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.

Premise

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