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Arrow Season 2 Episode #02 – Identity Review

5 min read

Arrow Season 2 Episode 2More arrivals in Starling City leads to some new dangers for Oliver to face.

What They Say:
Oliver finds out the medicine that is being sent to Glades Memorial is being hijacked by thieves. Without an influx of supplies, the hospital will close. Roy attempts to stop the thieves, but he fails and is arrested by Officer Lance.

While I can’t say that Arrow came storming out of the gate in the previous episode, it deifnitely introduced some changes and made clear that it’s going to expand its core elements even more this year. It’s upgraded, but not a complete rewrite. Which is good as they’re not trying to change hugely what’s worked but rather refine and expand it. Getting Oliver back on track after being away a few months is simple, but it allows the show to provide some space between events and to let him have the down time he needs, which also lets a lot of things in Starling City move forward as well that helps to change a few dynamics, particularly with his family as both Thea and his mother are in different places. We also got a welcome tease for what else is to come with the arrival of Black Canary at the end rescuring Roy, which was a great little highlight.

The background plots from the first season continues to run through here as we see China White still making her way through the city to do various ops, which includes swiping FEMA trucks of medication in order to sell it elsewhere. That has Roy trying to do what’s right, which is his mode right now, and it only gets him into more trouble since the cops nab him instead of the actual bad guys. While this shows us how Roy will continue to go forward and the kind of similar yet different intensity that drives him compared to Oliver, it also allows Laurel to get involved a bit as the new attorney working for the DA’s office. She’s definitely turned intense since the events of the first season and is pursuing leads and more when it comes to the vigilante than even her father did, which makes for some quietly tense moments between her and Oliver since it’s a secret he’s going to have to keep for an even longer time now.

While Oliver is trying to make an impression on Roy and to get through to him without revealing himself at the moment, he’s also trying to change the impression the city has of him. Though he was innocent of what happened, as was his mother to some degree, he’s intent on doing something to help the Glades after all that went down there. It’s not so much for his image, or even the image of his family, but because he is the type that knows it’s the right thing and it fits in with his goal of helping people. And with the people there on the medical side getting screwed by the thefts going on, it definitely fits into his wheelhouse of what he can do to change things there. But the conflict really does come in how it’s best to handle it since just throwing money at it may not be the best thing.

It does take the expected turn where he goes to try and work with the alderman that works for that district of the city, and that opens up its own possibilities since it can work in a lot of ways, but I also like that the alderman’s name is Sebastian Blood of Brother Blood fame, which makes me wonder whether they’ll really go that route or nnot or if it’s just a feint for the moment to mess with us.

Of course, that leaves him with the costumed route since he can stop what China White is doing and get the medical supplies going and do that to help the Glades. While he’s got an easy bead on it, it doesn’t go well as China is more than prepared as she has a new partner that has it in for the vigilante after the events of the Glades. Bringing the character of Bronze Tiger into the show is one that works well since he’s easily adaptable to this format. It’s a quick burst early on here, but it’s nicely done as it provides someone more than just a common thug or gun toting bad guy for him to deal with. While you don’t want costumed heroes and villains popping up every week, it’s welcome to have someone like this appear.

The big action sequence in the final act goes about as you’d expect, though I was glad to see Diggle getting a bit more involved in it here. He gets to tussle with China, which makes for some fun since it’s not the easiest fight as she knows how to be a crafty one. Oliver’s fight with his opponent has him doing a bit more with the trick arrow side of things, which is also a very welcome bit of material since it was used carefully throughout the first season. It’s short as one would expect as the series has been careful about not overdoing it and while that may be for budget reasons, I do appreciate it since it keeps it from being too much.

In Summary:
Arrow does some fun stuff with this episode and it has a really polished feel in a lot of ways. One of the thing that strikes me is that there’s a growing kind of humor with the banter that’s working well, especially when it comes to Diggle and FElicity as they’re really settling into their roles well. Felicity just makes me love her all the more with what she does and how she carries it off. This episode does some expected things as it works a few different fronts with Oliver coping with how he has so many fronts to fight on but isn’t sure of the best way to do it since he doesn’t have his list anymore. There’s more conflict in his personal life and a lot of story threads are already off and running. Bringing in characters like Sebastian Blood and Bronze Tiger has me excited and seeing the other tangents touching base here and there works great. And some of the nods towards comics creators really reinforces the smiles, especially when you see Jeff Lemire get a nice little shoutout.

Grade: B+

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