ARROW Season 2 Premiere “City Of Heroes” Review
Even though the CW was lovely enough to send me a screener of the season 2 premiere of Arrow, there were still a lot of details that made me really excited when I re-watched it live. I’ve never read the comic book (sorry!) so I can’t be sure how closely the series aligns itself to the source material, but based on other adaptations that have chipped away at my heart, I’d rather not know. If tonight’s return of Arrow is any indication of how the rest of the season is going to go, true to the original story or not, then I’d like to register for my fan card now.
Off the bat, it was really interesting to see that when things got rough in Starling City, Oliver (Stephen Amell) was more comfortable escaping back to the island then sticking around. Since he was in full-mourning mode after losing his best friend when the Glades collapsed on itself during a man-made earthquake, it’s understandable that he would need some alone time. It was still nice to see that coming back home there wasn’t quite the same transition period as last time. A few months on the island were barely noticeable when Oliver took back control (or, half the control) of his family’s company.
Oliver may be a little rougher around the edges then he was pre-island, the first time not the second time, but he’s clearly got his priorities in order. Even Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) rejection affected him less than I would have expected. He seems to be taking everything in strides, even the kidnapping of his own sister by the copycat Hoods. What worries me is that this is just the calm before the storm. He had all those months to himself to suppress his emotions, but he was alone, and although he probably blew off some steam – he was there alone. He needs to deal with what happened and stop blaming himself. That’s obviously not going to be easy, but it’s also not going to happen when the only thing he has to talk to is shrubbery.
Besides Oliver losing his composure at some point, the storyline I’m most excited about the relationship between Thea (Willa Holland) and Roy (Colton Haynes). It’s all very Romeo and Juliet, in a he’s from the other side of the tracks Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club type of way.
Roy was a likeable character from the start, even if the first time we saw him he was stealing Thea’s purse. Thea is running out of family members and Oliver, despite being physically around, has another agenda. She may have forgiven her mother for her role in The Uprising, but her mother can’t be there for her right now, not in the way she needs. Thea needs, and deserves, to be taken care of. She needs someone that will make her their highest priority and I’d like to believe that Roy can find room in that position side by side with his desire to be a superhero.
That being said, I’m not opposed to the idea of Roy being a superhero-adjacent. He has some skills that with the right training could make him the perfect Robin to Oliver’s Batman; he even has the sad back story down. That might step on Diggle’s (David Ramsey) toes slightly, but a fourth member of the team has potential – as long as it’s not a female. I generally encourage females to take up roles that are predominantly male, but I feel a little protective of Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards).
Also, the role of female arse-kicker seems to have just been filled. Although, once again, I haven’t read the comic books, I’m going to take a not-so-giant leap and assume that Laurel is the new badass in town. Judging by her technique when she attacked one of the imitation Hoods after they shot the Mayor and everyone panicked, she’s been doing more than taking a couple of self-defense classes. We’ve seen her save the city in her own way by giving a solid legal defense, but Oliver’s not the only one that’s coping with Tommy’s (Colin Donnell) death. Laurel needs an outlet and in the absence of the real Hood, she must have decided that she could step in and save the city in a more immediate, less red tape way.
Season 1 of Arrow really set a strong foundation for the series to develop on top of and expand from. I have to say that after one episode of the new season, I’m already way more into Arrow then I was the first time around. It wasn’t until half-way through season 1 that I actually felt invested in the characters and didn’t let weeks lapse between catching up on episodes. Ultimately, in hindsight, I can really appreciate how to writers took the time to pay attention to all the details in making the show what it is. I’m a sucker for live-action versions of comic books, even though I rarely read them, and can’t wait to see where the adventure takes Arrow next.