Review: Arrow Season 2
The comic book geek in me is ecstatic from watching the 5 minute Flash trailer that debuted during the season finale of Arrow. So what better fitting review than to talk about the show it is spinning off from? Be warned… there are spoilers ahead. If you want my review without spoilers, scroll down to the last paragraph for my rating. Begin spoilery now…
This show keeps getting better. It still has minor flaws here and there. The forced CW mushy romance still rears its head, and just an excuse to have Stephen Amell’s shirt off during each episode seems to be a bit over done, but there is a good balance. Here is a show that started off sub par and made its way to becoming the BEST adaptation of a comic book TV series. The writers of the show aim to throw in easter eggs for the fans, and a good compelling story for those who are not fans of the comic books.
Let’s take a look at who we got to meet this season, and touch on our main characters:
Team Arrow (Oliver, Diggle, Felicity): This trio works well together and keeps each other on their toes. Felicity has proven to be a key in the team. Diggle being the muscle, serves more of a purpose with his connections, while Oliver is out in the field. Felicity though, she is the one who verbally gives Oliver a reality check when he needs it most.
Canary / Sarah Lance: Okay, so she only had the canary cry once, using a device to do it, but she didn’t need it. She kicked ass when it counted, and her dark history drove part of this story along. I’m glad to see her go back to the League of Assassins at the end. She basically passed the reigns on to Laurel (who will become the real Black Canary). To me, Sarah never felt like Canary except when she was fighting. Her attitude was off, and I didn’t like her being Oliver’s love interest. It wasn’t a good pairing.
Laurel “Dinah” Lance: Aside from needing to eat a sandwich and gain about fifteen pounds, Laurel was an annoyance most of the season. It wasn’t until she got her head out of drinking and drugs that she began to prove her worth. At the end of the season I was glad to see the Laurel I loved from Season 1 return, but in a better way. She is set up to take on the mantle she is destined as Black Canary. Sure she needs some combat training and a Canary Cry, but that’s what season 3 is for.
Detective Lance: Finally! After being a complete dick in season 1, he stepped up to the plate and became a great guy who was good at his job. Of course I will be sad to see him go if they kill him off. The season ended with him bleeding internally from an injury. If he does die however, this will set Laurel on her path of destiny.
Sebastian “Brother” Blood: Running for mayor of a city is a big enough task, but when you are a villain working for Deathstroke in the process, well things become more complicated. His role was a supporting one at best, but necessary in what was happening throughout the season. I am not sure I liked his “conscience” decisions in the end to help out, but I guess he realized how evil Slade really was. I did NOT like his mask. It screamed too “scarecrow” for me, but I’m glad he had some sort of attire to work as Brother Blood. I was surprised to see him killed off, but in the real world, people have to die at times, and his death was played well.
Barton Mathis / Dollmaker: As a guest villain, he was perhaps the creepiest of the season. We won’t see him again because of his death, but the way he was making people into “dolls” was downright terrifying and had me on the edge of my seat.
Sin and Roy Harper / Red Arrow: I paired these two because they were part of each other in a way. Sin’s role was just there to assist Roy in his troubles and be a friend to Canary. Roy’s Mirakuru injection sent him down a dark path just like in the comics. I loved the “Don’t ever call me Speedy” line when Arrow called him that, and seeing him suit up as Red Arrow was a giddy moment to say the least. Now that he is back to being a normal human without Mirakuru, I think we will see him move more on to being Arsenal soon.
Professor Ivo: I’m not sure I liked the use of Ivo in this way. His ship being called the AMAZO is a nice nod to the comics, but pretty much confirms that this is all we will EVER see of AMAZO and Ivo. The part was played well but the role felt forced.
Cyrus Gold: Okay, it was a small role, but why was it important? Because he died with the serum in his veins. What does this mean? Well, comic book fans… Cyrus Gold comes back from the dead as Solomon Grundy. The little poem was even recited in the episode, so I hope to see him back from the dead in season 3.
