Arrow: Who’s in the grave? [Spoiler Alert]

If you haven’t watched the first episode of Arrow this season, do not read this post.

The season premiere of Arrow introduced this season’s bad guy, Damien Darhk. I thought metahumans were coming to Star City, but the writers opted to make Darhk something that is not of this world. How he got his powers – he can kill people just by touching them – I assume will be part of this season’s story line.

While Darhk is wreaking havoc on Star City, Oliver Queen and Felicity are living the good life. Oliver cooks and is friends with the neighbors. He’s so happy living in domestic bliss that he buys an engagement ring and plans a proposal. Much to my dismay, the proposal never happens.

Thea and Laurel ruin the proposal by dragging Oliver back to Star City to deal with Darhk. Oliver decides to move back to Star City after he discovers that Diggle and company really do need his help and that Felicity has been bored out of her mind living in the burbs with Oliver.

He dons a new outfit and finally becomes the Green Arrow. I say finally because that’s how he’s known in the comic books and it took four years for him to adopt that name.

I could have predicted most of the premiere, but then the last couple of minutes came along with a six-month jump in time. Oliver is standing at a grave and Barry shows up. Barry asks Oliver what he’s going to do and Oliver says he’s going to kill him (i.e., Darkh, I presume) and that was the end. I was left yelling, “Who’s in the grave?” and admit I was a bit freaked when I realized it could be Felicity. Her death would certainly make Oliver kill again, but would the writers do that to all of the Olicity fans. I’d like to think they wouldn’t be insane enough to do that.

I also don’t believe it’s Laurel. I can’t see them killing off the Black Canary again.

Thea would be a huge loss for Oliver, but one viewers would survive. Thea appears to be out of control since the Lazarus Pit. If Thea continues to go down the crazy path, I won’t be surprised to see her in the grave.

Who do you think is in the grave?

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Oliver Queen Lives and New Heroes Rise

Yes, I know I’m not telling you anything you didn’t expect. Had Oliver died at the end of the mid-season finale, Arrow would end because he’s the star of the show. Frankly, I think the writers had Oliver almost die so that they could show the rise of the new heroes on the show.

The opening scene of the “Left Behind” episode shows Roy and Diggle out trying to follow through on Oliver’s mission to protect Starling City. Diggle obviously isn’t great with arrows, but it appears Roy has gotten much better under Oliver’s tutelage and he seemed to come into his own as Arsenal. He was able to apprehend one of the bad guys on his own. We’ll most likely see more of his skills in upcoming episodes.

Laurel finally made her appearance as the Black Canary at the end of the episode. Everyone has been waiting for her to don the wig and mask and she showed up in style as she took out two criminals who were let go thanks to a new criminal, Brick. I really hope Laurel is able to fight as well as Sara, but I doubt it. Sara was incredible with a bo staff and her story was credible because she had been trained by the League of Assassins. How will the writers explain Laurel’s skills? She worked with a guy whose specialty is boxing, which is quite different from martial arts. Where would she have learned her moves? How would she know how to use a bo staff?

Ray is supposed to be the Atom at some point, but he didn’t suit up in this episode and it appears he may not for awhile. Ray had problems with his A.T.O.M. project and asked for Felicity’s help. Because Felicity is struggling with Oliver’s death, she told Ray that she wouldn’t help him. Will he be able to figure out the problem with his project without Felicity?

What did you think of this episode?

Arrow Season 3 Preview

At the end of last season, Slade was locked up in a cell on the island. Will Slade escape and wreak havoc for Arrow? From the trailer released at Comic-Con, it appears Slade will be the least of Oliver’s troubles.

The trailer shows that Season 3’s villain will be Ra’s al Ghul who will first appear in episode four. There is bad blood between Malcolm Merlyn and Ra’s al Ghul, which means I expect there to be more of Malcolm Merlyn this season. For Oliver, this means double the trouble. For us, it means double the action. I expect this season to have quite a few fight scenes with the lead up to the epic battle scene in the finale. With the return of Malcolm Merlyn, I question whether the epic battle will be between Oliver and Ra’s al Ghul or Merlyn.

The most exciting news from the trailer is that we might finally get Olicity. Last season, we were teased when Oliver told Felicity that he loved her and we found out later that it was all part of his elaborate plot to take down Slade. I’m hoping that we aren’t teased again. Based on what I’ve read, the Olicity story line appears to be part of Oliver’s struggle to balance his life with his job as Arrow.

