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Arrow: The Calm – Season 3 Episode 1

Things are going well for Oliver Queen. Team Arrow is in full bad guy but kicking mode. Thea is still gone, but in contact. Oliver is meeting with the board to regain control of his family’s company. With everything going so well, Oliver decides to try to rekindle his personal life. Of course, we all know things can’t stay too good for too long.

Recap

The episode starts off with Team Arrow in their usual roles. Oliver’s the point man chasing down a criminal. Diggle is taking care of the weapons. Felicity is on surveillance and monitoring while making cute little quips. Then there’s a new addition: Roy in his brand new red costume. They take out another bad guy and regroup at the base. Felicity’s been making homey touches and is working with Oliver to help him convince the Queen Consolidated board to sell the company back to Oliver and his backers. Diggle and Lyla are also happy and expecting a baby. Oliver is still getting messages from Thea, but Roy knows that there’s more going on with that. Instead of speaking up he decides to go back on patrol. With all the happiness going around, Diggle tells Oliver that he should go after Felicity. Despite his insistence that he doesn’t really have feelings for her.

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Laurel’s also been doing well. She’s been putting away the criminals that Oliver takes down. She brings him out for a surprise. The surprise is her father, now Captain, Lance. He’s back on his feet (granted with a cane) and using his new rank to disband the vigilante task force. In the wake of the events that occurred during Slade’s attack he’s no longer willing to hunt the Arrow, the hero who saved the city. While that press conference is going on, the criminals in Starling city are bemoaning the fact that the police and the Arrow are bearing down on them. As their discussing this, a man (Werner Zytle) wielding vertigo comes in a claims the position of leadership. Felicity is also under new management, working at a tech store (it’s kind of like a Buy More for those that watched Chuck). While at work, she meets the man we know as Ray Palmer (he doesn’t introduce himself there). She helps him with a purchase but he recognizes her as a former QC employee that he would be interested in.

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After leaving the press conference, Oliver meets up with Felicity and asks her out on a date. After an adorable awkward exchange they agree. He settles the plans later that night while he’s chasing down a criminal. They agree on Italian before Oliver runs into Captain Lance who happens to have taken out the bad guy already. Lance isn’t supposed to be in the field and he’s popping pills to keep himself stable, but this does give the Arrow a chance to thank him face to face. Oliver rushes off prompting Lance to ask if he has “a hot date or something”. The “Olicity” shippers rejoice because he’s right. Oliver meets Felicity for their date. They both admit it’s a little awkward but Oliver dives in to telling her something she doesn’t know about him. He starts talking about his time away in Hong Kong and tells her how she was the first person he met that he could look at as not being a threat or a target, but a person. Unfortunately, their date is cut short because the new Vertigo had the criminal he was chasing earlier plant a tracer on him. Instead of trying to find him, they simply shoot a rocket launcher into the entire restaurant.

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Oliver saves Felicity from the blast and gets her back to the base. Roy notices that his gear had a tracker placed on it. Oliver’s upset at himself for losing his focus and immediately gets on the phone with Lance to find out who he needs to go beat up. Felicity awakes in a panic, but Oliver calms her down and goes after the new Vertigo. Lance also arrives on the scene and the two take on Vertigo together. Oliver gets hit with a heavy dose of the new drug and Lance has a coronary episode. Oliver wounds Vertigo enough to get him to leave but has to call an ambulance for Lance. He heads back to the base to find a quickly recovered Felicity who tells him that Lance is alright. Oliver sends Roy out to do reconnaissance and he and Felicity head off to his board meeting.

When they arrive at the meeting, Felicity is unpleasantly surprised to see Ray Palmer walk in. Turns out that Ray is there to take over QC. He used the information that Felicity gave him earlier to hack into the QC servers to get info for his presentation. He charms and wows the board with the numbers but also delivers an important message. Palmer wants to re-brand the entire city and help it recover from the recent terrorist attacks. Oliver walks out of the meeting realizing that Palmer’s probably better for QC. He tells Felicity that he’s realizing that he can’t unmake the decision to be the Arrow instead of Oliver. They get back to the cave and find out that Vertigo is targeting some guys at a boxing match with a bomb. Oliver makes another tough decision by having Diggle sit the mission out. Diggle’s not pleased about it and storms out leaving Felicity looking upset and Oliver looking numb.

