In the past, the show Arrow had been shaky at best. It had its high points and its low points. It got to the point where some people just gave up on it altogether. However, for those who stuck around through the good, the bad and the ugly of it all we were treated with quite a surprise when season 2 rolled its way on to our television screens. So far season 2 has be fantastic. It has more layers and deeper story and character arcs for everyone. We are treated to multiple characters from the DC universe, and sometimes the show is a giant easter egg hunt to find out who’s who.
The season starts of with Oliver reeling from the events of the Undertaking. He has exiled himself back to the Island and it is up to Felicity and Diggle to knock some sense into him. He spent the entire summer there and just let Starling City descend into chaos. Upon his return he finds that there are several vigilantes who have tried to take his place. The main ones are the “hoods”, who model themselves after Oliver and use his catchphrase, “You have failed this city”. Unfortunately, they use machine guns instead of bows and arrows. After stopping them, Oliver decides to rename himself “The Arrow” to distance himself from the hoods. He also adopts a no kill rule in order to inspire people in a more positive way.
He soon learns that Sarah Lance is alive and has adopted the guise “The Canary” and is taking out men who prey on women. We also learn that she was trained by none other than Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassins. This made me fanboy like crazy, but it was nothing compared to what happened in the midseason finale.
Back on the Island, we see Oliver, Shado, and Slade get attacked by mercenaries with a sinister goal. Oliver is kidnapped and Slade is mortally wounded. He awakens in a prison on a boat where we see Sarah again, working for Dr. Anthony Ivo, who is looking for a secret WWIII Japanese serum called Mirakuru, which, if done correctly, could create an army of near invulnerable super soldiers. This serum is somewhere on the Island and Oliver knows where.
This plot mirrors what the mysterious Brother Blood is doing in Starling City. He has been using people he kidnapped to inject them with the Mirakuru drug. One such test subject is Cyrus Gold. Cyrus was Solomon Grundy’s human name before he died. And yes, the name Solomon Grundy was dropped a few times during that episode.
When Grundy steals from Oliver’s research and development, center no one knows how he could do it, because it would have taken the strength of at least four men to do all that damage and lift the stolen object. Enter Barry Allen. YOU HEARD ME RIGHT! Barry Allen. The freakin FLASH! I was in love with this episode. Grant Gustin seems a bit young for the role, but I love the direction they are taking the character, and the Flash is my favorite character ever so I can’t wait to see his spin-off show. Of course, the first episode he appears he does not have his powers.
This season has been brilliant, but nothing compares to the awesomeness that was the mid-season finale. “Three Ghosts” was the name of the episode and it was a very interesting take on the Christmas Carol. Obviously it was not a direct rip off of that story, but many elements were taken from it and they used the ghosts to further the character and the story. The first ghost was that of Shado, the woman he loved on the Island, and one of the first people he failed to save. She comes to him as the ghost of Christmas Past to remind him of who he was before the Island, and that he needs to go back to that life. She is quiet and soft spoken. Then we get Slade, who is the Ghost of Christmas Present. He is much more of a violent ghost, as he blames Oliver for his death and tries to kill him in the Arrow-cave. The fact that he is the Ghost of Christmas Present actually makes a lot more sense towards the end of the episode as well. And finally, we have the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, who is less ominous than his normal version in that he is Tommy, and Tommy tells Oliver not to give up and that this is what he was meant to do. Tommy gives Oliver the motivation and drive to finally kick Solomon Grundy’s ass in the end. The Ghosts are hallucinations Oliver is having due to stress and he is trying to figure out his life.
Then we get to the latter half of the season, which is okay, but it was definitely a downward slide for the show. It had it amazing moments with Deathstroke and Oliver, and also had some great new characters being introduced such as Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad, as well Nyssa Al Ghul and the return of Huntress. But it also seemed like they planned out most of the first half and got a little lazy towards the second half.
Slade has revealed his plan to the audience and he is slowly tearing Oliver’s world apart bit by bit. He succeeds immensely. He even ends up killing one of his loved ones right in front of him. I won’t give away who it was but that was the most emotionally moment in the entire season.
The last three episodes, while having their good parts, were very messy. Things ended up making a little less sense than the way things ended last season. However I do love the final (maybe?) fate of Slade Wilson, I thought it was a very fitting and ironic end to his story arc for the season.
While it still has its faults and major missteps Arrow is a great show and has potential to be what washes the awful taste of the latter half Smallvilles run out of our mouths. The storylines are layered and characters while a little soap opera-y are being fleshed out nicely. I give Arrow Season 2: 8.5 out of 10 samurai swords.