Arrow returned this week, and while I wouldn’t call it a homerun of an episode, I did see a few things I’m excited about.
Much like Flash, Arrow tried to cover a lot of ground in its premier. They wanted to catch us up, and they tested my willingness to accept how much can really be covered in five months, especially where how far a city can fall without making national (if not global) headlines. In short, Star(ling?) City is a war zone now, but Oliver seems far more unaware of the situation than is believable.
Speaking of Oliver and Felicity, their lovey-dovey, kissy-kissy routine nearly sent me into a diabetic coma. I get that a lot of fans have been waiting to see this, but there comes a point where I can only believe Diggle didn’t want Oliver around because he got tired of looking at his puppy eyes.
My big hope for this season centers around the villain, or at least the fact that he doesn’t appear to be a villain of the week. I really felt this show was strongest during season 2, and part of that reason was Deathstroke. He provided a tension that was allowed to boil over throughout the season, and it looks like they could be doing that with this villain, too.
The tension between Thea and Oliver felt a bit familiar. She’s mad that he’s talking down to her again. We’ve seen that, so it feels a little stale. Diggle is still angry about Oliver’s duplicitous behavior from last season, which while understandable, is getting a little old. Even Diggle’s wife wants him to let it go now. The feud between Captain Lance and Oliver was given a slightly different angle with a surprise toward the end, which adds the possibility for that to be fleshed out and made more interesting, but the key to this season being better than last, for me, is in letting the big villain be a central, ongoing conflict. I think it could happen, and I’m optimistic after the premier.
I like the idea of a central villain we can root against but I’m mystified why every comic book TV show has to pretend like things happened over the course of the summer. Can’t we pick up where we left off the season prior? Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. uses this device as a means to incorporate things that happened in Marvel summer movies but the DC TV universe doesn’t tie into the DC movie universe, so it doesn’t make sense to jump ahead months into the future unless you have a really good reason. The audience is left playing catch up and as a result, we get season premieres that flail around in the mud for a spell. Still, this was an entertaining episode of Arrow—I could’ve done with less kissy face, too—and there’s enough to be excited about for this season of Arrow.
There were plenty of Easter Eggs in Arrow’s premiere as well. Check out our Arrow secrets page here.