Arrow returns for season two with a changed city, man, and purpose. Oliver wasn’t able to protect Starling City as a vigilante and he let down those that cared about him the most. With the Glades in ruins and residents discontent, Starling City needs a hero. In “Cities of Heroes,” Oliver steps up to take on that responsibility.

In Tommy’s Memory

Immediately after watching the season 1 finale, I was upset that the Arrow creators decide to kill off the beloved Tommy. After a few days, the reasoning behind the decision started to make sense and the season 2 premiere demonstrated that it was the right move for the show.

There were moments when I didn’t really care for Tommy, especially after he found out Oliver was the Hood. Despite that, I always enjoyed seeing Colin Donnell each week. Tommy’s deaths was one of the most difficult to watch on television.

He sacrificed himself for his friends and in the end died saving Laurel. Tommy’s death was not in vain though. His disapproval of Oliver’s vigilante activities have driven his friend to be a better person. No more killing indiscriminately. No more list. No more Hood. 

Instead, Oliver wants to be a good guy. He’s not a hero … yet. Though, he is destined to be one with his new mantra. With the help of Diggle and Felicity, Oliver and Team Arrow have plenty of opportunity to do good in Starling City and particularly in the Glades.

Without Tommy’s death, Oliver’s evolution from vigilante to hero wouldn’t have made as much sense. Plus, the love triangle between Tommy, Oliver, and Laurel was awkward. That’s over now. I’m looking forward to seeing Oliver and Laurel be friends rather than lovers. They are better suited for that level of relationship … at least for now.

Thea Has a Purpose

Just as Oliver has grown through the experiences of the last year, so has Thea. She’s gone from a teenage party girl to an adult. When Oliver disappeared back to the island, she stepped up and took over Verdant. And, from the looks of it has done a good job.

Thea was mostly on the periphery in season 1. Now that she has a job and a boyfriend, she has a greater opportunity to interact with the other people in Oliver’s life. Plus, it’s going to be interesting to see how they hide the Arrow Lair from her since they are just downstairs.

Will she figure out the truth? Since Roy’s trying so hard to be a hero on his own, it wouldn’t surprise me if he figures out what’s going on first. And, that probably would be a good thing. He’s run into the Black Canary, it can’t be long before he crosses paths with the Green Arrow.

Queen Consolidated Saved

Of all the reasons for Diggle and Felicity to head to the island and parachute down to Oliver, the possible takeover of Queen Consolidated would not have been my first guess. It was the in they needed though to get Oliver back.

The introduction of Isabel Rochev provides a decent counterbalance to Oliver. She underestimated him and that cost her the company. He may have been a college dropout, but that’s not who he is any longer.

He outplayed her. The Queen name may be in the gutter due to the Undertaking, but Oliver wasn’t without someone to stand by his side. When Moira mentioned that family could help Oliver, I was confused. I didn’t even consider Walter, given what she did to him.

When Walter walked in, I would have cheered out loud, but that would have been weird. I was thrilled to see that he was there for Oliver. He’s proved once again what a stand-up guy he is and the importance of family. He may be on the outs with Moira, but he was there for Oliver.

Isabel and Oliver are going to be a contentious pair to watch work together. For the first time, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens at Queen Consolidated. Given what’s happened in Starling City and Oliver’s newly reinvigorated side job, the company happenings will be challenging.

Odds and Ends

  • The Flashback proved that Oliver had a temper and quest for revenge before her returned from the island. He would have killed that man if he wasn’t stopped.
  • “Vote for Blood now” signs were all over the Glades. Will Alderman Blood be a friend of foe to the people? And, to Oliver?
  • Thea’s anger towards her mother was understandable, though it was enlightening to see her defend her mother to the Hoods. She blamed her mother for the Undertaking, but more for getting involved than for the act itself.
  • The mother-daughter reunion brought tears to my eyes. Forgiveness. And, that hug!
  • Did you catch the reference to the Star Labs Particle Accelerator report on the news? It will be ready by Christmas. 
  • Laurel learned to kick ass in her self-defense class!
  • Oliver grabbed Felicity and swung her to safety twice! Wowser!
  • “I’m trying another way.” – Oliver 
  •  Black Canary! Hello!

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(Image courtesy of the CW.)

Carla Day

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Contributing Editor and Writer for Collider, BuddyTV, TV Fanatic, CliqueClack, and other publications. TV criticism, reviews, interviews with actors and producers, and other related content. Founder of TV Diehard.