Arrow: Season 4, Episode 1 “Green Arrow” Review


Arrow Season 4 Premiere – Quick Impressions (Spoilers)

Arrow is back on track! For better or worse, Arrow and its central characters have been in a constant state of evolution. After the first season which was rooted in comic book realism, the show has since delved into mirakuru super strength, Lazarus pit resurrection and as we head into Season 4, mysticism.

Like any self aware show, the producers are able to recognize where they’ve made some missed turns and accordingly, make a number of course corrections for the brand new season.

The most noticeable change in the opening scene in “Green Arrow”, is a domesticated Oliver. Not only is Ollie smiling, he’s cracking egg omelet jokes. The lighter tone and touches of humor owes a lot to how well Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards play off of each other. So much of last season was spent keeping Oliver and Felicity apart, it’s actually a relief that they aren’t bickering with each other.

Back in Star City, Canary, Speedy and Diggle make for an awkward crime fighting trio. It’s always been a stretch that Arrow could consistently evade automatic weapon fire, but even more implausible for Canary & Speedy, new heroes who’ve barely taken off their training wheels. The show also hasn’t explored the effects of the Lazarus Pit on Thea, so it’s likely her change in behavior is tied into that.

As for Diggle, I couldn’t help but to burst out laughing every time I saw him in his helmet, he’s really taking incognito to another level of silliness. What worked better is the dynamic between Diggle and Oliver. I liked that the writers didn’t brush over Oliver’s breach of trust and that the two weren’t going to simply hug out their differences. This also ties into one of themes of this season on whether Oliver can really go through the darkness or if it’s in his DNA, so to speak, as Diggle believes.

Thematically and story wise, Damien Darhk is a well suited villain to put to test what this new version of Green Arrow stands for. At first it’s odd that Oliver, who went through hell on the island, could get to the point of believing in hope, but I can kind of get on board with it because he’s madly in love with Felicity and love can change a person’s outlook on life.

Red Arrow Season 4 Thea Queen as Speedy

There are a few plot points that are harder to get a handle on but will be pretty intriguing moving forward. I’m very interested in how mysticism is going to be explored throughout the season, in terms of what it might mean for certain characters, and how it will tie into the flashbacks. Captain Lance’s connection to Damien is another wild card, but it does explain why he wasn’t gunned down along with the other cops and city leaders. And of course, who’s grave is Oliver and Barry visiting?

Arrow’s Season 4 premiere is not perfect but it’s my favorite in recent memory. The producers made a concerted effort to put it’s best foot forward and remind fans on how good this show can be. “Green Arrow” also set the tone of the season and quickly established a new mysterious villain. On the other hand, the writing wasn’t very subtle at all about the themes with characters constantly talking about darkness vs hope, which is more of an observation than a critique. But then again, when the central characters are dressed up in leather neck to toe and adorned with masks (and that helmet!), subtlety isn’t really an issue is it?

Do you care about Oliver and Felicity’s relationship? Any guesses on who will die in seven months?

About Sidekick Reviews

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Posted on October 7, 2015, in Arrow, Comics, Television, TV Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Yoooooo man. Great review as usual. I finally saw the episode today myself. I thought it was good for the most part, however I did have issues. Let me just get what I didn’t like out of the way: Olicity. Yuck, seeing them playing happy families with the light-hearted music, brighter lighting and vivid colours, I felt like I was watching a totally different show and tonally it felt so wrong. Seeing them all lovey dovey, so tortuous.

    I really liked Damien, he seems really cool, confident and badass and I want to see him throw down some more and kick other people’s asses and use more of those mystical powers! Oh and that Diggle helmet, damn, so silly looking and I don’t know if you noticed but the back isn’t covered so its practical use is even less useful. At this point the flashbacks aren’t all that interesting to me, but since Oliver’s back on the island I can only hope that it’ll tie-in with season one’s first episode and end these bloody things forever.

    Now I’m super curious to see what the deal is with Lance and Damien’s partnership, didn’t expect that, but even more curious to know what’s going on with this 6 months later deal where both Oliver and Barry are standing over that grave. Who is it!?! I hope its Felicity, I know that’s mean, but that would give Oliver a reason to go full-on dark and be more aggressive.

    • Hello my friend, awesome to hear you saw the ep and enjoyed it for the most part. Haha, yeah I’ve read some comments how the domesticated scenes made some want to puke. I can totally get how it’s so out of tone for the show and really weird. I didn’t really mind myself, it was kind of funny to me and of course I knew their dream life wouldn’t last the episode haha. (It wasn’t the dream life for Felicity as we find out later).

      So far I’m enjoying Damien and this actor. For me it was a refreshing surprise that a big villain is introduced so directly and so soon. Should be interesting to see the extent of his powers and what’s he’s really up to. The writers have time to develop him over the season. Or maybe they’ll have an even bigger villain that’ll emerge. I didn’t notice about the back of Diggle’s helmet (or the lack of), so weird! There wasn’t a hook or gotcha moment about the Flashbacks, just that he’s back on the island.

      Poor Felicity :(. A lot of people hope it’s her, especially after last season. But I actually like her and the actress. I’d be okay if it was Thea lol. It’s seems like the darker Island Oliver gets the lighter Star City Oliver becomes. They are always going in opposite directions in terms of light/darkness. Beast mode Oliver is always fun! Appreciate the great, thoughtful comments as always!

