Review: Arrow, Season 3 Premiere

It's almost universally acknowledged that Arrow is the best super hero television show on right now, if not ever and a lot of that has to do with its second season. The showrunners created an excellent antagonist in the form of Slade Wilson and only compounded that with the "trinity of evil" with Brother Blood and Isabel Rochev. But can they maintain the momentum into the third season? Most of what we've seen in press releases and teaser trailers leads most to believe that they can. However, a less than remarkable season premiere may prove otherwise.

That's not to say "less than remarkable" means it was bad. For the most part, the episode, "The Calm", gives fans a chance to catch up on what the characters have been doing during the hiatus. Starling City is trying to rebuild after the havoc wreaked by Slade's Mirakuru powered army while Oliver is still broke and no longer in control of his company, Queen Consolidated. However, there are some bright spots on the horizon. Detective Lance has been promoted to Captain and issues a statement pardoning the Arrow, actually thanking him for his help. Diggle and his ex-wife, Lyla, are about to expect their first child. And Felicity is working with the Queen Consolidated board to give Oliver the chance to argue his case for being in control again.

But more than this, "The Calm" offered fans what they've been clamoring for for two years: Oliver and Felicity getting together. While I don't like the idea (seriously, Oliver has already slept with most of the primary ensemble; Felicity would just be another notch in his belt), I can see that I am in the minority on this. And at least their "date" made for a good scene, allowing Oliver to open up about his feelings and his fear of relationships. So at least we can see where he's coming from with his hesitance to get closer to Felicity.

We also got introduced to a new character, Ray Palmer. Comic fans know who Ray is and what he could mean for the series but all we've seen is that he's a scientist/industrialist who is also vying for control of Queen Consolidated. He's basically a more likable, less pretty version of Isabel Rochev. (Don't get me wrong; Brandon Routh is a pretty guy but let's face it, he's no Summer Glau.)

Fans also got the chance to see Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) slip into his Arsenal persona. Though he's never addressed as such, he's fully suited and acting as Oliver's partner in the field, which I thought was a little quick. Granted, most of season 2 set up his eventual rise into the role, and months have passed since he's proven himself in battle in the last season finale, but to see him already in action was sudden for me. What I did like was his uncertainty. For a guy as cocky as Roy, seeing the doubt creep into his face as key points at least helped to strengthen his character, which was sorely needed.

It was a laid back episode, without a doubt, as evidenced by the title itself, "The Calm". The plot itself was formulaic in the way it reintroduced a legacy character into the mix but at least the action and stunts held true to what fans expect from the series. As far as season premieres go, I was pretty bored with this one.

Right up until the last minute.

No, I won't spoil it but I will say that the final minute of the episode is what made sitting through the rest of it worthwhile. That one minute, hopefully, will set the theme for the entire season. That one minute could have changed the course of the show. And because of that one minute, I cannot wait to see next week's episode.

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