I started Netflix binge watching just prior to the beginning of Season 3 with the hopes of completing Season 2 in time for the new season to start. I nailed the timing and was able to move directly from the (SPOILER ALERT) defeat of Slade Wilson/Deathstroke to the (EVEN BIGGER SPOILER ALERT) death of Sara Lance. And, I watched regularly as Oliver and his team protected Starling City from the various evils that were hellbent on tearing down all of what they had sworn to protect.
This Blu-ray/DVD set does a great job of reminding me what I saw, as well as adding some really cool extras about a season that has changed Arrow from a fun and gritty show about a vigilante to a real examination of a hero’s path to glory. By the end of Season 3, we know who Oliver is and we are happy for that growth. Honestly, Season 3 was fantastic - some really solid stories delivered by the steady team of writers, led by showrunner Greg Berlanti, as well as producer/writers Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim.
Keeping it very simple and the spoilers to a minimum, Season 3 saw the death of Canary and the emergence of Black Canary, the education of Thea and her deadly storyline with Malcolm and Ra’s al Ghul, the introduction of Ray Palmer (Atom), the growth of Suicide Squad and A.R.G.U.S., and the storyline that carried the second half of the season - the return of the League of Assassins, the vengeance for the murder of Sara Lance, and the selection of Oliver to replace Ra’s as the leader of the League.
That’s a lot to digest in one season . . . and those are just the story arcs. They don’t take into account the different one-off visits from random members of Arrow’s Rogues Gallery and new criminals, bent on the destruction of Starling City. And, the Ray Palmer/Felicity storyline in which Palmer takes over Queen Consolidated and falls in love with the Arrow’s right-hand girl . . . all while testing a super suit that would allow him to maintain heightened strength while shrinking down to an atomic size.
But, that’s it, I swear . . . except the flashbacks to Oliver’s recruitment by Waller to join A.R.G.U.S. and help fight the bad guys. And, his introduction to Maseo as his handler.
Oh yeah, can’t forget the growth, strength, and ultimately the sacrifice of Roy Harper/Arsenal. The “Red Arrow” protects Oliver – and Oliver’s identity – to the “grave,” making a powerful sacrifice in the name of love and honor.
What I loved about the Blu-ray set was the extras, especially the "Second Skins: Creating the Uniforms of Arrow" segment and the "Nanda Parbat: Constructing the Villain’s Lair" piece. For true fans of the show, these two segments give an in-depth look at how the look of the show is built and maintained. In this case, Skins examines the gritty looks created for Arrow, Arsenal, and the League, as well as the other heroes and villains that find their way through Starling City. While Nanda Parbat gives a really in-depth feel of how Ra’s' lair was built, from the craggy approach to the Lazarus Pit, itself. For fans of Ra’s from this show, as well as his lengthy history in the Batman ethos, this was a really interesting view.
Another favorite was the piece on Atom’s suit, which helps set up the character for his “demise” at the end of Season 3 and his emergence with the Legends of Tomorrow, which bows mid season on the CW. And, of course, the gag real and cut scenes are not to be missed.
As an Arrow fan, you really need to own this set. The Blu-ray is phenomenal and the effects translate well in the cleaner definition. If you choose not to pick it up, you have failed this recommendation.