Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Arrow S04E01: "Green Arrow"

S04E01: "Green Arrow"
Rating: 5 out of 10 (OK)

In A Nutshell

Things start off as if we're watching a reality TV show, with some cheesy stuff as Oliver and Felicity "enjoy" their loved up life in normality. It's hard to watch, but at least we know we're not going to get a season of this. Sure enough, the gang back home turn up as they've encountered bad guys that they can't deal with, which beggars the question, did they think it would be simple bank robberies for the rest of their lives? Seems so. Anyhow, Oliver and co head back, and sure as sure, by the end of the episode he's back as the "star" of the show, but this time as "The Green Arrow". Makes sense. He has after all completely worn a green shade of some sort for three seasons!

The new bad guy doesn't initially sound as exciting as last season, but at least Damien Dark has the same charisma and stage presence as Ra al Ghul. Let's just hope the storyline lives up to any promise, as it's unclear from episode one what Damien wants, whereas we all knew where Ra al Ghul was going from day one. Still, he's a chirpy badass personality and pleasant to watch, and although he has little screentime this week he does however make an imprint.

Quentin Lance is still doing his grumpy impressions. Laurel seems to have inherited that gene, although she's still just as much a secondary interest as is Thea. All characters seem to have kept last season's stupidity in their actions, with everyone strangely either clueless to Thea's aggressiveness in combat and forgetting that "reborn in dodgy pool" scene from last season.

From being unpredictable and progressive, Arrow is now about as predictable as these kind of shows can get, with scenes and dialogue inserted so forcibly for us to digest that it's hard to get down without plenty of drink or metaphorical make believe salt. Diggle's grudge with Oliver feels so last season. We have to endure all the pep-talk and stupidity of it all.

The flashbacks so far might have potential but this week they were just like last season; pointless and dull. Not just that, but ridiculous. Oliver surviving falling on electricity cables and parachuting after being kicked in the head? Just too unbelievable even for fictional superhero shows. His comments in the present about "seeing" such people as Damien Dark before might mean the flashbacks take that sub-plot on. Quite how he can be sure Damien isn't a metahuman though at one glance takes more swallowing.

Things end a little intriguingly, what with Damien of course not being caught that easily, Quentin Lance in some sort of pact with the bad guy, and a scene with Oliver and Barry Allen at a graveyard. Seems someone is going to "get it" this season.

What I liked

Damien Dark has some stage presence, charisma, and signs of real threat.

The new Green Arrow suit looks cool.

What I Didn't Like

The standing in committee for the Mayor's Office are all taken out, with the only one who was saved being ... Quentin Lance! It really needed someone from the main cast to suffer a loss but they really managed to stuff that up once again, although as it happens, we later discover why. Still, it doesn't hide the fact that there doesn't seem to be any real peril for our main cast or consequences.

Flashbacks still quite underwhelming and somewhat hard to believe. Oliver falls off roof onto electric cables and is ok? Then gets drugged. Wakes up from being drugged on plane and gets ordered off at gunpoint? He doesn't try to fight back. Ok, so he's just woken up, but he gets his act together quite quickly, and then gets kicked in the head off the plane and yet parachutes down ok? There's just too much stupidity in plot work here to even begin to enjoy anything.

Boring lady Amanda Waller is back again. She's just bossyobnoxious and really dull.

Laurel Lance and kid in station; not only is she quite a dull character, but that scene with the child was cringey.

Blowing up the train outside of the station ... but it's still in the city right? Isn't it a little dangerous and how do they know for sure that no one else was on the train?


These powers would be useful at the dinner table 
Drugged. Woken up. Kicked in the head. Parachutes out plane ok. Sure, nothing ridiculous about any of this.
Diggle? Quentin? It's got to be one of those two. Sadly, the show could have done with a shock this week, not in 6 months.

And Finally

I started with optimism, but by the end of the episode I had the same sick stabbing dullness that filled my stomach during series 3. There's promise with the new bad guy, Damien Dark, and perhaps some twisting morals with Quentin Lance in league with him, but the same ridiculous interactions and disbelieving plot work still make it hard to care anywhere near as much as we did back in Season 1 and 2.

Rating: 5 out of 10

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