Arrow, Season Two (2014)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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No matter how “out of date” it may be to review a TV season that’s well over a year old, where Arrow is concerned, its past is never out of style.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.) 


  1. Olicity all the way!! You know, the first time I heard rumblings about them becoming a possible ship, I was dead-set against it, being firmly in the Laurel and Oliver camp, especially after their pretty great chemistry together in Season 1. But, with a speed so fast I almost got whiplash, I did a complete 160, and am now their firmest supporter, thanks, in large part, to the brilliantly crafted scenes they share in Season 2. Felicity is one of the best things about this show; besides being hilariously witty and smart, Oliver needs someone like her in his life, to get him to stop taking things so seriously, to smile and laugh, and look out for him, mentally and emotionally. Her awesome tech-savvy is also very convenient. Seeing him get jealous over her instant connection with Barry was just adorable, and I dare anyone to dispute that that declaration in the season finale was very real, especially considering what goes down throughout all of Season 3, but especially the last 5 episodes. I hardly ever see sparks that flaming obvious before, and I loved every second of it!

    Now that that rant is out of my system, onto other things, such as Roy’s character evolution, which I agree took some interesting turns, his inclusion into Team Arrow one of my favorite parts of this season. Oliver and Diggle’s brotherly relationship and interactions are always awesome and fun to watch, the further insight we got into Diggle and Lyla’s past and present fantastically welcome as well. The introduction of A.R.G.U.S and the League of Assassins was also exciting and well-executed.

    After the rather depressing ending of season one, finishing this season on a high note was a move I definitely approved of. Cannot wait to seeing what challenges they will throw into the paths of our favorite vigilantes in Season Four, and how they will further flesh out and expand this universe; hopefully with at least 2 more Flash cross-overs for starters!

    Thanks for the great review, and chance to fan-girl a bit!

    God Bless,
    Eleanor Rose

    1. Right on... Eleanor, you just said it all about Olicity in that first paragraph. Oliver *needs* happiness or "lighter" things in his life. Felicity can be that, and she and Dig are also his voice of reason (sometimes). I'm delighted to know S3 is good in the final episodes and I agree: that S2 finale... *squeal* (which I did, literally while watching this!), it was perfect. :)

      Roy is awesome. I really like his character (to this point) and am sad he's MIA for this next season (S4). Lyla and Dig were a sweet addition, and I'll look forward to MORE from them in S3. Seeing how A.R.G.U.S plays into Oliver's life is going to be interesting, which is what a lot of S3's flashbacks uncover, if I'm not mistaken.

      I've read S4 is meant to be a bit lighter... so I'm rooting for that. Just because S3 is supposed to be DARK. Either way, I'm still an invested fan-girl and WILL NOT give up on Team Arrow easily. ;) Thank you for fan-girling with me (and reading), Eleanor! :)

    2. In regards to Season 3, it is quite dark, and can be rather frustrating at times, (Oliver's stubbornness makes me want to hit him over the head, but at the same time, I kind of understand where he's coming from). Thea's character arc takes some very interesting turns, and her relationship with Oliver is still very sweet. I'm going to miss the snark Roy brought to the team as well, but he does leave on a pretty good note.

    3. Season two is probably a "bridge" in a sense. It grew progressively darker (as did S1), which was probably prepping for the arcs of the third set of stories. Hopefully four will recognize all its put the characters through and give them some breathing room. I'm just glad Oliver comes out on the other side okay... or relatively so.

      What I've seen of the Queen sibling relationship thus far is all good (despite the bumps). Glad to hear that grows in this next season.

      Roy is a fun character and so long as there is a possibility of his return (which seems probable), I'll live with his write off. :)

  2. I had mediocre feelings about the first season, (with Oliver's bad-boy killing spree keeping me from rooting for him) but season two I was HOOKED and all in. While I must admit to getting a bit annoyed with Laurel, I thought the end of the season showed some promise for her. Felicity is definitely one of my favorite characters (and OH how I felt for her at the end of the season!) I haven't seen the third season yet (waiting for the dvd release) but I'll be curious to see where Thea's storyline goes. I'm also looking forward to giving the Flash a run. har har... ^^

    1. I understand that, Joni. I think I did root for Oliver (it's been so long since I've seen S1), simply because, while he did carry his "revenge" too far, he wasn't targeting good people either. But I do have some of the same feelings as you. At least, S2 reinvented his character... and perhaps the writer's understood that was the best way to change.

      Yeah, Laurel's story made me sad, but she seems to be healing... there might be good things for her to come.

      As for season three, I'm in the same boat as you. I wanted to (finally) get through season two in preparation of the season three DVD release. Cannot wait. Here's hoping we both enjoy.

      ...and I hope you like The Flash. I certainly did, and with Barry as its hero, the stories aren't so dark! :)

      Glad you visited. :)

  3. One of my fave shows which isn't saying much because I have 10 others. LOL But I do really enjoy Arrow and hope they get back on track in season 5.

    1. I do too, Sara. I've love to see season 5 return to this "older" version and format because it worked. I'm nervous to watch S4 (I have to get the DVD set) because it's supposed to be the darkest yet (I do read spoilers!) but still, I love it too much to quit. :)


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