Arrow, Season Two (2014)
All I can say in this opening is this: be prepared. Gushing is ahead.
Oliver Queen (Stephan Amell) has disappeared. In the aftermath of Starling City’s near destruction, things haven’t been the same. Oliver saw his best friend die, as a direct result of Tommy’s father and Oliver’s mother. The two of them colluded to create and detonate an earthquake machine that destroyed the city. Even though Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) had a change of heart that saved thousands, she is still sitting in jail. Oliver’s disappearance means “The Arrow” isn’t helping set things right, which inspires his team to set out looking for him. Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) find Oliver’s hiding place, back on the island where he was marooned for years. Once there, they convince a reluctant Oliver to return… and he agrees. Only he isn’t coming back to Starling as the vigilante. Far as he’s concerned, those days are over.
In Starling, Thea (Willa Fitzgerald) refuses to visit her mother in jail and is instead, running the club her brother left behind while continuing to date Roy Harper (Colton Hayes). Then there is Laurel (Katie Cassidy). She’s having a tough time moving on from Tommy’s death and is pushing everyone, including her father (Paul Blackthorne), away. She sets out to entrap the vigilante whom she blames for Tommy’s death, unaware who the man underneath the mask really is...
No matter how “out of date” it may be to review a TV season that’s well over a year old, where Arrow is concerned, its past is never out of style. I fangirl – a lot – for, about, and during the viewing of this DC Comics lore. Season two’s pace moves at a breakneck speed (seemingly, without thought to the casualties), whipping stories and villains out with aplomb and sass. The exchange is then, ripe with new shockers that are sure to make us gasp – sometimes in happiness, but mostly in horror, which the writer’s pull out of their bag of “what ifs.” This sophomore season was heavy on throwing everything they could at their hero, which meant, when the laughs were there, they were 100 times more welcome this season. Shifts in characters and the dynamics of Team Arrow go through some radical changes, which means it’s best not to waste any time in getting to the nitty-gritty.
Most important to the psyche of the show and Oliver, are the secrets that come to light. Not only is Thea’s world tipped upside down, Oliver has to make the difficult choice to reveal who he really is, and another person finds out by way of their own sleuthing. Another character is back “from the dead,” and another still terrorizes Oliver in the latter half of the season. Basically, it’s a precursor kind of “darkness” that season three dealt in. I’ve yet to watch the season, but know what goes down and am already dreading select undertakings. (There is a light at the end of the third season, and I’m hoping the writer’s mean it when they say, season four is envisioned as being lighter.) But, back on track. Nearly every relationship this season is tested in unexpected ways – some of which are tiring, if I’m being honest. Certain characters need to be “left alone,” because they’ve suffered enough. Starting off, we’ll talk about Thea. I’ve grown to like her more than I anticipated. I always liked her sassy foil to Oliver’s darker persona, who is certainly the more sinister Queen sibling. But the girl goes through a lot. She has matured in ways we wouldn’t expect, though she does retrograde a smidgeon by turning her back on the people who truly do believe in and care about her.
The evolution of Roy and Laurel were respectively interesting stories, especially considering where the end of season two leaves them, but as always, it’s really the original trio who make this show. Diggle has become more than an employee to Oliver (they now have a stalwart friendship), and he’s always a shoulder for Felicity. Speaking of Felicity, our favorite tech genius remains cute as a button and then some (I may or may not have squealed during the season finale. Whether it turned out to be real or not, is irrelevant). If you don’t care for her character, there’s nothing more I can say about her that I haven’t already. She’s epic. Biggest hashtag “Olicity” fan ever. Oliver is still the humanly flawed hero as he ever was. He makes mistakes, sometimes clouded by emotions (which for the record: anyone who tries to stop him thinking that way is foolish. Given the same circumstances, the other person would do the exact same), but season two sees him trying his upmost to be someone else. To become a hero he can respect (Oliver is his own biggest critic) and his city can be proud of. No matter his broad shoulders, even Oliver deserves happiness. The three of them together, hold enormous respect for each other, and it’s that trust in each other than enables them to work undetected and to the best of their very human capabilities.
There's a lot of good things going during these 20-some episodes. We not only see good things going on for the main characters, we meet Barry Allen (season two aired prior to the first season of The Flash) and watch him awkwardly try to make sense of “The Arrow.” There are daemons for characters to grapple with, high octane excitement to be found and plenty of “say what…” reactions to be found. There continues to be hints at the bigger DC Comics universe with appearances by the small screen’s version of the Suicide Squad. When the end comes, mostly, the good guys are left standing and the baddies get their just dues. Keeping true to the comic book lore, secrets also start to creep up… one in particular, I am most curious about. Especially, since it gets a later mention in the first season of The Flash.
If you were a fan of season one, you’re certainly going to want to watch its follow up season. I loved being back in Starling City, remembering all of the principled reasons these characters mean so much. This may just be television entertainment, but there are a lot of things we can learn from our crime-fighting friends.
Your turn: what did you think of CW’s second season of Arrow? Like it, detest it or haven’t seen it? I’d love to hear.
(Content: there is some minor sexual content at play. Oliver has a casual one-night fling with one woman, and becomes involved with a former girlfriend later on. Aside from seeing them lying in bed together, there is nothing graphic. Thea and Roy share some impassioned kisses. It’s revealed one character is bi-sexual [plus one same-sex kiss]. There may be some mild profanity here and there, but the only other “concern” will be the violence. There’s nothing particularly graphic, but the entire season involves characters being beaten up, pieced with arrows or gunshot wounds, and the final episodes involve human weapons who can kill a person with a flick of their wrist. Rating TV14.)