Arrow is back, with a new outfit, attitude and everything, following on from season 3 with Star City now saved, Oliver having left the city with Felicity to live a normal life with her and the city left to Thea, Laurel and Diggle, we start off with Oliver and Felicity living together in suburbia and with Oliver now a bit different, he’s actually joking and you can already see a lighter tone to the season. But you have to wonder how long the honeymoon period will last.
Meanwhile in Star City, The and Laurel are busting crims and Theas excitement for the role is showing, the new team Arrow works fairly well together and the set piece with the truck and van jump us right into the action, something Arrow is good at. The team clearly needs some help though according to Laurel as they deal with escalating violence in the city. Detective Lance sits in a meeting talking about Star City and how it can go forward into the future and we finally get an introduction to Damien Dahrk, season 4s big bad and a league of shadows affiliate, he has a rather insidious sounding plan for the city and also got into the room rather mysteriously.
I like how he just shows up, not particularly threatening anyone or twirling his mustache but his intentions resound in what he says, bad guy for sure. We get a flashback to Oliver as an amateur vigilante chasing down criminals, as he comes across Amanda Waller in Star City.
City hall members are being targeted and taken out ominously, while the SCPD gets assaulted by armed men, there’s a clear contrast with things getting worse in Olivers absence while things with himself and Felicity are good as ever. Laurel and Thea pay Oliver a visit to try and get his help, he’s clearly reluctant to get back into the Arrow mantle but agrees to take action, coming back to the Arrow cave while tension between Diggle and Oliver are still high but the two have to work together one way or another, Diggle isn’t the only one unhappy to see Oliver as Detective Laurence also gives him a frosty reception.
Team Arrow is back, sort of and it’s great but things just aren’t the same, it is a bit weird seeing Oliver and Felicity together, though at the same time some of their dialogue in the episode has been great, we learn that Felicity has been helping Team Arrow behind Ollys’ back the whole time and he’s not happy with this. Team Arrow aims to take action and they track down Damien Dahrk who was behind the armed assault, Mr Dahrk is oddly soft spoken and business-like in his approach (played by the experienced Neil Mcdonough) but has powers as it turns out and he definitely means business. Oliver and co engage Dahrks’ men in traditional Arrow action and the fighting choreography is again on point and makes for some great scenes.
Thea may be a bit off the rails as she wailed on one of the mercenaries in the warehouse but maybe not, she’s still new in the vigilante game and is still a bit rusty, she’s sort of taken Roys role as the new Red Arrow, the headstrong sidekick that Oliver needs to reign in but with added importance as Thea is Olivers little sister. The team goes on a final mission to stop an incoming attack with Oliver putting on the new costume, signifying he’s becoming the Green Arrow, something he actually says later in the episode after an encounter with Damien Dahrk.
Things are different in Star City with Oliver coming back to a hostile Diggle and Detective Lance and frustrated Thea, it seems like team Arrow won’t quite be the same as it was and the new change could provide for some good drama, also Damien Dahrk so far seems to be an intriguing villain with abilities and the shows take on him. The fun team dynamic from previous seasons returns as do thrilling action set pieces and things feel more comic book-y with Diggles helmet meaning everyone is in costume on missions, something pretty fun. Also the continuation of mysticism and magic with Dahrk is something I really like, bringing a whole new element to villains, though we’ve already had magic in a sense with the Lazarus pit. Arrow season 4 definitely opened strong though with interesting new dynamics and exciting stories to come, making clear improvements on some of the weaker elements of season 3.