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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.


Arrow Season 2 Premiere Recap: City of Heroes

Welcome to our brand new Arrow recaps, everyone! Oliver Queen was back last night in the Season 2 premiere, but was Arrow? 

After the devastating season finale, Oliver apparently ran away. We pick up with Felicity and Diggle looking for Oliver on the island Lian Yu of all places. They parachute out of a rickety plane, much to Felicity’s dismay, and pass by Deathstroke’s mask with the arrow through it (did that happen last season or is this a recent occurrence?) on their way into the jungle. It’s at this point I’m thinking to myself, “they don’t look terribly prepared for this kind of mission,” when Felicity steps on a land mine. Just when Diggle is about to try and disarm it, Feral Oliver says it’s not possible and swoops down like Tarzan to save her.

Well that was certainly a way to open a show.

Oliver has set up shop in his old home, the fallen plane, and says he actually is happy to see his old pals, even if his face remains unchanged. But he’s still not coming back to Starling City. Diggle fills the audience in on what we need to know – Moira is in prison, Thea is on her own, and the family business is ripe for a takeover. Ok, he guesses he’ll come back. But not before we see a flashback to five years ago on the island and Oliver learning to fight with Slade. Oliver and Shado are obviously in a relationship but it’s soon we find out there are other people on the island. You know, after they killed the other people who were on the island.

Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle are magically back in Starling City and we get a good look at the leveled Glades. I spot a “Vote for Blood” and hope they might mean Jason Blood from DC Comics. At the club, Thea and Roy are making out hardcore when she realizes he’s been acting as a vigilante while she’s not around. Oliver shows up and Thea apparently thought he was in Europe this whole time. No calls? No emails? It was almost like you were back on the island, she says. Yeaaaah. Oh, and apparently this is Thea’s club now, even though she’s not old enough to drink and has zero experience running a business. Oliver is basically like, “Ok, we’ll roll with it,” and tries broaching the subject of their mother, currently serving time in Iron Heights. Thea refuses to see her. As an aside, we hear a vague news report about Central City’s Star Labs and their particle accelerator. Could this be our first Flash reference?

At a political fundraiser, Dylan Bruce from BBC America’s Orphan Black is trying to sweet talk the mayor and we learn Laurel has joined district attorney’s office. And then some vigilantes show up, vaguely using Arrow’s MO. “You have failed this city,” they shout, before killing the mayor and firing machine guns all over the place. It’s at this point, Laurel once again gets to kick some butt, which she forgot she could do most of last season, but hey, we won’t be picky. Detective Lance arrives on the scene and we discover he’s now just “Officer Lance,” the vigilantes are calling themselves “The Hoods,” and they are acting as Robin Hoods, redistributing funds from the rich to those in the Glades. Oliver shows up soon after and tries to have a heart-to-heart with Laurel. “I made a mistake when I slept with you,” she says. That was not what I was expecting. But then the two bond over shared betrayals and dead loved ones and I’m not sure where they’re going with this to be honest.

It’s at this point we’re introduced to the VP of Queen Industries’ rival company, Isabel Rochev, played by the ever-wonderfully Summer Glau. There’s barely an introduction before she starts throwing some sick burns at Oliver. But then The Hoods show up at the office, annoyed Oliver was getting more press coverage than them. Yup, you’re totally in this for the right reasons, dudes. Oh no, someone save the bagels! I mean, the innocent people in the room. Felicity gets into the action for a few seconds but Oliver needs to grab her and Tarzan it out the window to save her again. Diggle is really annoyed because he knows Oliver could have easily taken them all out. “You’re not considering the body count,” says Oliver. “Since when do you care,” asks Felicity. Since Tommy, duh. Oliver points out he called him a murderer before he died and I must point out once again, “YOU ARE A MURDERER OLIVER!” Just because you’re killing bad guys doesn’t mean you get a pass.

