TV – Arrow Season 4, Episode 1

Arrow Season 4 Episode 1 Green Arrow

Steve Taylor-Bryant lives! Okay, that probably wasn’t in doubt BUT does Arrow? Steve checks out the season opener, Green Arrow, to find out (with MASSIVE SPOILERS and fanboying)...

“Felicity Smoak, you have failed this omelette”

So the season premiere of Arrow is upon us and starts with a recap of what happened during season 3, but you all know what happened anyway, don’t you? If not, here are my season 3 reviews but I do have to question what you’ve all been up to if you haven’t been watching so far?

Oliver is running through the woods in a green hood but it is just a jog and he arrives back in his little slice of surburbia in time to taste Felicity’s attempt at cooking, which is not great, leaving Oliver to prepare for brunch with their neighbours. Meanwhile, in the newly branded Star City, a shootout is occurring with some mean soldier types, known as The Ghosts, in a lorry trying to steal weapons from Kord Industries, and Canary and Speedy on a motorbike in pursuit. Eventually, with the newly masked John Diggle’s help, they manage to stop the truck but The Ghosts’ back up arrives and the team are pinned down by extensive bullet firing as The Ghosts make off with the stolen weapons. They are massively outgunned and Thea and Laurel want Oliver to return but John is against the idea. Over at City Hall, the Executive Board still can’t find a Mayor and are continuing to run the city by committee. Their meeting is disturbed by a man, claiming to control The Ghosts, who wants the city to die and warns the board to say their goodbyes to loved ones.

During brunch Oliver shows his neighbours his mothers ring which he intends to use as the engagement ring when he proposes to Felicity later that night. A flashback shows a hooded vigilante Oliver trying to take down a drug dealer five years ago but failing and running into Amanda Waller from A.R.G.U.S. Back in the present and the trouble from the mysterious man’s threat has begun as the District Attorney is poisoned and the rest of the Executive Board start to be killed off. At the police station, Canary manages to save Captain Lance but he still gets shot in the arm. In surburbia (you were singing The Pet Shop Boys then as well, weren’t you?) Oliver has done a lovely dinner for Felicity and is about to give her a soufflé containing the engagement ring when Laurel and Thea turn up and beg for Oliver’s help, something Felicity is behind as they are their friends. During another flashback we see Waller and Oliver sharing a drink as Waller explains that Oliver should stop trying to run from his inner darkness but embrace it and use it, just as she drugs him.

Arrow Season 4 Episode 1 Green Arrow

Oliver and Felicity travel to Star City in the Palmer Technologies’ limousine, Felicity is still CEO for the time being, and arrive at the team’s new base of operations, where Oliver tries to help them plan which leads to an uncomfortable reunion with Diggle. Whilst the lack of trust issue is being discussed, Felicity has hacked Kord Industries and discovered The Ghosts have stolen very powerful Cluster Bombs, making their present situation worse than it was and Oliver starts to tell everyone what they need to do, forgetting he is no longer the boss. Diggle goes home and talks to Lyla, who is very forgiving of Oliver and his actions to stop Ra’s Al Ghul that resulted in him kidnapping her. Oliver realises that Felicity has been helping the team all along and she admits to missing the covert work as she manages to track down the whereabouts of the stolen bombs. She tries to give Oliver a new Arrow suit that Cisco designed but he’s not interested and doesn’t plan on staying in Star City long enough to need it.

The team arrive at a warehouse where the army of The Ghosts are being addressed by the mystery man who controls them. He explains to his soldiers that he doesn’t like losing and singles out the one responsible for having them attacked by the vigilantes at the start. He merely touches the soldier’s chest and starts to kill him. The team all jump in and start fighting, Speedy especially is quite violent, and Oliver, wearing a balaclava, manages to get the destination of the bomb attack from the soldier before he finally dies, although the mystery man has disappeared before the team run from the police. Oliver explains that the mystery man is not the meta-human they think they are dealing with but someone more mystical, as his experiences and what he has seen leads him to believe this. The new train station is the target and the team try and search out the location of the bomb. Diggle still isn’t getting on with Oliver and explains it’s because Oliver can’t trust anyone and is filled with much darkness and Oliver manages to upset Thea when he questions her lack of control in the earlier fight. Captain Lance also confronts Oliver and states that he came back from Lian Yu a monster and the monsters followed him, leaving Oliver to think that maybe he is full of darkness and doesn’t want to be, receiving a pep talk from Felicity where she explains he is no longer on his own.

Arrow Season 4 Episode 1 Green Arrow

Flashback time again and Oliver wakes up from his drugged state to find A.R.G.U.S agents on a plane telling him he is now on a mission for Amanda Waller and must parachute out and land on… Lian Yu again.

The search at the train station revealed no bombs but Felicity suddenly realises that the bomb will be on the high speed train coming from Central City. Canary and Speedy, with the help of Captain Lance, evacuate the station whilst Oliver, in his new green suit, and Diggle attempt to stop the train. Oliver manages to get aboard where he is faced with the mystical man, Damien Darhk, who virtually kills Oliver before Diggle manages to rescue him. Darhk disappears again and Oliver and Diggle manage to blow up the train before it gets to Star City. Back at the base Oliver tells the team that when Ra’s spoke of Damien Darhk he said that he had a hive of operatives at his command, the term HIVE means something to Diggle, as that was who commanded Deadshot to kill his brother, but he keeps this to himself. Instead the team hack into the television networks and Oliver, voice disguised and wearing his suit, does a press conference about the Arrow being dead but his not his ideals, about heroes stepping in and signs off as the Green Arrow!

Another flashback shows Oliver being captured by a soldier as soon as he lands back on Lian Yu and, in the present, Damien Darhk is doing a weird chanty/blood thing when he is visited by one his Hive… Captain Lance! Oliver is crying and thinking at a graveside when he is visited by Barry Allen but would prefer to be alone.

Arrow Season 4 Episode 1 Green Arrow

As far as season openers go I’d say this is probably second only to the pilot. It had an ongoing theme in Oliver’s darkness that he must finally get to grips with and has obviously plagued him for a while, considering the flashbacks which finally put him back on the island he must get rescued from. This means I found them slightly less annoying than previous seasons, where they sort of intruded on the story and took the viewers guesswork out of the equation, unlike this week where they complimented the present day. Diggle still doesn’t fully like Oliver, which was a relief as I did fear a manhug/all is forgiven scenario but the reluctance of Diggle to save Oliver, and yet he does, shows his own emotional struggles. Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk was a joy to watch. He had all the evil and nastiness of a Ra’s Al Ghul or a Dark Archer but a twisted humour and obvious intelligence that made him quite appealing as far as bad guys go and this battle seems to be set to last quite some time. Oliver is finally called Green Arrow, Speedy seems to be the name Thea is stuck with and the city is finally called Star City so season 4 kicks off more tied to the original comic than it’s ever been, not that it ever bothered me but some in the fanbase need these little facts to release their enjoyment. Kord Industries also got quite the mention which brings future Blue Beetle storylines into the DC television universe. Great action, stuff exploding, humour in all the right places, little nods to the comics, a really surprising twist with Captain Lance, and Felicity being Felicity. What’s not to love?

Image - CW.