Arrow Review: “The Calm”

Arrow returns for a third season, with a new attitude on the part of Starling City, the first of several DC super-guests, and a surprising twist.

The flashbacks resume but, Ollie, thankfully, has left the island, and now recalls his time in Hong Kong.

Title: “The Calm”

Cast and Crew
Director: Glen Winter
Writers: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim, and Jake Coburn

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
Colton Haynes as Roy Harper / Arsenal
Caity Lotz as Sara Lance / The Canary
Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer
Peter Stormare as Werner Zytle / Count Vertigo
Karl Yune as Maseo Yamashiro
Rila Fukushima as Tatsu Yamashiro / Katana
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance
Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla Michaels
Brandon Nomura as Akio Yamashiro
Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash

Full cast and crew may be found here.


Starling City accepts the Arrow as their resident vigilante. Ollie and his associates prove their strong teamwork pays off in the superheroic realm, even against the likes of Count Vertigo. However, Ollie continues to have financial and personal problems, and a new buyer has his sites on the company and Felicity.

High Point

“Come on! What are you waiting for?”
–Vertigo, demonstrating why you should never ask this question in a fight.

Team Arrow displays their crime-fighting teamwork in the premiere episode; the average villain doesn’t have a chance.

Low Point

I expected a Barry Allen cameo, but it came out of nowhere, ended quickly, and suggests they intended to run the Arrow premiere ahead of The Flash pilot.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 The episode suggests some new directions for Arrow, though nothing particularly new for a TV-superhero series. The twist at the end surprised me, though (obviously), this is not the first time a major character has died on thisshow.

Effects: 5/6

Acting: 5/6 The acting was generally strong this week.

Story: 5/6 Arrow remains soap-chaotic, but the third season premiere has a strong core. Several developments in this episode, from Arrow’s public popularity, Ollie’s relationship issues, Ray Palmer’s arrival, the twist ending, and the welcome change to the flashbacks all suggest directions for this season that could make it the strongest yet.

Emotional Response: 4/6 I enjoyed the episode, but I still cannot consistently connect with the private lives of these characters.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 Brandon Routh returns to the DCU with super-presence as Ray Palmer, a version of the character seemingly influenced by Tony Stark. Palmer handily serves the expansion of the DCU for Arrow/Flash, with characters such as Ra’s Al Ghul, Katanna, the Flash, Amanda Waller, and Ted Grant making or scheduled to make appearances. We have possible connections between Vertigo and Batman’s Scarecrow. We also may be in for changes that make the TV-verse more like the comic book one, with a potential new Canary and a possible change to Starling City’s name.

I hope we see more of Roy’s personal support staff.

My wife gives a shout-out to Felicity’s outfits.

In total, “The Calm” receives 31/42

3 replies on “Arrow Review: “The Calm””

  1. I felt it was a good opening. I’m actually OK with the twist at the end (my wife more so than me). It was much less of a gut punch than the Bones premiere.

    I liked the Island flashbacks but it is good to have a change of scenery there. And while The Wolverine was not so good, Rila Fukushima was one of the better things about it and though we haven’t seen her much here yet, hopefully she’ll prove a good choice.

    I don’t like Brandon Routh. I didn’t like him as Superman, I didn’t like him on Chuck, or Enlisted, and so far… still not liking him here. (Scott Pilgrim is the only thing I have liked him in, I will give him that.) Maybe some of that’s on purpose, but we’ll see. Not excited that he’ll be in so much of this season. And if this story is any indication, they may be grooming him for a spinoff. (Though I’d rather see a Suicide Squad spinoff)

    Extra kudos to Felicity for being burnt, bloody, and dirty in one scene and being absolutely perfect the next time she shows back up. She’s just that good. Seeing her work in a computer store also brought back some (good) Chuck flashbacks.

    Overall, the team works well together and Roy seems pretty stable overall, given everything. It’s a good start, I’m still on board to see where they go.

    • I think they’re going to try.

      Then if they give him a spinoff that’ll be two guys who were love interests for Felicity that left. :-)

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