Does the opening episode of Season Four of Arrow deliver on its promise of being a “Symbol of Hope”? The jury may be out for a few more episodes, but I certainly hope so.
This premiere offered viewers a little old, a little new, some borrowed and some … green?
Let's start with “the old.” Per usual, Arrow writers are sticking to some things from seasons past that they know have worked. Or at the very least, know we'll recognize. For instance …
1. Emotional baggage
I mean, the show literally starts by recapping everyone's damaged relationships. In case you hadn't heard, Diggle hates Oli. Then, of course, young Thea has always gotta have something the matter with her (Poor thing.). Laurel has decided to tone down her highlights, which is the smartest choice she's made in three seasons; but she's still fighting with her dad about how to “do right” by the newly anointed Star City. And Captain Lance … well, he's the usual explosive bag of emotion, but he's taken it to a whole new level this season. (Why???? Did you really think you were going to save the city by handing it over to someone whose last name is synonymous with “bad”?)
2. Shirtless Oli! #winning
I mean, no, there was NOT a workout montage … yet … but Arrow would be disregarding a huge demographic of the show if they left this out (::cough cough:: ME). We're all glad to see Oliver is keeping fit even in his suburban lifestyle, and the first five minutes did not disappoint when it comes to ogling our leading man. Thank you, CW!
Gah! I feel like I'm watching Lost all over again (which, admittedly, I did love). We just can't seem to get rid of this ridiculous island. Speaking of which, are we sure that Lian Yu isn't quite literally the Purgatory-incarnate island from Lost? Oliver should just build a summer home there. He will never escape (and subsequently, neither will we).
I will admit that the flash-forward scene at the grave is an excellent set-up for where this season is leading though. And since this season is focusing on “hope,” I definitely hope that Stephen Amell wasn't lying in his Facebook live session when he says, “I don't know who was in the … grave … literally, I don't.” Hopefully this means the writers don't either, so there will be a lot of opportunity for the show to play with this. I have my predictions, of course – as we all do – but there's so much to cover in this episode, I feel like I need to keep moving.
Out with the old and onto the NEW!
1. A NEW Inner Turmoil
Oli's inner darkness. Damien Darhk. A symbol of hope in the darkness.
Yes, we get it: darkness is in this year for Team Arrow! Woo!
While we definitely got whacked over the head with this theme throughout the episode, it IS a nice break from “Oli is so tormented with his angst.” It's refreshing to see him fighting outside demons and giving himself a break. Look's like our little hero is growing up.
2. A NEW Villain
We see an upgraded, classier version of the Arrow villain in Damien Darhk (I mean, seriously, arms back, chest lifted? Regal as it gets, folks.). If Tim Gunn and Evil had a child, it would be Damien Darhk.
His style, poise, and overall scariness-factor (How does he kill people by simply touching them?) make him an excellent addition to the Arrow villain line-up, and I'm excited to see what happens with him and his H.I.V.E. minions.
(Not to mention, hopefully Diggle will find justice for his brother. The guy deserves a break – he's taken some hits in the past, so I think it's about time for a big “win” on Diggle's part.)
On to my personal favorite segment …
3. A New Suit! (Also, my “something green”)
YES!!!! I would be totally lying if I didn't admit that I have been beyond super-hero stoked about the Green Arrow suit. It's like Green Hawkeye, and I dig it. Tight-fitting leather, I'm sure some new gadgetry, and maximum bicep exposure. Ultimate win. I know this isn't really that big of a deal, but fans of the classic Green Arrow will rejoice with me.
It seems thus far, this Season of Arrow consists of a great blend of “old school” and “upgrade.” Let's side-step for a minute and address a few other aspects:
My “borrowed” segment relates to the fact that CW is attempting to lead an Avengers-esque crossover between its popular superhero shows. We've got Barry Allen showing up more and more in Arrow, last season we saw plenty of Team Arrow in The Flash, and now we've got an AMAZING addition (featuring my personal favorite, ex-Team Arrow member, newly resurrected Sara Lance aka White Canary) with Legends of Tomorrow. While we won't officially see anything from this realm for a while, I'm so excited to see how Arrow and Flash work together to build up the hype for the new show's premiere in 2016.
For all you nerds as excited as I am, here's the trailer. Get your popcorn ready – it's a good one. So watch it again and again.
Okay, okay. I know this is getting lengthy. But you know there's a reason I led this article with a cheesy wedding reference, right?
Will #TeamOlicity ever get a happy ending?
I mean, this couple can't even go 5 months without stopping bad guys, do we think they can take a time out to get married? Well, maybe we should back-up and see if they'll even make it to the preliminary stage of getting ENGAGED.
Put a ring on it, Oli! There will NEVER be a good time. I mean, if Arrow has taught us anything (and especially with that upcoming gravestone reference), happiness doesn't last forever. Better go all in while you can.
An Arrow-style wedding is just what this fangirl would love to see from Season Four.
Here's hoping. ;-)
Margot is a huge supporter of all things relating to "nerd culture," in particular those involving superheroes and Disney. She loves books, movies, music and working out, and currently lives in Athens, GA, with her rabbit, Gigi.