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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews the Season 3 Premiere of Arrow: The Calm

October 9th, 2014 by Todd Black Comments

Ok, wow, that ending right? I mean seriously, THAT ENDING!!!!! Ok, calming down now. Let’s get to the review.

WARNING!!!: If you have NOT watched the Season 3 premiere of Arrow, you REALLY shouldn’t be reading this review! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!

The season 3 premiere of Arrow had a lot to live up to. Mainly that the purpose of seasons past were defined by the first episode. Season 1 was about saving the city from the men and women of the list, Season 2 was about becoming a hero to honor the loss of Tommy, but what would season 3 be about? Well the answer wasn’t exactly given to be fair. But I’ll danged if it didn’t give us a lot to think about for the season to come!

“The Calm” opened up epically with Team Arrow in top form, and with their newest true addition, Roy. Who was decked out in epic red attire! It was cool seeing them all be a cohesive unit. Which they no doubt refined in the five months after Slade’s siege of the city.

A lot has happened to our characters in the five months since we left them. Ollie and Felicity were trying to convince the company to let Oliver be CEO again, Diggle was on the verge of being a father for real, Roy was now a true member of Team Arrow, Laurel was enjoying her role as a DA and putting away the guys Ollie had caught, and Captain Lance (now a captain again) honored the Arrow by disbanding the anti-vigilante unit.

Things seemed to be looking up for our crew. Which meant it was all going to fall apart. And it did in a rather unusual way. With the arrival of a new Count Vertigo.

Many have noted the original Count Vertigo in Arrow wasn’t the best character. Many said he was characterized as the Arrow form of Joker. Well there will no doubt be comparisons to The Scarecrow with this version, as the new Count induced a fear toxin into the drug, showing people “their greatest fears”.

Yeah…maybe not the smartest move, but it did help the story along enough to let it slide a bit. The new Count changed things for Oliver when he tried to blow both him and Felicity up while off duty. It was a haunting reminder to Oliver that people still want the Arrow dead. Many of which he might not know personally. This forced himself to try and come to grips with the fact that he might not be able to live a life outside his time as the Arrow. Also, the final line from the new count talking about “someone else will take up the mantle” means this drug may not be done just yet.

This also led to confrontations with Diggle, as Oliver didn’t want him to die before being able to be a father. The scene with him and Ollie was very tense, and yet, in a surprising move, the tension didn’t last. I loved how Diggle forgave Oliver, because anyone who’s a parent knows the feeling that Diggle experienced when meeting his baby girl. We do know that he’ll be in action in parts of the season. But it’ll be interesting to see how much now.

Outside of the new Count, we were introduced to recurring character Ray Palmer, played by former Superman Brandon Routh. His very of Palmer was both charming, smart, a bit of a jerk, and yet knew how to wow a crowd, all but stealing Queen Consolidated out from under Oliver. Yet as Ollie noted, he can’t be the Arrow and run QC, he tried it before and failed, I’m glad they didn’t try and go through this line of story again.

Though only mentioned in dialogue, Thea was talked about in the episode. To their knowledge, she’s traveling, but we all know where she really is.

A small downer was not letting Roy express how he feels about Thea being gone. However, this was made up by showing Roy in action numerous times, including saving the day. It’s cool how they’re using Roy’s parkour skills to differentiate him from Ollie. Also, I really dig his outfit.

Oh, and Captain Lance had a small but important story in “The Calm” as well. His injury from the season 2 finale was quite severe. To the point he has to take regular medication and can’t be in the field. But that doesn’t a Lance right? Well it did eventually, leading to a heartfelt scene between him and Laurel. One that one doubt will continue soon…

Finally, there was the flashback scenes. This was nothing but a setup, but it did establish some things about the people Oliver will be interacting with in Hong Kong, and why he has to be there for a certain time frame. The opening scene with him running through the bazaar (he DID say he was more of a runner) was pretty cool. I’m not sure where this’ll lead, but the flashbacks are pretty cool, so let’s see where it goes.

Ok…let’s talk about the ending! Yes, they killed Sara! Seriously? They killed her! What the heck!?!?! Both me and my dad were stunned when that happened. Especially after she came back and gave advice to Ollie. After her coy chat with Laurel I figured that she was in Starling City on a mission, and thus didn’t want to worry her sister. But no, she gets killed! Now only does this change things for Laurel, but it’ll affect almost the whole cast as Sara was a big part of their lives in one way or the other. Will this cement Ollie’s position to only be the Arrow from now on? How will this affect the Lance family? And of course…WHO KILLED HER?!?!?! Questions upon questions.

Oh yeah, Ollie and Felicity totally kissed. You can rejoice fanboys and girls, it finally happened. Enjoy it while you can.

In the end, “The Calm” was a very different kind of setup for the season. It worked in some ways, but not in others. The ending though tops any criticisms one may have, and sets up the season to truly be the best one yet.

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!

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