“My name is Oliver Queen, and I am… the Green Arrow…”
October sure is full of great shows beginning their new seasons, and one of them happens to be the one that jumpstarted the whole shared superhero universe in television – Arrow. The CW’s adaptation of the story of DC Comics’ emerald archer Green Arrow has successfully run for three seasons, and this year marks Season 4 – a game changer that sees the character of Oliver Queen officially adopt the identity of “Green Arrow” and become “something else” in his continuing crusade to be a hero fighting for justice.
Much like the previous “Recap” entry on the first episode of The Flash Season 2, welcome to a SPOILER filled recap post for Arrow S01E04, which is appropriately titled “Green Arrow”.
If you aren’t up to speed with the story of “Arrow”, here’s a brief refresher on the series that began in 2012 and saw a former socialite turn into a vigilante fighting for justice – Oliver Queen was a billionaire playboy who was marooned in an island called “Lian Yu” for five years, facing all kinds of dangers and hardships during his exile there. Eventually, he is rescued and returns to his hometown of Starling City, where he adopts a persona of an archer wearing a green hood who hunts the rich and corrupt based off a list his dead father gave him years ago. This year long crusade sees Oliver rise up as a symbol of justice as “The Hood” who does what’s needed to clean up his city, putting away criminals but resorting to lethal force if necessary. Still, the first season of Arrow ends in a hollow victory when Oliver is unable to stop an earthquake machine from destroying parts of the city which claims the lives of innocents, including Oliver’s best friend Tommy Merlyn.
Disillusioned and returning to Lian Yu on a self-imposed exile, Oliver is eventually coerced by his crimefighting associates to return to Starling City and resume his vigilante persona during the events of Season 2. However the hero decides to change his ways to fight injustice by not killing his enemies, taking up a new identity in the process and using the codename of “The Arrow”. This stage of Queen’s crusade also sees the return of a former ally from the island in Slade Wilson, who assumes the identity of Deathstroke and goes on a personal quest to make Oliver suffer. He does this by manipulating the city from behind the scenes and even kills Oliver’s mother in cold blood, yet The Arrow and his teammates manage to thwart his plans and restore order back into Starling City.
Finally accepted as a hero and gaining new allies in the fight for justice like Roy Harper, Oliver’s double life as The Arrow goes smoothly until a series of events force him to come to blows with Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassins. Surviving his duel with the Demon’s Head, he is eventually selected as “Heir to the Demon” and systematically his entire life and vigilante persona is dismantled and left is disarray. Forced to combat the darkness by manipulation and deceit, Oliver manages to take down the League and Ra’s from within their ranks before they engineer a plan to destroy Starling City, but not without personal cost and damages to his relationships with his closest allies. Finally seeing that he desires more than a life of a vigilante, Oliver makes some peace with his friends and leaves to establish a normal life with the one he loves, Felicity Smoak.
Now that the summary of past events is out of the way, it’s time to recap the first episode of the current season – “Green Arrow”.
Five months have passed since Oliver Queen decided to give up his old life as a masked hero and vigilante. The Arrow identity is dead and he is living peacefully in the suburbs with Felicity Smoak, whom he looks to propose marriage to. Unfortunately the newly christened “Star City” is under attack by a mysterious organization that wants to let it die, and it’s led by Ra’s Al Ghul’s former comrade turned enemy Damien Dahrk. With the new “Team Arrow” comprised of John Diggle, Black Canary, and Speedy overwhelmed, the latter two members reach out to Oliver and Felicity for help. Answering the call, Oliver sees that a symbol like The Arrow is once again needed to protect the innocent, and fortunately for Mr. Queen a new identity is forged just in time for him to make a difference. Taking up a new suit and fighting alongside his allies once more, Oliver assumes the name “Green Arrow” and manages to thwart the enemy’s first attempt to destroy Star City. This return doesn’t come without consequence though, as Laurel’s father Captain Lance is revealed to be working with Damien Dahrk and things are far from over.
Meanwhile, flashbacks show Oliver back in Coast City and then Lian Yu… And a future event six months later sees a funeral foreshadowing a death in his inner circle.
Catch Arrow every Wednesday at The CW, and on international territories and channels like Jack TV!