Over the next weeks Octagon staffers will explain why they’re excited for the season premieres of their favorite TV shows, both familiar and new. 

Since its premiere in 2012, the CW adventure “Arrow” has been wildly popular for its plot depth, intrigue and dark turns – the reason why I became interested in the first place.

Its first three seasons brought the Emerald Archer of DC Comics to life in Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), along with his partners-in-crime Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) and John Diggle (David Ramsey).

The storyline was full of action, ammo and lots of combat scenes, giving the show the distinct ambience of hero versus villain. And as both the plot and characters developed, I was drawn in more and more.

However, on Wednesday, Oct. 7, Season 4 is instilling a new lighthearted tone into the story after Oliver hung up his hood in the Season 3 finale. Following Oliver’s journey from the pilot episode to Season 4 has been a ride full of vengeance and PTSD from his shipwreck on a remote island in the Pacific, which now takes on a new undercurrent of faith in humanity and in himself.

Executive producer Marc Guggenheim explained in Entertainment Weekly that they’re “driving conflict to the show in ways that (they) never would have in the first three years. So it still feels like ‘Arrow,’ but it’s a different take.”

I, for one, am excited (albeit a bit apprehensive) to see how this new lighthearted aura will shift the feel of the show; will it take away from the fast pace? Or will it add another dimension of excitement altogether?

Meanwhile in Season 4, the Arrow team – now led by Diggle – is doing an outstanding job of keeping the peace in Starling City. However, a new menace surfaces in the form of Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), a villain Guggenheim describes as “pure evil (who) will stop at nothing to achieve his ends.”

In previous seasons, the villains most often did the wrong things for all the right reasons; although their methods were questionable, their end goal was what they believed to be the greater good. So I’m curious to see how Oliver and his team handle Damien Darhk’s “pure evil” persona in comparison to seasons past, as well as the toll it takes on them as a result.

Season 4 is also shifting the theme to character development. According to Guggenheim, Felicity is stepping up to the plate and becoming CEO of Ray Palmer’s (Brandon Routh) corporation after Palmer’s death, a position in which her trademark quirk and humor will shine through, along with the strong and confident persona necessary for her new position.

“Arrow” returns Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. on the CW.

—By Sahej Claire

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