The long wait is finally over as season three of Arrow kicks off with a hot date, plenty of kickass action, and an explosive bang, literally.
I’ve had an on/off relationship with Arrow since it started, but a friend of mine is head over heels for the show and urged me to carry on watching. I’m extremely grateful as the third season really picks up the pace and sets up, hopefully, a wonderfully intense and action-packed new season.
After season two finished with mastermind villain Slade having finally been defeated by Team Arrow, the potential for new storylines was unlimited, and we open the episode with an enjoyable calmness to the show, especially between everyone’s favourite duo, Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak.
The pair have great on-screen chemistry in a way that feels organic. As a viewer, you really feel comfortable watching their interactions on a friendly and romantic level. There were always hints of a romantic spark between the pair, but this episode really sets the bar for any other relationship on the show. We see Oliver, finally free of any demons, open up and ask Felicity to dinner, and the vulnerability between the pair continues to blossom throughout the episode.
Despite the suggested smooth sailing, it was clear that there were rocky roads ahead for the duo, as their date is rudely interrupted by a sudden attack from new villain, Zytle, who plans to take down the vigilante. New hero Roy is initiated into the team with a very great, very red look, and he and Oliver are quick to take down Zytle, with a few bumps here and there. The impact is enough for Oliver to reconsider his vulnerability. As a hero, it’s understandable that there will always be someone to fight or an attack to stop, and it only took a small reminder for Oliver to close up from Felicity once again.
Now, I’m always one to understand a slow-burner, but I think we all saw this one coming a mile away. Cliché? Yes, but still heart-breaking. If it’s any consolation, the pair share a sweet first kiss in the hospital before parting ways. That’s right, Lyla and Diggle’s baby is born! These two are another relationship that I’m fully invested in, and their interactions were a light, humorous addition to an otherwise sad and mournful episode.
Meanwhile, in flashback land, we’re up to Oliver and his adventures in Hong Kong. I found myself bored during the island flashbacks and I’m not too keen on these ones either. The present is far more inviting than the past, even if we get to see Stephen Amell play two versions of Oliver, which is always enjoyable.
In this episode we also see Felicity’s potential new love interest in the form of clever Ray Palmer (played by Superman’s very own Brandon Routh), and we welcome back Laurel, her father, and her badass sister, Sara, who disappeared at the end of last season. I’ve always been a fan of Sara Lance, and to see her ‘come back to life’ was a wonderful addition to season 2.
This week’s ending, however, was the equivalent of having a knife stabbed repeatedly into my heart.
I tend to react suddenly to shocking TV moments and Sara’s death may have ruined the show for me. Perhaps that’s over-selling the character, but it felt sudden, unnecessary and disrespectful to a character that had gone through so much. Up until that point I was sold on Arrow’s new season, but now I’m not so sure.
I’m curious as to how Sara’s death will fuel Team Arrow, so I’ll continue to tune in, but it has to be said that this was either a really brave and clever move, or a really stupid one.