Arrow season 2 (REVIEW)

written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)

I will do my best to avoid spoilers, but please be advised there could be some. If spoilers bug you that much then just watch the season when it hits Netflix. But back to the agenda at hand, Arrow season two picks up during the aftermath of Malcolm Merlyn’s successful attempt to level the Glades. With hundreds dead, the city looks to Moira Queen to take responsibility for her hand in the devastation, despite her confessing Merlyn’s plans (all be it a bit too late). The second season goes to prove that it ain’t easy being a Queen.

Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) side by side with the Arrow (Stephen Amell)

Ollie finally dons the hood on the island

Much like the last season, episodes continue with Ollie’s rise to prominence as Arrow all the while shedding more light on the five years he was away from Starling City. A few major players in the story are expanded upon from both the past and present day setting. Slade Wilson continues to help Oliver in his fight against Anthony Ivo with Shado at their side. Roy Harper begins to take his first steps toward being Arrow’s protégé, though whether he’d be called Speedy or Red Arrow or even Arsenal hasn’t been expanded upon, but this is a crucial first step for the character. Most unexpected was the appearance of Sara Lance (played by Caity Lotz, replacing season one’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) who surprisingly survived the sinking of the Queen’s Gambit and was working with Ivo, present day… Sara operates as the vigilante known as the Canary. The decision to grant Sara Lance (not a character in the comics) the mantle of Canary instead of her sister Laurel took some adjusting to, but I thoroughly enjoyed Lotz as Sara and it was easy to overlook, though I do still hope Laurel eventually takes the mantle of Canary.

Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), before the eyepatch

Canary (Caity Lotz) and Arrow (Stephen Amell)

Though not all characters continued to endear me to them, Thea Queen found stability in the wake of her mother's persecution, but due to discovering a hidden secret her family kept from her, she reverted back to the bratty version of herself I was so hoping was left behind in the wake of the early parts of the second season.

meet the Suicide Squad

Thea Queen (Willa Holland) proves to end up just as bratty

Season two saw many new characters join the cast; beyond Sara Lance, several DC Comics mainstays such as Amanda Waller, Clock King, Dollmaker, and the Suicide Squad to name a few make their CW-verse appearance. The most surprising DC mainstay was the inclusion of Barry Allen (portrayed by Grant Gustin), otherwise known as the Flash. It was already mentioned that Arrow would act as a jumping off point for a Flash pilot, but with the popularity of the character’s appearance… CW is moving forward with the Flash series (yay).

Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) begins his training

A surprising appearance by Barry Allen (Grant Gustin)

With all new troubles for the hooded vigilante, two new threats begin to mobilize. Because of something that happened on the island and succumbing to the insanity brought on by getting injected with mirakuru, Slade Wilson (the man who would be Deathstroke) makes it his mission to destroy everything Oliver loves and Sebastian Blood (the man behind Brother Blood) makes a bid for mayor all the while hatching a more nefarious plan involving experimentation with mirakuru.

Deathstroke (Manu Bennett) proves to be the Arrow's greatest adversary

Deathstroke (Manu Bennett) proves to be the Arrow's greatest adversary

Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro) in full Brother Blood regalia

The tone of the show has ramped up considerably from the first season, facing the city’s persecution of his mother and the impending battle he’d have to face against Slade Wilson, this season has proven to be more exciting than the last and further solidifies the show’s place as one of my favorite hours on television. Arrow’s second season made my little DC fanboy heart skip a beat far too many times; with the inclusion of such iconic DC characters like Amanda Waller and ARGUS, the Suicide Squad (complete with a Harley Quinn tease), and allusions to the people who would eventually become Vibe and Killer Frost, this was truly a season of television that catered to the comic book fan. I can’t wait for next season, and despite the painful Harley Quinn tease that was never expanded upon… I’m calling it, Arrow season two was epic, and I’m so glad that a show like this exists on TV