Thursday, October 9, 2014

Arrow - Calm

Season Three starts with Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) finally at peace. Despite the death of his mother and the disappearance of his sister, Oliver's life is back on track with Roy (Colton Haynes) taking on his new role of Arsenal helping gel the team into a cohesive unit. Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) not only has his old job back but a fancy new promotion which allows him to force the Starling City police force to officially recognize their hooded hero. Properly title "Calm," the good times don't last as the storm clouds on the horizon start rolling in leaving one member of Oliver's extended family dead, another in the hospital, and any hope of Oliver getting control of his company or beginning a relationship with Felicity in ashes.

Helping to wake Ollie out of the dream his life has become is a mid-level thug with delusions of becoming the next Count Vertigo (Peter Stormare) who targets the city's vigilante. The new and improved version of drug forces Green Arrow to face his greatest fear: himself. Although Green Arrow wins on the streets, Oliver doesn't fare as well in the boardroom as a new player shows up with a better offer to take control of Queen Consolidated in the brillaint scientist turned entrepreneur (and eventual super-hero?) Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh).

"Calm" also introduces the arrival of Diggle (David Ramsey) and Lyla's (Audrey Marie Anderson) baby and begins to examine Ollie's post-island life in Hong Kong in the service of Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and the Suicide Squad. And the show returns Caity Lotz for one final episode as Black Canary whose death is likely to have big ramifications for the entire team and for Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who may finally take steps to putting on some fishnets of her own?

Although I was sick of the return to the will-they/won't-they love story involving Oliver and Felicity a second after I realized the episode's writers had no intention of putting the pair together, the season premiere works well setting up both the current and flashback storylines and introducing Routh whose first idea for Starling City is one of the show's best yet allowing Arrow to adopt the name of Green Arrow's true home. Even without a strong guest-villain, the episode delivers by showcasing how well Team Arrow has gotten along (even after the departure of Black Canary) and by slowly replacing Ollie's hopeful future with yet more challenges to be overcome.

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