Writing about Arrow often feels like an exercise in repetition. There are only so many ways to debate whether or not Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance is a good character or if they’ve ruined Felicity by making her a full-on love interest for Oliver or if they’ve strayed too far from the Batman Begins-esque tone of the first season of if they’ve dropped the ball with their handling of some comic book character (Roy Harper, Ray Palmer, Isabel Rochev, etc.) or their latest overarching storyline, the most recent of which is the “Who Killed Sara Lance?” mystery. The general rule of thumb is to simply forgive the show for constantly trying to do just a little too much at the same time, or simply stop watching and keep an eye on episode reviews to see if the show maybe got better. There’s also the possibility that you love everything about the show, and don’t know what I’m talking about.
Either way, whether you’re absolutely enamored with everything that’s happened in season 3, or you’re still rolling your eyes at the “Thea killed Sara!” resolution, come on, aren’t you at least a little curious to see what happens when the show returns from its Winter hiatus? After all, they did go into their break by killing Oliver Queen. That’s obviously not going to stick, and it probably signals a move toward a comic book storyline, i.e., The Lazarus Pits, that might bend the reality of this show beyond its breaking point (there I go again with the whole “Are they going too far away from Batman Begins?”). Oliver will clearly be back at some point, but before we get there we have to see how Felicity, Diggle, Roy, Thea, and Laurel react upon hearing the news that Oliver is dead. That’s some prime drama right there, and if this trailer for the show’s return is any indication we can expect Felicity and Diggle to basically look sad, Roy to go out and kick some butt, and Laurel to transition into Black Canary mode. Oh, yeah, also Vinnie Jones is around as a character from the comics named Brick, and there’s a hint of Ray Palmer moving forward with his A.T.O.M. suit. The producers have been unwittingly contradicting each other in separate interviews lately, but based on what they’ve said when the show returns the new episodes will shift focus to Roy and Laurel as they make huge strides in their young crime-fighting careers. Let’s hope that they remember how big a difference there is between Oliver and Sara’s long journeys to becoming Arrow and Canary, and Laurel simply training with a boxer in a gym as an outlet for her grief.
By comparison, The Flash doesn’t have nearly as much baggage weighing it down. Heck, the show’s first episode back from Winter hiatus will only be its 10th episode ever. It went into the break on the supremely confusing cliffhanger that Dr. Harrison Wells, at the very least, has a yellow suit and can vibrate his voice just like The Reverse Flash. Plus, Iris finally knows that Barry is ever-so in love with her, and Caitlin knows that her dead fiance is not so much dead but in fact a meta-human with rather dodgy hair and a crappy disposition. When they return, the show’s rogue’s gallery will expand, with the new episodes set to bring us a new Weather Wizard (Spartacus‘ Liam McIntyre), the Pied Piper (Smash‘s Andy Minetus), Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), Captain Cold’s sister (Tomorrow People‘s Peyton List), and the Trickster (Mark Hamill, not that that’s a big deal or anything). This new trailer offers more of Captain Cold and introduces us to Pied Piper and Heat Wave. Plus, there’s a quick little “faster than a speeding bullet” Superman joke. As with most things related to The Flash, it all looks like so much fun:
The Flash returns January 20th, and Arrow drops the next night, January 21st.