and it helps that Neal McDonough is the actor portraying him. They couldn’t have gotten a better actor to play this season’s baddie. And to have Captain Lance aligned with him is a major plus.

 

Oliver and Felicity’s suburban domestic bliss – well apparently just Oliver’s – was explored in the early part of the episode. I like that Felicity was the one who needed to go back to Star City. It’s a testament to both characters’ development. Oliver was happy leaving the darkness behind and Felicity needed the purpose of helping people. Oliver realized that he could be the hero the city needed him to be and embraced his newfound lightness. Hey, bonus points, Felicity didn’t cry this episode.

 

Arrow did something they’ve never done before: had a flash-forward. It was a significant one at that. This storytelling device is a tricky one. It’s a cool when executed properly, but can easily paint the writers into a corner and have a horrible outcome. The fact that Barry said Zoom kept him away from the funeral was another nice touch. It’s a nice little preview of what’s to come on that series as well.

 

I don’t know how I feel about the flashbacks being back on the island. Hong Kong was a huge misstep for the series. The island was a little worn out after the first two seasons, but you can’t get better than both Slade and Sara on the island. Fingers crossed that the Russians have some kind of compound on that island, because it’s about time we saw that part of his flashbacks.

 

Before they went back to the island, he was in Coast City for a little bit. If I had it my way, the flashbacks would have stayed in Coast City. And, yep, that was Hal Jordan you saw, or rather you saw his jacket. That’s another aspect I have mixed feelings about. We already knew he existed in their universe because The Flash made a comment about a pilot from Coast City disappearing, so to only show him from the neck down was evil. But it was one heck of an Easter egg.

 

Thankfully Arrow isn’t done with Thea’s Lazarus Pit experience. Malcolm kept going on and on about how the Lazarus Pit changes a person. And that storyline was dropped in the final episodes of season three. So to see the show go back to it is very reassuring.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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