When Arrow kicked off its second season tonight with “City of Heroes,” several months have passed since the devastation that left Starling City in shambles and Tommy (sob!) dead.
Oliver has taken refuge on the island and Felicity and Dig (hilariously) risk life and limb to go there and bring him back to save his parents’ company and all the employees’ jobs, including Felicity’s. But Oliver makes it clear that he’s only returning to help as Oliver Queen; his vigilante days are over.
Naturally that resolve doesn’t last the hour, but no one is shocked by that. We were, however, pleasantly surprised by some of the changes, mainly the supporting characters having more to do. While it’s always going to be Oliver’s story, it’s nice to see the other players having their own lives, even if they do ultimately tie in to what’s going on with Oliver and his journey from vigilante to hero.
Let’s discuss five key moments from the season premiere:
#5 The Island Flashbacks are still a thing
We’ve never enjoyed this particular part of the show and season two has not upped its game on this front. After killing all the bad guys from last season, Oliver, Slade and Shado are in an awkward, three’s company situation and Slade is definitely the odd man out. Will this be the catalyst that eventually turns him into Deathstroke? We don’t know, but if the execution of this story doesn’t pick up fast, we’re just going to mentally fast-forward to the part where we assume the others die. They have to die, right? How else would Oliver be alone on the island when he’s rescued? That’s as much interest as we can muster for this aspect of the show.
#4 Isabel Rochev becomes Oliver’s business partner
We’re introduced to the businesswoman, who specializes in hostile takeovers (how awesome was Felicity’s line about her being angry in every photo?), when Isabel (Summer Glau) meets with Oliver and makes it clear that she thinks Queen Consolidated is ripe for the taking. He can’t let that happen and after getting some advice from Moira, Oliver turns to Walter, who helps him get a loan to buy enough company stock to be equal partners with Isabel. Should we take bets on how long it takes for these two to hit the sheets? We’re going to guess four episodes.
#3.5 Roy has stepped up in the Hood’s absence
The Glades are a mess and Roy has been trying to stop crime all by himself. He’s getting hurt a lot, which makes Thea quite unhappy. She’s taken over running Oliver’s club (so what if he’s not old enough to drink? She’s old enough to manage a business). Thea and Roy argue over his insistence to play hero. We’re guessing this is going to be a recurring theme this season.
#3 Thea has matured and it’s awesome
One of our greatest disappointments last season was how wasted Thea was as a character, second only to Laurel, the supposed leading lady (do not get us started). But Thea has come back stronger than ever this season and we love it. She’s running a business and holding her own, but she’s also very, very angry with her mother and everything she’s done. Then Thea gets kidnapped and suddenly realizes that she can see Moira’s side of things and her mother was a victim too. Their jailhouse reunion was sweet, especially when they were willing to risk getting shot to share a hug (aw).
#2.5 First Black Canary Sighting
Admittedly, this moment probably would have been number one if it wasn’t for the fact that 1) we’re still bitter it’s not Laurel wearing the fishnets and 2) it was in the Comic Con sizzle reel so there was nothing new or surprising about the scene. But yeah, we want to see how this plays out.
#2 Laurel might be getting a storyline
We’re still not quite ready to believe that it’s happening, but so far, all the pieces are in place. She’s got a new job at the DA’s office, which puts her on the same side of the law as her father (boo to his demotion), but it also puts her on the opposite side as the vigilante. While (spoiler alert) we’ll learn more about her reasoning in episode two, it makes sense that Laurel would be interested in a career change after everything that happened. Her comment to Oliver about Tommy getting killed in the crossfire between two archers was spot on, as was her desire to bring down the lone remaining archer since Malcolm is (allegedly) dead.
As for Oliver and Laurel, their reunion was surprisingly mature. They talked about Tommy (sobs) and how they felt they betrayed him. Oliver also pointed out that he betrayed Laurel with her sister (worst), but they agreed that their friendship was too important to lose, even if they couldn’t be in a relationship for the time being.
#1 Oliver wants to stop killing people to honor Tommy
Remember that time Tommy called Oliver a murderer? Oliver does and it’s haunting him that Tommy died (sobs) thinking he was just as bad as all the criminals he was going after. Since we were not a fan of Oliver’s hypocrisy last season (remember how much he tried to shame Helena when they were the same person?), we’re glad he’s taking a step in the right direction. We’re also happy to see more Team Arrow scenes because Felicity and Dig and their sarcastic quips are so much fun.
What did you guys think of the season premiere? What was your favorite part? Did you enjoy the changes? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us.