Note: there will be spoilers below!
Ollie and Felicity seem to be living in suburbia. They’re leading a normal and calm life. Felicity is the CEO of Palmer Technologies. They even host a brunch for neighbors. Ollie is planning on proposing to Felicity.
Laurel and Thea are fighting evil on the streets as Black Canary and Speedy, although she insists on being called “Red Arrow.” Diggle joins the fun in a new outfit with a helmet. They try to prevent a heist of a Kord Industries shipment but don’t do too well.
The city is under attack by a group of skilled villains that the public is calling the Ghosts. They’re organized and whenever one gets captured, they kill themselves with cyanide capsules. A man in a suit makes his presence known to the district attorney, Captain Lance, and others. The district attorney later gets poisoned, the police department gets attacked by shooters. Lance barely survives and is saved by Black Canary.
Ollie prepares a special meal for Felicity and is about to surprise her with his mother’s ring when Laurel and Thea arrive. They explain the situation to Ollie. Diggle thinks they can handle it on their own but they feel they need the Arrow. Ollie insists the Arrow is dead but Felicity sees their friends need their help. When they arrive at their base, Diggle isn’t too happy to see Ollie. He’s still mad at Ollie for the betrayal and getting his wife and child placed in a dangerous situation. As they move out to work on different angles, Ollie finds out Felicity has been secretly helping them without him knowing. She was getting bored and missed the thrill of saving the city.
The shipment the Ghosts took includes some heavy duty bombs. They’re able to track them down after Felicity hacks into the GPS in them. They observe a meeting with the leader where he expresses his disappointment with the lack of eliminating the threat against them. He appears to have a power to drain the life-force of others. They attack the Ghosts. Thea seems to get a little out of control while attacking one of them. They do discover the Ghosts’ plan—to attack the new train station. When they bring up that they might be dealing with a metahuman, Ollie says it was something mystical. He knows this since he’s seen things before.
Ollie tries helping despite the tension between him and Diggle. Captain Lance also gives his grief and blames him for bringing the darkness and madness to the city. They finally figure out how the train station will be targeted—the bomb will be coming in on the first train into the station. It’s time for them to suit up and Felicity shows Ollie a new Arrow outfit. Ollie needs to jump onto the speeding train to stop the bomb. When Arrow confronts the Ghosts’ leader, he reveals his name—Damien Darhk. Ollie shoots an arrow at him and he makes it stop in the air by just holding his hand up. The fight doesn’t go well and Damien starts using his death touch on him. Damien is then shot in the back by Diggle. Damien still manages to disappear before they can get him. They need to figure out how to stop the train since Damien disabled the breaks. They jump off and Ollie shoots the train with an explosive arrow.
When they regroup, Thea jokes Ollie will need a code name. Diggles says he won’t need one since he’ll be going back home. Ollie looks at Felicity and tells them they’ve missed all this. Also, the city needs them and the threat is Damien Darhk. Ra’s al Ghul told Ollie before that Damien had a hive of operatives at his disposal. Because those were his exact words, Diggle recalls when Deadshot mentioned H.I.V.E. but doesn’t say anything to the others.
They hack into the emergency broadcast system and Ollie delivers a message. He says the Arrow died six months ago but his legacy lives on. He’s joining the others that have continued to fight since the Arrow died. He vows to be a symbol of hope, something the Arrow never was. “I am the Green Arrow.”
Damien does a ritual which requires him to cut his arm and drip out some blood. He’s interrupted by having a visitor. It’s Captain Lance. He apologizes about him getting shot in the arm but didn’t want anyone to know about his involvement with HIVE. Damien isn’t happy the train station didn’t blow up. Lance says that sort of destruction and the killing of innocents isn’t what he signed up for. Damien mentions he signed up to follow his instructions. He wants to know everything about Green Arrow and have him taken off the board before his associates arrive. He emphasizes that Lance doesn’t have a choice.
Cut to six months later. Ollie is at someone’s grave. Barry Allen shows up and apologizes for missing the funeral. Ollie asks if it was because of Zoom and he says yeah. Ollie says he has to end it. He’s going to kill “him” and asks to be left alone. Barry zips away and Ollie sheds a tear.
Flashback Scenes - Five Years Ago
Ollie is chasing a drug dealer as the Hood. He doesn’t do too well. Amanda Waller finds him after he gets knocked off a rooftop. Amanda tells him to embrace his inner darkness instead of running from it. She drugs him and he’s kidnapped. He’s forced to go on a mission. He has to go back to the island. He’s forced to HALO jump out of a plane. As soon as he lands, he’s met by an armed guard.
The fourth season is definitely off to a great start. Things got a little bogged down last season and felt like it started drifting too far off. It was great seeing Black Canary, Speedy and Diggle trying to work the streets without Oliver. At the same time, it makes the show feel like they can't accomplish as much without him.
Starling City rebranded as Star City is what many wanted. The city is trying to clean up their image after all the horrible things that have been going on. We even see a sign stating that it was named in honor of Ray Palmer who seems to have died in that explosion last season. We know he's going to be in Legends of Tomorrow so perhaps he shrank down to avoid the explosion and got stuck in a micro-world or maybe even Rip Hunter will save him before he died. We'll have to wait on that.
The flashback with Ollie trying to be a vigilante was fun. I'm not crazy about the constant flashbacks throughout the episodes but it's nice to see that Ollie wasn't always the perfect vigilante he's made out to be. Let's hope the season doesn't continue to be too heavy on the flashbacks.
Neal McDonough as Damian Darhk is great. He makes a great enemy and seeing his story unfold will be good. Thankfully he wasn't immediately killed as many villains tend to not last too long.
The fight with the Ghosts in their lair seemed pretty easy for them. The Ghosts have shown how formidable they were but maybe it was the element of surprise that caught them off guard. Thea going out of control was very interesting and hopefully will be a plot point explored in upcoming episodes. Although, when she yells at the people in the train station to evacuate, her voice could use a voice changer like Ollie uses.
The funeral scene was crazy. Obviously we're meant to believe it's Felicity. It could be Thea. Then again, maybe it's John...or Laurel. It has to be someone close to Ollie. Felicity seems like the obvious choice that would have a big impact since all Ollie wanted was to escape the darkness and lead a normal life. He agreed to get back into the game and it could come back to haunt him. But surely they can't kill off Felicity.
We're definitely intrigued with what's going on between Lance and Damien. It's safe to say we'll be watching the next episode to see what happens next.