In Season One of Arrow, Slade Wilson — the future villain known as Deathstroke! — was introduced, and as I watched the first season, I imagined that the writers would pull the trigger on Slade becoming Deathstroke sometime around Seasons Four or Five. But I didn’t have to wait that long, because that and so much more occurred in Season Two!
It is very difficult for a serialized show to keep its momentum constantly moving, especially on a show like Arrow, which has 23-episode seasons. But the writing staff on Arrow constantly moves the storylines forward for its first two seasons, almost as if the show is on the chopping block, and they are desperate to get all the storylines wrapped up. But that’s not the case. Arrow is just that damn good.
Let me go over the Season Two highlights off the top of my head (Spoiler alerts obviously – but with Season Three airing this Wednesday, I figure everyone is caught up on the show by now and is ready for another roller-coaster ride of a season!). Deathstroke is the big bad in the present and the flashback stories. Oliver learns how to be a hero, but without killing. Oliver’s name-change from “The Vigilante” to “The Arrow”! The introduction of A.R.G.U.S. and the Suicide Squad. The first appearances of Barry Allen; the set-up for the upcoming The Flash television show! The long and arduous path of becoming a superhero for Roy Harper. Felicity and Diggle continuing to prove how essential they are to Oliver’s mission, both of them now being regulars in DC’s in continuity Green Arrow comic book. The shocking introduction of the incredibly sexy (and bad-ass!) Canary, courtesy of the presumed dead Sarah Lance. The blatant homages (ripping-off???) of The Dark Knight trilogy! (But to be fair, if you are ripping off something superhero-related, the writers were smart to rip-off from the best!) Mentions of Ra’s al Ghul!, the upcoming Season Three’s Big-Bad! Thea…..Merlin??? The death of the most ruthless, evil woman to grace the small screen in recent memory; Moira Queen. The best action stunts on a TV show, bar none.
It sometimes feels like I am watching a movie and not a TV show. Stephen Amell, incidentally, continues to prove that he is one of the most charismatic and charming leading actors to ever star in his own series. He is just as good in the action scenes as he is in the show’s more dramatic and quieter moments. The return of John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn! Laurel Lance’s storylines continue to move to the beat of its own drum, but things are looking good for her in Season Three (As ridiculous as her alcoholism storyline was in Season Two, it was refreshing to see her take the news so well when Slade told her that Oliver is secretly “The Arrow”!). The rise of Quentin Lance, an always entertaining character. I get such a kick out of him. Whether it is his ignorance that prevents him from knowing the Arrow’s true identity, as well as the character being a blatant (but again, entertaining) rip-off of Commissioner Gordon! The use of so many of Batman’s rogues due to the fact that Green Arrow doesn’t have the longest list of arch-enemies! Clock-King! Summer Glau is always a pleasure to see on any television show, although, I’d like to see her break-free from the genre-based characters that launched her career with Firefly. She has so much more talent to offer Hollywood. The utter-creepiness of the actor playing Sebastian Blood. I’m not going to miss him in Season Three! The way in which the modern day storylines plays off the flashback storylines. This was a weakness in the show’s first season, so it was nice to see the flashbacks having more of a pay-off in Season Two! Oliver loves Felicity??? A phenomenal series finale, setting-up so many possibilities for Season Three!!!
And the Blu-Ray packs a punch. Just as with Season One, it comes with both Blu-Rays and DVDs in the package, which is always a nice feature. The Blu-Ray quality is exceptional with the movie-like appearance of the show. There are your standard extra features such as deleted scenes. It was a shame that they cut most of these, because it seems like these scenes were cut for time and not for being extraneous story points. The gag reel always provides a chuckle. But those are hardly the only bonus features. The Arrow San Diego Comic-Con panel in 2013 that prefaced Season Two is included. It is particularly enjoyable because of the always entertaining Stephen Amell! Also provided on the Blu-Ray is a bonus recap of the first season for those uninitiated. Remaining featurettes focuses on the thematic storylines of Season Two as well as a behind the scenes on how they pulled off so many of the fantastic stunts and special effects of Arrow.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a huge fan of Season Two. Arrow found its identity late in Season One, but the writers started the second season with all they had learned and ran with it for 23 pulse-pounding episodes. Since Season Two was such an improvement on an already quality show, I can’t wait to see what Arrow has in store for Season Three. Especially now that Arrow has a spin-off show that it will cross-over with: The Flash! I have a feeling that the best is yet to come!