      • I think its more the lovey dovey bull that I can’t stand, its just not necessary and could be cut down as we know these two are into each other, they just don’t need to be touching up on each other every waking moment haha. As for Damien I hope he’ll be around for a while because he seems like a big deal, and I can’t eimagine anyone being in a higher position of power than him at this point, though I’m no DC fan so I don’t know anything about anyone else who could be more dangerous.

        Point made about Thea, I’ve heard people don’t like her that much these days. I thought she was interesting a time last season, however, she did become a little annoying and I feel like the writers just gave up on giving her good material for the show. Here in season 4 she’s just there, she fights and apparently still has issues with aggression because of the Lazarus Pit, but that seems to come into effect whenever it wants and Thea seems unlikely to talk about it or even bring it to the attention of her comrades. So with that in mind, I wouldn’t mind if she kicked the bucket, however, I don’t think it would have the same emotional resonance as it would with Felicity. That’s why I suggested her for the chop haha.

        • Hello there! Yeah, I don’t tune into Arrow for the romance haha. And it can be uneasy to see the romantic relationships play out. Hey at least you don’t have to hear Felicity awkwardly pine for Oliver anymore haha.

          I’m not familiar with supernatural DC villains and I don’t know the back story of Damien. So far he’s really intriguing and it looks like he has regenerative powers on top of his others powers. He’s going to be a hard villain to take down.

          As for Thea, the writers haven’t figured out how to use her and when they do, like when she killed Sara, it didn’t work for me. She already died but maybe the second time’s a charm haha. I agree, losing Felicity would be the bigger emotional impact and could pave the way for bigger things for Laurel (and Laurel & Oliver lol). 😉

          • Yeah when I found out that Thea killed Sara that pissed me off, felt random and unnecessary like when Sandman killed Ben Parker in Spider-Man 3 (sorry to bring that up haha). As for there being potential for Laurel and Oliver in the wake of Felicity’s death, I’d hate that. While I liked them as a pair for a while, I still preferred Oliver and Sara most. However, since Oliver’s had so many relationships over the course of the show so far, I wouldn’t be able to emotionally invest in it because of all his previous pairings and how swiftly each one followed the next.

  2. Finally got around to the premiere (I’m already behind another ep!). I’m glad they got Oliver back into the fold quickly. Like you I found the domestic scenes kind of funny, but when last season ended I wasn’t sure if Ollie would be out of the game for several episodes. What we got here was enough. I am intrigued by the mysticism angle too and the flashforward tease at the end. I also liked how jazzed Speedy was to be on a mission at the beginning (“This is so cool!”). Neat new title card too.

    There were things I didn’t like (as you mentioned Diggle’s helmet is an abomination), but overall it seemed pretty solid. Hoping for a better season than Season 3 which I found disappointing.

    • So far I’ve been keeping up with most of the fall shows I planned on watching, except iZombie which I save for the weekends. Yeah, it’s easy to fall behind isn’t it haha. Cool to hear you liked the domestic scenes like I did, it didn’t work for some. I hope the Oliver and Felicity stuff will be more lighter this season and less forced drama. The flashforward tease is really intriguing, I’m curious if once they are done with the flashbacks we might see more of these future glimpses. I’m liking this new title card too and I like how it changes according to the story of each season. I think red looks good on Speedy haha.

      Good to hear you thought Arrow premiere seemed pretty solid. Not a perfect premiere but overall a promising one. Thanks again for checking out the post and commenting!

  3. Great review! I just caught this episode on Hulu and enjoyed it. It’s nice to have some lighter moments but I hope the show doesn’t lose its grittiness. I really like both Arrow and Flash but I like Arrow because of it’s grittier, darker tone. I too am curious to see how they will work in some of the more mystical aspects of the story. The series started out more “realistic” but so far they’ve managed to introduce some “magical” elements without feeling too forced. I hope that it isn’t Felicity who dies, though I am a little worried. Last season I wasn’t really happy with how Felicity was portrayed; I always enjoyed how she was intelligent and sarcastic, and last season she seemed to pine too much for Oliver. I also like Laurel better when they’re not trying to put her and Oliver in a relationship. Will be interesting to see where this season goes!

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed it, I thought the premiere was really promising. I was watching The Flash yesterday and couldn’t help notice how many scenes are done in broad daylight compared to Arrow scenes which are often at night or indoors haha. The show has come a long way from the more realistic take, anything is possible now and this mystical aspect should be interesting. I guess by expanding the universe they can use more of DC’s roster of characters who might not have fit into the show before like Damien Darhk. Good to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t want Felicity to die. With the Lazarus pit is anyone really dead though? Episode 2 we get to see Felicity in her own story line without anything to do with relationships which I think a lot of people will appreciate more than last season. Hope you enjoy the rest of the season!

  4. I do hope that it is not Felicity. What is going in between Ollie and Felicity is what keeps the Arrow the way he is. That even in darkness there is always that light that keeps you going and that’s what Felicity represents in Arrows darkness. If somebody has to die it’s the black canary. She is so focused on her own grief that her actions do not make sense at all.

    • I hope it’s not Felicity either. That’s a good point about Felicity representing the light in Arrows darkness. I think this will be a more hopeful Arrow this season, one who operates less behind a hood and out of the shadows. Of the options of who might be in the coffin Laurel could be one, but I wouldn’t mind if it was Thea lol.

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