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SEASON PREMIERE REVIEW: Arrow 4×01 “Green Arrow”

Written by Scott Swartz

Aw shit now we have a ticking clock you son of a bitch, now I have to be more neurotic and analytical about who it is that bites the big one at the end of the season. Oh and also it was a pretty good episode by it’s own merits and really made up for a lot of the awfulness that was in season three. “Green Arrow” manages too reset the table in a ton of different ways in sort of the opposite way that The Flash cleared the board. We knew Oliver was coming back into the fray, we knew that the majority of the team would be hesitant to welcome him back with open arms after the shit he pulled, but no matter how this all shakes out we know that big changes are coming and that our heroes will definitely have some major changes coming down the pipe.

Lets start out with the part that many people will either love or hate, Oliver and Felicity being a couple which despite all arguments against it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Felicity has managed to bring out a lighter side in Oliver and that is great because brooding Ollie has kind of run his course in terms of a character arc. I also really enjoyed the fact that it was Felicity who wants to continue helping the team and staying on mission as opposed to Ollie who truly wants to let go and try to be normal for the first time since the island. Granted, some of their dialog and interactions were grating, but the overall vibe of their relationship seems to work out great. I am slightly confused by the fact that Ollie is already attempting to propose to Felicity after only having been dating for six months, that is super fast in way to many ways to count.

As for the rest of the team, well each of them has their own problems to deal with in the wake of Ollie’s return with Diggle and Thea being at the top of that list. I love the fact that Diggle has not forgiven Ollie for what he did while with the League and seemingly will need a lot of time to get over the fact that Ollie kidnapped Lyla and threatened Sara. Similarly, I like the moment where the team doesn’t move after Oliver gives them orders as it helps to show just how much respect the team has for Diggle as a leader and a friend. It was a simple moment that spoke volumes about how the team views Diggle’s commitment to the cause. As for Thea, it appears we are finally seeing the effects of the Lazarus Pit begin to take hold as she not only nearly beats one of the ghosts to death, but almost stabs him for good measure. It is clear Diggle and his team have become lax in the whole “we don’t kill” mantra Ollie set forth in season two, but damn, they were dropping a lot of bodies tonight. Hopefully the team realizes soon enough that something is indeed off with Thea and some major interventions can take place to combat the Lazarus rage.

As for the big bad of the season, Damien Darhk, he sure knows how to make a scenery chewing entrance. Neal McDonough absolutely nailed and managed to separate himself from all of our previous villains as he is not only a commanding presence but he is unafraid to take center stage and actually make his presence know to the entire city. This manages to set him apart entirely from our previous villains who always used their anonymity as a way to impose fear in Ollie. Darhk revels in making sure everyone knows just how dangerous and powerful he is and that makes him all the more terrifying to Team Arrow as he seemingly has nothing to fear. His entire “kill all of the puppies” speech gave chills in a way I really never felt from Ra’s last year, if anything Damien is seemingly the Ra’s we should have been given before. I am interested to know why Lance is working for Darhk since both Diggle and Lance are supposedly the moral compass for our show. It should be interesting to watch play out.

As for the big reveal at the end I am both happy and annoyed as now that we know someone is going to die we have to wonder who it will be and who Ollie is aiming to take revenge on. It is interesting that it will happen in six months which should put us right before the season finale or our usual march break episodes. We may even get to see some fallout as we know this is indeed a major character which narrows down our options to the members of Team Arrow. Smart money is probably on Felicity or Diggle considering Thea “died” last year and their deaths would have the largest impact on Ollie, but I just don’t know how this will all play out.

Overall we are definitely taking the right first steps for season four to reclaim some of the greatness that was Arrow.

Final Grade B+

+Olicity material was the right balance

+New Team Arrow dynamic

+Damien Darhk being a proactive Big Bad

+The ending

-Ollie occasionally being really whiny

-Being randomly being dropped into the flashbacks

Extra Thoughts

-That ladies and gentlemen is probably as close as we will ever get to having Hal Jordan actually appear on TV.

-Thought I would point out that in the flash forward Ollie knows about Zoom and understands Barry’s absence. I like that the League is communicating on some level.

-So in what world did Ollie think that three Arrows would work if Darhk is magically stopping them.

About the author

Scott Swartz