[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: James Bamford
Writers: Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle
Starring: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Paul Blackthorne, Echo Kellum, Rick Gonzalez, Juliana Harkavy, Katie Cassidy
Five months after the events in Lian Yu, Oliver and his team are back in Star City doing what they do best, protecting the city. But new threats rises as old faces surface, namely Black Siren, and the repercussions slowly begin to haunt the members of Team Arrow. Meanwhile, Oliver is trying his best to be a father to his son, William.
This episode had some great highlights that will let you go and reminisce the first season of Arrow. The opening sequence is action packed and shows to us that Oliver and the others are back in Star City, trying to stop a terrorist attack. One great reveal in the show is Wild Dog’s upgrade. Wild Dog is one of the members of Team Arrow who merely wore a shirt as his uniform, but here he gets a full wardrobe change. His new mask looks sleek and is much darker than his original, while his suit gets a more tactical look and seems it is made out of Kevlar.
The episode immediately showed the viewers what happened five months ago when Lian Yu exploded, which is good for it finally broke the suspense. It showed us who died, who survived and what happened to the characters that came in between life and death. So the confirmed dead characters are Evelyn Sharpe, the Al Ghul’s; Nyssa and Talia. Also added to the list is William’s mother, Samantha, who before she died gave the responsibility to Oliver to be his father. Then there’s Thea, who we saw follow Samantha looking for his son. She got caught in the explosion and now is in a coma.
It was also great to see an old face such as Katie Cassidy. It was awesome seeing her still play as Laurel, but a different version. We see a darker, brutal and unforgiving version of Laurel. She was fierce and is a force to be reckoned with. We got to see her go toe-to-toe with the new Black Canary, Juliana Harkavy’s Dinah Drake. Their action sequences were amazing, especially when seeing them having different fighting styles.
We also got to see Oliver interact with his son, trying to win him over. But it is pretty clear that William is illusive to Oliver and blames him for his mother’s death. It’s a good reason given the point that William is just a kid and he is traumatized from the events that transpired five months ago. I mean being kidnapped with a gun pointed at your head and seeing an explosion right in front of you that will eventually kill your mother. That will scar you for life. So I don’t blame William if he seems cold towards his father.
In this episode, we also get to see the trauma of John Diggle. Back on the island, he was caught in the explosion which led him to have some physical injuries. But in the course of the episode, we actually got to see how he was scarred psychologically. There were a couple of times he missed a shot, and not just one shot, but several and it will certainly catch any hardcore fans’ eyes. Diggle never misses a shot unless the target is really hard to shoot. But in this episode he missed twice, the first one wherein he accidentally shot Wild Dog, then the second time where he was defending himself against a mercenary. He even emptied the magazine and never landed anything on the merc. Hopefully in the future this gets dealt with.
Next, we got to see everyone’s favorite character, Slade Wilson. He survived the Lian Yu incident and after that he went on to look for his son. After five months, he went back to Star City and told Oliver that the information he gave panned out. Somehow this is a depressing scene because Slade really wants to find his son and be reunited with him. He then tells Oliver that he’d be moving out of Star City and he’d be turning the next chapter of his life. He also gives Oliver some advice about fatherhood and even warns him that someday he would be given a choice either to stay as a vigilante or to be a father to his son.
Lastly, we got a cliffhanger for this episode. Somehow, the media got their hands on some CCTV footage which shows their beloved Mayor Oliver Queen in full Green Arrow garb. This is somehow a reference to the DC Comic where Oliver Queen was mayor of Star City and his Green Arrow persona was revealed to be him.
The premiere may be great but it still has some flaws and we can see plenty of it. One is that they are really forcing Olicity on the viewers. It is really tiring and at the same time frustrating to watch! In this episode, there’s this scene where Oliver and Felicity had a little chat concerning William. Oliver wants to invite Felicity over for dinner but she kindly declines. But in this scene, you’ll get a cringe-y feeling between the two. Although I respect the writers, it is as if they are forcing this dead love angle down our throats. I know there are a lot of Felicity fans out there but please, let us stop this and let’s go back to the essence of the show which is crime-drama. We are not looking for a love story!
The next and last flaw in this week’s episode is when Quentin was keeping secrets from the team, especially about what happened on the island. We know that in this show secrets are one of the main attributes, but at times it gets tiring. Can we not go one episode where one member of Team Arrow will once tell the truth without keeping it for a really long time? It gets redundant and tiresome! Back to Quentin, he did tell the team that Earth 2 Laurel was dead but he left the part out where he shot her in order to save Dinah.
This week’s episode was awesome, but still had its flaws. But let’s give them some breathing room. It is still the premiere. We have yet to see the whole season to see the improvements of the show. Hopefully, in the future episodes, we get to witness Oliver’s mentoring skills and how the members of Team Arrow deal with their inner demons. Also, hopefully we get to see Thea wake up from her deep slumber.