Episode Title: “Green Arrow”
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Paul Blackthorne, Emily Bett Rickards
Directed by: Thor Freudenthal
Finally…after 3 full seasons and 78 total episodes…we have Green Arrow. Not just in spirit or appearance but actually in name. What a concept! Arrow returns for its fourth season and like the Flash season premiere it takes places several months after last season’s finale. Oliver and Felicity have left Star City and crime fighting behind and our living a tranquil (and boring) life in the suburbs where they make soufflés and talk to their neighbors on the patio.
Back in Star City, Black Canary, Thea (taking the guise of Red Arrow), and Diggle continue to their crusade to keep the city safe. Diggle is now sporting a silly looking Magneto-like helmet to hide his disguise. The city has come under attack by a new group of criminals that have been dubbed The Ghosts. They assassinate the city’s top leaders except for Captain Lance who is wounded. Outmatched, the three lure Oliver and Felicity back to the city to aid them.
It is revealed that the new criminal organization is controlled by Damien Darhk, a former member of the League of Assassins who has supernatural abilities. The group he controls is known as the H.I.V.E. and Diggle recalls Deadshot mentioning this group as the ones that hired him to kill his brother. The group plans to blow up a new train the city is unveiling. Oliver and Diggle have to put aside their still unresolved personal issues in order to stop Darhk. In the final scene which jumps ahead six months, Oliver and Barry Allen stand before the grave of someone close to both of them who has recently passed but whose grave it is will remain a mystery for now.
Neil McDonough plays Damien Darhk as a recurring character this season. McDonough brings a sinister yet debonair quality that previous, more in your face villains, didn’t have. While he displayed the ability to go toe-to-toe and get the best of Oliver you get the sense that he would rather send his henchmen to do his dirty work.
I think I have made my feelings known about Thea numerous times in past reviews. Less Thea is always better and now having her as an active participant in the team will be near unbearable. Her angst with Oliver was back on full display last night and unlike Ollie’s issues with Diggle, the angle between he and Thea is badly contrived. On the plus side, Oliver did get a new costume courtesy of Cisco Ramone
Very little mention of Ray Palmer who was last seen caught in the explosion at Palmer Technologies. Of course, we know he is okay and will be turning up in the Legends of Tomorrow spinoff series in 2016. I would assume we will see him in Arrow, however, before that series premieres. Let the speculation begin on just whose grace it was we saw in the final scene. If we assume Oliver was the last one at the funeral, with Barry apologizing for being late, we can infer that it was someone specifically close to Oliver such as Felicity or Thea as opposed to Laurel or Diggle. In any case, it looks like bad things are coming for someone soon.