Arrow returned for it’s second season after a tremendous end to the first season. That didn’t mean that there wasn’t anything for Arrow to improve on as they went into their second season. Arrow took the bull by the horns and tackled all the aspects of the show that they needed to make improvements on and really did it. Arrow second season focused on the return of people who were heavily involved in his life while he was on the island. Our first encounter came in the form of an ally with Sarah Lance, atak the Canary. While later in the season we saw the return of Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke. The result was a season that felt stronger than it’s first season as it delivered compelling content, but it wasn’t without it’s faults.
Sarah made her first appearance since we first saw how Ollie ended up on the island. First off, she was recast and I’m sure it was the best as Sarah became on kickass character on the show. When she first emerged she was nothing more than just a stone cold killer who was only back in town because she worried about her sister. Her re-emergence was a critical moment for Ollie as he had recently vowed to stop killing and in came this old ally he thought was dead who was willing to kill with no issue. It was a struggle for Ollie, but even more so it was a struggle to have Sarah back in his life after everything that happened on the island. We learned throughout the season how they were separated and then reunited for a common cause. We also learned that the initial moment we saw Sarah supposedly die wasn’t even the moment that Ollie had thought she had died because of their island adventures.
Sarah’s return, while a big deal for Ollie, was even more of a dig deal for the Lance Family. Similar to Ollie, they had thought that Sarah was dead. For a while Sarah wanted to keep it that way, only letting her dad in on the sequence. It was for good reason considering Sarah had been having an affair with her sister’s boyfriend. When Sarah did finally reveal herself to Laurel, it was a big moment and Laurel didn’t take it too well. Sure she was happy her sister was alive, but she couldn’t just forgive her sister so easily. As Laurel’s troubles continued to spiral, Sarah was there for her anyway and eventually the sisters reconciled. By the end of it Sarah was leaving Starling City for good with Lyssa and even gave up her jacket that symbolized her being The Canary.
Slade played a huge part of Ollie’s life while he was on the island. For a long time they were friends, but when Dr. Ivo forced Ollie to choose between saving Sarah’s life or Shado’s he choose Sarah and Slade could never forgive him. Sure, Slade didn’t know for a while, and add to his increased strength due to the mirakuru, he was a major threat in close quarters with Ollie. When Dr. Ivo revealed what had really happened when Shado died, it was game over of Ollie and Sarah as they were now the source of his pain. This story on the island was told piece by piece over the entire season. There were moments when it wasn’t as strong as it could have been as often the theme of the episode at hand is reflected by the island story. Ultimately, when you piece together everything that happened on the island and ignore the extraneous bits, it really is a compelling story.
All of that build on the island led to the creation of a very strong villain that Oliver needed to face. The tension between Slade and Oliver felt so good on screen because his hatred and their mutual anger was fueled by personal events. None of Slade’s actions were ever done just for the hell of it. Instead, Slade was always acting out to inflict that same pain that Slade felt on Oliver. He’d been willing to wait years and establish himself in order to hit Oliver the hardest when he was the most comfortable and that was exactly what he did. The result was an opponent that truly felt like a match to Oliver and one that would relentlessly go after him to satisfy his own bloodthirst by hurting him in any way he possibly could before striking with all force. Slade Wilson went so far to take away his entire family fortune and his ability to function before he even took out a single person close to him. The result was possibly the strongest villain we’ve seen on the show to date, even topping Meryln, simply because we can really understand Slade’s motivations.
While we did have a few very strong villains and oppnents for Oliver to face throughout the season, there was also a myriad of lackluster villains. In fact, I can hardly remember any of the villains not related to Slade other than the Clock King. That was a weak part of the season as those one shot enemies didn’t seem memorable or left much of an impression on the team. I will also give an exception to those featured in the Suicide Squad episode as that team functioned in an interesting way. I would hope to see yet another Suicide Squad episode or at least more of Deadshot because he is another compelling character due to his motivations to help his daughter. That said, had Felicity not had an important moment reaffirming her importance to the team with the Clock King, I probably wouldn’t have remembered him either.
