Okay. Arrow officially wins for best reintroduction to the hero in a season premiere. I mean, it was awesome enough to start out with an explosion and Oliver swinging to the rescue. But having him first pose with his bow while being all sweaty and shirtless just made it perfect. Action scenes and hot, shirtless guys was all I ever wanted. And that was just in the first five minutes!
Despite the fact that the show probably could have consisted entirely of Stephen Amell’s abs, our hero put his shirt back on and the plot rushed forward.
Since the Undertaking, when half the Glades were destroyed, Oliver has been back on the island (shirtless most of the time in my imaginings) being all broody. But both his family and Starling City are suffering in his absence, so Diggle and Felicity come to retrieve him.
This episode is all about defining what the Hood is- and what he isn’t. Oliver wants to leave the vigilante life behind and deal with normal things, like having to save his family’s company, and dealing with the aftermath of his mother being involved in the bombing of half a neighborhood. …Okay. Maybe not normal problems, but problems that don’t require killing people to resolve. But, of course, a group of vigilantes patterning themselves after the Hood have decided to kill him and kidnap Thea instead, giving him no choice but to take up his bow and hood to save her. See? It’s ironic because they’re unwittingly planning to kill their hero.
It’s also about how being Oliver Queen has become a lot harder, too. His family’s company is being threatened with a hostile takeover by Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau), a woman with a reputation for no mercy. I don’t know whether they’re gonna put her in the goodie or the baddie column (perhaps a bit of both?), but I hope they plan to put her in the using-weapons-and-kicking-ass column.
Meanwhile, in the flashbacks, we get to see Oliver freak out and bash someone’s head in with a rock after someone he cares about has been kidnapped. (The subtext is that his instinct will be to do the same thing to the guys who have Thea. But, ya know, using arrows instead.) We also see that there is a new crop of mysterious bad guys to defeat on the island.
Now, I know I was supposed to be paying attention to the plot and the dialogue and everyone’s gorgeous, sparkling eyes. And I did! But I also couldn’t help but notice how weird it must be for Oliver to have everything he does reported on the news. I mean, he wasn’t home for more than an hour before he was watching a report about his own homecoming. The Hood has been in the news… well, for the entire first season. But not Oliver. Until now, he’s just been a mostly unremarkable, super-rich guy. It’s going to be interesting to see how Oliver handles having both his identities scrutinized. (And whether anyone will notice that the Hood and Oliver Queen are never in the same place at the same time.)
So let’s talk about Laurel. Let me know if I’ve got this straight. Tommy broke up with her- giving no indication that they would ever be getting back together- specifically so that she could be with Oliver. Then she hooks up with Oliver. Then Tommy died. So, obviously, her stance should be this is all a mistake and I can NEVER be with you. What?! Is it an awkward and painful ordeal? Clearly. But I don’t see why it means they can never be together. Other than it furthering the plot, of course. But still. That woman is not logical! Also, just an aside, when she and Oliver are in the cemetery she says, “I didn’t know you were here.” Because she didn’t see him standing there in broad daylight in the middle of the cemetery? …Okay, Laurel.
And finally lets talk about the blond female vigilante that saves Roy. With a staff! Granted, it seemed to be made out of metal, but still. See, that’s why I love this show! Medieval weapons FTW! Quick tip: if you would not like to be spoiled on this mystery of her identity, do NOT look at the cast listing on IMDb. I HATE spoilers and am seriously pissed about knowing that.
The episode ends with Oliver saying he no longer wants to be the killer known as “The Hood.” He wants to do things differently, and he wants to be known by a new name. When asked what that name might be, the show ends with the title screen in response.
I think it’s going to be an interesting season watching Oliver try not to kill people, since I’m sure he’ll be forced to face situations where killing the bad guy will be the simpler, more desirable solution. (Such as convincing Diggle not to kill Deadshot when they cross that bridge.)
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention what a raw deal Officer Lance is getting. I mean, a demotion for saving half the people in the Glades. No good deed goes unpunished, I suppose. I also liked that he’s still allied with the Hood, regardless of Laurel’s strange, sudden and misguided change of heart.
So, what did you think of the episode? Do you think the season is off to a good start? Did you enjoy the shirtless scenes as much as I did? Do you like the new bow? Let me know in the comments!