Other items of note for the upcoming season: Roy will sport a new outfit and officially become Arsenal, and the trailer hints that something might be wrong with Diggle because Oliver wants him out of the field.

If the trailer is any indication, it should be an exciting season.

What are you most looking forward to this season?

For a recap of last season’s finale, see A Recap of My Favorite Finales.

Arrow: The Felicity Smoak Dilemma

Since Felicity Smoak joined Oliver Queen on Arrow last season, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of them as a couple. I realize in the comic books Oliver ends up with Laurel, but on screen Stephen Amell doesn’t have the chemistry with Katie Cassidy that he has with Emily Bett Rickards. Together Amell and Rickards make a great duo.

This may be the romance writer coming out in me, but Oliver is a great romance hero. He’s troubled by his past and that of his family. Yet, he’s determined to overcome that and make amends. In Season 1, that meant killing a lot of people who had done Starling City wrong. At the end of the season, after Tommy died, Oliver decided he couldn’t be the Hood anymore because he couldn’t live with killing people.

As Felicity did during much of Season 1, she brought Oliver back from the brink. She told him that Starling City needed him and he would have to find another way. That means, while Oliver still brings the bad guys down, he no longer kills them.

Felicity and Oliver, like many romance couples, share a common goal and work together to accomplish it. Oliver wouldn’t be able to continue his mission without Felicity, and she would still be the nerdy, IT-girl without Oliver.

Which brings me to why Felicity is a great romance heroine. Felicity is smart, independent, and she doesn’t cower from Oliver. When he is upset about something or mad at her, she is able to dish it right back. She’s very good at telling Oliver when he’s wrong or too absorbed with himself.

Like any good romance couple, they have the banter down. It’s one of my favorite things about Arrow. Felicity often lets it slip exactly what she thinks of Oliver physically. What I love about those moments is that she’s saying exactly what every woman watching the show is thinking. Oliver’s face is priceless as he graciously chooses to ignore her comments. The writers also work little innuendos into their dialogue, which makes watching Oliver and Felicity on screen more interesting.

But their relationship is about more than the common goal and physical attraction. Oliver and Felicity admire each other. Oliver can only be himself with Felicity and, while he always sees himself as the playboy who has to redeem himself for his past sins, Felicity sees a good man.

To Oliver, Felicity is more than the nerdy, IT-girl. She is his center and his heart. She is the one that makes him see reason. Of all the women on the show, Oliver knows Felicity will always have his back.

I don’t know if the writers will follow the comic books and force a relationship between Oliver and Laurel, but they have quite the dilemma on their hands because I think most fans would prefer a Felicity and Oliver romance. At this point, I don’t think anyone can see Oliver with Laurel who he has nothing in common with.

Should Oliver end up with Felicity or Laurel? Or do you think now that Laurel’s sister, Sara, is on the scene they will end up together?

Felicity Smoak: The Heart of Oliver Queen’s Operation

From the moment Felicity Smoak joins Oliver Queen’s mission on Arrow, it becomes apparent that he needs more than her intelligence. He needs her compassion. She becomes the heart of his operation.

She doesn’t want to see innocent people get hurt. Oliver can be quite intimidating, but Felicity doesn’t cower from him. She stands up to him and voices her opinion when she thinks Oliver is wrong. Besides being vocal, she takes action. She once attempted to keep Oliver from going on a mission when she discovered that his target was the widowed father of a ten-year old boy. Oliver went on his mission anyway, but she got her point across and told him that he could do some real good beyond recovering people’s money.

When Diggle walked out after Oliver failed to show up to help him take out Deadshot, Felicity told Oliver that he was wrong and needed to apologize to Diggle. While Oliver didn’t apologize right away, she planted the seed and, by the end of that episode, Oliver visited Diggle and apologized.

Felicty manages to take their relationship beyond the initial business arrangement in which she helped Oliver with tasks that he couldn’t do on his own. She gets Oliver to trust her and, despite their differences in opinion, they eventually bond and forge a friendship.

Felicty Smoak is the most important woman in Oliver’s life. Oliver struggles with his past and with who he has become post-island. Felicity is the only woman who knows the true Oliver and accepts all of him. Perhaps, it will be through this relationship that Oliver will finally be able to accept himself and see what Felicity sees — that he is a hero.

I can’t wait to see what the writers do with Felicity Smoak’s character next season.