Arrow Premiere Recap: Finding Another Way

Arrow Season 2 Premiere RecapHe had to go baaaaack! The CW’s Arrow opened Season 2 with Oliver once again scampering around Lian Yu, the island that made him who he is today. But Oliver is now there to forget that man and the losses he suffered in Starling City.

A bit of Felicity upchuck and one thwarted land mine later, Diggle and “one very blond IT expert” convince Oliver to return home, if only to be at his mother’s side as she stands trial for orchestrating The Undertaking and to help Queen Consolidated fend off a takeover by Summer Glau’s Isabel Rochev.

RELATED | Arrow Season 2: Oliver’s New Aim, a Speedy Pal, Felicity In Action and More Preview

Though not even old enough to drink, Thea is somehow now running Verdant — a night club — when she’s not haranguing Roy “What I Lack in Height I Make Up for in Wit” Harper about his seeming “death wish” or hearing him urge her to reconnect with her mom.

In the wake of The Undertaking and in the vigilante’s absence, Starling City has fallen prey to hooded copycats looking to take back what they’ve lost – as evidenced at a gala where Laurel flattens one marauder (albeit in vain). Touching base after their months-long estrangement, Laurel tells Oliver she regrets bedding him and laments losing Tommy. They both wish to turn back time, but as Laurel notes, “We can’t go back.”

In his first bid to save Queen Consolidated, Oliver meets with Rochev, who’s as rich with barbs as she is in dollars. (“Sorry I’m late.” “For this meeting or a career in business?” And: “Since you majored in dropping out of college….”) She and Oliver each own 45 percent of QC, leaving 10 percent of the company stock in play — and Oliver has no resources to snatch it up. The meeting is busted up by the hooded marauders, determined to bring their fight to the Queens’ doorstep. (The fleeting sequence largely exists only to have Oliver/Felicity engage in a bit of derring-do, though it also cues up some ruminating by Oliver about his “kill or be killed” burden as a vigilante.) Running parallel with all of this are island flashbacks where Oliver brutally beats a new interloper while saving Shado. Were the flashbacks as efficient as my recap.

When the hoods storm Verdant, this time the aimless and rather inept lot of ‘em actually accomplish something – they take Thea. Thus, Oliver’s next stop is the Arrowcave, where Felicity has “made a few improvements” (yet retained the salmon ladder, because, you know, “I like watching you do that”). Felicity’s clickety-clacking at the keyboard points to a church, so Oliver grabs his sexy new custom-made bow and promptly gives the goons a beat down of biblical proportions (while improbably grabbing/saving one guy who’d been sent over a railing by an arrow shot from 10 feet away).

PHOTOS | Arrow Sneak Peeks: Has Laurel Caught the Vigilante? Plus: Meet Black Canary’s Sidekick

Bumping into each other at Tommy’s gravestone, Oliver and Laurel agree they still need each other in their lives. But then Laurel lets loose with her treatise about how Tommy was “killed in the crossfire between two archers,” and with Malcolm dead, she’s determined to help her boss, ADA Adam Donner, catch the last archer standing. Eep.

On the heels of Oliver visiting Moira at Iron Heights, Thea finally finds it in herself to see their mother. “I want to hate you. I really tried to,” the daughter says through tears. “But I can’t. I can’t, Mom.” A surprisingly moving scene.

Back in the boardroom, Isabel assumes she has the upper hand while Oliver has no resources. Enter Walter Steel, who’s now the CFO of Starling National Bank – which bought up the remaining shares. “I know I majored in dropping out, but I’m pretty sure that makes us partners,” Oliver zings at the lady tycoon, visibly impressing her.

The premiere closes with two wowza moments. First, Roy tries (but fails) to break up a mugging, only to see Black Canary finish the job for him, and with style. (“Where the hell did you come from,” indeed.) Then, in the Arrowcave, Oliver says, “If we’re going to do this… I need to become the man Tommy hoped I could be. The city still needs saving, and not by ‘the hood.’ And not by some vigilante crossing names off a list.” Says Diggle, “It needs a hero…. What do you want to be called?” Close-up of… arrow.

P.S. Catch the TV anchor’s report on Central City and the Star Labs particle accelerator to be completed by Christmas? Flash! Ah-ahhhhh.

Want scoop on Arrow? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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74 Comments
  1. Jules says:

    Premiere was okay… nothing special about it. The show continues to have terrible acting but it’s the CW so whatever… I just watch for Oliver and Diggle’s abs.

  2. I’m in. Wasn’t really excited about it last season, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of Batman now.