Thea and Roy discuss her mother a bit more and she insists she’s not going to go visit her in prison. “It’s the only way I know how to hurt her,” she tells him. To which he responds, “How much is it hurting you?” POINT TAKEN. But Oliver goes to visit mom first and Moira says she will apologize for the rest of her life. Back at the club, The Hoods show up for Oliver, Roy does his thing fairly well until one of their hands pops off. Uh, what? The guy looks to have some missing fingers but before we can figure out what’s going on, they take Thea. Upon hearing she’s been kidnapped, Oliver is all, “I’m just gonna check something downstairs…”

And cue new secret lair. Felicity has made a few improvements which we’ll get to in due time but for now they do a little research and find out one of the Hoods is an ex-marine who had to have an amputation thanks to the earthquake and who also saw his wife die. And then a quick flashback to the island again where Shado has been taken captive by unnamed thugs. They ask her where the graves are? But before Slade can devise a sensible play, Oliver runs in blind and kills one of the men. Brutally. Still not a murderer though. Nope.

Meanwhile, the kidnapped Thea is being held in the church. “She’s seen our faces!” shout The Hoods. Then why did you take your masks off!? Idiots. My mother didn’t kill anyone, she insists, Malcolm Merlyn did. Finally, the real Hood shows up, shoots our main bad guy in the chest but saves him from a death fall. The man calls him a killer so of course he saves him. Because this is what we call a turning point.

At a cemetery, Oliver is visiting Tommy’s grave and Laurel shows up. It’s all still extremely weird between them but we find out she has a new vendetta against the Hood and is intent on helping her boss catch him. Thea finally goes to visit mom in prison and it’s actually a really nice scene between the two. Moira is like” Are you still dating that boy?” and Thea is like, “Moooooom, I almost died last night.” But it all ends well.

Back at the company, Isabel is bragging about owning 50% of the shares and Oliver is like, “Not so fast, lady.” That’s when Walter shows up, announces he’s now the chief financial officer at Starling City Bank, and he’s given Oliver the money to have equal holdings. Roy and Thea have a phone chat where he says he won’t be doing any vigilante work then does some vigilante work. But then! BLACK CANARY SHOWS UP!!!! And beats up the thugs for him. Awesome.

So, the gang is back together. Oliver wants to honor Tommy. Diggle says the city needs a hero rather than a vigilante and they all agree that means distancing himself from “The Hoods.” “What do you want to be called,” asks Felicity as Oliver stares meaningfully at a green arrow. AAAaaand scene.

I thought it was a great season opener and I’m glad we don’t have to waste more than one episode on Oliver trying not to be a hero. But something tells me his anger issues (read: murderous tendencies) will rear their head at some point. Now let’s see more of that Black Canary.

What did you think of the Arrow season premiere?

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  • Cy

    That was Deathstroke’s mask. Oliver didn’t run into Deadshot until his return to Starling City.
    I enjoyed the season opener. The name of this season makes me sad though. I miss Paragon, the real City of Heroes.

  • Starman

    Good recap, but two points.

    1. That was Deathstroke’s mask on the island – not Deadshot’s. And yes – we saw that in the Pilot episode when Ollie was rescued.

    2. Sebastian Blood – Dinah’s new boss – is a reference to the Teen Titans bad guy Brother Blood. He was a cult leader rather than a politician, but the MO of building a power base among the disenfranchised is the same.

    My own thoughts on the episode are up here.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Ha! I was so busy trying to not type DEADPOOL, I messed up anyway.

  • Cy

    About the murdering thing. I have to say that if you’re killing someone who is attempting to kill you or some innocent person I don’t think it’s murder. I’m not surprised that Oliver spared the Hood group this time around. He felt he created them. It’s a lot like how he tried to save the Royal Flush Gang last season. The real test will be when he comes up against someone evil like Deadshot.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Ah, thanks, I didn’t catch Sebastian’s name.

