It’s been a couple of days since the premiere of “Arrow” on The CW, and that gave us some time to digest everything that we happened to see in the episode. “The Calm” was an hour that did so much we appreciate, and while there were flaws, most of them are things we can forgive … or at least reserve judgment on.
Let’s start off with the decision to push the Oliver / Felicity relationship forward so quickly. Did it feel almost out of character to see Oliver suddenly so interested in finally taking things to the next level? Somewhat, but that’s for us as a viewer. The show gave us a good five-month time jump, and in that time, it makes sense that he would have enough time to get into that position where he realized he could try to make the romance work. We just didn’t see any of that development, which is why it feels like this could have been something we had around the midway point of the season rather than the premiere. We need to feel like the moment is earned just as much as the characters do.
As for the aftermath of it, we do feel like it was necessary to eventful draw that line in the sand again. The events of the finale couldn’t be forgotten, but if we were in Felicity’s shoes, we’d start looking elsewhere. At this point, Oliver doesn’t really deserve her after all the leading-on that he has done, and is now trying to act as the moral authority on how people should live their lives. He did something similar with Diggle in this episode, and while he may have been right, it’s understandable that Diggle (played great here by David Ramsey) would want to make the decision for himself about whether or not he wanted to fight in the field now that he has a daughter. Eventually, he did figure it out.
As for the return, and eventual death, of Sara Lance, we were at first annoyed when she first showed up. As soon as we learned that there was a specific reason that she was back, we’re much more intrigued. There is obviously a mystery here that needs to be resolved, and this is something that could lead to the presence of Ra’s al Ghul on the series. Thanks to this, it is almost twofold why Sara needed to die. Not only does it push forward the story of Laurel to become the Black Canary, but it also is the path that brings us the series’ big bad.
As for Ray Palmer, we like the character! This is the most neurotic guy that Brandon Routh has played on this sort of show, and we like the idea of an adversary for Oliver who is not a terrible guy. He’s a little unethical, but it doesn’t seem like he wants to blow up Starling City. Heck, he wants to give it the original comic-book name of “Star City.”
One final criticism: No more of that Vertigo guy. He was well-acted, but way too much like Scarecrow.
We’re going to get into this more in our podcast later today, but we wanted to jot down some thoughts on “The Calm” tonight first. We like that it didn’t try to do too much, and while there are some decisions that should be questioned, this episode did not make us ponder too much about our love for the show. We still do. Grade: B.
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Photo: The CW