Arrow Season Four Premiere
Trigger warning for violence and adult content.
If you remember, last May Oliver and Felicity left Star City to pursue a life of tranquility and domestic bliss, leaving Diggle and Laurel in charge. Thea took over for Roy as Speedy, the new crimson archer. And Malcolm Merlyn is the new Ra's Al Guld. While we weren't left with a big cliff-hanger to agonize all summer over like The Flash, lingering questions left us wondering. Mainly, What in the world is Oliver doing???
The premiere picks up with Oliver running through trees, donning a green hoodie. Our hopes of excitement are soon dashed when he emerges from the woods and runs down your typical American neighborhood street. As I said, domestic bliss. He enters a nice looking house to find Felicity in the kitchen trying to cook omelets. She's failing miserably, so Oliver takes over.
They end up in bed together, discussing their plans for the day. Felicity has a video conference call with the higher-ups of Palmer Technology. Apparently, Ray left Felicity control of the company (When he died? Went atom-sized? What? No explanation of the big explosion that happened? None at all?). Oliver gets up to go to the store because they have to prepare for a brunch date with neighbors tomorrow. Domestic bliss, guys. Oliver comments that their plans are finally with people not shooting at them.
Cut to a firefight between Black Canary and Speedy and a truck full of men and guns. They chase down the truck, and Speedy hops on, obviously having the time of her life fighting bad guys, shooting arrows, and convincing the team to call her Red Arrow. Diggle dons a fancy-schmancy helmet as he takes out a number of the soldiers. However, the baddies bring back up, which pins the new Team Arrow down, and the baddies get away.
They learn that the truck the baddies stole was full of high-tech weapons. They realize this job is too big for the three of them: they need Oliver back. Diggle refuses. He's still not forgiven Oliver for kidnapping his wife and baby last season.
Meanwhile, Captain Lance is in a meeting with the temporary mayoral committee. Since the last few mayors' deaths, nobody is jumping for the position and a committee was established to make decisions for the city. Captain Lance makes a reference to Central City's Flash Day from The Flash season premiere. While in the meeting, a mysterious man arrives. He admits he's in charge of the baddies--the ghosts--taking over the city. He says the city should die before it can be reborn (Okay, Wilson Fisk). He threatens them and then walks away. (Are you as confused as I am?)
Oliver and Felicity have their "brunch." The neighbor couple mention kids, which freaks Felicity out. She makes up an excuse and leaves the room. Ah, domestic bliss. This provides an opportune moment for the neighbors to ask Oliver to see "it." It refers to an engagement ring Oliver pulls out. He says he plans to propose that evening. (My shipper's heart is exploding.)
Oliver--hairy, raccoon-eyed, donning a dark hoodie--chases after a man down some back alley streets. However, Oliver is the one who loses and is left hanging upside for Amanda Waller to find him. (How embarrassing.)
Laurel walks with the District Attorney to their offices when the DA collapses without warning. Laurel calls for help from Team Arrow. Suddenly, all the members of the mayoral committee are shown as targets for the "ghosts." Captain Lance is at the precinct when suddenly men rush in and surround him at gunpoint. Diggle, Speedy, Black Canary (seriously, we need a cool nickname for Diggle; where's Cisco when you need him?) come to the aid of some of the committee members, saving them in the nick of time. There's still a lot of fighting and danger involved in the attack. A few of the members die, including the DA.
Felicity and Oliver have a nice, romantic date planned at home, presumably Oliver's idea. He places the ring in a souffle dish and is about to bring it to Felicity when the doorbell rings. Their domestic bliss is shattered by the arrival of Laurel and Thea. They tell Oliver about the situation in Star City, trying to convince the Arrow to come back. Oliver says the Arrow is dead. Felicity says their friends need their help, so they should already be in the car.
