Arrow (season 3)

"When we thought you were dead, each one of us had to figure out why we were doing all this. Seems like it's your turn." - Felicity

release year: 2014-15
genre: TV action/adventure
viewing setting: home DVD 11/7-22/15

synopsis: After saving the city last season, the Arrow's happiness is short-lived, as his company is sold, old enemies return, and a new one emerges.

impressions: The good: lots of characters, complex plots, many nods to various comic books, plenty of action. The bad: as before, Oliver/Arrow's decision to not kill...causes more people to BE killed. In other words, more lives are being lost because he won't kill bad guys (who then go on to kill innocents.) So in sum, each worthless bad guy's life spared causes multiple non-bad guys' lives to end. This equation simply doesn't balance. I griped about this in the previous season and it's still the case. However, this season's strengths are adundant: the League of Assassins and its leader...the introduction and guest-starring of two other superheroes...and an abundance of strong, kick-ass female characters. Every episode has flashbacks that help flesh out Oliver's backstory, and are often tied to that episode's events in the present.

acting: Stephen Amell is the deadly but conflicted main hero. David Ramsey is his loyal, tough partner whose trust is severely challenged. Emily Bett Rickards is the IT chick who finally comes to grips with her love for Oliver. Katie Cassidy is the assistant DA who learns to fight and dons a mask this season. Caity Lotz is her sister, who perishes this season. Paul Blackthorne is their father, a cop whose loyalty to the Arrow ceases after the one daughter is killed. Willa Holland is Oliver's sister, who also learns to fight and dons a mask. Colton Haynes is her boyfriend, who by now is a fully-functioning masked vigilante. John Barrowman is a master assassin who always seems to have his own agenda, even when he appears to be helping. Matt Nable is the wise but dangerous assassin leader Ra's al Ghul. Brandon Routh is a likeable billionaire scientist who builds a powered suit or armor and gets involved with the other heroes. Karl Yune and Rila Fukushima are a Japanese couple who were involved in Oliver's deadly past and again become involved in present events.

final word: Well-done comic hero television.

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