Arrow Season 2 Review

Beware of SPOILERS, because this is a review, so… you know… you’ll find more spoilers here than the number of arrows Oliver shot this season.

by Tom Yorlum


I was excited for season 2 of Arrow. Season 1 was slightly uneven with the writing (I won’t blame the acting), but I enjoyed it. I was very surprised with Tommy Merlyn’s death, and think the emphasis on it in the premiere was well done. Starting off with the “hero abandons his quest due to feeling he is a risk to those closest to him” trope didn’t sit so well with me, nor did Laurel’s blaming Tommy’s death on the Arrow. Obviously Malcolm Merlyn is responsible. I can see her blaming Maura Queen, but the Arrow? That just seemed contrived.

While I respected the intentions of feeling the impact of Tommy’s death, the writer’s really could have come up with better ways to handle it. But aside from the rocky start, the main body of the show impressed me with its storylines, especially the first half of the season. Moira’s trial, Sara’s return, Det Lance going vigilante, and Roy’s obsession with the Arrow. These really kept my interest. And for once I was enveloped in the flashback storyline. I think this goes to show that Arrow’s strength lies in its supporting characters. I like Ollie, but not enough to tune in every week. I do like literally every other member of Team Arrow (including Detective Lance) and the Queen family.

Storylines that didn’t work. Laurel’s drug addiction. They did it well, it’s just I’m seeing it in every show I watch. It’s old. Not everyone turns to drugs when they’re depressed. Don’t take the easy way out. Impress me. The Mirakuru storyline bored me, especially when Blood was in charge. He wasn’t that good of a main villain. I forgive them though because the way they turned that around with Slade still being alive, and the mastermind behind all this–I was shocked! How did he live? Why does he have an eye patch? Why does he want to torment Ollie?

And the tormenting went on way too long. It was great writing; I felt the suspense. But ten episodes of Slade threatening to kill people was enough! I just wanted it to end.

So obviously I didn’t like the main storyline. I’m not a comic book guy, so I don’t have the same nostalgia others do. But I do love side arcs, mainly due to the characters. The reveal that Merlyn is still alive? Awesome. I thought they killed him off WAY too early. He’s such a smarmy villain. I hated him, but I loved the episodes he was in. And with only a few appearances, he was still memorable. Can Slade say that? Nope, buff armored pirate has nothing on Black Arrow!

We got to see Team Arrow expand. Which I loved. Bad Ass Canary was awesome. I always liked Laurel, but I’ll take Canary Assassin over her any day. She and Oliver actually went well together to, though I wasn’t exactly heartbroken when they broke up. I used to think Roy was bland, but he brings a lot more depth to his character than Ollie does, in my opinion. The scene where everyone converged on Ollie-Manor to take out Slade? AWESOME!

Moira was always a scene stealer, so her death hurt. But I liked her rise from convict to potential mayor, and they wrapped up her storyline nicely. I mean, it was her son, how is she not going to know he’s the Arrow?

One final critique–did the Arrow really kill that many people last season? I mean, I never got “Walking Dead” level disturbed on the violence. And it’s not like he shot Tommy with an arrow. I just don’t get the “I’m not going to kill any more to redeem my sins.” What sins? And really, you’re not going to kill Slade, who, if he manages to escape, will murder your family and bathe in their blood. Really. He’s that insane. He spent the last however many years cautiously planning your demise–oh wait, the demise of EVERYONE you care about. Then your death. And also he wants to destroy your city. So I guess we could call him somewhat psychotic? But let’s let him live, in case he sees the error of his ways. Headless Thea will surely appreciate that… Just kill when you have to, and don’t when it’s not needed. Like Season 1… This isn’t Nickelodeon. I can handle it.

Oh, and shoutout to Barry Allen’s story arc. I actually started watching Arrow because a friend told me the Flash would make more sense… I’m very glad I did!

So I’ll give it a 7/10. Not bad, not phenomenal. I could rewatch it, but I have no burning desire to. Can’t wait for season 3! (Netflix!)