Waller and Oliver talk in a bar. She claims she wants to help him. She knows he can't return home because of who he's become, because of this darkness inside of him. She tells him to embrace it instead. A bunch of the men in the bar get up and surround Oliver. Before he can defend himself, he gets dizzy and passes out, clearly intoxicated from more than just alcohol.
Oliver and Felicity ride to Star City. They return to the Arrow Cave (bunker? HQ?), where Diggle is waiting. He's not happy. Diggle says they don't need Oliver's help. He says he can't go to battle with a man he doesn't trust. However, Felicity hacks into something or other and learns the situation is worse than they thought. Star City is in danger of being decimated. Diggle caves in but only in order to save his city.
Oliver begins to dish out jobs for everybody, until he realizes they're all just staring at him. Diggle takes over, telling them what to do and they go. This leaves Oliver and Felicity in the cave to figure things out. Except, the only thing Oliver learns is that Felicity has been helping the team behind his back the entire time. (Ouch.)
Laurel tells her dad what's up, but he's not super stoked about it. She asks him if any big events are scheduled that could be potential targets. Captain Lance says they've a few things here and there planned but not much. People don't come to Star City anymore; they only leave. Diggle returns home to check on Lyla and their daughter. He talks through the Oliver thing with her. She says she's forgiven Oliver. She tells Diggle if Oliver always made the right choices, he wouldn't need Diggle by his side.
Oliver and Felicity banter about Felicity's "lies" to him over the past few months. She admits the domestic life is good but only because of him. Everything else, like swapping recipes with the neighbors, makes her want to gouge her eyes out. She's bored; she misses the excitement of saving Star City. During their sweet moment where they confess they don't mind what they're doing as long as they're together, Felicity's computer beeps with the location of the "ghosts." She tells Oliver that Cisco left him an upgrade before he quit, but Oliver says he doesn't need a new suit. He still plans to only stick around for this one job.
Oliver Diggle, Speed, and Black Canary hide out to watch the mysterious man in action. He's with a group of soldiers--the ghosts. He's disciplining one solider who makes a mistake. He places his hand on the soldier's chest and... sucks out his life force? (I'm not-I'm not sure what is happening, but the mysterious man is creepy and the soldier is in pain.) Team Arrow takes this opportunity to attack.
Lots of fighting, lots of cool moves, lots of absolute joy coming from Speedy... she kind of punches the hell out of a soldier before Oliver stops her. The police arrive, which causes more chaos. Oliver interrogates one of the soldiers before making his escape. He learns the "ghosts" plan to target the new train station with explosives.
Team Arrow returns to the cave and Felicity. They let her know about the train station target and what the mysterious man did. Is he a meta-human? Or not? We don't know! They decide to save the train station (of course), but they have to do it the old-fashioned way--by finding the explosives themselves.
Oliver and Thea walk through the station, looking for signs of explosives with an interesting device. They discuss Speedy's "rush" for fighting from the night before. Oliver is worried, but Thea brushes him off. Oliver asks Diggle his opinion of Thea, but Diggle says Oliver was that way at first too. They discuss their differences briefly. Diggle says inside Oliver is dark and empty of love, which is why he could convince Ra's last season that he had turned to his side.
Captain Lance arrives and greets Oliver. He isn't too happy about Oliver's visit to Star City. He tells him pretty much the same thing Diggle does: he's a terrible person that brings darkness with him. (Poor Ollie, getting beaten down by everybody when they asked for his help!)
Oliver wakes up to find himself no longer in the bar but on a cargo airplane. He's been set up for a mission. Two men threaten him at gunpoint to jump off the plane and carry out a reconnaissance mission. They say he knows the area, so he should be able to get in, assess, and report back effectively. The area is, of course, his island (I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!)
