HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Arrow: The Complete Third Season
HTS Overall Score:79
This last year has been a great year for Superheroes on Television. We had “The Flash”, “Daredevil”, “Agent Carter”, and then we had a very slight dip in quality with the third season of “Arrow”. The first 2 seasons of the green hooded archer were phenomenal. So much so that I was almost trembling with anticipation to watch season 3, and watched every week with bated breath. I felt a bit puzzled after watching the first half of the season, and started realizing that the third season just WASN’T going to reach the pinnacle of Season 2 (something which “The Flash” was able to do with relative ease). Ollie and crew felt like there was more disharmony going on behind the scenes than there was even ON screen, with too many subplots focused on the Arrow being a jerk to his friends. It’s still “The Arrow”, though, and that means it’s still quite a lot of fun, but comparing it directly to the previous two seasons will be just a bit disappointing.
Last time we left Starling City, Deathstroke had been taken care of and The Arrow (Stephen Amell) is back to fighting off criminals with the help of Arsenal (aka, Roy Harper, played by Colton Haynes). Thea is missing, left to go off wither her now revealed parent, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), and Oliver has to live with the realization that he has lost TWO parents to the crime in Starling city. Thinking that Thea has just gone on vacation, Ollie tracks her down with Roy, who desperately wants Thea back as well, only to find her living as a waitress off continent. Brining her back is no small effort, but he is finally able to reunite his family once and for all, although unbeknownst to the Arrow, he’s just brought back Malcolm Merlyn, who has spent the better part of a year training his daughter to fight like one of the League of Shadows. This particular little event will set forth a chain reaction that will change the face of the Arrow forever.
Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is grieving herself, burdened with the knowledge that Sara has left his world. Keeping this secret from her father, Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), Laurel takes up the mantle of the Black Canary, and does her best to fill the shoes of her older sister. The highlight of the show comes in the form of Brandon Routh. Billionaire philanthropist Ray Palmer (Routh) comes in to buy out Queen Consolidated after Ollie lost it to Deathstroke’s minion last season. Cheeky, and charismatic he lights up the screen every time he walks on set. For those of you who love the comics, the name Ray Palmer is going to set off nerd bells, much the same way Barry Allen did last season. Ray isn’t just here to run Queen Consolidated, he’s after a little bit of tech that will complete a bigger piece of tech that he’s working on. One which will give birth the rise of another vigilante, the Atom.
All of this going on, brings in one of the biggest DC villains ever, Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable). It seems that Malcolm coming back to Starling City is not just dangerous because of the man’s psychotic abilities. Malcolm has bigger plans. Since he is being hunted by the League, he concocts a plan to pit the greatest immortal villain of the DC universe against the Arrow in an effort to get rid of Ra’s once and for all. Unfortunately, Ra’s is more of a threat than even Malcolm anticipated, and the future of not only Ollie and his friends are in jeopardy, but the entire existence of Starling City as well.
As much fun as the “Arrow” universe is, this seasons took a bit of dip in the quality department. The first 8 or 9 episodes actually were quite engaging, bringing Arsenal as a full time hero, and introducing the creation of Speedy in upcoming episodes. John Barrowman is a revelation as Malcolm Merlyn, his interactions with Thea were a blast to watch. The struggle for enjoyment came from the middle of the show, where we see Ollie clashing with Felicity, Diggle and Roy on MULTIPLE occasions. I realize that they were trying to set up the conflict between the main heroes to show in later seasons that the Arrowverse is more of a team effort than his lone hero routine, but Oliver just come across a snobbish JERK the whole time. I get that Felicity and Oliver had to go separate romantic ways, I get that he needs to learn some humility, but there was just WAAAAAAAAAAY too much self-pity and morose Batmanesque brooding.
