After defeating his most formidable foe to date and riding off into the sunset with Felicity, Oliver Queen (aka The Arrow) left Starling City with the hopes of beginning a new life. But will Oliver ever truly be able to leave behind his past as the Arrow, and, if so, what becomes of the team he has worked so hard to assemble?
After avoiding the clichéd sophomore slump with a strong second season, Arrow lost its way slightly in season three despite delving deeper into the DC canon.
As we catch-up with team Arrow, Oliver (Stephen Amell) has hung up his quiver and is living in domestic bliss with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). A strong opening in which we got to see Oliver happy for a change rather than wearing the perma-frown he’s been sporting for the previous three seasons.
But, circumstances conspire against them and they are dragged back to Star City to reconnect with Thea (Willa Holland), Diggle (David Ramsey) and Laurel (Katie Cassidy). Things seem to be changing for the better though. The Arrow has now become ‘Green Arrow’, hoping to be more of a symbol of hope than a kill ‘em first ask questions never vigilante.
We’re then given the gut punch of a flash-forward scene which sees Oliver and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) standing over the grave of a fallen friend. But which one?
Enter the big bad of the season Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) and his legions of HIVE minions. Darhk’s character is rooted firmly in the supernatural and is the best Arrow villain to date.
Running parallel with second season of The Flash, two episodes of season four are given over to setting up the Legends of Tomorrow spin-off. However, this was a much stronger storyline for team Arrow than team Flash, giving over two of their supporting players to that show (White Canary and The Atom).
There’s also a cameo from John Constantine (why, oh why did they cancel that show) to bump up the mystical elements of the show that is such a strong theme throughout season four.
It’s not long though before the unrelenting grimness of the show sets in again. Oliver and Diggle are finding it hard to trust each other, Oliver runs for Mayor, his relationship with Felicity felt uneven throughout the season.
Speaking of Felicity, she really did come into her own this season. Fighting to keep Palmer Tech on an even keel and the introduction of her new techie sidekick Curtis (Echo Kellum). A blessed source of comic-relief, here’s hoping that he gets a bigger role in season five.
A few filler episodes with one-an-done bad guys such as Bug Eyed Bandit, pulled down the quality of the second season. Intended to break up the Darhk storyline, the episodes did little of anything really and we were left waiting for the main theme threads to be picked back up in later episodes.
Though missing the heights of season two, this was a much improved over last season’s endeavours. The gut punch we were waiting for means that team Arrow will be going forward one-down and it’ll be interesting to see how the Flashpoint universe reset will affect the next season.