Oliver returns to the Arrow Cave and discusses what Thea and Lance and Diggle said to him with Felicity. He says they shouldn't have come back. Felicity offers to go home, but Oliver knows she doesn't want to leave. He says he knew the darkness would be waiting for him in Star City. Felicity gives him a pep talk (oh, Felicity, you're perfect), which is cut short by Team Arrow returning. They announce there are no bombs in the train station--because the explosives haven't arrived yet! The team suits up, including Oliver in his spanking new suit! (Which is more reminiscent of the comic book Green Arrow suit.)
The train zips toward Star City and Oliver, with Diggle's help, tries to catch up with it in a van. (Good luck with that one, boys!) Speedy and Black Canary warn the people in the station to evacuate. Captain Lance is there and he helps direct people to safety. Felicity keeps tabs on everybody from her safety net in the Arrow Cave.
Oliver gets in the train and beats some people up. Mysterious Man comms the rear soldier, who has been taken down by good ole Ollie. He enters the cab with Mysterious Man and aims an arrow at him. Finally, Mysterious Man announces his name! He's Damien Dark! (You know, the archenemy of Ra's Al Guld.) Oliver shoots, but Dark stops the arrow mid-air. (SORCERY!) They fight, and Dark eventually grabs Oliver by the neck. Until Diggle hims in the back with something (???) that knocks Dark out. They blow up the train before it hits the station. Star City is saved once more by Team Arrow.
Team Arrow returns to the Arrow Cave. Speedy asks what Oliver will call himself now if he stays since everybody thought Roy was the Arrow (and is presumed dead). He says he plans to stick around because Star City is worse off than they thought. He tells them about Damien Dark. Diggle asks if Ra's ever told him anything about Dark. Oliver says Dark has a hive of operatives at his disposal. (Hive, you say? Hmmmm...)
Diggle flashbacks to his last mission with Deadshot (you know, the best member of the Suicide Squad who was killed off for no reason last season. Great job, writers!). Deadshot had mentioned something about a group of mysterious--maybe even ghostly--soldiers known as HIVE.
(My inner DC fangirl is squirming right now. HIVE, PEOPLE, HIVE.)
Diggle says nothing of Deadshot to the team (I smell something bad happening with this); instead, he leaves despite Oliver's calls to him. Felicity hacks them into the broadcasting system of the city. Oliver in his new suit announces he's going to stand to fight for Star City, to be a hope the Arrow never was. Then he says: "I am the Green Arrow."
(YES! He did it! He did the thing! I'm dancing in circles!)
Oliver parachutes to the island and lands. However, as he is getting up a soldier points his gun at him and ask him who he is.
Damien Dark opens a closet that holds an old stone statue. He slices open his wrist and spills blood into a bowl-shaped pedestal. He calls out to a god, which causes a strange script to appear on his arm. It quickly fades.
A soldier announces a visitor. The man walks in, and Dark apologizes for his arm. It's Captain Lance--he's a part of HIVE. Dark tells him he doesn't have a choice, but he wants to know everything there is to know about the Green Arrow.
Oliver and Felicity move into Thea's old apartment. Since Ra's stabbed her, Thea has been living with Laurel. They share an intimate moment. It's revealed that Oliver has placed the engagement ring in a decorative vase.
We flash to six months later. Oliver stands at a freshly dug gravestone (Uh-oh). Barry walks up behind him, expressing his apologies for missing the funeral (who died?). Oliver replies with "Zoom?" to which Barry says yes (foreshadowing?).
Oliver talks about the darkness being his responsibility. Then he says, "I'm going to kill him." (Him WHO?) Barry offers his help, but Oliver wants to be left alone. Barry leaves. Oliver bends down next to the grave, reaching for it as if he should be reaching for the person instead. He starts crying.
WHO? WHO IS DEAD? NO. NO. NO. This is terrible.
Well, that was one heck of a season premiere. Creepy bad guys, a whole new HIVE of fun, and lots of action, cool suits, and CLIFF HANGERS WITHOUT ANSWERS. I'm not going to survive this season, I can already tell. Goodbye, world.
Have you seen the season four premiere of Arrow? What are you most excited to see in the new season?