Arrow has been a guilty pleasure of mine since the first episode. I thought of it as a superhero soap opera. The writing was cheesy, inconsistent, and riddled with clichés. But the show had heart. The characters were genuinely likable. Helped by a cast of actors who have always been bursting with charisma. And, most importantly, the creators seem to have a strong affection for the source material. They’ve listened to what the fans want to see, and have been shaping each season to be a little bit better than the one before. Season Four looks to be following suit. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this may be the best episode to date. What’s up with Oliver Queen? Oh, you know. He’s in love now. Yada yada yada. Now that the world has seen the death of the Arrow, he’s moved to the suburbs with Felicity and taken up gourmet cooking. Love is a dangerous thing, people. What’s down in Starling City? The shit is hitting the fan like every five minutes in this place. What? No one saw this coming? The old crew is still fighting the good fight. Diggle joins in as a mask, now. Thea has adopted the mantle of “Red Arrow.” Laurel is still all lipstick and leather, baby. But even their combined might is not . . . Okay, I need you imagining really dramatic music as I type this next part. But even their combined might is not enough to stop the evil machinations – yes, machinations – of the dreaded death-dealer… DAMIEN DARRRRRHK!!! Played deliciously by the amazing Neal McDonough. You may remember Mr. McDonough’s run as a Detroit wise guy on the series Justified. McDonough is one of those wonderful actors who plays a villain with so much panache, you just aren’t sure if you want to hate him. Here, as Damien Darhk, we also see Arrow fully plunging into DC’s mystical side. Damien Darhk wields some powerful mojo. He can flip arrows from their trajectory with barely a wave of his hand. He can do the Darth Vader mind choke on his minions to keep them in line. He’s a pretty bad dude. This makes me immensely happy. I was a huge fan of the doomed Constantine series on NBC. Knowing that Matt Ryan will be doing a guest reprise of that role later in the season has me all a titter. I don’t titter lightly. Seeing as how they’re making mysticism a major influence over the events of the show, I’m hoping Ryan’s Constantine may figure into the narrative in a more meaningful way. And, maybe, return again sometime? Or, oh God, maybe Constantine could get picked up by . . . okay, okay, okay, getting myself way over stimulated. I don’t want to get my hopes up. Let’s just leave it at saying, I like where the show is headed. Ultimately, of course, Oliver has to return to his post as head vigilante. But now that he’s put many of his past demons to rest, we see a new Oliver. A reborn Oliver Queen. One who is finally ready to stop acting like an imitation Batman and, instead, become the hero that the city needs. Yeah, that’s right. I said it. In a scene that actually gave me goose bumps, Oliver, in his totally badass new costume, tells the citizens of Starling that he has come to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, The Arrow. But, unlike that Arrow, he hopes to be a symbol of hope, rather than one of darkness. Then, he said the damn words that I have been waiting to hear since the first damn season. “I am the Green Arrow.” That, by the way, is when the goose bumps happened. The show’s closing epilogue seems to be taking a page out of The Flash’s book. We get a brief glimpse into the near future. Someone in Oliver’s life will die. I was very impressed that they handled this without the usual heavy melodrama of past seasons. We know someone is going bye bye. And that it will change Oliver in significant ways. All of this was garnered from the season opener. I really wasn’t expecting to be that into Arrow this season. Now I may be more excited about it than most of other shows on my list. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.