The first season of Arrow came to a close with Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) putting an end to Malcolm Merlyn’s (John Barrowman) reign of terror after Malcolm tried to use an earthquake device to destroy the Glades. The mayhem the big bad did manage to cause resulted in the death of his own son Tommy (Colin Donnell). Season two picks up shortly after that devastation and Oliver has exiled himself back to the island. Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) convince him to return to Starling City when a group of vigilantes start killing people and the mysterious Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) arrives to try and take over Queen Consolidated.
The second season of Arrow explores Oliver’s double-life as the vigilante and sees him dealing with his failure to fully prevent Malcolm’s attack on the Glades and the loss of his best friend Tommy. One of the key themes of the second season is dealing with the past and Oliver has a pretty epic past that comes back and haunts him. As with the first season the narrative is split between present day and Oliver’s time on the island following his disappearance.
In the present Oliver has to deal with his mother Moira (Susanna Thompson) who is trying to stay out of jail following her role in Malcolm’s plan to destroy the Glades and his sister Thea (Willa Holland) continues to struggle with her dysfunctional family. Oliver also has bridges to build with Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who is trying to come to terms with the loss of Tommy and soon begins to spiral into self-destruction. In the past we learn more about Oliver’s relationships with Slade (Manu Bennett) and Shado (Celina Jade) and there’s a rather shocking reveal that we don’t want to give to say too much about but believe us when we say it’s a corker!
The season is also about change, particularly to the core Arrow team. Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) starts to get integrated into team fighting alongside Oliver and the arrival of the Canary (Caity Lotz) shakes things up a bit impacting on several of the main characters’ lives. Oliver also has to step up his focus on running Queen Consolidated to avoid it being taken over by Isabel and dissolved. On top of that new council man Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro) has his eye on gaining power in Starling City and his motives may not be in the best interest of the city.
Arrow succeeds for a variety of reasons. Firstly the storylines are strong and arc over the entire season. Secondly the stunts and special effects are unlike anything else you see on TV. Thirdly the incredible cast led by the charismatic Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen. At the heart of Arrow is the dynamic between Amell, Emily Bett Rickards and David Ramsey and that gets fleshed out a lot this season. The better integration of both Katie Cassidy as Laurel and Colton Haynes as Roy serves the show well and new cast members Caity Lotz (Canary), Kevin Alejandro (Sebastian Blood) and Summer Glau (Isabel Rochev) bring a new dimension to the show.
Extra features on the release include behind-the-scenes featurettes and a 2013 Comic-Con Panel feature.
Arrow is one of the most thrilling and exciting TV shows on air today. The first season set-up the foundations and the second season confirmed its place amongst the best in TV superhero drama. The show frequently delivers compelling stories and huge effects that rival any of the big screen superhero movies, and dare we say its much better than most of them too! Arrow solid entertainment and we can’t wait for season 3 to arrive on our screens in the coming weeks.