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.
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?