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When Oliver and Roy arrive at the fight they split up. Oliver takes Vertigo and Roy takes the bomb. With Felicity’s help Roy is able to freeze the bomb before it detonates. When Oliver faces off against Vertigo he’s injected with another dose of the drug. It allows him to see his fears again. When he sees himself it reaffirms his decision to give up on having a life as Oliver and to focus on being the Arrow. Fortunately for the Arrow he’s given an assist from the newly returned Canary. After they clean up Vertigo, she advises him that he needs people in his life that don’t wear masks and to not define himself by his mask. While all this was happening, Diggle’s baby was born. Felicity and Oliver both arrive at the hospital to see her. Felicity is intercepted by Palmer who tries to apologize to her but Felicity’s having none of that. She gets to the room and is soon followed by Oliver. When Diggle sees Oliver, he thanks him for being right about not going in to the field. When Felicity and Oliver leave, Oliver gives Felicity the Batman line about not being able to be himself and the Arrow. The conversation basically ends with Oliver admitting that he lover her and Felicity acknowledging that things are over.

Just as Oliver is dealing with that, he gets a phone call. Barry Allen has woken up from his coma and needs some advice. This is the tie-in to the rooftop scene from the Flash premiere. Oliver takes the opportunity to leave the hospital. Meanwhile, Sara and Laurel are reunited. Laurel is called away to deal with the criminals Oliver just apprehended but the two talk about both working with Oliver. When Sara is alone she hears a voice of someone that she recognizes. She asks them what they’re doing there but, instead of an answer, she gets three arrows to the body. She falls off of the rooftop dead where Laurel finds her body.

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I guess this shouldn’t really be labeled that since he’s off the island on this season but Oliver’s flashbacks now have him in Hong Kong where he’s being held captive by Amanda Waller. He tries several times to escape from his guard, Maseo Yamashiro but is unsuccessful. In order to motivate him to comply, Waller threatens Yamashiro’s family. If Oliver escapes, she will kill his son.

Favorite Moments

  1. I was chewing on a pen.
    The whole Olicity date was really fun. No matter how they choose to play the relationship, it’s clear that Oliver and Felicity have great chemistry together.
  2. Diggle, you scary
    The scenes where Oliver starts to emotionally retreat behind his mask are good and I’m sure the separation there may become an issue later. The best reaction to that was Diggle’s scene where he gets all up in Oliver’s face and looks legitimately frightening.
  3. Olicity
    It’s nice for the show to reward its fans by putting these two together even for a little while. It looks like Ray Palmer is going to take up most of Felicity’s time for the foreseeable future, but at least they had their moment. arrow-s3-e1-Olicity-Oliver-felicity-kiss
  4. Sara Why!?!?
    I think we all knew that Sara was going to have to go sometime. I just didn’t expect it to be so sudden and so soon. Well played Arrow, well played.

Commentary

Arrow has done a lot of muddling with character back stories and identities. So, in this episode, it was nice to get some characters that you could pick out directly by name. Maseo is known as Katana in the comics and Werner Zytle is, in fact one of the Count Vertigo’s from the comics. Even though his relation to the original count is very different, the name is the same. I also found it interesting that he claimed that there would always be a Vertigo. Seems like he could become a long term nemesis for Oliver. I also wonder if that drug is going to have a long term effect on him. He seemed to recover from it very quickly and also didn’t seem to suffer much of a reaction when he allowed himself to be injected the 2nd time in the episode. Maybe Oliver’s going to inherit Roy’s addiction story arc?

I also really like the way that Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) has come on the scene in this episode. I mentioned before that he played a big role during the series Chuck. In that series, the main character worked at a faux Best Buy called the “Buy More”. So, it was funny to see that he was introduced in this episode while Felicity was working in a similar kind of place. Maybe Routh just feels at home in electronics stores. I also liked their exchange at the hospital. Even Felicity’s punishments have an aspect of adorableness to them. I mean, who infects someone’s computer with porcupine flatulence? I don’t know how bad that sounds but my first thought is that it’s probably kind of cute.

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Of course, the big move in the episode happens at the very end. Sara being killed was a complete shock. That’s impressive because, as I said, I think everyone knew it was going to happen sooner or later. This means that we’re now on the countdown to Laurel becoming the Canary. I do wonder what kind of training she’s going to end up getting to turn her in to a competent fighter. Along with that, it looks like this season is going to end up dealing a lot with interpersonal relationships. Those don’t always make for great “superhero” TV but, with this cast, I think it will work just fine. Especially in front of the backdrop of trying to repair a crumbling Starling City.

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