  • Mark Matson

    I’m just happy they are finally dropping “The Hood” and look to progress to actually calling the Green Arrow his real name — or at least a short version of it. That was my big pet peeve of season 1. I wonder if this was on purpose, claiming he wasn’t really the Green Arrow until his morality improved, or a reaction to criticism.

  • J Ritchey

    As adorable as it’s been, Felicity can only stay funny and awkward for so long without it limiting the character and/or becoming just annoying. I like the confidence she showed here. One of the interesting things about the show is how almost all the characters evolve.

  • KatieB

    Love the review, Jill! I really enjoyed the episode.

  • J Ritchey

    From some things mentioned by the production team from the start, I think it’s more the former. They seemed to indicate the show wasn’t about Green Arrow…yet. It was about a somewhat misguided vigilante who could become Green Arrow.

  • Cy

    True…it was just so abrupt. I expected a gradual change from the awkwardness. Then again I constantly say awkward things so maybe that’s a true to life progression that has eluded me for so long.

  • Starman

    No worries. It went by really quick.

    Also, Bethany Snow – the reporter doing the news casts about Ollie’s return to Starling City – was also a character in Teen Titans. A member of Brother Blood’s cult who used her position to turn public opinion against the Teen Titans.

  • J Ritchey

    I’m assuming a “warts and all” camaraderie and surviving numerous life and death situations together in a short span accelerated the progression.

  • Killemalla


    Paragon City, you will live forever in our hearts. Curse those who evicted us from your crime-ridden streets, parks filled with mysterious doings, random giant statues! How I miss the alien invasions that would almost shut down my computer from lag, and skiing in winter. … Don’t miss Circle Of Thorns though. Don’t miss them AT ALL.

  • Arakiba

    City of Titans already passed its mark on kickstarter, by the way…

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    Awww, thats disappointing, here I was hoping for Etigan.

  • Starman

    Give it time. There is some precedent for Ollie/Jason Blood team-ups.

  • Cy

    But…it’s at least a year away :(

    I loved fighting the Thorns. I hated the Devouring Earth. They could eat my katana/regen scrapper alive. And the Malta. Ugh…Sappers.

  • Foxfire

    Man I got so excited when Jill bought up Etrigan, his rhyming speech just tickles me pink all day long. But yeah it’s probably some cult leader guy ;(

    Yarva Demonicus Etrigan.
    Change, change the form of man.
    Free the prince forever damned.
    Free the might from fleshy mire.
    Boil the blood in heart of fire.
    Gone, gone the form of man,
    Rise the demon Etrigan!

  • Foxfire

    I so hope Black Canary is Felicity. I doubt it. But Felicity is awesome.

  • Harrison Grey

    Dinah’s new boss is just Adam Donner (doesn’t appear to be based off a comic character, yet). We still have yet to see Sebastian (Brother) Blood.

  • Mina

    For a moment, I half convinced myself that Laurel’s blonder, slightly thinner look meant that she would be Black Canary after all and they were just messing with us (thinner because she’d been working out doing fight scene training?). But no, she’s not. So I remain slightly confused as to where they’re going with all the Black Canary business. A lot of people think Black Canary will turn out to be Laurel’s sister who didn’t die after all. It’s certainly plausible, but I can’t understand why they gave Laurel Black Canary’s name if they weren’t going to have her be Black Canary. Whoever she is, I do look forward to seeing more of her.

  • Abel Undercity

    I KNEW I’d heard that name before! Thanks!

  • chrisdvanne

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Summer Glau again back on our screens. It’s gonna be really interesting to see which way the Isabel and Oliver relationship is heading. I wonder if she knows Oliver’s secret identity.
    A recent Arrow clip shed new light on Oliver and Isabel dynamic, check it out at:

  • chrisdvanne

    No, the early version of The Black Canary is played by Caity Lotz

  • Nicoclaws

    Just watched the episode.
    As much as I love women kicking butts, I wonder how Laurel could punch a masked guy with enough strength to make him fly and not hurting her hand. But I guess I have to suspend disbelief with this series. They all have uncanny physics.