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TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 1 "Green Arrow"

10.08.2015

Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.

Episode 1: "Green Arrow"

Synopsis: Oliver and Felicity's blissful getaway is cut short when Thea and Laurelpay them a visit and tell Oliver they need his help back in Star City. The city has been attacked by "Ghosts", assassins led by a dangerous man named Damien Darhk. However, when Oliver returns, Diggle makes it very clear that he doesn’t want Oliver on the team

Review: The third season of Arrow was a disappointment compared to the action-packed first two, but if this premiere is any indication, the fourth season of the series is back on track thanks to a partial reboot. Set six months after the last season finale, Oliver is living in suburbia with Felicity and is on the brink of popping the question. Laurel, Diggle, and Thea are teamed up and defending Star City in the wake of Ray Palmer's death and dealing with a crew of mercenaries they have dubbed Ghosts. These Ghosts are prone to killing themselves with cyanide capsules while stealing heavier weaponry from Kord Industries trucks, a nice nod to Ted Kord aka Blue Beetle. Feeling over their heads, the trio call Oliver back to his hometown.

But not all is well in Star City as Diggle still feels animosity towards Oliver for kidnapping his wife and child during his stint with R'as Al Ghul last season. But, with the carefully plotted assassination of the city council acting in the stead of a Mayor of Star City, we soon meet the man orchestrating the Ghosts. Neal McDonough embodies Damien Darhk with the smarminess of Malcolm Merlyn and the mystical powers of R'as Al Ghul. Something that has been sorely lacking the last couple of seasons on Arrow has been a worthy big bad guy but Darhk seems to fit the bill. 

Like the opening of last season, Oliver Queen has a quandary as to whether he can be happy or not. But, unlike last season, he has decided to try and embrace being a hero to try and save Star City. The question is whether or not he can do it without the darkness he feels is inside him. Which brings us to the other improvement from last season: the flashbacks. Last year gave us a forced excursion for Oliver in Hong Kong that served no purpose but to explain his friend and eventual compatriot in the battle against R'as Al Ghul. Last season left Oliver heading to Coast City which is only a brief pitstop this season complete with a blink and you'll miss it cameo from future Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Instead, Amanda Waller decides she needs Oliver skills back on Lian Yu and sends him back to his island prison. The reason why remains a mystery.

Back at home, Oliver and company have multiple issues brewing thanks to the plots of Damien Darhk, including this episode's plot to blow up a high speed train from Central City. The team unites, including Oliver in his new uniform designed by Cisco, to foil the plot but not before showcasing Darhk stopping arrows midair and draining the life from people with a simple touch. Darhk's powers seem to be more than even R'as Al Ghul had up his sleeve and that will most definitely come back to affect the Lazarus Pit-resurrected Thea who shows some issues with anger and violence this episode. Diggle still has not fully come to embrace the returned Oliver and last season's reference to H.I.V.E. comes back in connection with Darhk.

But, this premiere gives us two major plot twists that will come into play for this season and are some of the best decisions the showrunners have made in a long time. First, we learn after Oliver rechristens himself the Green Arrow that Darhk has aligned himself with Captain Lance. Lance seems to be working for the villain reluctantly, but the straight shooting cop has always been the bastion of good in Star City. Giving him a secret to keep from Laurel and everyone else in his life should definitely make for some interesting drama. The other twist comes in the form of a closing scene set six months after this episode. Oliver is met at a fresh grave site by Barry Allen. Oliver is teary and says that he is not at fault for the person's death but he vows to kill whoever did it. The identity of the deceased person remains unknown.

Arrow is definitely back strong this season. While not deviating far from the formula that has made the show work so well, the showrunners have still found a way to reboot everything that didn't work last year without forcing the series from becoming something that it is not. The crossover elements between Arrow and The Flash felt even less forced in this episode which owes to the growing cohesiveness of the DC small screen universe. I am still not sure how the new and improved Green Arrow will differ from who Oliver Queen has been the last three years, but I am bought in to find out what Damien Darhk's master plan is, what is going to happen to Thea, why Oliver is back on Lian Yu, and just whose grave that is in the final scene.

Final Verdict:

Next on ARROW: "The Candidate" airs October 14th: When an old family friend, Jessica Danforth, tells Oliver and Thea that she is going to run for mayor, both Queens are concerned considering the last three mayors have been murdered. Despite their protests, Jessica makes her announcement so the Green Arrow and Speedy vow to protect her. Meanwhile, Thea begins to exhibit effects from the Lazarus Pit. In addition, Felicity is faced with a tough business decision and looks to one of her employees, Curtis Holt, for help.

