Wow. Where the Flash premiere seemed to falter out of the gate, Arrow hit the ground running, with a masterful premiere that not only set up the new season, it reminded us what we love about this show. Let’s talk about “Green Arrow” Spoilers after the jump!

A Life of Domesticity and Souffles Vs A Life of Crime Fighting

The show litterally hit the ground running, with Ollie though the trees. It’s exciting, it gets you curious, then we see it’s suburbia. He returns home to his new house in the nice neighborhood to his wonderful girlfriend cooking him breakfast. It’s perfectly amusingly cheesey. I love Ollie’s line “you have failed this omelette” because it shows how much the writers have fun. We get to see that Ollie and Felicity still have a great dynamic together, joking about settling into their new lifestyle.

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Then we jump to Black Canary and Speedy working together to stop men who are in the process of stealing some pretty heavy duty locked cases. Speedy gets herself in a bit of a bind fighting them in the back of a moving truck, and Diggs comes to her aid. I have to say that while his new look seemed ridiculous in promo shots, it’s pretty good in the show itself, though it looks like it limits his range of vision a bit much.

The bad guys get away. We then get some info on the guys they were chasing when the team regroups in the Arrow Cave. They’re known as Ghosts. Or at least that’s what the people call them, the people to afraid to leave their homes. The team then debates on bringing back Ollie. Diggs still hasn’t forgiven him from when he endangered Lila and his daughter when he was working for Ras.

Introducing the Villain of the Season

We jump again, this time to a meeting of city officials who formed some sort of governing committee since the city cannot keep a mayor. They try to discuss what to do about the Ghosts without offering any plausible solutions. We hear a bit about how they’ve tried to re-brand the city to attract tourists. We hear Lance joke about having a Flash Day celebration, which I think means we can assume Flash and Arrow are again working on the same timeline.

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Then we see Damien Darhk enter the meeting. He jokes a bit, and seems like he’s not trying to take it too seriously, which fits well with his character I think. He tells the committee that he wants them to let the city die, saying only then can something better sprout.

“We need the Arrow”

Meanwhile, back in Suburbia we see Felicity and Ollie on an awkward double brunch date. Felicity looks like a deer in the headlights at the mention of children, which in her mind is very, very far off. Once she’s out of the shot, however, we see the ring Ollie has ready to propose to her with.

We then see Laurel watch as the DA collapses after being poisoned; “I knew that tasted funny”. She immediately knows that the city leadership is being threatened and contacts the others while rushing to her father. Speedy fails to save the comptroller, tackling him to the ground only after he was shot. Diggs arrives too late at the hospital to save the leader of Emergency Services. Black Canary, meanwhile, arrives just in time to save the Chief of Police.

Meanwhile, back in Suburbia we see Ollie and Felicity have just finished not dinner, but a production. Before Ollie can move onto a special desert however, they have visitors. It’s Laurel and Thea, who waste no time in filling Ollie in on the Ghosts they’ve been tracking, who are not just thieves, though the did start off by robbing banks, they’re a militant force almost, with munitions and heavy arms to back them up.

Between their claim that they are in over their heads and Felicity’s gentle nudging, Ollie agrees to return to Star City, just for this.

Preparing for Battle

Once they regroup in the Arrow Cave, Laurel and Thea try to fill Ollie in on their opponents, but they themselves don’t have much to go on. Then Diggs enters, and is obviously surprised to see Ollie, because apparently the ladies neglected to tell him they were going to bring Ollie back. Diggs isn’t happy saying he “can’t go into battle with a man he can’t trust.”

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Felicity proves she still has it by breaking up the tension with the announcement that in the few minutes she’s been back she was able to hack into the company who had their weapons stolen to reveal that the Ghosts stole cluster bombs, which if they were “any bigger, they’d have to be nuclear.” Hearing this Diggs agrees to do whatever it takes to save the city, meaning even working with the man who betrayed his trust.

Ollie takes command and is met with raised eyebrows, though in the end everyone still follows his lead except Diggs who returns home to his wife and daughter. Oddly, Lila seems more open to the idea of Ollie being back. She says that she forgave him for the hard choice he made, though saying she doesn’t necessarily think it was the right one.

Laurel goes to see her father, to warn him about what Darhk is capable of with the cluster bombs. Despite Laurel trying to identify any possible targets, Detective Police Chief Lance offers none that seem likely stating that “people don’t come to Star City anymore, they leave.”

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Left alone with Felicity, Ollie realize she already knew more about the case than what Laurel and Thea told them. It’s then revealed that she had been helping out the team in secret over the past few months since she and Ollie had been gone.

Falling Back into their Roles

Felicity says that she enjoyed being with him, but when he started exchanging cookie tips with their neighbor she wanted to gouge out her own eyes from boredom. Personally, I think this puts a nice spin on their relationship. They have a cute make up since Ollie isn’t mad at her for lying, though he does say he didn’t like that while they were supposed to be getting away from all this, a part of her never left.

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They prove they’re not totally distracted though when Felicity gets the alert that she has GPS coordinates on the stole cluster bombs. They’re in an abandoned truck depo just outside the city. Felicity says that if Arrow is heading out, maybe he’d want to try on the new suit that Cisco worked up for him the last time he was in town. Ollie passes.

