Sunday, September 20, 2015

TV on DVD Review: Arrow - Season 3



Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great stories for character growth
Cons: Grows too dark near the end of season
The Bottom Line:
Season did grow dark
Showcasing character growth
And gripping story




“How Many Abandoned Warehouses Do You Think Are in This City?  No, No, I’m Genuinely Curious.”

I’ve discovered just how hooked I am on superhero shows.  Granted, I always knew I liked the genre, but they are taking up an increasing amount of my TV viewing time, and I’m not complaining.  It’s been a recent development, too, since Arrow is the oldest of the shows I’m watching, and it just finished up season 3, which was another season well worth watching.

Season three picks up a few months after the second season ended.  Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is hoping to buy back control of Queen Consolidated, but he fails when the company goes to billionaire Ray Palmer (recurring guest star Brandon Routh).  Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), however, continues to work for team Arrow while helping Ray on secret projects at his company as his second in command.

Meanwhile, Oliver’s sister Thea (Willa Holland) has been out training with her father Malcom (John Barrowman), and Oliver and Diggle (David Ramsey) go out to bring her home.  Things are actually looking relatively quiet until a murder rocks everyone’s world.  With a new villain coming to town screaming for justice, Oliver has to figure out what happened.  Meanwhile, Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) world is rocked and she takes another step toward her destiny.  But who is the killer?  And what can Oliver and his secret identity do about it?

As if often the case with TV shows these days, it would be really hard to jump in here.  Yes, it’s only season 3, but due to the ongoing nature of the story, you’ll miss out on a lot of character development.  With all the characters involved (and I’ve left a couple out, actually), the season hits the ground running.  So start from season 1.  Not that you’ll regret it.

While Arrow has never been a light show, this season definitely went even darker than the previous two.  At times, that was good.  We got to see great growth in the characters and some wonderful acting by the cast.  On the other hand, it reached a tipping point late in the season, and I began to feel like it was just too much.  Fortunately, the season did turn around and end on a lighter note, and the rumors I’m hearing about season four indicate it will keep that lighter tone.

Not that this season was completely dark.  Ray Palmer added some fun as he tinkers with his inventions and works on seducing Felicity.  Speaking of Felicity, her mom shows up for two episodes, and Charlotte Ross’s performance in this guest role was absolutely wonderful.

In some ways, this season of Arrow was overshadowed by its spinoff, The Flash.  I absolutely loved that show, too, but why am I bringing it up now?  There was a crossover event early in the season and the characters popped up on each other’s shows several times, often revealing key plot points when they did that.  You don’t absolutely have to watch both shows, but it’s so much fun you’ll definitely want to do so.

The show continues to be filled with great stunts and effects.  It’s amazing what this show does on a TV budget each week.  The actors are at the top of their game as well.  I get the impression that they really do love their jobs, and it comes through in their work.

The flashback storyline this season does wind up tying into the season storyline, but, as always, I felt it was the weakest part of the show.  On the other hand, watch out for that mid-season cliffhanger.  It’s a doozy.  And as you quickly move on to the next episode, remember I had to wait 6 weeks to watch the next episode.

The season consisted of 23 episodes, and naturally they are all here in their native widescreen and full surround sound.  Extras include two commentaries, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.  In the way of featurettes, there’s one on the 2014 Comic-Con panel, one on the suits the superheroes wear, one on the set for this season’s villain’s lair, and one on creating Ray Palmer’s biggest gadget.

While season 3 of Arrow did grow too dark for a while, it was still well worth watching.  If you have been enjoying this show, you’ll be thrilled to add this season to your collection.

Season 3 Episodes:
1. The Calm
2. Sara
3. Corto Maltese
4. The Magician
5. The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak
6. Guilty
7. Draw Back Your Bow
8. The Brave and the Bold
9. The Climb
10. Left Behind
11. Midnight City
12. Uprising
13. Canaries
14. The Return
15. Nada Parbat
16. The Offer
17. Suicidal Tendencies
18. Public Enemy
19. Broken Arrow
20. The Fallen
21. Al Sah-Him
22. This is Your Sword
23. My Name is Oliver Queen 

No comments:

Post a Comment