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Arrow “The Calm” Review: Yet Another Bull’s Eye

by Armand Hill


In my mind at least, Arrow has established itself as the gold star standard in superhero TV shows. In two seasons we have see Steven Amell’s version of Green Arrow eclipse his comic book counterpart, struggle to survive despite being trapped on a not so deserted island, prevent the complete destruction of Starling City via man made earthquake at the hands of Malcolm Merlin, played by John Barrowman, his best friend’s father and father of his half sister and save the city again from Deathstroke, played by Manu Bennett, a former friend now misguided and bent on revenge. With an amazing cast and exceptional writing was there any chance that the first episode of season three would fail to reach the mark set by the previous seasons? None whatsoever.

This season kicked off with Oliver, Diggle, Felicity and Roy being able to enjoy their victory over Deathstroke. Crime is down and the crew has been successful in taking down most of the major crime in the city. Laurel Lance is back to being a stellar District Attorney, Detective Lance has been promoted to Captain, Roy is an important part of the team, but is still missing Thea who left with her father Malcolm Merlin at the end of the season. Diggle is getting ready to have a baby girl with his ex-wife, Oliver is trying to regain control over Queen Consolidated, and Felicity…..well Felicity is stuck working at what looks like a cross between Radio Shack and the Geek Squad from Best Buy. Most importantly it looks like Oliver and Felicity might actually explore having a relationship. So the first twenty minutes literally represents the calm before the storm.

Brandon Routh, who previously played Superman in Superman Returns, returns to the DC Universe as Ray Palmer also known as the Atom. Palmer stifles Oliver’s attempts to regain control over the company in part due to some unintentional help from Felicity. I hope fans who were hyper critical of Routh in Superman give him a second look as Ray Palmer. He takes a character that isn’t known for having much of a personality and succeeds in making him likeable and repulsive all at the same time, while establishing the intelligence that the character is known for. Palmer looks to be an obstacle for Oliver for at least part of the season, but truthfully it seems inevitable that we will see the Arrow and the Atom fighting side by side.

The rest of the “the Calm” doesn’t go much better for the team. A new Count played by Werner Zytle has improved the previous Count’s drug Vertigo, and is making plans to take over organized crime in the city and decides one of his early steps is to take out the Arrow. Oliver and Felicity’s date is disrupted by an RPG fired by one of the Count’s men after placing a tracer on Oliver while in action. Diggle is removed from field duty by Oliver on the grounds of the impending birth of his daughter. Captain Lance also nearly dies again and his forced to leave field work because of the heart issues we first saw him experience at the end of Season two.

The team is able to regroup and stop the Count who is planning to blow up and arena in order to kill his last three significant rivals. Help comes in the form of Black Canary/Sara Lance, played by Caity Lotz. Ultimately Oliver chooses to break things off with Felicity but only after the kiss fans have been wondering would ever happen. We even get a nice moment between Laurel and Sara Lance, before….. Sara Lance is shot three times with black arrows, falling off a building and dying in her sister’s arms. Yeah the good times ended really quickly. While I’m saddened by the lost of Caity Lotz and will genuinely miss seeing her on Arrow this does set up the transformation of Laurel Lance in the version of the Black Canary DC comic book fans are familiar with.

This season looks like it has the potential to outdo Season two, which seemed like it got exponentially better with each episode. With an appearance from Rila Fukushima, who at some point in the season should turn into the hero Katana, and an upcoming appearance by Robbie Amell as Firestorm, I don’t think that Arrow will have too many misses this season.

About Armand (1275 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill
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