Arrow Season 4 Episode 1 Review (No Spoilers) – “The Green Arrow)

arrowseason4

The previous three seasons of Arrow have had varying degrees of success. Season 1 was a solid start for the show and established the world fairly well. Season 2 kicked things up a notch and was at times quite gripping . And then season 3 came along and was a huge disappointment as it was a step backwards for a show that had been so good.

Will season 4 right the wrongs of the previous season? Based off the first episode – called “The Green Arrow” – it’s tough to say, but it certainly showed some signs of being able to do so.

Last season ended with Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Rickards) literally riding off into the sunset and when we’re reintroduced to Olicity in this episode, they’re living a crime fighting-free life away from Starling City in suburban bliss.

Olicity in full effect
Olicity in full effect

Meanwhile, the vigilante antics have been left to the Arrow-less Team Arrow which consists of Laurel’s Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), Thea (Willa Holland) as the new Red Arrow and Diggle (David Ramsey) – who’s sporting a helmet which makes him look like a black version of Magneto from X Men: First Class.

Willa Holland as Thea Queen/Red Arrow/Speedy/Whatever-her-fricking-name-is
Willa Holland as Thea Queen/Red Arrow/Speedy/Whatever-her-fricking-name-is
David Ramsey as Magneto - I mean Diggle
David Ramsey as Magneto – I mean Diggle

The gang are doing their best to protect Starling City but their efforts seem to be in vain as a mysterious group of highly skilled bandits – named “Ghosts” – are terrorising the city. Unable to cope with the new threat, Laurel and Thea beg Oliver and Felicity to leave their “domestic life of tranquillity and soufflé” to help them fight Starling City’s latest criminal plague.

Team Arrow reunited
Team Arrow reunited

Of course it was obvious that Oliver wouldn’t stay away from the heroics for too long as he returns with Felicity to deal with the “Ghosts”. It appears Oliver’s reappearance to Starling City six months after his “bad guy” stint from last season will offer up some interesting dynamics with some of the supporting cast. Detective Lance hates his guts more than ever before. Diggle also has a major bone to pick with Ollie as he’s still hurting from his best bud’s apparent betrayal. Little sis Thea seems to be enjoying her new role as a crimefighter too much as she comes close to crossing the line and spurns her brother when he tries to confront her about it. All of these strained relationships plant seeds for some intriguing interactions for Oliver down the line.

After his return, it appears Oliver wants to rid himself of his tormented and brooding ways in order to cap arrows in people assess as an inspiring hero rather than a terrifying vigilante. A slight change to both his alter ego’s name (he’s now the Green Arrow) and costume suggest that he and the show are going towards a new lighter direction.

Oliver in his new duds
Oliver in his new duds

The episode introduces us to Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), who appears to be the season’s big bad. The charismatic new villain carries a compelling aura which suggests he’ll be a fascinating villain to watch. His unexplained supernatural powers add a new dimension to the show and it’ll be interesting to see how Oliver deals with the new nemesis. However, it did feel a bit strange that he was introduced to us so early and makes me wonder how his evil doing will be preserved throughout 23 episodes.  And his city-cleansing motivations seem a bit too similar to Ra’s Al Ghul’s from last season, which at times felt like a rehash of 2005’s Batman Begins, but hey – I’m invested into the character so far.

Neal McDonugh as Damien Darhk
Neal McDonugh as Damien Darhk

As always there are the flashback scenes, which seem to be going nowhere interesting until the final one. It might be going down a path which may feel too familiar to some, but personally I look forward to the how the subplot might develop.

Action-wise nothing particularly spectacular happens and it’s all pretty much what you’d expect from the show, although Oliver’s battle with Damien Dahk on a speeding train was quite enjoyable.

While the episode has its strength’s, one glaring weakness was its portrayal of Laurel. She feels like a character who the writers don’t really know how to handle and feels thrown into the story for the sake of it. Hopefully she’s gets better treatment later on in the season.

The episode seems to coast along smoothly as there’s not much that will blow your socks off until the very end which sees a time-jumping conclusion which will have you feverishly waiting for the next episode. And there’s a brief appearance from a very familiar face. Overall, it’s a satisfying episode which showed signs that season 4 could be a welcome return to form for the show, “The Green Arrow” scores a:

7/10

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6 thoughts on “Arrow Season 4 Episode 1 Review (No Spoilers) – “The Green Arrow)

  1. Good post, I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the premiere.

    Overall, I thought this was a good step in the right direction. I’m right there with about the Magento helmet lol.

    I was surprised that Damien was introduced in the premiere, past seasons tend to keep the big villain in the shadows for a while. I hope this means he will a lot of time to develop as a character.

    I look forward to your future posts and thanks for the return follow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, I’m glad you enjoyed my review. I: think the episode was a step in the right direction too.
      I have a feeling maybe Damien willbe working for a bigger supernatural type villain maybe.
      Who do you think it is at the end? I think it’s Thea.
      Thanks for the feedback and for reading! 🙂

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      1. I was thinking the same thing too about a bigger villain coming in later. I hope it’s not Felicity. Thea would be a good choice, I don’t mind that she already died last season. 🙂

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      2. To be honest I kinda hope it is Felicity. I thought she was a great character in seasons 1 + 2 but became too whiney and moany in s3. The whole Olicity thing puts the show too much in soap opera territory for me – but I suppose it is Arrow haha. I’m looking forward to find out who it is though

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree about Damien appearing in the first episode, i like it. I am totally at loss at the end of episode 1 I hope it’s not Felicity I don’t know how to continue watching if they kill her out of the show… I am team felicity. Thea would be a good choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m afraid I disagree with you there Lulu. I kinda hope it is Felicity – she was great in seasons 1 +2 but the whole Olicity deal turned me off. I reckon it will be Thea though as they’ll try to swerve us. Big thanks for reading and for the feedback! 🙂

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