It was by far the biggest tease in the finale when Oliver said he loved Felicity only for it to be a lie. Then it was like a knife twist in the chest at the end of the episode as Oliver smiled about how proud he was of her and confirmed it was just fake as Felicity smiled meekishly. Felicity has been making eyes at Oliver since season one. We saw her jealousy as he got closer to Sarah. Sure part of that was because Sarah made her feel unnecessary on the team, but it was clear that wasn’t quite the whole reason. Felicity watches on with care and Oliver certainly does care about her and her well being. But Oliver seems completely aloof to those glances he’s been getting for a season and a half now. While, I truly hope they do try to break away from the comics and really use Felicity for all she’s worth, it will be painful to see that relationship teased in the same way for another full season. I’m hoping that by the season 3 finale we get a solid clue as to whether Ollicity is more than just glances or let it dead in the water. My little heart just can’t take it any more.
Yes, The Flash aka Barry Allen is getting his own show in a couple months. It’s official, but it was first teased on Arrow. We met Barry early in the season as an eager young kid chasing a lead against his bosses orders. He brought a sort of light to the show that seemed to resonate with the audiences as well as Felicity. In fact, if Barry hadn’t dropped into a coma after being struck by lightning, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the two started dating. (Maybe that would have sparked Oliver into action because he acted kind of jealous when he learned about how much time Felicity was spending with him.) Either way, we got a look at Barry Allen and it only leaves me more excited to see what will come as he brings a different energy.
What comes next
As we already know, we will likely see a crossover between Arrow and The Flash as they are in the same universe, on the same network, and nothing says TV event like combining two hit shows. Yes, this means I’m assuming that The Flash is going to be a hit, but if the trailer is any indication of the possible quality of the upcoming season of The Flash, I’m fairly certain it will be. Whether that means it’ll be Ollie on The Flash or more Barry on Arrow, it’s unclear. Either way, it will be interesting to see them pair up.
The flashbacks are also shaping up to be intriguing as we know that Oliver was rescued from the sinking Amazo by Amanda Waller. We knew that they knew each other, but whatever happened to them in Hong Kong clearly made no longer see eye to eye. Oliver clearly learned a lot from Waller in that time as it makes sense that was how he learned some of his strategy making and certain technical skills that he didn’t learn on the island.
The Lance Family looks to actually looks to be having an interesting arc yet again this season. Quentin is in bad shape after fighting the mirakuru men and taking a direct hit. While his life is also on the line we saw Sara pass the torch to Laurel. Presumably Laurel will now begin an arc where she decides to become the Canary which will involve a lot of soul searching and training before she becomes anything resembling capable. Yes, Laurel is bullheaded, but she doesn’t currently have the skills. It will be fun to see Laurel step into a more compelling role as she is finally coming into her own after being useless last season and facing her own demons this season.
Roy looks like he will be taking up the mantle as Red Arrow or Speedy, whichever you want to call him. We even got a glimpse of Roy in his red hood and mask with his red bow. He seemed at ease fighting alongside all the rest, but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be easy. We’ll likely see more training and more butting heads as Roy is a stubborn kid with a good heart. Hopefully, it won’t be so volatile now that the mirakuru is out of his system though.
The Queen family will also have their own struggles to face. Oliver is going to be fighting to get Queen Consolidated back. It should be easier, now that Isabel is out of the picture, but it won’t change the impressions of the board who see him as reckless. Even still, Oliver is going to do his damnedest. Diggle is going to be having a baby with Lyla. And yes I am including Diggle with the Queen family as every indication has show that Oliver cares about Diggle like a brother and they are always there for each other. So it will be interesting to see how that storyline plays out through the next season. Finally, there’s Thea Queen, who is off with her real daddy, Malcolm Merlyn. It’s obvious that Malcolm is really up to no good and intends to breed Thea into a perfect little weapon now that all of her illusions of her nice family have been shattered. Yes, Thea’s reactions were a bit extreme this season, but they were pushing her towards this decision. It will be interesting to see what Thea becomes. I wouldn’t be surprised if she returns as a villain only to begin to later help her brother.
Check out the gallery here. What did you think of the season?