Source: JoBlo.com

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9:42PM on 10/08/2015
One heck of a premier episode. So far Damian Darhk looks like a much scarier threat than Ras Al Ghul.
One heck of a premier episode. So far Damian Darhk looks like a much scarier threat than Ras Al Ghul.
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10:18AM on 10/08/2015
I like the premiere for the most part. However, they seemed to be setting up a few too many plot points in one episode that they leave themselves vulnerable to repeating the mistakes of season 3. But I'm not counting them out yet. Here are my predictions for what's to come on this season:
1) The flashbacks: I feel this will be a fairly simple arc over the course of the season and really just serves to set up how Oliver was back on Lian Yu when he was found 4 years ago. I'm thinking
I like the premiere for the most part. However, they seemed to be setting up a few too many plot points in one episode that they leave themselves vulnerable to repeating the mistakes of season 3. But I'm not counting them out yet. Here are my predictions for what's to come on this season:
1) The flashbacks: I feel this will be a fairly simple arc over the course of the season and really just serves to set up how Oliver was back on Lian Yu when he was found 4 years ago. I'm thinking they'll be much the same as season 3, a pointless distraction and time filler for episodes.

2) Someone dies in 6 months: My guess is that it will be Felicity. It has the most weight in terms of character development for Oliver. And it would explain why Barry Allen made such an effort to come down from Central City to be at the grave. That being said, my hope is that it will be Laurel Lance, get rid of some of the dead weight this season.

3) Mayoral Campaign: With the subplot of the vacant mayor's seat introduced this episode, and explored more in next week's episode, my guess is that by mid-season Oliver will decide to run for Mayor of Star City. And by season finale will be elected as Mayor. This was one of the more interesting story arcs for Oliver Queen in the comics. So it would be a good direction to take the character in the show.
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9:30AM on 10/08/2015

Great

It was a great episode and set up a lot for the entire season. Can't wait to see what happens.
It was a great episode and set up a lot for the entire season. Can't wait to see what happens.
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2:00AM on 10/08/2015
Ok last year while Flash was going on I hadn't watched Arrow because I hated the character in the comics. I was bored this summer after Flash and decided to catch up on it since the DCTVU seems to be expanding and I wanted to understand all aspects of it. Low and behold I loved it, all 3 seasons. Sure it had its hiccups but overall I'm in love with the show. It is the DCTVU's Batman but its ok. If they find a way to make him a little lighter this season, to match the comic personality, it would
Ok last year while Flash was going on I hadn't watched Arrow because I hated the character in the comics. I was bored this summer after Flash and decided to catch up on it since the DCTVU seems to be expanding and I wanted to understand all aspects of it. Low and behold I loved it, all 3 seasons. Sure it had its hiccups but overall I'm in love with the show. It is the DCTVU's Batman but its ok. If they find a way to make him a little lighter this season, to match the comic personality, it would be great and show a true character growth and development. S3 got a lot of flak, but I actually loved it. So now onto the premier.

I loved this. Seeing Ollie and Felicity doing the domestic thing was some good comic relief, though so fucking odd lol. It picked up nicely after the finale last year. Star City is the name, and I'm happy about that. The city has a new group of heroes that have picked up after the Arrow "died'. Trust is obviously a major issue, and I'm glad they're not blowing it off like it was nothing. Not much in my mind would be able to let me trust my best friend after he kidnaps my wife, so I'm sympathetic to Diggle. I hate Dig's helmet, its like pseudo Judge Dredd or Magneto. Its just not really good. The Arrow suit however Iove. Finally his true comic suit. Laurel is still pretty horrible. Thea is kinda funny, and we all have to remember despite her training. she's only like 21 so youthful exuberance would appear to be abounding.

I am loving the more magic and mystical elements they are introducing. It gives me hope that Constantine's first appearance might grow into more throughout the season. Damien Darhk's appear was awesome. I love Neil and man is he gonna be a great villain this season. Him doing the life essence drain or whatever the hell that was shocked me because I don't remember that ability, or the ability to stop arrow's mid air lol. So I'm curious where they are going to go with this.

Now onto the grave. Ummmm WTF, my gut instinct is that is Felicity, but god I hope not. I actually love her as much as I love Cisco. They better not be killing her off. I'm not sure if he would react that way to anyone other than Felicity like that save maybe Thea. Though to brainstorm, outside thought is that it's Quentin Lance. Given his turn and being in bed with Damien, and the fact that both his daughters will be alive again soon, maybe its his time. Though I'm not sure why Barry would be apologetic for missing Quentin's funeral when he's never met him (yet) anyway. We'll see I guess but I suppose with Flash in the picture (nice Zoom name drop BTW) time travel saving is always an option lol.
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1:53AM on 10/08/2015

So evidently the idiots that write this.....

.....are too stupid to figure out that if they still need flashbacks to make Oliver's decisions make sense, they're writing shit stories and character arcs. Last season was complete crap, and the constant lame flashbacks ruined the only good aspects of the episodes. I guess they are admitting they're not good enough to write stories about Oliver evolving, so they just rewrite his backstory to justify his inner struggles.

