Review

Plot: FROM VIGILANTE TO HERO — Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) travel to Lian Yu in search of Oliver (Stephen Amell) who left Starling City after The Undertaking.  Convinced to return home, Oliver finds that things are in worse shape than he thought – Isabel Rochev (guest star Summer Glau) is preparing a hostile takeover of Queen Consolidated, Thea (Willa Holland) refuses to visit Moira (Susanna Thompson) in jail, Roy (Colton Haynes) is trying to fill the void left by the Arrow’s absence, and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is working with the District Attorney’s office to take down the vigilante.  Meanwhile, flashbacks to the island show Slade (Manu Bennett), Shado (guest star Celina Jade) and Oliver in a desperate situation. This results in Slade making a promise to Oliver, one he will never forget…

Review: So, the second Season of Arrow comes to an end and like a fine wine, it gets better with age. The first Season was all about finding its feet and introducing us to the characters; Oliver has come a long way and since the death of his best friend Tommy, he has vowed to never kill again. Personally I preferred him when he was killing bad guys because now he’s just like Batman, but that’s just me.

Stephen Amell has really made the role of Oliver Queen/Arrow his own and he plays the tortured billionaire to perfection… and by God is he tortured, physically and mentally.

The big bad of the season is Slade Wilson AKA Deathstroke and there has never been a cooler villain on television. Manu Bennett just owns the role and the Deathstroke costume is awesome. He is a powerhouse and has some the best dialogue on the show; as I’ve said before, his villain speech is now the stuff of legend. As cool as he is though, Slade’s also utterly insane.

Slade_Wilson_(Arrow)_003

This season gets incredibly harrowing and when Slade forces Oliver to choose between his mother and his sister my heart was in my mouth. It’s one of the ballsiest superhero shows I’ve ever seen and isn’t afraid to do the unexpected.

The supporting cast are all first rate too with Felicity, Roy, Sarah and Diggle becoming essential to Oliver’s quest to save his city and himself.

Sarah has some great character moments and her complex relationship with the League of Assassins makes her one of the show’s most interesting personalities.

In Season One, Oliver is forced to choose between Sarah and Shado and when Shadow is killed Slade made a promise to Oliver. He would make him feel utter despair like he felt after losing Shado and he really puts Olly through the ringer. The show is incredibly intense and highly emotional with the final few episodes beyond spectacular.

The brief cameo from Harley Quinn teases the potential spin-off series of the Suicide Squad which Michael Jai White mentioned in our interview a few weeks back.

The episode entitled “The Suicide Squad” was fantastic where we got to see Deadshot and Bronze Tiger switch sides and fight for good.

We are also introduced to a certain Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) who will eventually become The Flash this Fall on the CW. He’s a likeable nerd and it’s a very different portrayal from John Wesley Shipp’s 90’s TV series.

The most interesting aspects of the show are the characters and relationships; with Arrow nothing is black and white. Is Oliver meant to be with Felicity? Or Sarah? Or Laurel? We don’t know, but because it’s unpredictable it keeps it fresh and is one of the reasons we keep tuning in every week.

That’s all well and good but what of the action? Well I’m glad you asked invisible friend because the action this season is like nothing I’ve ever seen on a television show. We’ve got massive battles in the street, a huge set of a ship, real explosions and some fantastic martial arts.

However, one thing still bothers me and that is so much of the show is darkly lit that it’s difficult to make out what’s going on sometimes. It is frustrating when you can’t see who is fighting who and takes away a bit from the action.

At first I also thought the show jumped the shark a bit by bringing back Malcolm Merlin but as the Season progressed, I ended up being quite pleased as John Barrowman plays him with relish.

The weakest link of Season one was Laurel but thankfully she develops nicely this Season and I am now a fan. I particularly liked how her story goes in the season finale…

The big question now is who can they bring in for season 3 to top Deathstroke? Ra’s al Ghul? Harley Quinn? Livewire? Cheshire? Who knows, but either way Arrow has proven to be one of the most intense, action-packed and emotionally charged series on TV.



About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.