ARROW Season 3×01, “The Calm” recap

4 Oct

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Welcome back, Arrow-heads! How was your summer? Well, good news is if you lamented not being able to catch up on last season, well, Netflix has that up, so go ahead and do that. I’ll wait. Now, if you’re back, there’s not much to say except: Ollie defeated Slade, Thea has run off with Malcolm Merlyn, Quentin had a serious health problem, and Team Arrow is off to fight crime in Starling City while trying to rebuild. Also in the flashbacks, Ollie has finally gotten off the island, only to end up in Hong Kong with Amanda Waller. There’s more I should tell you about, but hey, let’s leap in…

Five Months Later. We see Team Arrow (Ollie, Diggle, and now Roy on the street, with Felicity’s tech support) going to work on stopping a truck full of illegal arms. After nabbing the bad guys, we find out Team Arrow has been really cracking down on crime in Starling City since Slade Wilson was stopped. Also, Thea’s been nice enough to text Ollie where she is (but considering who she may be hanging with, Ollie seems oblivious to or doesn’t know that), but Roy seems a bit distant to that news. While Ollie is living in Arrow HQ and Diggle is taking care of a pregnant Lyla, Felicity is off to work since being tech girl for Team Arrow’s not paying the bills. Diggle takes Ollie aside and suggests getting out a bit, like say, with Felicity. Crime in town is in a lull, so he’s got some time, right?

Good to see you again, Mr. Queen.

Good to see you again, Mr. Queen.

Welcome to Hong Kong, Mr. Queen. Let’s get the flashback out of the way right now (trust me, better now than later), as it’s been five months after Ollie arrived in Hong Kong after the Amazo sank. He tries and gets caught in his ninth escape attempt from Amanda Waller. He just wants to go home, but Waller needs him for something else. Since the threat of killing Ollie doesn’t work, Waller goes with a different plan. Ollie is left at the home of the handler he has managed to escape from, and discovers his next attempt will cost the life of the handler’s wife and son. Well, let’s wait and see how bad this arrangement goes.

Nothing to Fear…but… The next day, Ollie gets invited by Laurel (new D.A., perhaps?) to get a special present, and it not the acknowledgment that Quentin is alive and Chief of Detectives now. It’s that the task force to stop the Arrow has been shut down, which you could say is five months late after saving Starling City, but still, Ollie appreciates it. Meanwhile, that criminal that Ollie busted last night now has a management opening, and low-tier drug pusher Werner Zytle wants the job. And to make his case, he introduces his competition to a new, more potent version of Vertigo that makes you see your worst fear. His solution for the organization’s troubles? Kill the Arrow. Well, duh-doy.

Dating In The Workplace. After a shift at faux-Best Buy, Felicity gets asked rather awkwardly on a date by Ollie. He’s even asking where to go for dinner as he’s hunting down a criminal later that night, which turns out to be a big problem (and not the one involving the still heart weak Quentin being on the streets) later on. You see, Ollie got a GPS planted on him by Zytle during all of that criminal hunting, and is followed to where Ollie is meeting Felicity for a date. And as Ollie is starting to lay out his problems with having a normal relationship to Felicity, Zytle decides to fire an RPG into the restaurant. This Zytle, as we’ll discover, is a big fan of overkill.

Your Worst Enemy Is You. Ollie comes to in the bombed out restaurant, and manages to get an unconscious Felicity out of there and back to Arrow HQ. Roy spots the now trashed GPS device, and Ollie is pissed he didn’t see that coming. So, he calls Quentin for a lead, and gets the place where Zytle is hanging out. But before he can lay out some justice, Zytle douses him with some Vertigo, and Zytle appears to Ollie as…Ollie…and proceeds to get beaten up. Good thing Quentin is there to break things up. Bad thing he has an heart inflaming that allows Zytle to escape.

"Here's my fanfic revision of Superman Returns.  Do with it what you will."

“Here’s my fanfic revision of Superman Returns. Do with it what you will.”