Barry Allen: We saw overeager police scientist Barry talking about his past and referring to the yellow storm (Professor Zoom) that killed his mother when he was a kid. He’s all about heroism and is the one to give Oliver his mask. Not only that, but we actually see the origin of the Flash. He gets struck by lightning that will give him the powers from the chemical bath he landed in. And yes, he is in a coma, but it was all set up for Flash TV show. I loved every moment of him on screen.
Mark Scheffer / Shrapnel: A very minor role, but it was nice to have a second rate comic villain appear, albeit briefly.
Nyssa Raatko: I had only ever thought that Talia was Ra’s Al Ghul’s only daughter, but then I did my research. Nyssa was a daughter as well, and her role as an assassin felt real. She was deadly with a lack of emotion (except her fascination with Sarah). I give her extra kudos for saying Ra’s Al Ghul the way it is supposed to be pronounced.
William Tockman / Clock King: Like the Doll maker, the Clock King was a welcome guest villain. He was much more manevolent than I’d have pictured him to be from the comics, but they had to do that to make him work. I’ll be excited to see more of him hopefully soon.
Bronze Tiger: Does Michael Jai White ever age? He looks the same as he did in that horrible Spawn movie from the 90s. His purpose in season 2 was equivelant to China White’s in season 1. Not much was said, but he is a trained killer, so dialogue isn’t something needed. His fight scenes were fun to watch too.
ARGUS, HIVE, Suicide Squad, Task Force X: All of these were mentioned and linked together. Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, & Shrapnel kicked ass on this team with Waller in charge. The episode where they went out on their first suicide mission with Diggle was a change of pace for the show, and I’m glad. We needed that episode in there. Best part though is probably that Harley Quinn’s voice was heard and you catch a glimpse of her hair. We now know that she is a potential for the show at some point.
Amanda Waller: What can I say? Other than I’m glad that she’s an attractive woman instead of the overweight one from the comics (I never bought an overweight government agent of her power). She was exactly what her comic book counterpart was. A pain in the ass, with good intentions, but a messed up thought process on how to go about delivering the goods.
Birds Of Prey: Okay, sort of. Not really. It is just that Helena Bertinelli (Huntress) got to meet Canary. No they didn’t get along, but they didn’t always in the comics either. Let’s just say this was a good set up to what might eventually appear as a trio (Canary, Huntress, Oracle). By Oracle, I can only assume Felicity at this point, UNLESS, they definitely tie this in with the movies, in which case Batman Incorporated is supposed to be part of Man of Steel, and Barbara could be a part of that in some form. That’s straying from the review though so I won’t elaborate.
Ravager: I thought Isabel was just an annoyance for most of the season, but knowing she worked for Slade the whole time, when they revealed that I immedately knew who she was. Her costume was cheesy, but matched the comic book one to the details. Her death was priceless in mid sentence.
Slade Wilson / Deathstroke: His army of super soldiers was a nice addition, but Slade himself is just the perfect villain. He is Oliver’s Lex Luthor. Slade will escape from his prison I’m sure. The classic costume and his updated one were nice touches. I have NOTHING negative at all. Every moment that Manu Bennett is on screen as Slade is priceless. You just want to see what he is going to do next.
So there is your character breakdown of season 2. I believe this show keeps getting better and better. Moira’s death, Malcom Merlyn (Dark Archer) coming back as a season 3 regular, and Thea Queen joining him are drastic points for the series. I believe (and this is just a theory of mine) that Thea will take her mother’s maiden name since she really isn’t a queen. She may also change her name. What am I saying? My theory is that she will become Mia Dearden and be trained by Merlyn. Mia in the comics is a sidekick of Oliver’s at one point and takes on the mantle of “Speedy”. Also, not to forget that Oliver did knock a girl up in the past. I’ll bet that her last name was Hawke. At some point we may see his son in a few seasons showing up. Connor Hawke took over the mantle of Green Arrow for a while in the comics, and was a sidekick.
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. Like it? Hate it? Think I was wrong or have something to add? Speculations you have for season 3 or the Flash series (since it is technically a tie in). Did I leave something out? Chime in. I’m giving Arrow Season two 8 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins. I’d like to give it more, but there are just certain things that don’t make it perfect in my opinion. It does however remain one of my most anticipated shows to watch and I can’t wait til september.