Examining the First Five Episodes of 'Arrow' Season 3

Avatar image for k4tzm4n
k4tzm4n

41783

Forum Posts

9084

Wiki Points

74802

Followers

Reviews: 16

User Lists: 1

Edited By k4tzm4n  Moderator
No Caption Provided

*Yeah, there's obviously spoilers in here*

Season 3 of Arrow began with something nobody expected: the death of Sara Lance. All was going well in the Season 3 premiere as Oliver Queen defeated his latest villain-of-the-week (a new Count Vertigo who felt more like Count Scarecrow, but we'll get to that later) and it focused on a potential relationship between the hero and Felicity. Then -- seemingly out of nowhere -- Sara was struck by multiple arrows and fell off a rooftop. Hell of a way to end the Season 3 premiere, isn't it?

No Caption Provided

Since Sara plummeted to her death, the show has kept us guessing about the identity of her killer. Upon seeing Komodo would be featured in the next episode, many of us comic book fans were immediately like, "Yeah! It was totally him!" Nope. Is it Malcolm Merlyn? He swears on his daughter's life it wasn't him. Could it have been his daughter, Thea? Could she have done something so dark? Was it a final test by Malcolm? The handling of this mystery has us thinking it could be possible. To keep things even more gripping, they threw a twist our way last night: Roy's having nightmares in which he's the one who killed Sara. Could it be there's still traces of the Mirakuru flowing through him and it occasionally takes control? In his dream, he does know what Sara said in her final moments. However, in the actual scene of Sara's death, you can hear the sound of arrows being equipped and fired from a bow -- not thrown by hand. What's equally important is Sara's reaction to her killer seems to imply she's shocked to see the person in the city, not just on the rooftop. If it was one of her allies (e.g. Roy), she wouldn't seem as stunned and concerned about their appearance. Even though we're fairly certain it's not Roy, this was still one heck of a cliffhanger and got us all thinking about the mystery.

Who killed Sara and why would it benefit them? Don't rule out Ra's al Ghul just yet. In the comics, he has high standards for his daughter, so if he discovered Nyssa was in love with Sara and if he believes Sara's not worthy of his daughter's affection, it's possible he ordered someone from the League of Assassins to go to Starling City and take her out. That could explain why Sara seemed surprised to see the individual on the rooftop. Or is Malcolm fooling us all and knew Sara's death would lead to a conflict between Team Arrow and the League of Assassins, two organizations he's not exactly on good terms with? We'll just have to wait and see what really happened, but as of right now, the handling of the mystery has kept us guessing and most definitely interested.

No Caption Provided

Before Season 3 began, it was announced Ra's al Ghul, the Demon's Head, would be the big bad. Prior to this season, the character has been name-dropped and heavily teased as we saw his daughter in action, as well as other characters from the League of Assassins. Ra's al Ghul finally showed his face in "The Magician," but it was of course saved for the cliffhanger and we've yet to see him appear again. And you know what? That's okay. A slowburn approach with this foe makes sense. They should be building the anticipation for his actions against Oliver Queen and, when they do drop, they need to be epic. This is a wise, focused and calculating man. They should be teasing his role and holding it off for as long as possible. Then, just when we're wondering what'll happen, he does something to drop our jaws. So, while it is a bit disappointing he's been in the background so far, it is an understandable decision.

It's cool they're building the suspense with Ra's al Ghul, but the villain-of-the-week formula hasn't been that strong this season. Komodo and Mark Shaw felt like they were there just for some neat stunts, Count Vertigo -- albeit having a good performance by Peter Stormare -- now feels like Scarecrow since the drug makes you see what you're afraid of, and Brother Eye was without question the weakest part of this week's new episode. Another weak point this season is the flashbacks; they've felt unfocused compared to the previous seasons. There's so much potential in this new setting (and not to mention fan service), but we've yet to see them really capitalize on it or use it to greatly enhance the narrative. Hopefully that'll improve as we move forward.

Aside from Roy (who's going to get some much-deserved focus next week) and John Diggle, Season 3 is giving each lead a pretty strong arc. The journey that's drawing the most attention is Laurel's and understandably so. She's taken a pretty rough path in this show and it has produced some frustrating moments -- moments which made it very difficult to root for her. We all know she'll eventually replace her sister as Black Canary, but the execution of this has been a little heavy-handed at times and her progression was feeling a little rushed. Thankfully, the recent episode did a terrific job with the character's story. The "should I tell my dad about Sara or shouldn't I?" dilemma felt like it was being drawn-out, so it was excellent to see her finally put that to rest -- until they can tell him the truth, that is. Show of hands: Who else thinks he'll somehow find out before they want to tell him?