As much as Ra’s al Ghul is a FANTASTIC villain, he just didn’t translate well to TV. Ra’s is famous for his over the top theatrics, and Matt Noble just lacked the charisma to pull the roll off properly. He looked decent enough, and the whole League of Assassins castle looks INCREDIBLE, but the flat performance by Noble left me feeling a little bored. Laurel and Quentin Lance actually swapped places, with Quentin being so unlikeable this season that I wanted to slap him upside the head, while Laurel actually was pretty enjoyable. I didn’t think I would ever say this, but she works as the Black Canary. The mixing in of Ray Palmer and the ever affable Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) are the saving grace of this season, but I DO have high hopes for next season, as they are bringing many of the shows little alterations of the character to a head. This season may not have been the best season of “Arrow”, but I enjoyed most of it nonetheless.
The episode rundown:
The Secret of Felicity Smoak
Draw Back Your Bow
The Brave and the Bold
This Is Your Sword
My Name is Oliver Queen
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=54018[/img]Warner has done a fantastic job with their latest TV encodes, and the third season of “Arrow” matches the previous 2 seasons blow for blow. The series tends to be a bathed in darkness most of the time, with our heroes pulling the Batman method of crime fighting at night. Black levels are deep and inky, but show of PLENTY of fine detail. I never noticed any washed out, greying blacks, or any major artifaciting in the dark. I DID notice a flicker of banding here and there in the darkest of scenes, but those were very short lived. Colors lean very heavily towards blacks and greens, with some splashes of red and blues from Roy’s costume and Thea’s more standard clothing. Let me tell you this, “Arrow” may be a dark show, but it certainly looks incredible on disc. Spread out over 4 Blu-ray discs, the 16 hour series look magnificent, especially considering the few extras that are on the discs to take up space. Long story short, it looks AMAZING. Solid A+
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=54026[/img]“Arrow” has always had reference quality audio and this season is where things get a little interesting. 95% of the audio on disc is reference quality, with awesome bass tracks and great use of the surrounds. The series has a lot of action, so there are more than enough times that you feel completely immersed in the sound. LFE is tight and punchy, with some very nice impacts, and the dialog is crisp and clean (mostly). The issue that crops up is the same issue that cropped up on Warner’s disc of “Innerspace”. What happens is there is some sort of distortion baked in that sounds like the extreme highs are clipping, creating a rasping sort of vibration. It’s not all the time, and comes and goes at will. The big episode that REALLY made me notice it is the final episode where Ras and Oliver are in the plane (chapter 2 of the final episode to be exact). The vocals are what to pay attention to. The thing is, this shows up on only SOME audio configurations, and I have yet to decipher what in the chain is amplifying this. I tried the discs in 5 different audio setups, three of them my own, and two of them friends. On TWO of my 3 setups I hear the distortion, as well as one of my buddies. My 3rd audio setup and one of my other buddie’s setups negates the distortion, very similarly to what happened with the “Innerspace” disc. I would have rated it lower but for the fact that this WON’T show up on everyone’s setups and most won’t even notice it at all.
• Second Skins: Creating the Uniforms of Arrow with Costume Designer Maya Mani
• Nanda Parbat: Constructing the Villain's Lair with Production Designer Richer Hudolin
• 2 Key Commentaries with Executive Producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle
• Arrow at Comic-Con 2014
• The Man Beneath the Suit: The Atom's First Fight
• Gag Reel
• Unaired Scenes
The third season of “Arrow” is unfortunately the weakest of the series so far, with some stumbling and faltering in the storytelling department. I enjoyed a lot of the season, but there was just too much whining, Miscasting of the main villain, and a rather weak ending combined with a slightly irritating audio glitch to round out the mix. HOWEVER, from what we’ve seen, the 4th season of “Arrow” was setup by the events that happened in Season 3, which sets the stage for a legendary villain to make an appearance, and for the Arrow to become, The Green Arrow. That being said, if you’re a fan of the series, this will still be a lot of fun, just not as euphorically awesome as the first 2 seasons. Give it a watch.
Starring: Steve Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey
Created by: Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DD 2.0
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 976 minutes
Own it on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD September 22nd, 2015
Buy Arrow: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It!
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