The Doctor Is In. While Laurel is giving grief to her dad about not staying desk bound like he should, Felicity is up and about (and decidedly cleaned up). Ollie sends Roy out to gather intel, but refuses to let Diggle go. Meanwhile, Ollie and Felicity have to go to a presentation for the remainder of Queen Consolidated to get the company back. But, there’s someone else there with his own pitch: a Dr. Ray Palmer. At this point, Felicity is asking, “Hey, that looks like that cute customer at work who I offered free advice on hacking Wi-Fi.” Then after Ollie’s pitch and during Palmer’s, Felicity realizes, “Oh I just helped the competition hack the company’s servers and use it against Ollie.” Oops. Probably good she doesn’t tell Ollie that.

Killing Three Birds with One Bomb. So, it seems Zytle is consolidating crime in the city by knocking off its crime bosses, and only has three to go. Luckily, they are all at the same place: a big boxing event at the local stadium. Seeing how much Zytle went overboard in trying to kill the Arrow, Ollie puts the Team into play…except Diggle. Ollie thinks with Diggle about to be a new dad, he doesn’t want to put him at risk. Dig wants to go, but is ordered not to. Grrrr, Diggle thinks.

At the stadium, Zytle gets intercepted by Arrow while Roy takes care of the bomb by freezing the thing (hey, it worked). Arrow takes another shot of Vertigo, but overcomes it enough to beat down Zytle. And during all of this, Sara shows up as the Canary to help out. She also offers some advice to Ollie that maybe it’s a good thing to have a relationship with someone who isn’t a mask-wearing hero. Hey, why is Sara in town again? Isn’t she supposed to be off with the League of Assassins? Well, I’m sure she’ll talk about that later.

“Don’t make me say I don’t love you.” Ollie and Felicity show up at the hospital as Lyla’s about to give birth. Felicity gets met in the waiting room by Dr. Palmer, who wants to apologize for using her to steal company secrets and please get all those soundclips of farting off his computers and he may give her job, but mainly, remove the farts. She doesn’t say yes or no, but, um, I sense trouble in Ollicity land. Well, that’s spelled out more when Ollie talks to her later, and feels he can’t just open himself up to any future dates right now. And yes, she just wants him to be concrete in what he wants, which he can’t, well, except for he can’t say he doesn’t love her. I’m sure that kiss he gives her proves that. But, it looks like she’s going back to thinking Ollie’s her boss. Sigh. Could this night get worse?

One Birth, One Death. Ollie congratulates Diggle on his new baby girl, but Diggle thanks him back. He feels like his life has changed now, and has Ollie to thank for seeing that. Meanwhile, Sara meets Laurel on a rooftop to talk, but Sara doesn’t want dad to know she’s here yet. After a chat, Laurel leaves, and as Sara is about to, a garbled voice calls her name. She turns and recognizes who it is. We don’t see who it is, but we see what happens next: Sara gets shot with three arrows in the chest and falls off the roof, landing next to the exiting Laurel! Gasp! Laurel can only cradle her sister as Sara dies once again.

Why?  WHYYYYYYYYY?

Why? WHYYYYYYYYY?

Wow. So who’s the mystery killer? Malcolm? Nyssa? Ra’s al Ghul? I guess we’ll all find out this season…

–Comic Book Connections: Ray Palmer is known by many DC fans as the superhero The Atom. And Brandon Routh is no stranger to DC, playing the Man of Steel in Superman Returns. Also, Palmer’s plan to rename Starling City as Star City, lines up with that fictional DC town.

–On the matter of Mr. Palmer, do I smell a bit of cuteness between him and Felicity? Yes fans, I said it.

–Peter Stormare as Zytle seems weird to me, as right now he’s the Big Bad on The Blacklist. I almost feel like Berlin is visiting Starling City on a off day.

–Hey, we get a brief link to The Flash pilot, as Ollie goes to see Barry Allen. That makes that Arrow appearance a bit more foreboding, considering Sara’s murder at around the same time.

–“I gotta warn you, the doctor told me not to get yelled at.” Oh, Quentin.

–I feel I’m not doing the pauses on this Felicity dialogue any favors. “And I’ve seen you shirtless. Multiple times. Shirtless, all the time.”

So, what did you think? You in for the season like I am? Well, come back next week for the recap of “Sara”…

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