Arrow Season 3, Episode 1, 'The Calm', Review

10/08/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

After this review, I will be reviewing Arrow over at Watchtower of Babel News.  Geek5auce will still continue providing all current coverage, except for the weekly Arrow review.

Arrow managed to set a high bar for itself, after the very strong finish to Season 2.  The central cast has grown, the stakes have been raised, and now Arrow also has to carry 50% of a shared universe with The Flash.

Spoilers to follow for this episode and seasons 1-2 of Arrow.

This episode demonstrated a phenomenal understanding of what it is the show has going for it and what the fans want.  The action and choreography were all excellent, #Olicity gets some attention, and we've stepped foot into an even deeper (and previously untraveled) backstory for Oliver.

This episode didn't do a whole lot to launch into a new seasonal arc, but it did sort of reshuffle the board to prepare for a new season.  Roy is set up as an established member of team Arrow as Arsenal/Red Arrow, Diggle is transitioned off the team with the birth of his child, the vigilante task force is disassembled, Oliver and Felicity's relationship is hinted, then (hopefully) put to bed for good, and Sarah Lance, AKA Black Canary, is assassinated by a mysterious killer (start of the midseason arc?).

The episode was fairly solid as a standalone episode, but it was most successful in setting the scene for the rest of the season.  We're set to explore this deeper universe with a new team dynamic, likely finding the characters caught up in the larger word of A.R.G.U.S. and League of Assassins.

The biggest concern was with the cliffhanger ending of Black Canary's execution by another archer.  I understand why they did it, ant it makes sense, and it had to be done.  Laurel's actual first name is Dinah, so she had to don the Black Canary mask eventually of the sake of continuity with the character in the comics, but I have very little confidence in Katie Cassidy carrying the character.

The show runners definitely found a way to refresh the show and keep things fresh.  The show has held up well over the last two seasons, so it's only appropriate to give Arrow the benefit of the doubt.  If the show can meet the high bar it is setting for itself, then this season will be one hell of a ride.

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