  3. Rob Horine says:

    Another interesting fact. When Roy was on the phone with Rhea, he said he was getting a ‘Big Belly Burger’. That’s two Firestorm references on Arrow now (along with Ms. Smoak). I’ll geek out if there’s a Ron Raymond down the pike (Felicity’s step son) .

    • Badpenny says:

      In the comics Roy Harper is Speedy, Green Arrow’s sidekick.

      • Badpenny says:

        Somehow it posted before I was finished. :(
        .
        The had the Central City reference leading up to Flash. I wouldn’t be surprised if all these references also had a Firestorm on the horizon.
        .
        It was nice to see Black Canary too; though I’m not into the angsted lovers storyline. Saw too much of that in Smallville.

    • sonic says:

      How is big belly burger a firestorm reference, and wasnt the BBB in most of season 1 anyway

      • Rob Horine says:

        Ronnie Raymond (AKA Firestorm) was a employee at Big Belly Burger in the DC Comic Universe in his title during the 80s. Before it was sold out to LexCorp and largely forgoten. BBB is gone in the New 52 universe.

        • Nytwyng says:

          Sorry, but Big Belly Burger was a contribution to the Superman books by editor Mike Carlin, which was adopted by other series and writers.

          Ronnie Raymond worked at Bun ‘n Run which was also sometimes called Bun ‘n Bun.

      • We did see it in Season 1, yeah. Quite a bit actually. It’s where Carly works.

  4. Brian says:

    Why the hell would they kill off Malcolm? Fan polling showed he was the most preferred villain, guest star, and character in Season 1. The writers had a perfect opportunity to show him alive, wounded, and scheming. As much as I enjoyed the premiere that was an epic fail. Bringing the character back for flashbacks is a good first step but with the show moving for a more sci-fi direction they need to rectify this situation or simply reveal he was alive the entire time. Arrow without Merlyn is like Batman without the Joker. Please fix this situation soon.

  5. Anne says:

    Man this show is dumb, only good parts were Thea and Roy.

  6. Anne says:

    Also lolz at whichever fanboy is stacking the poll.

  7. Elyse says:

    I loved the episode! :) can’t wait for more!

  8. James D says:

    I loved it. just finished rewatching season 1 on blue ray in time to see tonights episode and from all i can see its a great continuation. like all the new toys felicity made, it should be fun to see them in action, what are the odds we see a puching glove arrow i would die of laughter if they show up. not sure about black canary yet i don’t know if they can get away with her being anyone other then Laurel. Is brother blood going to be the main heavy this season, that would be cool even though technically he’s a teen titans villian.

  9. Frostiron says:

    Emily Rickards’s weakness in acting or inexperience is starting to show cracks and Felicity is starting to get really grate &annoy, and its only first episode, sigh.

    David Ramsey is top class as ever in his performances too bad he has been put in the background and his screentime reduced to accommodate Emily/Felicity.

    Really surprised Katie Cassidy seems to have improved in her acting, she seemed to have more expressions on her face in this episode than the whole of season 1. Maybe there is hope for her and her character Laurel after all.

    Speaking of expressions Summer Glau, was dreading that she would be robotic like but Im actually pleasantly surprised. She seems to bring some energy to her character & show, and her and Stephen have good chemistry already. Colton Haynes as Roy not the best acting but there is some charm there and his character sounds like it will have an interesting season 2.

    Willa has improved as Thea she looks so much more comfortable in the role, though Thea she is still a pointless character to me, her and Roy got zero chemistry.
    Stephen is pretty much the same, just alright but hope he shows more charisma, and less bat mode.

    And lastly Team island is on fire, seriously how did these flashbacks get so good.

    • ChrisGa says:

      Lol, you think Emily Bett Rickards was weak but Summer Glau brought energy? Wow, we were definitely not watching the same show. Cuz, uh, Summer Glau WAS robotic, expressionless and any other term to describe “lacking emotion”. Despite that, I though the episode was fantastic.

      • Alan says:

        i thought that was the whole point with glau, isabel is supposed to be a heartless corporate executive so it makes sense for her to act like that.

    • Mi says:

      Emily is a good actress and showed more emotion than Summer and Katie combined.

  10. Dee says:

    Um, what did Katie Cassidy do to her face?

    • log says:

      I thought I was the only one that noticed! Maybe it was her makeup?? I usually think she’s gorgeous but her face was looking very …. off.

