The third season of The CW’s Arrow begins this Wednesday, October 8 – something you probably had known already if you’ve been reading KSiteTV’s Arrow portal, GreenArrowTV. The big talk among the fan base concerns the “Olicity date” – as Oliver Queen and his former-IT-girl-turned-partner-in-crimefighting Felicity Smoak do go on a date – not a hoax, not an imaginary story.
Here are some not-too-spoilery teases for what you can expect:
1. The “Olicity date.” After seeing how smoothly and happily things are going for Diggle and Lyla, who are expecting a child any day now, Oliver finally faces the notion of living a life outside of the vigilante world – as Oliver, a guy with friends, a guy who also dates people that he cares about. I was actually a little worried that getting this pairing together and so soon might have been a pandering to fanservice. Fortunately, I think the writers of Arrow – and this episode in particular – predicted my concern because they have the characters talking about their past together, to remind the audience (and me) that it’s not out of nowhere. I liked that. I like that Oliver Queen is smiling for a change. No matter the outcome for Oliver and Felicity, I’m reminded of how nice it was, way back in the series’ third episode, to finally see Oliver happy. Here it’s nice, and a good counterpoint to what Oliver is doing in Hong Kong.
And, yes, there is a kiss.
2. The Hong Kong story. The show also answers the question of “why didn’t Oliver just call home when he was in Hong Kong?” Seeing Cynthia Addai-Robinson’s Amanda Waller is always a treat – but the new characters introduced in this sequence also seem to have the promise of being pretty interesting.
3. Felicity’s new job. Felicity has a cover job at what we can only assume is the Starling City equivalent of a Radio Shack, we assume for the good internet connections. She has an unexpected visitor while at work.
4. Quentin Lance overdoes it. Quentin survived what happened at the end of Season 2, but he is still going out in the field much more than he should, which could get him into trouble. This storyline also shows how Arrow has changed since the series’ first episode: It was just two years ago that Quentin Lance hated “the hood.” Now, Lance is going out of his way to help the Arrow.
5. Laurel. There’s been so much talk of the “Olicity” thing that Laurel Lance’s role in the series has been overlooked. Don’t fret, Katie Cassidy fans: She has a great scene with Oliver (mostly spoiled in the trailers) but she also has some good scenes with her father and her sister, as well. (Yep, Sara is back to kick some @$$ at just the right time: Right in front of STAR Labs a boxing arena).
6. Ray Palmer. Picture Felicity Smoak as tall rich guy and you’d probably get Ray. Ray is goofy, but not in the way that Barry Allen was, either. He’s also snarky, bantery, and a lot of fun. He’s played by former Superman Brandon Routh, he’s incredibly likable, and I think he’s going to be the total opposite of what a lot of people were expecting.
7. Oliver vs. the Arrow. The new variation of Vertigo – complete with a new Count – makes people face their worst fears. In Oliver Queen’s case, he ends up fighting the Arrow.
8. Roy suits up. Colton Haynes’ Roy Harper is now Arsenal, the Arrow’s red-suited partner in crime. Not sidekick: partner. He also goes out into the field, which is cool. Somewhere oldschool fans of Green Arrow and Speedy are smiling.
9. There is a direct tie to the Flash pilot. You don’t need to see one to appreciate the other, but if you see both, you’ll love this.
Bonus. Porcupine flatulence. “Porcupine farts” will probably trend on Twitter on Wednesday night, and you’ll have to watch the episode to find out why.
Is the premiere worth seeing? Yes. Arrow’s second season was a fantastic run, and it’s good to say that the show has not skipped a beat in going into its third year. Some great performances, fun guest stars, and a lot of character work in this episode that takes the show to a higher level than just being a show about a vigilante that shoots arrows at people. Sure, some storylines and characters haven’t shown up yet – Thea and Malcolm sit this one out – but it’s still going to be fun to see more.