Arrow: The Calm (3×01)
Synopsis: An aptly named episode title as Team Arrow jumps back into action with a new Count Vertigo and new twists and turns for Oliver Queen.
Whenever a show starts as positively as Arrow did yesterday, I know horrible things are about to happen. The entire episode was, for the most part, on the positive side. Thanks to The Arrow, Starling City’s crime rate has gone down, but so has its population. It’s nice to see a show reflect how real people would act living in a city where they had been threatened with near death not once but twice. Hell, I would leave the city too if this was the problem.
But despite a sinking population, it’s still nice that the streets are a little safer. The newly appointed Captain Quentin Lance announces to the city that the anti-vigilante task squad has been disbanded, and also thanks the Arrow for his service to the city. It’s nice to see a vigilante get a little thanks, though normally in stories when the vigilante gets thanks it’s followed quickly by an angry mob with torches and pitchforks so we’ll see how long this all lasts.
It isn’t long however, before we meet a new villain. Werner Zytle, played by Peter Stormare, replacing the recently deceased Count Vertigo with his new dose of vertigo. Intent on taking down the Arrow, he puts a gps tracker on Ollie and finds him later at a restaurant on a date with Felicity. Yes, you heard us, date. I won’t say I’m not happy with these Olicity (Oliver and Felicity) scenes we’re getting, I am most definitely happy with them. But come on, all this cute smiling and flirting and dating? THIS IS ALL HAPPENING TOO FAST TO BE GOOD.
And of course when the new Count Vertigo finds the restaurant where the two are out on their first date, he hits it with an RPG. Oliver takes his as a sign that he shouldn’t get too close to protect her. God damn it Oliver, she’s going to be by your side anyways, don’t make this about you.
Without a Queen Consolidated to work for Felicity finds herself at a local electronics shop where she meets Superman. Oh wait no, sorry that’s not Superman. That’s Brandon Routh! Yes, it seems our one-time Superman has found himself on Arrow sporting the name Ray Palmer. You know what that means, comic book fans, it’s Atom! They were talking about bringing us Justice League people, and here we are! Unfortunately for Olicity fans Ray seems to be set up as a potential love interest for Felicity as well as business rival against Oliver Queen.
After blowing Ollie out of the water in a board meeting to bid for QC, he offers Felicity a job. Ray seems to want to “rebrand” Starling City into Star City. Green Arrow fans know this as the city that Oliver Queen is from, and it’s cool to see the potential switch from what we thought might have been artistic license with names into an evolution of a city.
Team Arrow is successfully taking people down, Roy and Ollie are partners (though I guess Roy has no alias yet? Or is he Speedy… I can’t remember) in action, Diggle finds himself being benched by Oliver. With Lyla’s baby about to be born, Oliver is doing all he can to protect his bff/a father-to-be. Although Dig opposes him initially, after the birth of his daughter, he starts to see validity in Oliver’s argument. Now they both have something that they can lose, Oliver has Felicity and Diggle has his daughter (I know Lyla can fend for herself with the best of them, so we’re not including her in this).
Of course with crime down, you’d think Captain Lance would be able to sit his ass down and relax a little, but he’s still popping his pain pills and taking down perps in the sewer. Does he have less hair now or am I going crazy? He collapses in a fight and Laurel pleads for him to stay put. Speaking of Lances, Sara’s back! She helps Ollie take down the new Count and I am remembering why I love Black Canary so much. But of course, the TV Gods knew I loved her, and decided to punish me, because after a heartfelt moment between Sara and Laurel, she gets three arrows to the chest and is sent plummeting down a building.
I’m not going to lie, I was definitely not seeing this coming. It made the scene between the sisters even more heartbreaking. These two have had their fights and we’ve seen them more frequently butting heads than working together. But it seemed like they were finally in a good place. All of the secrets and the lies were over. But of course, like I said, when you have too much of a good thing, bad things start happening.
And of course, you didn’t think I’d forget about that final scene between Oliver and Felicity? Oliver, Oliver, Oliver. The kiss that we’ve seen in the promotional trailers doesn’t live up to the initial feelings. Sure I’m freaking out and crying into my pillow, but it’s a goodbye kiss. Oliver can’t tell Felicity he doesn’t love her, but they both know it won’t work out… for now. Obviously I’ll be holding a torch for these two for a long time.
Oliver also gets a call from Barry in the episode and goes to meet him, adding more links between Arrow and The Flash which is a great thing in my book. Keep them up, CW! There’s also Ollie’s flashbacks to Hong Kong. We don’t get much, other than he’s being held at A.R.G.U.S. against his will by Amanda Waller, and after several escape attempts, he is held by his handler Maseo Yamashiro, who tells Oliver he must stay with him or else Waller will kill Yamashiro’s entire family.
It’s a great first episode. Despite all the heartache I felt, it was both a perfect premiere in that it closed up story lines and opened new ones and in that it wasn’t just a housekeeping episode. I don’t know how I feel about the sudden development between Oliver and Felicity. From the season two finale I had a feeling that we would be strung along a little between the two, but the first scenes we get of the two together are incredibly flirtatious. I am afraid of this show falling for fan service, but they ended up doing the right thing. It would be incredibly out of character for Oliver to stay with Felicity after a freaking RPG attack, and these two have more things to work out before they get their happy ending.
Predictions for the following season: Laurel is going to take up the Black Canary mantle by the end of the season; Batman is making an appearance in the episode titled The Brave and The Bold; We’ll get to see Ray Palmer as the Atom at the midseason break along with a new Star City; Barry and Ollie will have many more scenes together on both shows; We’re getting a look into Felicity’s parentage. Also as far as who killed Sara, I’ve heard people comment it as Ra’s, but I am not convinced it is him. I know he’ll be around this season, but it seems a little simple? Who knows… but I’m excited to see!