      • M3rc Nate says:

        I THINK its because of her weight loss. Now i cant be sure because obviously her face looks significantly different….but before when i first saw her on Arrow i thought “wow..she doesnt look heavier at all than on previous shows iv enjoyed her on..but her face…specifically her chin is a little….idk? Chunky.” But then i noticed in photoshoots and her pic-tweets that shes lost some weight..nothing significant but i think it thinner her out facially the most.

        Please dont take this as a “typical guy, picking apart a girls appearance/weight” at ALL…she is gorgeous no matter what. We as humans notice change, especially in something as obvious as a persons face (man or woman).

        • ChrisGa says:

          Yeah, I think you’re right there. I started to notice towards the end of last season that her face was a little fuller(it seemed to be just around the face though) so it looks like she probably lost a few pounds. Either way, she is gorgeous, I just wished I liked the character and the writing for her more because I loved her on the Melrose reboot but here there just seems to be a disconnect between her and that character.

      • Diane remington says:

        She apparently lost a lot of weigh. Look at how skinny her legs are. She looks terrible. Is she bulimic.

    • Mi says:

      Too much botox?

    • lm8 says:

      I was so distracted by her chin I couldn’t pay attention to what she was saying! I hope it is only botox and not something that can’t be reversed. I wasn’t thrilled with how they are trying to glam up both Lauren and Felicity.

    • Lesley Culbert says:

      I think she has lost too much weight, she is so skinny now, her legs are like sticks and her face is too thin, she needs several big belly burgers, she is such a pretty girl.

    • Bradley Bradford says:

      Looks like a genioplasty, possibly a chin implant. Chin is longer and there is more throat length, but it is too long and jaw line is too vertical now. She used to be more beautiful. Some times surgeons should say no.

      • samantha says:

        Im glad others have noticed! I kept saying to my otherhalf her face looks different. She was stunning in Season 1 but now looks odd. I think botox as her forhead is so smooth and maybe a really bad chin implant?!
        Apart from that Im really enjoying season 2 especially after ladt nights episode!

      • Alli says:

        Most definitely a chin implant. I remember first seeing her on Harper’s Island and thinking she was so pretty and whoa… All I can see EVERY episode of Arrow is that monster chin!!

      • You are the first person I have seen on these forums who has a clue. People don’t realize she lost weight AND had a chin implant. She must have serious esteem issues to think she needed to drop weight and have plastic surgery performed in order to look good. She now looks terrible. I shake my head when I see people do things like this to themselves. It can never be un-done. I also shook my head reading some of the posts saying she looks the same, and it must just be a change in lighting. How ridiculous.

  11. Garnet74 says:

    Great episode of Arrow and a great way to start the new season — all that action! I liked almost all the changes they’ve made to the show and am a lot more interested in characters like Roy and Thea than I was last year. Those bits of “derring-do” for Oliver and Felicity – and the Team Arrow (Oliver/Felicity/Diggle) in action – are easily my favorite parts. Oliver and Felicity have grown even more fun and like-able for me. They’re sparky.

  12. Ranger says:

    The show has become the Felicity/Olicity show, she is shoe-horned in every scene and its just not fun anymore.

    The only things I really enjoyed from the premiere was Walter, I hope we see more of him and Slade and Shado on the Island were awesome. The Roy and Canary scene at the end was great too.

  13. ceylan says:

    the only thing tha bothered me was Black Canary using bo staves, Mockingbird much?

  14. Hodan says:

    I think the season 2 premiere was great for a first episode of a new season. It introduced a lot of ideas that would be explored later. And, I loved the Olicity moments…Emily rocked as Felicity.

  15. I have to really say, I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t hold Arrow to the same writing standards as The Wire or The West Wing or anything … but it was a decent action show. It kept my interest … though I am not the only person a little tired of the flashback sequences. They detract from the far-more-interesting present-day stuff.

    Love Felicity.

    And — kudos to the writing team! This is the first episode where I did not find Thea to be a complete waste of screen time, horribly shrill, annoying, or otherwise awful. I actually enjoyed her screen time. The actress probably deserves some credit for that as well.

  16. julio says:

    I loved the season premiere. Also loved the olicity scenes. I loved her jumping on the plane scene because I could relate. I would probably never jumo off a plane unless someone pushed me off one. Can’t wait for the rest of the season.

