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Arrow Season 4 Episode 1 Review – ‘Green Arrow’

Welcome back to Star(ling) City- actually re-named in honor of the dearly departed Ray Palmer (who may or may not have shrunken himself to the size of an Atom before he was blown up). I actually was more intrigued, I”ll say, for this premiere than the Flash because it had the most potential to regroup and rebrand itself in a new light following a much maligned Season 3: So, let’s talk about…
HOLD ON- SPOILER ALERT!
Oliver and Felicity have found domestic peace– scenic cul-de-sac home, momosas with the neighbors and souffles? Yes, domesticity fits everyone apparently, including Oliver. It was strangely refreshing seeing him in this manner, and immediately relieves tension held over from a Season where he kidnapped his best friends wife and left their infant daughter alone, while pledging himself to a mass murderer- it’s hard to remember those dark days 4 months ago when Ollie’s trading recipes with Barb and showing off his engagement ring for Felicity. Even “Ollicity” shows new strength and a new comfortability inside faux-Arrow HQ as they are dragged back into the hero lifestyle (although it appears Felicity never left). This presents another cool wrinkle in the thread: She was bored! Oliver completely adjusted to their peaceful life because well, frankly, he’s never had one and Felicity found herself still drawn to the exciting everyday madness that is the life of The Vigilante, the Arrow, whatever name you want to use. It’s a dynamic in their relationship that leaves a lot of room to explore this season.
Arrow 401 (7)
No, Diggle does not trust Oliver…..yet– As much as we may want to forget the twists and turns that elicited some groans last season, it’s imperative to Diggle’s character the he doesn’t. And He doesn’t. I dug the scene where Diggle gets some rug time with the family and scenes like that were sorely lacking from last season that only need a few seconds to let breathe the cold hard truth of what Diggle is fighting for; so when he tells Oliver what they need to do to “save My city” you hear a fresh take on Oliver’s old voice coming from his friend. But, as much as Diggle doesn’t trust him (and doesn’t argue his wife too much when she basically relates to what Oliver did to them, which is a little absurd) he knows Oliver’s value; as Diggle FINALLY has a costume. Do we hate it or love it? He looks like a mix between Magneto and whatever that stupid character Ryan Gosling tried to play with the scorpion jacket (25 bonus points for any fan who knows the name of that movie!). This relationship may take center stage once again this season and I’m very excited to see where it goes.
Arrow 401 (3)
Wait, Oliver was the Hood before he came back to Starling…..and hold on, he is back on Lian Yu?– Flashbacks are not gone! So, Oliver spent some time in a hood and bad eye makeup before his vigilante days at home; that’s interesting- and it’s early Oliver so he messed up pretty badly. Amanda Waller is still stalking in the bushes and drugs Oliver before forcing him back to Lian Yu for another fun island caper. With Oliver off island last season, it almost felt like they had to revisit that place to fully dig in to the idea that he was returning home from a hell on that island; or else the first season isn’t fully clicking anymore. Waller tells Oliver in the bar “The only way out is through,” Olive repeats the quote before succumbing to his date rape drug- but it’s an interesting phrase to be using at this moment in the show; as this is the most peaceful we’ve seen Oliver yet. Could this foretell Oliver having to use the old methods to get results? Our premiere ending flash-forward would seem to point in that direction. 6 months later, we know someone has died; someone close to not only Oliver but Barry Allen; common sense would tell you it’s Felicity- and if I may do a bit of predicting, if comic lore is to be believed, it would leave the doors open for the Arrow and Canary to come together; but if this is the last season for Felicity Smoak, it had damn well better be worth it.
Other Notes:
– our new season baddie (referenced last season by Ra’s) Damien Dahrk is here and wasted no time in making his presence known. Dude saunters around with a confidence and assuredness that Ra’s never owned; his opening scene was pure evil in it’s simplicity and I’m liking where this is going. Not sure about Det. Lance being in bed with this guy though; he’s the head of the police in Star City, the symbol of law- perhaps the ascension of the “Green Arrow” is well-timed with Lance’s change of heart- a changing of the guard.
– “Felicity Smoak, you have failed this omelette,” is that so meta it’s funny or so funny it’s meta?
– “It’s Red Arrow,” “Red Arrow means no left turn, ” Diggle hasn’t totally lost his sense of humor, unless you count that helmet he’s sporting- OHHHH- Burn, Diggle. Please don’t hurt me.
– Dahrk’s “Ghosts” knocking over a Kord Industries truck- how many teases will we get of Ted Kord aka Blue Beetle before he shows up?
– Speaking of teases, anyone else notice a guy wearing a bomber jacket with the name Jordan on it in Ollie’s flashback? Nah, didn’t think so.

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