Hello Green Arrow – nice to see you.
That’s my main thought coming out of the Season 5 premiere of Arrow – which is quite appropriately titled “Legacy.” I can’t say that this episode blew my mind – but it was a solid, standard episode of Arrow which, especially after my irritation with last night’s premiere of The Flash, mostly worked.
I’ve heard a lot of chatter about the fact that the show runners are trying to go back to playing up the strengths that made Arrow work to begin with, and that make it different from its companion shows. That’s on display here, in pretty obvious ways, including a neck-breaking reference to the Pilot. There’s also a heavy emphasis on great stunt work and fighting non-powered villains.
One of the best results of this – and something I hope they stay with as they add the barrage of new characters is that Oliver Queen was finally back to being the main character of this show. It’s fine for him to have a team, but it should be his team.
However, for all of the callbacks to Arrow’s past seasons and the gritty urban vibe they tried to cultivate in it’s earlier days – my favorite thing about this episode is that this version of Oliver might, maybe, actually, be starting to remind me of the Green Arrow.
Even with all the crap he’s swimming in, this Oliver is finally a little less brooding and he fires not one, but several, ridiculously over-the-top trick arrows. Parachute arrow? Yes, please.
Not everything was great of course. I miss John Diggle….I’ll say that again…I MISS John Diggle. In many ways the relationship with Oliver and Digg is what kept me watching the first half of Season 1. He needs more screen time – not less. Also, I figured that Felicity or Oliver was going to have some kind of distraction love interest this season. It’s the way of episodic television, and Arrow especially can’t seem to write romance without melodrama. However, randomly dumping said guy into the end of the episode and suggesting that Oliver doesn’t know about him – yeah, not cool. See my rant from yesterday about being dropped into the middle of a story line.
Here’s hoping however, that these elements are just the lead up to a hard fought reunion of Original Team Arrow – and yeah, Artemis and Mr. Fantastic are welcome to come too – but if I don’t see some Oliver, Digg, Felicity lair banter soon I’m going to call a foul on the whole “let’s play up the best of Arrow” rhetoric – because that dynamic is what really makes this show work.