After an agonizing couple of months, Arrow returns to the small screen. After the mid-season break, fans will no doubt have been racking their brains over the big question: when is Oliver coming back?
Answers aren’t forthcoming this time though. Instead we catch up with team Arrow as they try to hold it together until Oliver comes back. The plus side is this gives Roy a chance to be more involved with the action. It’s pretty nifty to see Arsenal living up to his name for a change. We begin with a thrilling chase scene where Diggle dons the Arrow costume, likely for the last time as apparently it’s too tight.
Obviously we know Oliver was killed last time, but the team doesn’t. Clarification doesn’t come until much later. It takes a couple of visits from Malcolm Merlyn for it to sink in. What follows is emotional turmoil as each member of the team handles things differently.
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Felicity has the most open reaction, which isn’t helped by Ray Palmer’s continued plans and attempts at building a super suit to help him fight crime. It’s an odd set of scenes that probably should have been held off until next time.
Danny Brickwell (played by Vinnie Jones no less) is the new villain on the block. He comes across as suitably dangerous. While Oliver’s presence would probably lessen his effect, without him Brick is a force to be reckoned with.
Oliver does still appear in this episode though. His flashback sequence sets up Maseo being in his debt. What follows is a series of vague scenes that ultimately lead us to the inevitable comeback of our hero. The flashback scenes throw a little action our way, but ultimately with things being so tense in the present it takes away from the overall effect of the episode.
The icing on the cake is the shootout sequence between Arsenal, Diggle and Brick’s gang. It’s a well-shot chaotic sequence that shows just how desperate but determined team Arrow can be even with the possibility of Oliver being dead. There’s a lot of jumping around and people finding out at different times though.
For example, Thea doesn’t even hear about what’s happened to Oliver and Laurel finds out towards the end of the episode.
Not content with so much cool stuff in one episode, there’s at least one more surprise at the end. Laurel finally takes up the mantle of the Black Canary. It’s a brief scene to be sure, and many people had predicted it long before the actress in the costume pictures appeared online. It’s still cool to see so many of the characters advancing. Arsenal has a more proactive role, and Thea’s combat training means she’ll surely be in some real fight scenes before this season is over.
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While a return after such a lengthy absence is always good, having Oliver being resurrected at the end of this episode seems too soon. For the audience the wait lasted longer than it would when the show is viewed during a binge watch. I suppose the writers were aware of audience expectations, but then it begs the question of why they killed Oliver off to begin with. Having said that, it might be a test run to see how both team Arrow and the audience feel about the titular hero being removed.
A fantastic return to form though. With all the set-ups involved this time around, Arrow can only get better.
Do you think Laurel will make a good Black Canary? Has Oliver been brought back too soon? Let us know in the comments below…