Arrow follows the Starling City exploits of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), billionaire playboy by day; hooded vigilante by night. That hooded vigilante is based on Green Arrow, the classic DC hero. This CW series’ first season re-introduced us to the character, as he spent several years stranded on an island, only to be rescued and come back to an unfulfilled and complicated life. That’s when he put on the hood and started fighting crime (and exacting a bit of revenge along the way). If you would like to see Oliver Queen become Green Arrow, the first season is available on home media.
If you haven’t seen season one, season two is not independent of season one, but it does offer an easy place for you to jump into the show and not feel completely lost. That means, if you want to watch the show but are not caught up, you can start right now; then go back and watch season one later.
Now let’s get into season two’s premiere: “City of Heroes”.
The first episode of the season opens with Oliver running through a forest. He is, of course, shirtless. Up in the air, Felicity and Diggle are in a rickety old plane piloted by a rickety old Chinese man. Felicity is not enjoying it one bit. They seem to be going to the island that Oliver had been shipwrecked on. Much to Felicity’s displeasure, Diggle reveals that they are going to have to parachute down. They land on a beach which the CW is trying very hard to pretend is China, as opposed to Vancouver. Heading into the forest, Felicity makes the unfortunate mistake of stepping on a landmine. Luckily, Oliver and his glistening muscles are here to save the day. He Tarzans down through the trees and pulls her away, just escaping the blast. In a move that is sure to please Olicity shippers, they land in a sweaty heap with him on top of her. He tells them that they shouldn’t have come.
Oliver takes them back to his secret lair. He tells them that he’s never coming back to Starling City, after the mess that happened at the end of last season, and that he doesn’t want to be the Vigilante anymore. They say that they don’t need the Vigilante back; they need him. Apparently everything has gone to shit in his absence. His mother’s in prison, he’s sister isn’t doing so well, and the company is crumbling.
Flashback time!! Longhaired Oliver is training with Slade when he gets distracted by Shado’s entrance and gets a smack on the face. But it’s all in good fun and they (Oliver and Shado, not Oliver and Slade) share a smooch afterwards. There’s a beeping from one of Slade’s gadgets and the trio realize that they aren’t alone on the island.
Back in the present day Oliver is back in Starling City. That was quick. Diggle and Felicity drive him through the destroyed glades. Felicity shows him a file on the person who is trying to buy out Queen Consolidated. It’s Summer Glau!
Thea is getting it on with Roy when she notices a bruise on his side. She is pretty pissed off and says that he has a death wish. It might just be me, but Colton Haynes does NOT play good guy well. He still has a pretty big man-crush on the Vigilante. Speak of the devil! Oliver arrives at the club to say hi to Thea. She is happy to see him, but not so happy when he mentions their prison bound mother.
Laurel is at a gala. She’s working for the ridiculously handsome District Attorney (played by Orphan Black’s Hot Paul A.K.A. Dylan Bruce). The mayor is giving a speech when he is interrupted by a voice declaring that he’s failed this city, followed by a hail of bullets. A bunch of masked men storm in. One of them tries to attack the DA but is taken out by Laurel. They call themselves the Hoods. Original.
Laurel’s dad arrives to see how she is. He has been demoted to beat cop. Oliver shows up to say hi. Him and Laurel go for a walk to discuss last season’s relationship drama and all their guilt about Tommy’s death. Set yourself up for a season of tortured gazes between these two.
The Hoods are watching Oliver on the news. They REALLY don’t like the Queen family.
Thea is at the club. Roy is saying that she should visit her mother, but Thea isn’t ready to let go the fact that her mum helped murder hundreds of people. She’s irrational like that.
Oliver heads into a meeting with Summer Glau (I don’t plan on learning the name of her character, I’m too happy to have her back on my screen!). She’s pretty badass, and tells him pretty bluntly that she is going to take his company. The meeting is interrupted by the Hoods. Diggle pulls a gun on them and they get into a shootout. Oliver grabs Felicity and jumps out a window, swinging on a conveniently placed window chain and crashing through the window on the floor below. The cops arrive, and Felicity has a chat with Laurel’s dad about how the vigilante is still MIA.
Felicity is pretty pissed that Oliver didn’t lay down some Kung Fu and take down the Hoods. He explains that he doesn’t want to let down Tommy’s memory by murdering folk again. He storms out.
We briefly head back to Flashback Island, where the gang are out for a stroll when Shado goes missing.
Oliver goes to the prison to say hi to his mum. She asks him how the company is going. The answer is not well.
Thea’s club, on the other hand, is bustling. The party is broken up by the Hoods arriving with shotguns. Roy takes out one of the guys, but they grab Thea and get out of there before he can do anything.
His sister’s kidnapping prompts Oliver to revisit his firm anti Vigilante stance. Felicity works her computer magic to quickly track down a possible Hood (if only any of the police force were that competent). Oliver grabs his bow (not a euphemism) and heads out.
Back to the island, where Slade and Oliver are trying to rescue the kidnapped Shado. They watch from the bushes as a man with a knife tries to get her to tell him where some unknown person’s grave is. Oliver really doesn’t like his special lady friend being threatened and proceeds to beat the guy to death with a rock, as the others watch on.
The Hoods are keeping Thea in an old church. They debate whether or not to murder her to get back at her mother. Thea picks the absolute worst time to start defending her mother. Luckily for her, Oliver arrives just in time to stop her from getting her head blown off. He manages to take out several ex military guys with machine guns with just fists and outdated weaponry. Instead of killing them, he just chains them to a fence and gives them to Laurel’s dad.
Oliver and Laurel awkwardly run into each other at Tommy’s grave. Really guys, is holding hands the most respectful thing to do here? Laurel tells Oliver about her plans to catch the vigilante. Awks!
Thea heads to the prison for a touching mother-daughter reunion. Are all public buildings in Starling City so very dank and dark?
Oliver has another meeting with Summer Glau. She starts her victory speech a little prematurely, and gets a big shock when Oliver’s ex-step-dad Walter shows up to save the day.
Back on the island a bloodstained Oliver stands there blankly while Shado and Slade discus where the islands new arrivals could have come from. Cue a pan up, to reveal a warship in the bay.
Roy is walking through a shifty alleyway. On the phone to Thea he promises to avoid any and all forms of vigilante justice. Of course, that’s before he sees a chick getting tossed around by thugs. He gets her away, but is outnumbered by knife wielding guys. It looks like things are gonna go very wrong for Roy, until out of nowhere, a blonde leather clad woman arrives to rescue him. She beats the gang to a pulp, and then runs off before Roy can get a good look.
Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle gather beneath the club, where Oliver decides that he doesn’t want to be the Hood anymore. He wants a cooler name.