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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

I’ve gotten really behind in reviews so I’m going to sail through them as fast as I can. Especially since the new episode of Arrow was last night, oops. There are a lot of things about the season four premiere I really liked. One thing I always appreciate about this show is how it shows the evolution of its main character. The Oliver of season one is different from the man we see now, but we’ve seen how that’s changed and how he’s developed. We’re on this journey with him and his team. Last season was rough, but I was intrigued by how they ended it. Previously on Arrow, Felicity and Oliver decided to drive off into the sunset together and try to be normal and happy. He became the heir to Ra’s and killed the assassin, but gave the League of Assassins to Merlyn which I still think is ridiculous. I get they like John Barrowman but come on. Diggle and Oliver were on the outs because he kidnapped Lila to sell the act, and now Thea has officially joined the team as Speedy. Laurel is Black Canary and doing much better in the role, and Ray Palmer is missing at the moment because he shrank down and we don’t know how he’s coming back. But he will, because Legends of Tomorrow is coming and he’s a main character!

I like the idea that Oliver embraced his new life, although it seems a little far that he’d be so perfectly suited to the Stepford Wife like setting they ended up in. Later on it is a little more clear that he’s always concerned about backtracking. Being the Arrow puts him in a dark place, and he’s concerned that going dark will destroy the parts of himself that have grown the past few years. This is a reasonable concern after going so dark with the League, so I like that it’s continuity there. However he gets dragged back into his city because Damien Darhk is there destroying it. Poor Star City. I swear. It never gets a chance to heal. It’s like this world’s equivalent to Gotham, which is also always shadowed and destructive. I’d like to see the city have a period of positivity one of these seasons. Please? Just a little. Oliver does come back, although he’s planning on proposing to Felicity and those two are as strong as ever. The Olicity fan in me rejoiced, but I fear how they’ll try to destroy them. Don’t do it, show! Angst and drama and death don’t have to happen to every couple. Think of Zoe and Wash in Firefly, one of the best married couples in any show. But Felicity has been secretly helping Team Arrow all this time because she couldn’t break away from the crime fighting life that she actively loves herself. I like that she reminds him yet again that all of them are fighting because they want to; it’s not about his crusade anymore. I’m surprised Oliver genuinely dug his adrenaline-less life, but he did come back in the end so that’s the important part. And he finally became Green Arrow!

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What they’re doing with Darhk is intriguing. In the comics he definitely didn’t have supernatural abilities or whatever voodoo he’s doing here. I wonder if this is to better lead into Constantine appearing on the show? (PS: CONSTANTINE IS APPEARING ON THE SHOW). In any case, he uses blood rituals to gain power for himself, and he’s created a brutal and very well trained army of soldiers. H.I.V.E. is who will probably is coming to town, and Diggle knows that they were behind his brother’s death. He doesn’t share this with the class because he and Oliver are still not getting along. I appreciate his wife going ‘I forgave him, get over it’ to him. Seriously Diggle. He didn’t actually hurt her. Although I do think it’s more about the lack of trust that bothers him, that he trusted Merlyn and not his best friend. Diggle says some really harsh things to Oliver this episode, including that he’s like the assassins and can’t love or something, and I’m like wow man. You know that’s not true, now you’re just trying to hurt him. Oliver is worried because Thea’s gone fairly dark herself, she’s really enjoying the job to the point of brutality. Could this be the Lazarus Pit we’re seeing? Should we prepare for Dark Speedy? Probably. This season is all about the darkness and how they are getting sucked into it. Quentin Lance is working with Darhk, to what end we’ll see, but I figure eventually he’ll come back to Team Arrow. He really has no moral ground to walk on when it comes to Oliver now, although he’ll surely keep preaching to him like he does.

The big wham moment of the episode is in the end when six months later Oliver is standing at a grave, and he says he’s responsible. Barry’s there. People speculate this could be Felicity, but I think it’s far too obvious to be her, and Barry would’ve never been late to her funeral. Not to mention that Oliver would be a lot more broken up if it was her or Thea, for example. I’m leaning more toward it being Quentin. I could see his death being a good end to his arc since it’s been a struggle over the years, and that he’s someone Oliver would feel responsible for but not necessarily break down sobbing about. The writers say even they don’t know who is in the coffin, but whoever it is will be dead for good. I’m still going with Quentin final answer. I guess we’ll have to see. This was a good strong premiere and I don’t mind that they brought Oliver back so quickly to keep with the status quo of the show. In this case the overall story arc keeps pushing him forward from vigilante to hero to assassin and now … to what? Hero again? Legend? I’m on board!

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