As Oliver Queen pursues happiness, fate may get in the way.
Unlike it’s CW/DC sibling, Arrow almost seemed to take a step back into slow burning angst when Oliver and Felicity were pulled home from the suburbs. It is only with last week’s episode; ‘Beyond Redemption’, that Arrow established its potential for an explosive season.
The season thus far posits Oliver as; quite possibly, the least brooding character. With a hint of a former frat boy, Oliver is set on fashionably relaunching himself as the Green Arrow; and Mayor.
Like a hipster on the inside of a Joke, the new name is disappointing to anyone not aware of Thea’s role as the Red Arrow.
Frat boy behaviour aside, here’s what we know. The season begins 6 months after the end of season 3, and it seems that within 6 months, Oliver is a reverent, changed man. His former seasonal angst is displaced for; the first time, pure perseverance, as he and Barry Allen, stand at the grave of a yet-to-be-revealed friend.
Whilst it would be a predictable writing ploy to have the grave belong to Felicity; the love who Oliver never gets around to; and in this case, never will, propose to. But with for the shocking and unpredictable, Arrow’s latest episode seems to direct our imminent mourning towards Detective Lance.
What seems to allude to a mid-season closer, rather than a season finale; I can’t help but wonder if this death will aid in the establishment of Legends of Tomorrow.
The season opens with Oliver and felicity living together in the suburbs; having first travelled the globe, following their leave of Starling city - since renamed Star city in memoriam of Ray Palmer.
Full of non-marital bliss, we discover amongst the sheets that Oliver has removed his Shado tattoo - but not his aged motto or Green colour scheme.
As the episode progresses, It would seem that Oliver is yet to let go of the past, despite this, as we still see Lian Yu flashbacks, which are sparse and vague; and without any other link to the present, thus far. It would appear that Oliver is trying too hard to rid himself of the darkness; and that as the season’s tone progresses, we will see it envelope him.
Dragged back to Star City with the multiple deaths of the Mayor(s); Felicity, as the new CEO of Palmer Tech, funds Oliver’s return to his role as the Arrow, despite the company edging near Bankruptcy. With faith that new, technological sidekick; Curtis Holt, will come up with something to save the company, the season continues on without financial woes. Instead, the fandom is left to wonder if Felicity’s financial issues will be resolved in saving Ray Palmer. Whilst his skill-set to manage both Palmer Tech and its funds is undoubtedly more frugal than Felicity’s methods; saving the currently; miniature, Ray Palmer comes with the discovery of atomising technology and ensures success for the corporation.
With this plot twist waiting in the wings, the season begins with a focus on Nanda parbat; namely with Thea and Damien Darhk. Thea, is finally demonstrating her long awaited ‘speedy’ behaviour as a consequence of her Lazarus pit revival. Ass kicking aside Thea is horrified by her surrender to her blood lust payment to the powers of the pit. The two consequent murders of Assassins aside; the crazed revival of Sara Lance, has me wondering why the pit still holds power after it is ultimately destroyed in episode 3? Is Thea; like Damien Darhk, sentenced to pay her regards to the powers beyond through blood?
Having used a botanical analogy to imply that he himself has died and returned, Damien Darhk alludes to a mysticism that threatens his reign of power.
Through the payment of his blood to what looks like an elaborate Pestle and Mortar; Nyssa’s destruction of the pit in episode 3 seems to be geographically limited. A non-meta human, It is with death that Darhk possesses his superpowers.
Will Sara then, be granted the same in her role as the White Canary in Legends of Tomorrow?
New to the series, but still lacking a code name, is Diggle’s compromised eyesight. Channeling Magneto, Diggle’s armour pushes him to the forefront in Oliver’s absence. With his return, tensions are high but ultimately resolved for the sake of Team Arrow’s mission.
In episode three, it is Diggle’s revealed eyes that cause one of Damien Darhk’s Ghosts to hesitate in his attack against him. With Darhk’s Hive of Ghosts, linked to his brother’s death, it seems only a matter of time before the writer’s reveal, that Diggle’s brother is a ghost - in a more tangible sense. Much like the flashbacks that accompany Oliver’s ties to Amanda Waller; who convinces Oliver that the only way out of his ‘darkness’ is through, Damien Darhk may hold something over Diggle’s brother.
Episode one of the season also toyed with the theme of children. When Olicity are asked about children their stuttered responses hint at an awaiting plot point. Was this just non-consequential talk? or will this season reveal the existence of Oliver’s son.
Whilst we can’t confirm this, the arrival of Moira Queen’s friend seems to be more significant, than material for a case-of-the-week, mayor assassination attempt.
For the meantime, as the team tackle Darhk’s threat to the city; and Oliver’s mortality, Felicity is also distracted by mysterious interference on her phone.
Whilst is is more than obvious to fans that an atomised Ray Palmer is the culprit; is Felicity’s inability to figure out what’s wrong a writing technique to delay Ray revival for the sake of Sara’s?
Whilst Sara’s physical form alive, last week revealed that no amount of trips down memory lane were to bring back her soul.
Whilst Oliver is blissfully unaware, his mayoral Campaign is set to be interrupted in tomorrow night’s new episode.
Upon discovering Detective Lance’s dealing with Damien Darhk, things seem to be shaping up for Team Arrow in the recruitment of Lance as a double agent - though it may end in tragedy 6 months later.
Having teamed up with Lance last week, to take down a human threat in a universe of meta-humans, the theme of the soul definitely plays into tomorrow episode. Last week’s episode, and it’s species of Villain seems to focus on the significance and consequence of choice. With the arrival of Constantine in tomorrow’s episode ‘Haunted’, and the mission to revive Sara’s soul, the season definitely aims to tip the scale of Laurel’s, Lance’s and Oliver’s fate.
Choosing to remove her sister from peace, will the darkness associated with the underworld and the Lazarus pit emerge once more and set a doomed tone for the season?