  17. M3rc Nate says:

    I really enjoyed it. I had read a piece of a review that Stephen tweeted and saw “he wont kill anymore” and was like “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”….is what i really though made the show special. By that i mean i am really one of the comic book/super hero fans that thinks the majority of the Super Heroes would have to be insane to not kill the bad guys. They bring them to the cops, who arrest them, put them in an insane asylum then they break out and kill 10,000+ people trying to get the Super Heroes attention again. I mean WHAT?! So Arrow being gritty and dark and real and not high and mighty with some moral code that doesnt fit reality sounded horrible. BUT! They integrated it into the show perfectly. Having had Tommy say everything he did last season was perfect considering how they had it be the catalyst for Oliver’s evolution to a Hero, not a guy in a hood being judge jury and executioner, but a guy in a hood incapacitating bad guys so the cops can arrest them and try them themselves.

    Everything else? Summer wasnt anything special, BUT nothing special was called for. She had two scenes, one where she has her game-face on cause shes playing hardball with Oliver, and the next being owned then surprised by Oliver cause he out played her. Felicity….shes complicated. I like her character a lot, and the one way crush is great (if its ever more than one way i think i will like it significantly more), but they do need to walk the fine line with her. There is a balance with her character that needs to be maintained. She can be cute and flirty and awkward and sexy, but only so much a episode (minimal) before it becomes like eating too much candy, we (the viewers) will get sick of her. Personally i would like to see Felicity have a personal story thats ongoing, like with a family member or something. I also would like to see her (even if its just little bits while they are talking) training for fighting/guns/etc. Especially with the potential for her going into the field more, id love to see Diggle (and Oliver sometimes) training her. Not so she can become a Vigilante or mega bad ass…but just able to hold her own…not so…”damsel in distress”.

    Everyone else did pretty good. I still dont have a totally solidified opinion on Katie Cassidy and Laurel. I dont get a lot of chemistry from Laurel and Oliver. Not like Clark and Lana or Clark and Lois in Smallville.

    The only thing im majorly worried about…is if they 100% stick to this “we are obsessed with being like Nolan’s Batmans, so there are no super powers, everyone is grounded in something real”. Thats all well and good for a while…but with Black Canary (her scream) and the Flash (uhhh…his super speed? lol) i wont accept anything other than super powers. And the potential is amazing! I mean think if they in season 5 or 6…introduce the character “Hal Jordan” to be best buddies with Oliver like they are in the Justice League? And if they have some Green Lantern going on? Awesome.

    • Jenny says:

      I see what you’re saying about felicity and I think it is all in due time. I feel Oliver will eventually start teaching her and she will become a more fierce independent strong woman that can fend for herself. I think it’s only the beginning of her evolution.

  18. Jenny says:

    Wow so many comments on acting. Sure actresses that play Laurel and Felicity can improve but I don’t think it’s that distracting. I guess I was way into Oliver, er I mean the story to notice :P . But seriously this was an amazing premiere. Very entertaining, story wise I’m excited to see what’s next.

  19. Great premiere! I loved seeing The A Team back together again. They are the perfect trio. I’m really happy with the way they’re handling Oliver and Laurel. It feels realistic and respectful of Tommy. I’m excited to see where Laurel’s story goes. She’s amazing, and I hope they have good things in store for her. As far as her gunning for The Hood (now Green Arrow! YAY!), I’d be worried if I was Oliver. Felicity was amazing as always. I’m so excited to see her interacting with the “Oliver Queen” part of Oliver’s life. They’re chemistry always feels so natural, and it’s a joy to watch. I also enjoyed Thea and Roy a lot more than usual this episode, and was so happy to see Walter and Moira. :)

  20. Jon says:

    I must have missed it but why is detective lance now a beat cop

  21. Mi says:

    It wasn’t a great episode but was a good way to kick off this season. I’m glad Arrow is back.

  22. Daniel says:

    I am not sure if I am correct, but wasn’t that China White at the end of the episode? I didn’t think it was Black Canary.

  23. Kat says:

    I really enjoyed the first episode back, it was a great kick start for the new season. The only thing I’m not overjoyed about is this new spider-man-esque morality where the Hood leaves his victims tied up and waiting for Det. (Officer now!) Lance. One of the things that I was so in love with this show about in s1 was the fact that Oliver was so morally grey and was willing to kill indiscriminately to get what he needed. This newfound ‘restraint’ is a boring and overdone trope of the superhero genre. I’m kind of hoping that in a few episodes, Oliver realizes that he can’t get things done by acting this way.

    • SonOfCoul says:

      I’m sure there will still be instances where Oliver has no choice but to kill, but his Kill or Be Killed in every situation days are definitely over.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      1000% agree with you Kat. If i was to rope someone into watching Season 1 i would say “Ya hes the Green Arrow in his beginning years, but he KILLS bad guys. This is dark and gritty and REAL, not some lame comic book superhero trope of “my morality stops me from killing this villain who has escaped from jail and killed 10,000 people twice, and will escape again after i had him off to the cops” crap.