And until they stop, this show will continue to be lame. Claiming
.....are too stupid to figure out that if they still need flashbacks to make Oliver's decisions make sense, they're writing shit stories and character arcs. Last season was complete crap, and the constant lame flashbacks ruined the only good aspects of the episodes. I guess they are admitting they're not good enough to write stories about Oliver evolving, so they just rewrite his backstory to justify his inner struggles.

And until they stop, this show will continue to be lame. Claiming this episode was as good as AoS or The Flash is just awful. Seriously, can't we get someone who actually reviews these things instead of just rubber stamping them all as nearly perfect?

BTW, Black Canary still sucks.....
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4:18AM on 10/08/2015
ya...arrow...for me..is so so....sometimes good sometimes bad...but still watchable but Marvel agent of S**t still like sh**ts...and until now...MAoS still boring as hell and the acting of actor, the shooting, the dialogue, still like s**ts, seriously 3 season and still worst, i follow it until now, hope to die there will changing on MAoS.
so don't compare arrow with Marvel agent of Sh**t.
ya...arrow...for me..is so so....sometimes good sometimes bad...but still watchable but Marvel agent of S**t still like sh**ts...and until now...MAoS still boring as hell and the acting of actor, the shooting, the dialogue, still like s**ts, seriously 3 season and still worst, i follow it until now, hope to die there will changing on MAoS.
so don't compare arrow with Marvel agent of Sh**t.
5:34AM on 10/08/2015
AOS is amazing now not sure what show Einvaust is watching. Yes the first season was not too good, especially the first half of it, but last season was stellar. This season hit the ground running and was probably the best premier of the 3 big comic shows (AOS Flash and Arrow).
AOS is amazing now not sure what show Einvaust is watching. Yes the first season was not too good, especially the first half of it, but last season was stellar. This season hit the ground running and was probably the best premier of the 3 big comic shows (AOS Flash and Arrow).
1:13PM on 10/08/2015
I agree. I still like watching this show but the acting and dialogue is so corny. None of the characters motivations seem believable. I got more out of watching The Flash's pop have a tearful conversation with his son at the end of the premiere of Flash season 2 than any scene in this episode. This show is a C- at best. Its ok when you get passed the fact that the writers are pretty lazy. But to say this was better than AOS's first 2 eps or Flash's premiere is ridiculous.
I agree. I still like watching this show but the acting and dialogue is so corny. None of the characters motivations seem believable. I got more out of watching The Flash's pop have a tearful conversation with his son at the end of the premiere of Flash season 2 than any scene in this episode. This show is a C- at best. Its ok when you get passed the fact that the writers are pretty lazy. But to say this was better than AOS's first 2 eps or Flash's premiere is ridiculous.
3:04PM on 10/08/2015
I still enjoy The Flash more than anything else, but I agree that AoS is firing on all cylinders right now. Ward can be pretty lame, but he's perfect as a sociopathic villain, Skye (I still am not calling her Daisy) is really becoming a force on the show (and not just because of the special effects), Fitz is PERFECT right now, and the rest of the team is really enjoyable to watch. It's amazing how far it's come since season 1.
I still enjoy The Flash more than anything else, but I agree that AoS is firing on all cylinders right now. Ward can be pretty lame, but he's perfect as a sociopathic villain, Skye (I still am not calling her Daisy) is really becoming a force on the show (and not just because of the special effects), Fitz is PERFECT right now, and the rest of the team is really enjoyable to watch. It's amazing how far it's come since season 1.
3:35PM on 10/08/2015
Still not calling her Daisy? Why? That's her real comic name, Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake. Skye is her adoptive name. I'm actually glad that they are calling her Daisy now as it makes her an official comic Inhuman character.
I have't watched Arrow yet and I am looking forward to it. Season 3 was crap but I stuck with it. As for the fresh grave site, it would make sense to be Felicity if Barry was there and in all honesty, I wouldn't care at this point. She was such a great character in season
Still not calling her Daisy? Why? That's her real comic name, Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake. Skye is her adoptive name. I'm actually glad that they are calling her Daisy now as it makes her an official comic Inhuman character.
I have't watched Arrow yet and I am looking forward to it. Season 3 was crap but I stuck with it. As for the fresh grave site, it would make sense to be Felicity if Barry was there and in all honesty, I wouldn't care at this point. She was such a great character in season 1 and 2 but in 3 she was a whimpering whiner written beyond horrible. The only time she felt like her normal self was when she did cameo's on Flash. Although I have to wonder if Felicity will be Death at some point. It's probably NOT gonna happen, but she wore Deaths necklace in her dark hair flashback episode...so...I dunno.
9:08AM on 10/13/2015
If you clearly hate the show so much,why do you bother watching it?
If you clearly hate the show so much,why do you bother watching it?
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