Next we see the team getting into position around the building as Damien Darhk gives a speech to his men. He is telling them a bunch of condescending metaphors while singling out the leader of the mission to obtain the bombs. He says the leader failed, because he didn’t properly deal with the problem by killing those who opposed him. He then kills the man with nothing more than his fingertips touching him.

That’s when the team moves in taking out as many goons as they can. We see Thea get pretty aggressive with her targets, repeatedly punching a man longer than necessary before pulling a sword out to finish him. Ollie stops her before she can though, and warns the team that SCPD is on the scene.

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The team regroups, and Felicity is waiting for them with a quick awkward joke showing that she slipped back into her role fairly easily. They fill her in quickly on what happens and she asks if Darhk is a Meta-Human. Ollie says, no, his powers are mystical and he’s seen something like it before.

Which of course he isn’t sharing.

The Train Job

They identify the target as the train station that’s reopening so they head there to case the place and try to locate the bombs “the old fashioned way.”

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Ollie gets a chance to talk with Thea about her aggressiveness, and Ollie thinks that she needs to show more restraint. Thea is not wanting to listen to her big brother’s lectures, saying she is now a better fighter. I’m thinking this is just a bit of the side affects from her transformation at the hands of the Lazarus Pit. I’m hoping that’s something they explore more of throughout the season.

We see Diggs talking to Ollie saying he doesn’t blame Ollie for not trusting him, he blames himself for misjudging Ollie saying he doesn’t trust, and doesn’t love. Ouch. It’s going to be a hard road to repair that relationship.

We see Lance hasn’t changed his attitude towards Ollie either, and I doubt he truly believes that Roy was the Arrow, regardless of the events last season.

Lance: “You brought madness into all our lives, and the monster you were … inspired monsters.”

Ollie: “I’m not a monster anymore.”

Lance: “Then what are you?”

After finding nothing at the train station, they discover the bombs are likely going to be brought in by train. The first train is coming in from Central City. (I’m wondering if Darhk has business or partners there.)

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Then we get to see Arrow in his new suit, which we’ve been geeking out about for awhile now so I’ll skip ahead to the train chase scene. Ollie and Diggs chase it down while Speedy and Black Canary evacuation the station.

Arrow vs. Darhk

Arrow faces off with Darhk who uses his powers to stop the arrows like a Jedi. Arrow resorts to hand-to-hand combat, which his is over powered in. Right when Darhk is about to Kali Ma Arrow though, he is shot in the back by Diggs. He promptly vanishes and Arrow and Diggs hop off the train and immediately blow up the whole train knowing there is no way of stopping it since Darhk took out the breaks.

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We see the team reunited and Thea teases Ollie about needing a new code name now that he cannot be the Arrow, since “the Arrow died”. Ollie, instead of telling his teammates, has Felicity hack the Emergency Alert System to annouce it to the whole city along with his message that he will be the symbol of hope that the Arrow never was. “I am the Green Arrow!”

If they had ended it there, that would be fine, but the next three scenes were pretty crazy. For reals now, if you’re reading this recap and haven’t seen the episode, just stop. Go watch it. You don’t want to read what I say next.

The Ending.

We see Darhk in front of what appears to be an ancient relic of some kind where he performs some sort of ceremony that involves speaking in a strange language and offering up some of his own blood. He’s interrupted just as he’s finishing by none other than Lance. That’s a nice twist and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out, especially when Darkh wants to know who the Green Arrow is closest with when the answer would include his own daughter.

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Then we see Ollie and Felicity settling into Thea’s old place since apparently she has been staying with Laurel since she was stabbed to death in her place. Ollie and Felicity are both happy to be back, happy to be with each other and the camera focuses on the ring which Ollie did not hide at all as it’s in a glass decorative piece on the end table.

Then the words “6 Months Later” flash across the screen as we see Ollie visiting a grave. Barry arrives and attempts to console him saying that he should have been there (though apparently he was fighting Zoom), and he offers to help in anyway he can. Ollie says that while he doesn’t think it’s his fault, it is his responsibility.

The Flashbacks:

Olliver is chasing a drug user thought the streets, but his skills aren’t as focused yet, and he ends up dangling upside down with the perp nowhere to be seen when Amanda Waller finds him. They have a drink at a bar in what apparently is Coast City. (Seriously, quit teasing us you jerks!)

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Ollie says he doesn’t want to go home, saying he doesn’t want to be near his family. Waller tells him what he needs is to be productive, to embrace his darkness and let it run its course. I think exactly 0% of the viewers were surprised when Ollie’s vision blurred because Waller drugged him.

Ollie wakes on a plane. He’s being sent on a mission he “volunteered” for. Waller is now where in sight but her men give Ollie the choice of entering the plane with a bullet or a parachute. Apparently Ollie is already adapt at parachuting as well.

And it’s back to Lain Yu he goes to face a new threat.

Other assorted musings:

  • Ollie got the tattoo similar to Shado’s removed, saying he no longer needed it. Interesting.
  • Thea attempted to mask her voice when yelling at the people in the train station - did anyone else laugh at how bad that was?
  • A bowl of glass pebbles is a horrible place to hide a diamond ring from your girlfriend. Seriously.
  • I don’t like that the foreshadowing seems to be hinting it’s Felicity’s grave.
  • More references to Coast City.
  • Didn’t the writers say this season would be lighter?