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Arrow: “City of Heroes” Review

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 2:16 am by Justin Cavender

Arrow Season 2

The Season 1 finale ended pretty badly for Oliver and the gang. Malcolm Merlin destroyed the Glades and inadvertently killed his son, Tommy. These events left Oliver feeling responsible in that he failed the city…

“City of Heroes” picks up with our good friends Diggle and Felicity en route to the island where Oliver spent five years of his life being tortured and hunted. Oliver is obviously trying to deal with the loss of his best friend and has spent the last 5 months trying to come to terms with what’s happened back home. Felicity and Diggle are there to bring Ollie home before things get any worse. The series has done a fabulous job developing these two support characters and my face lit up the moment I saw them on screen. Watching Felicity jump out of a perfectly good airplane was a fun way to get her away from her computer.

Meanwhile, back in Starling City, things are still looking pretty grim. The Mayor was in the middle of thanking the town’s citizens for their contributions at a fundraiser, when a group known as “The Hoods,” gun him down. These guys have taken a page out of Oliver’s playbook, targeting the 1% with the idea of redistributing wealth to the victims of the Undertaking. Unfortunately, these mean motor-scooters don’t care if they hurt innocent people, especially when they believe the wealthy are the “bad guys.”

Arrow City of Heroes LaurelIt’s at this party when we learn Laurel Lance has taken a job with the District Attorney’s office. She has also changed her stance on the Vigilante, as she blames him for Tommy’s death. This whole concept seems a bit forced to me and I can see myself getting upset in later episodes. How many times has Oliver saved her? Way too many for her to suddenly have a change of heart. I get that she’s upset, but I’m not a fan of the path the writers are taking. Maybe with a little luck she’ll get over it. Fast.

Now that Laurel switched sides why not have her father turn pro-Hood? The former Detective, now a beat cop, is singing a different tune. This was a bit expected, mainly because Felicity and Oliver assisted him with trying to save the Glades. His near death experience in the Season 1 finale opened his mind enough to finally accept the Hood. I take that back, at least he doesn’t want to arrest Oliver every 5 seconds. I like this “new” attitude and hope it’s here to stay. I’m a little sad to see him in a uniform, though. I got used to calling him “Detective Chesty,” with his top three buttons always undone.

I’m happy to see Thea and Roy are still together. She was a wreck for most of the first season and her character was hard to sympathize with. Now, Thea is running Oliver’s nightclub and acting like a responsible adult. However, Roy is still trying to beat down baddies and follow in the footsteps of the Hood. Thea doesn’t approve of his behavior, but at least he has noble intentions. An episode of Arrow won’t be complete if she doesn’t make time to complain about her mother. Luckily for us she finds a way to try and understand what her mother went through. It always cracks me up how Thea forgets about her own troubled past as a junkie-brat. I never understood why she is so quick to judge other people, let alone her own family.

Arrow City of Heroes Isabel RochevNew this season is Summer Glau, playing Isabel Rochev, a VP from another company trying to buy-out Queen Consolidated. She acts pretty hostile and downright rude to Oliver every chance she gets. It’ll be interesting to see where their relationship goes from here.

Moira Queen is currently awaiting trial for her crimes against the city and conspiring with Malcolm Merlin to destroy the Glades. Prison life seems to be treating her quite well, though. She has this Sarah Connor look about her. Maybe she’s been doing pull-ups in her cell? Either way, she says she’s doing fine and actually came up with a solid plan to help save Queen Consolidated from Rochev’s greedy little hands. I was actually quite pleased with her idea and welcomed the return of her husband, Walter.

How is Oliver doing? Well, he has a lot on his plate at the moment. He is about to lose his family’s company, he can’t be with the woman he loves, his friends are pressuring him to take back the city from villains, and his sister was kidnapped. On top of that hot mess he doesn’t want to kill anybody. I quickly fell in love with this show and part of that has to do with how Oliver was quick to put down baddies. This series brought something different to the table–a hero that kills people. Oliver explained to Diggle and Felicity how Tommy thought of him as a murderer. Now he believes that killing will only dishonor Tommy’s memory. This makes sense, but I don’t have to like it. I’m more partial to arrows in the face rather than in the shoulder.

There were a few island flashbacks, but they didn’t reveal too much. Of course there was the no killing tie-in, where Oliver smashed a guy’s face in with a rock several times. It was pretty nasty, but the flashback sequences were extremely short and ultimately felt a little forced. We do know that more people have come to the island, but we don’t know what their intentions are.

Arrow City of Heroes Green Arrow

I enjoyed the premiere and I can’t tell you how happy I am that Oliver no longer wants to be called The Hood. The show is called Arrow for crying out loud, what took so long? Adding the Black Canary near the end of the episode was a nice touch. We didn’t get a really good look at her, but she put the hurtin’ on some unsuspecting perps. She’s definitely got the goods and hopefully she crosses paths with Oliver sooner rather than later.

Arrow: “City of Heroes” B+

Arrow: Season 2 Episode 1, “City of Heroes” aired October 8, on The CW.

Follow Justin on Twitter @Edgyarmo for fun and festive tweets.

    • Chuong Nguyen

      I am very happy that Laurel is finally taking her mantel as The Black Canary. Great start to the season.

      • jxcavender

        Yeah, I don’t think it’s Laurel, though. At least not at first. Arrow likes to mix things up a bit.

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