No Caption Provided

Even though Laurel's a passionate and driven character, she hasn't felt mature enough to take the Black Canary mantle. Relying on her for some quick and important decisions in the field could be dangerous. Yes, she can become a gifted fighter, but that's meaningless if she doesn't have an equally sharp mind. Last night's episode finally showed her turning her rage into something positive. No longer is she just wildly lashing out. The younger Ted Grant is stepping up and teaching her how to channel that passion and use it wisely. That's what this character has desperately needed and it was satisfying to see that happen. Yeah, there's still some blunt easter eggs (focusing on the jacket, having her choose a black outfit instead of a red one, etc.), but assuming they show her grow mentally and physically, I think it's safe to say many of us could eventually accept her stepping into a costume. It should by no means be a rushed process, though. Hopefully their objective isn't she needs to be Black Canary by the end of Season 3 and they're instead focusing on organic growth for the character.

Felicity is usually the character the show turns to for humor, so the charismatic Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) is a very welcome addition to the cast. Finally, there's someone just as quick-witted and charming as Felicity, so watching the two interact has been really uplifting and enjoyable. Plus, having Palmer means there's so much potential as the season moves forward. How connected will be become to the greater narrative or will he stay purely on the business/Felicity side of things? Only time shall tell, but he's a thoroughly likable character and helps lighten the mood. With so much sadness going on, that's definitely needed in order to maintain balance.

Speaking of Felicity, "Olicity" didn't really give us anything new, did it? They finally put their feelings out there, but it once again went back to the "I'm a hero... I can't risk it!" card. Seeing as their date was interrupted by an explosion, we can understand why Ollie believes that now more than ever. Still, it does seem like they aren't exactly certain whether or not they want this relationship to be a thing. The tension is certainly still there and Felicity's appearance in The Flash (click here for our thoughts on that show) makes it abundantly clear her heart is still set on Oliver, even though he still has his guard up. Maybe Ray's pursuit of Felicity will eventually make Oliver realize he's being dumb about this and he'll finally take a chance on "Olicity"? Or, maybe they're just holding this off so Ollie and Laurel can get back together when she becomes Black Canary? Look, whether you like it or not, the romantic element is going to play a big role in this show (it is the CW, after all). Seeing as it's been implied that Oliver loves Felicity and cares for her more than anyone else (and she feels the same way about him), it would be a shame to see them never turn that into a legitimate thing. Or, you know, at least try to. Like they said over in The Flash, sometimes opposites attract.

No Caption Provided

Thea's arc has been especially entertaining. She spent a lot of time training with Malcolm Meryln -- and we haven't even seen much of it. Aside from being more confident and being an awesome with a blade, just how much has Thea changed? It's great to see she's finally grown close with her brother again, but how long will that last? How long can Ollie hide his biggest secret from Thea, especially when Malcolm is looking over her? If Thea finds out, she could blame Oliver for her mother's death, because Deathstroke did that just to hurt Ollie. This is one storyline we all have our eyes on and, even though her return to the city felt a little rushed, it's clear there's still so much more potential with this character.

What's also exciting is Vinnie Jones has been cast as Brick and we know he isn't going to be just another villain-of-the-week. It's confirmed he'll appear in at least 3 episodes, so his role will hopefully spice things up. A common complaint from viewers is the show borrows too many elements from Batman (there have been quite a few nods to the hero's franchise in conversations), so it's nice to see one of Star City's former crime lords stepping into the picture. We won't see how significant his role is until episode 10, but it is cool knowing he's becoming part of the universe.

Season 3's flashbacks and villains haven't been that memorable, but it is doing a good job with slowly expanding the overall narrative and developing some of the key characters. Even though many of us have narrowed it down to just a few suspects, the murder mystery successfully keeps us guessing and has become one of the most interesting parts of this season. Only time will tell if this puzzle was worth this much buildup and we're crossing our fingers that the eventual reveal lives up to all of the hype.

What do you think Season 3 of Arrow is doing right and where do you think it can make improvements?

Avatar image for guru_crack
Guru_Crack

11630

Forum Posts

7879

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 322

Been enjoying it but feel that it has to do alot more to make it as interesting as the first two seasons but plenty of time left.

Avatar image for alkusanagi
AlKusanagi

732

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#2  Edited By AlKusanagi

I hope it's revealed that they need a human sacrifice to make Lazarus Pits work, and they throw in Laurel to bring Sara back.

Seriously, I love the show but every single scene with her causes me pain!!!

Avatar image for mikeg1965
mikeg1965

53

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

How many more times will we have to watch Roy unnecessarily flip off of an object, only to be tranq'd immediately upon landing? OMG, WTF, were you not standing in awe' of my cool flip, don't tranq' me Dude!!!

Avatar image for keroga
KEROGA

1339

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

Avatar image for muyjingo
MuyJingo

2862

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#5  Edited By MuyJingo

I stopped watching this...I just couldn't take the another poorly budgeted, written and acted CW show. I'll probably binge watch it over winter when most shows take their usual break.

Avatar image for aliltron
Aliltron

234

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 19

User Lists: 16

It's ok so far. It still has plenty of time, but I haven't been too impressed with it so far this season.

Avatar image for MadFacedKid
MadFacedKid

6596

Forum Posts

143

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for justicethorpsylocke
justicethorpsylocke

3089

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

I enjoyed the first 4 a good bit, especially Corto Maltese, but I disliked the Felicity episode. So far it's better than season 1 but not as good as season 2

Avatar image for deactivated-5c901e667a76c
deactivated-5c901e667a76c

36557

Forum Posts

10681

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

This is shaping up to be the best season so far, if you ask me.

