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Arrow Review: “Green Arrow”

Green Arrow has finally arrived. What? You say he’s been here for the last three years? No, let me explain. ‘Arrow’ has been here. The dark, brooding, makes-you-want-to-punch-him-in-the-face, Christopher Nolan-esque anti-hero played by the dark, brooding, makes-you-want-to-punch-him-in-the-face Oliver Queen.

That? That wasn’t Green Arrow. And it’s more than just a name change. It’s a methodology and priority change. It’s a change in outlook and focus. Not just for Oliver but for the ‘Arrow’ and the team in general. Here, now, you have a team that has matured, a team that has found it’s own way, without its creator and reason for being. A team that, with the exception of some really nasty baddies run by a supremely nasty Big Bad has been able to hold its own without Oliver or the ‘Arrow.’

And into that team, a team centered around trust and teamwork, comes the very antithesis of that. A character who has been so driven in the past to work alone and protect everyone from ‘his problems’ that he ignored the advice of some friends and threatened the lives of others (and their families).

Maybe he had a reason for it, a justification. Maybe. But the point is that the new show, Green Arrow, is an intentional break from that. And it’s a refreshing one at that.

As I said, Team Arrow has found it’s own stride. For Oliver to come back, well it wasn’t easy. Diggle still has a gripe (and a legit one) with him and is hesitant to forgive and forget. And that works because it doesn’t follow the standard formula of “oh look, the team is back together! ::confetti::” There is tension, and strife. But mostly internal.

True, there is the threat of Damian Dark, and it’s not a threat to be taken lightly, but this episode was all about settling up some issues from last season. And some of those issues are now out in the open and will keep things interesting.

I do find it odd that they keep throwing in references to Ray Palmer’s death. The billboards, renaming the city in his honor… things like that. Yes, the Palmer Tech lab blew up with Ray in it, but we know for a fact that he lived because he is in Legends. So it feels forced, like they are going to pop out and say “Surprise! Ray isn’t dead after all!” and we will all be like, “Well duh, you already cast him in the new show so…. yea.”

I admit, I did not see the fact that Lance was in cahoots with H.I.V.E. coming. That’s shocking on many levels. What does Dark have on him to force him to do his bidding?

And really, did they need to throw that ‘Six Months Later’ epilogue on? Who is in the grave? Obviously they want us to think it’s Felicity but why? Why force us to get invested in the story? The only reason they would need to do that, to make sure we are interested, would be because they don’t feel the story is strong enough on it’s own. Rumor even has it the producers don’t even know who is in the grave.

Personally I felt like it was a very good coming home story for Oliver, especially since they didn’t sweep the events of last season under the rug (kind of like Flash did) and are dealing with the repercussions of his actions last year. It will be interesting to see where they take us this season.

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