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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Arrow Season 3 Premiere "The Calm" Review

Arrow starts off season three with a bang for sure.  This episode gives us action, love drama, and intrigue.  It’s a classic CW formula. 

The episode begins with the Arrow and his team already in action.  They are rushing to take down an arms shipment.  It’s in this scene that we see Roy has taken a more active role in the group.  With a little coordination and only a little effort the team takes down the weapons shipment.

Shortly thereafter we are given an overview of the way things are following the events of the season two finale.  Oliver is broke and no longer owns his company, Diggle is soon to be a father, Roy is a full-fledged member of the team even looking like a “Red Arrow” type of character, and Felicity has a regular job which she hates.  We also see that the relationship between Oliver and Felicity is blossoming into a potential romantic relationship.

In fact, it is this episode where we get to see Oliver and Felicity finally take a step towards a real romantic relationship.  Oliver asks Felicity out on a regular date which seems to start off fine – until the criminal who has taken up the mantle of Vertigo, Werner Zytle, shoots an RPG into the restaurant where they are having their date. 

It turns out that the drug Vertigo is still on the streets and the arms shipment which was taken down by the Arrow and his team was meant for Zytle.  Now Zytle, as the new Vertigo, has his sets set on taking over the criminal underworld and is using his newly improved formula of Vertigo to help him.  And first on his to-do list is taking out the Arrow, which he tries to do by having a thug plant a tracking device on the Arrow just before Oliver ended up going on his date.

Needless to say, Felicity gets hurt and Oliver has feelings of regret and blames himself for her injury.  Even though she is only knocked out, Oliver takes it really hard.  He states that he wasn’t focused and should have noticed the guy plant the tracker on him.  Diggle tries to talk him out of the decision to end the relationship before it begins, but Oliver won’t listen.

Thus the tension between Oliver and Felicity continues as he breaks it off with her in a very wishy-washy manner.  Felicity says for him to stop dangling maybe and just say never!  Oliver kisses her and tells her not to ask him to say he doesn’t love her.  Felicity is upset and tells him that “I told you as soon as we talked, it would be over.”  And like that, their relationship ends before it begins.

But all that is after Oliver tries and fails to get his company back from the current board of trustees.  A new player in the game, tech savvy Ray Palmer, shows up and makes a counter-presentation to the board which wows everyone present.  Needless to say, Ray is given the company.

Thus begins the tension triangle which is ever-present in the show.  Ray Palmer has taken an interest in Felicity.  She is annoyed at Ray for having manipulated her into helping him get encrypted data from Queen Consolidated which helped him win over the board.  Oliver still wants to be with Felicity, but is self-sacrificing and thinks being with her would be dangerous and selfish so he refuses to get involved.

It’s the typical CW Hero who, while fun to watch and brave against any bad guy or evil doer, is completely afraid of their own happiness.  It’s actually frustrating to watch the unrequited love that is such a constant in these shows.  And yet it keeps us hooked so well, hoping that they can overcome the odds and just be together in the end.

The episode ends with some action as Oliver and Roy take down Zytle and foil his plan to blow up a stadium - part of a plan to take out three crime bosses and leave him at the top of the underworld.  The episode also ends with joy and new beginnings as Diggle is shown to have become a daddy while Oliver was taking down Zytle.  And finally, it ends in tragedy as Sarah Lance, back in town to see her hospitalized father (or so we are somewhat lead to believe), is killed by a mysterious off-screen archer – shot three times and then falls from a roof to land right in front of her sister Laurel whom she had just met with.

The plot thickens for sure.  Who is this mysterious archer?  Was it Merlyn or someone else?  And who is Ray Palmer and what are his real plans for Oliver and Queen Consolidated?  And of course, who will try to destroy the city this season?

I know I’m excited.  I hope you are too!

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