Avatar image for deathsdoor726
deathsdoor726

1715

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I hope it's revealed that they need a human sacrifice to make Lazarus Pits work, and they throw in Laurel to bring Sara back.

Seriously, I love the show but every single scene with her causes me pain!!!

I know how you feel

Avatar image for fallbrigade
fallbrigade

133

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I'm still loving it. I'm not sure how much in comparison to season 2, but still enjoying it quite a bit. I think it's still too early to compare the two.

Avatar image for syncig
SynCig

1105

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 45

So far, this season hasn't impressed me. I'm still on board because we really haven't gotten the full picture of what this season will be like but I wouldn't give any of the first five episodes above a 3 on Comicvine's rating system and I think for the most part the show has taken a pretty big dip in quality compared to last season. Plus, they still haven't figured out how to fix Laurel. At this point she is well on her way to becoming the new Canary and I still can't stand her. How am I supposed to root for her when she is so poorly written? That remains my biggest complaint this season which is a shame because it was also my biggest complaint last season. Laurel has been a terrible character since the show began and they've done nothing to remedy that.

Avatar image for nightfang3
NightFang3

12364

Forum Posts

331242

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

@justicethorpsylocke said:

I enjoyed the first 4 a good bit, especially Corto Maltese, but I disliked the Felicity episode. So far it's better than season 1 but not as good as season 2

My thoughts exactly.

Avatar image for loki2u
Loki2u

325

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@muyjingo said:

I stopped watching this...I just couldn't take the another poorly budgeted, written and acted CW show. I'll probably binge watch it over winter when most shows take their usual break.

Nice contradiction.

Avatar image for muyjingo
MuyJingo

2862

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@loki2u said:

@muyjingo said:

I stopped watching this...I just couldn't take the another poorly budgeted, written and acted CW show. I'll probably binge watch it over winter when most shows take their usual break.

Nice contradiction.

No contradiction, just an error in your interpretation. Try again.

Avatar image for amazing_webhead
amazing_webhead

10087

Forum Posts

1019

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 13

User Lists: 17

I was disappointed by the new Count Vertigo, I think Ted Grant looks a little too young, and the "Thea & Merlyn" arc was a total anti-climax.

However, I like where Laurel's character arc is heading and otherwise the show's doing great.

Avatar image for obsidian_raindrop1
obsidian_raindrop1

490

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Avatar image for obsidian_raindrop1
obsidian_raindrop1

490

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

I think this season needs to really needs to speed up things are moving, but nothing truly feels really important in a big picture kind of way. So far this entire season can be summed up by saying "a lot of people talking about their relationships".

Avatar image for the_kidd
The_Kidd

12672

Forum Posts

3725

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#21  Edited By The_Kidd

They need to do something to move along the "Sara's Killer" plot-line soon because I don't find it that intriguing yet, the high light of this season is the Thea-Merlyn relationship.

Avatar image for the_impersonator
The Impersonator

8501

Forum Posts

23956

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 31

User Lists: 50

#22  Edited By The Impersonator

Something tells me Tommy Merlyn is still alive. He has been taken by one of the assassins. The Lazarus Pit revived him and then he was trained to become an assassin. This is just a theory after watching the episode, Sara. It wasn't explained why Amanda Waller wanted Tommy to be killed. It probably has something to do with Malcolm Merlyn. The flashblack episode could be a foreshadowing of what had become of Tommy.

Roy Harper having nightmares of killing Sara may not indicate that he actually killed Sara. The Mirakuru not only makes people insane, they can also cause people to have nightmares. Or he couldn't have the Mirakuru in his system since he was cured. Someone must have implanted a false memory then.

Avatar image for carlielebont
carlielebont

3

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@muyjingo: oh I didn't realize it was poorly written.

Avatar image for carlielebont
carlielebont

3

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@the_impersonator: I'm pretty sure that was just Waller being a Bitch and showing Queen how truly F***ed he is. Probably testing him to see how resourceful he is.

Avatar image for muyjingo
MuyJingo

2862

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for xenonyte
Xenonyte

275

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I enjoyed the first 4 a good bit, especially Corto Maltese, but I disliked the Felicity episode. So far it's better than season 1 but not as good as season 2

Agreed.

I'm definitely enjoying the action but Season 2 is still superior in terms of story-telling, but I still can't wait to see where this season goes.

I hope it's revealed that they need a human sacrifice to make Lazarus Pits work, and they throw in Laurel to bring Sara back.

Seriously, I love the show but every single scene with her causes me pain!!!

I hear you brotha'

Avatar image for deactivated-5c901e667a76c
deactivated-5c901e667a76c

36557

Forum Posts

10681

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#27  Edited By deactivated-5c901e667a76c  Moderator

@xwraith said:

This is shaping up to be the best season so far, if you ask me.

Look at how wrong I turned out to be.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.