Season premiere review: ‘Arrow’ – ‘Green Arrow’: Has Oliver again failed this city?

A few thoughts on last night's “Arrow” premiere coming up just as soon as I slow cook some eggs…

Like Tuesday night's “Flash” premiere, “Green Arrow” was so busy setting up various arcs for the season to fully cohere, but there were some interesting moments and some frustrating ones. Bouncing around:

* You can feel the show, like Oliver himself, making a concerted effort to be less brooding and have a bit more fun, just as you can also see that the show is struggling to stick to that just as much as Oliver. Oliver and Felicity's boring new life in Ivytown as amusing, and I appreciate that it was Felicity, and not Oliver, who was the one to start backsliding and helping Team Arrow, but most of what followed Oliver and Felicity's return to Star City was glumness of the first order. It's not fair to ask the show, or its hero, to get a personality transplant, especially since there are all the leftover issues from season 3 to deal with, but when the show is now introducing a flashforward structure (more on that in a moment) involving the future death of an unidentified character Oliver cares about, then any attempts at lightening the tone – even if that seems to play more to the strengths of virtually every actor on the show – are superficial at best.

* I'm assuming the show won't keep revisiting the Six Months Later era each week, because that would get confusing so long as we're also continuing with what Oliver was up to Five Years Earlier. The flashbacks are never the most interesting part of the series, but I appreciated that this week's were at least pretty brief and started establishing that Oliver didn't just emerge from the island a fully-formed vigilante. (Also, the scene at the Coast City bar had a pilot with the name Jordan on his jacket; Easter Egg or set-up for Berlanti to take a second crack at Green Lantern, this time on the small screen?)

* Any superhero story requires a willing suspension of disbelief when it comes to secret identities, but the idea that the people of Star City – whoever's left there, that is, after a lot of the population has understandably fled the place after the events of the first three seasons – wouldn't be able to tell that this new guy calling himself Green Arrow is the exact same guy who allegedly died as the Arrow is a big stretch even by those standards. The new costume looks cool, but it's not like Oliver is wearing a Spiderman-style mask that completely obscures his face. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter a ton, since Quentin Lance is the only citizen of consequence who's not part of the team, and he knows exactly who and what Green Arrow is, but it's still the show clumsily working out of a corner it painted itself into.

* Why is Diggle wearing Magneto's helmet? How did no one designing or approving it notice this, or even notice how goofy it looks when paired with civilian clothes? Either give the guy a full costume or – since David Ramsey has eloquently argued for why Diggle might not want to do that – stick with the ski mask.

* Neal McDonough's already a more charismatic big bad than Matt Nable was at any point last year as Ra's. It'll be interesting to see how the show works with a full-time villain with powers, but it's not like Oliver hasn't gone against superhumans in the past, either on the show or in comics.

* Will wait and see on Thea's rage issues and Lance secretly working with Dahrk. With so much else going on here, those subplots will need some time to develop properly.

What did everybody else think? Did “Green Arrow” make you excited about where the show is going, or did it feel like more of the same after a season that most of you agreed wasn't “Arrow” at its best? I'll check back in at some point later in the season.