Adam Reynoso ‘15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Picking up a few months after the events of the season finale, Arrow starts off the season with a few explosions, a date, a birth and a major death. To say the premiere has a lot going on would be an understatement.
The Arrow has been hard work, putting away most of the criminals over the time jump. As a result, Oliver (Stephen Amell) feels like he may have the chance to have a personal life, so much so that he asks Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) out on a date, something most fans have been waiting for since season one. Diggle (David Ramsey) is preparing to become a father and adjusting to that. And Roy (Colton Haynes) has become integrated into the team, having his own red costume and has finally become Arsenal. Roy wasn’t the focus on the episode, but it was seen that he’s still reeling with the break-up with Thea (Willa Holland), as well as her absence.
All of these storylines are ones that mark the beginning of a new chapter in the series. It almost feels like a brand new show, even the flashbacks are a different vibe than the previous seasons. With the location now being in China, the flashbacks are showing a new environment and new dangers, as well as lessons, for Oliver.
Identity seems to be the theme of the season, as each character is struggling to find theirs in the episode. Diggle realizes that as long as he’s a father, he can’t do what Oliver does, something Oliver makes it a point to tell him. He has a family now and this was never Diggle’s mission. At first, he was angry, but once he held his newborn, he realized that Oliver was right. Oliver’s trying to find a way to be more than his mask, something Sara (Caity Lotz) advises him on. But after an explosion interrupts his date with Felicity and she’s knocked unconscious, he tells himself that he can’t have what he wants and be the Arrow. Roy is embracing his role in the team and moving on from his past. And Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is finally at a good point at work, especially now that she knows about Oliver’s vigilante side.
But what makes the premiere one to remember is the way it ends, with the death of major character and current Black Canary, Sara Lance. She’s shot with three arrows and falls off the roof, landing right in front of her sister. It’s a heartbreaking scene and something the show usually saves for the end of the season. It’s clear that her death and murder will be a major part of at least the first half of the season. And knowing that Laurel will eventually take on the Black Canary identity, it’s clear this will really affect her storyline and give her that motivation.
One last thing the premiere set up was the mystery of who Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) is and what it is he wants with Queen Consolidated. He’s clearly interested in Felicity and has to have some motive for wanting to own the company. His character will be an interesting one to watch.
With an explosive premiere, the show has continued to keep up what made it work in the past two seasons while also making it feel fresh at the same time. By killing off a fan favorite at the beginning of the season instead of at the end, this is a great way to really see the fallout from such a tragic event. Add in the cameo by Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) to tie in the crossover from The Flash’s premiere, and the season premiere was a strong step in the right direction.
Overall Grade: A