Arrow Season 3 Episode 1 – TV Review
Not to worry. That’s more of a goodbye kiss.
And another love interest of Oliver’s dies this episode, too.
So Laurel’s pretty much got a clean run.
TL;DR Sarah dies, fyi; Oliver gives things a go with Felicity, but is discouraged when a new mob boss attacks; Brandon Routh turns up as a sneaky business rival; Lyla and Diggle have their baby; flashback Oliver learns how humourless Amanda Waller can be.
She’s a strong, independent black woman who don’t need no funny bone.
The Starling City plot picks up several months after last season’s finale. The city is trying its best to recover from two seasons’ worth of terrorist attacks, and the Super Friends are doing an admirable job fighting crime. Oliver is juggling his Arrow duties with trying to win back Queen Consolidated, and his affections for Felicity. He and Felicity decide to give it a try and go out for a date, but a feisty new gangster (Peter Stormare) shoots a bazooka into the restaurant (he’s hunting the Arrow), so Oliver’s like “I don’t wanna put you in danger, honey,” and things are over. Stormare is eventually routed by the Super Friends plus Quentin (who himself is now living with a terrible heart condition). Meanwhile, Oliver’s Queen Consolidated bid is challenged by Ray Palmer (Routh), an attractive business mogul who wants to “save” Starling City by rebranding it as Star City. Meanwhile, Diggle and Lyla become new parents, and Diggle realises he can’t be as reckless anymore. Meanwhile, Sarah turns up in town long enough to help out Oliver with Stormare, and then get promptly executed by an uknown bowman. Laurel cries over her dead body. And in flashbacks to Hong Kong 5 years ago, Oliver unsuccessfully tries to escape from Amanda and ARGUS. To stop any further attempts, she puts him in the care of one of her agents, and Oliver is informed that if he tries to escape, she’ll kill the agent’s family.
The agent is a nice guy, too. So it’s decent motivation.
So Arrow’s off to an energetic, if expected, start to its third season. It’s got that trademark Arrow blend of action, necessary filler plot, incremental arc development, and buckets of relationship drama.
And it doesn’t hurt to brutally slay one of your main characters.
Why I hate this episode:
The only thing that’s missing is Thea, who is pretending to be on a lavish holiday in Italy. Maybe she’s our mystery bowhunter who puts three bolts in Sarah’s gut? I doubt it. Because I can’t realistically imagine Thea doing anything that impressive. Ever. But I’m sure we’ll see her soon enough, all trained up by her evil daddy.
The Lyla/Diggle baby stuff is pretty dull compared to everything else going on. And 1) it sucks if Diggle is indeed going to make himself a less active member of the team; or 2) I don’t believe he will, anyway. Which would make his little “I know what’s important now” speech about caring for his family all a load of hot air. Maybe he’s getting pushed out now that Roy is filling the sidekick role?
The Vertigo drug comes up again as a weapon of Stormare’s. I don’t know if Vertigo is a recurring element in the Green Arrow comics, but I find it a bit distracting that the drug product of a supposedly one-shot character like The Count, who has since reappeared and died, keeps coming back. Also (and I’m gonna show my colours as a mere casual DC fan here, so prepare your indignation), the modified form of Vertigo that Stormare uses reminds me of the drug Scarecrow uses in Batman Begins (it makes you hallucinate things you fear). Add that to the Brother Blood mask also reminding me a lot of Scarecrow, and I’m just like, how about we just bring in Scarecrow? If I was even more casual, I’d just be confused as to why nobody is calling Scarecrow “Scarecrow.” And yes, I invite you to shower me in your die-hard fan rage in the comments. Go on.
Oh, and Quentin gets a bit shafted. He’s been stuck with a life-threatening heart condition, so he can’t really go out in the field anymore. He does this episode, and he almost dies. I’ll miss his Papa Wolf badassery. Also, his new haircut ain’t so fly.
But it’s not all bad:
There’s ship wrecking all over the place. And it spells good fortune for Laurel, which is all I care about.
Felicity and Oliver’s date is cute and nice up until it gets blown up. Oliver is mad at being distracted and careless (he didn’t notice he was being traced), he has trust issues born from his years of survivalism, and he also doesn’t want Felicity to get hurt. By the end of the episode, Felicity finally cracks it with his indecision and demands he just tell her it’s never going to happen and stop cursing her with hope. I’m glad Felicity found the gumption to stand up for herself.
Oliver responds to this by pashing her. Even as a Loliver OTP whore, I can get behind a little hot person-on-hot person action. This leads into the best line of the episode from Oliver: “Don’t ask me to say that I don’t love you.” I melted.
And to Felicity’s credit, she’s like “fuck off” and walks away. Click click, Mr Indecisive.
Laurel doesn’t get much screen time, but she is shown to be on board with Oliver being the Arrow, and she and him have been working together to clean up crime in the city. She’s also gone blonde(ish). Which is how I want my Katie Cassidy.
Ray is hot and into Felicity, so it looks like we know who she’ll rebound to. His intentions for Queen Consolidated appear noble: he wants to use the company to inspire positive change in Starling City, including changing the name to Star City. Which is the name of Green Arrow’s home in the comics, I think? Continuity fans should appreciate that.
Quentin, now promoted to a bigwig in the police, officially thanks the Arrow for his service, and has disbanded the anti-vigilante task force. Finally. Now we don’t have to worry about the dopey police getting in the way anymore.
There’s a nod to the scene from The Flash premiere where Barry meets up with Oliver. Side note: I have seen The Flash premiere, and thought it was quite tasty. But Barry is no Oliver, girl.
Oh, and I’d like to believe that Sarah’s death is for real. She gets the three arrows to the gut, and also falls off a building. The telltale open eyes and head blood really make me want to think this is definite. But this is a comic book adaptation, so you never know. I’ll believe it for now.