      However i agree with Son of Coul. I think how they had him evolve from the catalyst that was Tommy’s death, and what he had said to him since he found out (your a murdered!) was great writing. I also feel like its natural and true to the character. I feel like the show should still have some killing when its absolutely necessary, but with the normal 99% of criminals he stops they dont need a arrow to the chest, they need a arrow to the thigh, then to be detained and handed off to the cops. But ya when he fights Meryln, he should be aiming to kill.

  24. Josh says:

    No one ever talks about Shado. I love that character. Great chemistry with Oliver. Hope she got off the island and comes back to Starling City. But the mask on the island in the premier and Olivers tatoo indicate slade may have something to do with her death but hope not.

  25. jejehi says:

    I wasn’t a huge Laurel fan last season, but g’damn she was hot as hell last night.

  26. Brian says:

    Can someone remind me why Laurel’s Dad was bumped down to patrolman? I couldn’t remember what he did at the end of last season to warrant the demotion. Thanks…

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Ya its not the clear to me either. I BELIEVE it had something to do with him disobeying orders and running off to the part of the city about to be hit by the quake. I remember a scene in the precinct when he got the call that Laurel is in the Glades or something, and that there’s a device he needs to help shut off that he runs by the Black detective/boss and he says “you cant go down there” or something and Laurels Dad goes anyways. I could be wrong.

      • Alan says:

        it was a combination of the disobeying orders and revealing he was working with the hood, the guy he was supposed to be catching.

  27. G says:

    Loved the first episode of this season and can’t wait for next week.

  28. Mikael says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they had Black Canary’s “call” be the result of some kind sonic amplifier she wears around her neck or something. I’m sure it will be technology-based if they have it at all.

    And I was wondering why Det. Lance was demoted too.

    • Alan says:

      given that the flash is coming in and technology cant recreate his powers i wouldnt rule a real sonic scream out just yet.

  29. JC says:

    I thought it was AWESOME!! Can’t wait ’til next week. I even liked Laurel – there’s a shock. The scene where she and Oliver talk about Tommy and Sara was very well done. But for a great start they did kind of blow it with her at the end by having her blame the Hood for Tommy’s death. It makes no sense, and while I get that they’re trying to create conflict, they’re doing her no favors in the character rehabilitation department by having her take such an irrational stance. Other than that misstep however, I loved every minute of it. So glad the show is back. Ok, wait, no, there was one other thing – not totally loving the hints of a island love triangle. I’d rather whatever ends up coming between Oliver and Slade not be over Shado. :(

  30. Christopher says:

    This is my favorite show on television, I’ve been hooked since the Season 1 premier. I’m in a comic book club and none of my friends will watch this show because (1) it’s on the CW and (2) it is so shockingly divergent from the source material – but that’s why I like it so much, it’s freaking ridiculous! Totally in love with Felicity, she’s awesome. That joke about her liking to watch Oliver do his redonk pullup routine was hilarious! I don’t understand why anyone would complain about this character. The action and fight choreography was bonkers bad-ace as usual. This is the best capes stuff I’ve ever seen on TV. Can’t wait to see more DC elements brought in! I’m a little disappointed that the writers are going to tone down The Hood’s ruthless brutal mayhem because I thought that was one of the funniest parts of the show, but there just isn’t a better sweet spot hit these days than the trio of Oliver/Diggle/Felicity – they rule! I might be a little nostalgic for the stupidity of season 1 where The Hood would straight up murder all of the henchmen, body guards and security of a big bad only to give the big bad a warning “you better shape up mister, or I’m going to come back and get ya”, but you just can’t go wrong with the world the creative team has come up with. Between Arrow and Sleepy Hollow, I think I’ll finally be able to get over losing Lost for my ridiculous sci-fi/fantasy/wtf fix of the week.

  31. Garth Anderson says:

    I really liked the show but just a shout out to Katie Cassidy, terrible profile. Something is just not right with the chin. Back in the old days, stars learned their good sides and would not be photographed on their bad side.

  32. eileenfay says:

    Agree with others that Walter and Slade are great. I want them back more. I am worried about Katie, though. On Supernatural, she looked fabulous. Her flesh was just right proportionately. Now she seems bulimic, but I hope not. Her face and legs are way too thin. It makes her look older. I do hope she will gain the weight back. Such a pity that so many girls/women think they have to be sticks to be attractive. I wish her good luck and to gain at least 10 pounds.