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Arrow Review: Farewell to The Hood

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There has been so much discussion about the topics that happened in the Arrow Season 1 finale that I almost forgot we hadn't checked back in with Starling City since then.

In "City of Heroes" we learned that instead of sticking around for the fallout from the disaster of Malcolm Merlyn's Undertaking, Oliver skipped town and let Starling City fend for itself.

That didn't seem like the reaction of a hero, did it?

Meeting Interrupted

As the city started to rebuild, Oliver had retreated to his island and only when Diggle and Felicity tracked him down did he return - not to act as the vigilante, but to attempt to save Queen Consolidated from a hostile takeover by Isabel Rochev (Arrow Season 2 guest star Summer Glau). 

Needless to say, there have been a lot of changes in Oliver's absence, not only in real life, but in relation to his recollection of his previous life on the island as well. It appears the time for moving on is upon us.

As a quick run-down, Thea is running Verdant, Laurel is working for the DA's office and is on a mission to take down the only remaining archer in town, Queen Consolidated was on the verge of destruction, Quentin Lance is a beat cop and a group emulating the vigilante calling themselves The Hoods has run roughshod over Starling City while Roy Harper has tried to clean up its mean streets while simultaneously loving Thea and encouraging her to reconnect with Moira in prison. Whew!

In his personal island flashback timeline, Oliver is remembering how personally he reacted to attacks on those he loved, including Shado, which whom he had moved on to a romantic involvement.

This first episode back was essentially a way to re-engage Oliver with the mission to serve and protect his city. He no longer believed in his father's list and didn't want to be known as a killer. What happened to Tommy and the way people remembered The Hood, especially that harmful vigilante groups without restraint were springing up in his name, left a sour taste in his mouth. Things needed to change for him to move forward. 

Out of the ashes will be born The Green Arrow. For now, we had this Arrow quote to serve as a placeholder: 

Oliver: If we're gonna do this, it has to be about Tommy. I need to be the man he hoped I could be. Now you two have helped me take the first step.
Felicity: So what's step two? I'm game for anything as long as it doesn't involve skydiving, and I'm pretty down on landmines now, too.
Oliver: The city still needs saving, but not by The Hood. Not by some vigilante who's just crossing names off a list. It needs something more.
Diggle: It needs a hero, Oliver.
Felicity: It's too bad The Hoods kind of ruined your nickname.
Oliver: No, it's good. I don't want to be called The Hood anymore.
Diggle: Okay. So what do you want to be called? | permalink

As a standalone episode, the premiere served merely to remind us of where Oliver has been and where he needs to go, while sprinkling us with moments that will mean more as the series progresses than they did apart from the whole. You can get a step by step rundown of the hour in the Arrow recap.

Stray observations:

  • Did you notice that when The Hoods attacked the gala, the only person left standing in the room who put up a fight was Laurel Lance? Not one single man rose to the occasion. Say what you will about her, but the self defense classes have come in handy.
  • It was ironic that the vigilante group called themselves The Hoods after the very man who they wanted to destroy. If they only knew.
  • Oliver had to swing Felicity to safety twice in this episode alone. Much more and it's going to be a great drinking game!
  • Roy's concern for Thea's relationship with Moira shows how much he has grown as a character. He could be blaming her, but instead he wants the woman he loves to understand the importance of having a connection with her mother. Impressive.
  • The Hoods couldn't shoot people with machine guns across the length of a conference room table. How much of a threat were they? 
  • The entire wrath of the Whedonverse is about to rain down upon me, but I don't buy Summer Glau as a high powered corporate executive. A terminator? Sure. A wealthy woman running a corporate takeover? Sorry.
  • Kudos to keeping Walter Steele in the family. I knew he loved those kids.
  • Given the title of the episode and the large-breasted blonde who flew into action when Roy was fighting off the thugs in the street - I take it that was Arrow's version of The Black Canary? Well, she didn't exactly announce herself and she wasn't wearing the same outfit as my Barbie! Gimme a break!
  • Since Laurel wants to take down the town archer, she'll not be ready to don the Canary suit until she sees the error of her ways, so it makes good story to bring in (who I suppose will be) her sister, Sarah.
It's great to have Arrow back and they've set things up to quite well for things to come. It's exactly where I would expect it to be for the premiere, as the writers are masters at pacing things out, as we learned when Arrow Season 1 ended with a perfect crescendo.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (141 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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I agree with you about Summer Glau. Didn't buy her act at all. And speaking of acting, Katie still can't act. She looked like a wooden mannequin. Like you, I was very glad to see Walter and I hope they keep bringing him back on occasion. I'm an Oliver/Shado fan and I know she's only a special guest star, but I hope she makes the whole season. I laughed when I saw the large breasted blonde. It was a bit much, but she is the black canary. I'm looking forward to the storyline of the people in the glades too. This is going to be an interesting season, and a fun one! But I got the point that Oliver didn't want to kill anyone else the first time they brought it up. Felt they hit us over the head with it too much just in case we didn't get it.

Marissa

I loved the premier episode. I'm so glad to have the show back it feels like its been forever. I loved the scenes were Oliver swung in and saved Felicity they were great. It took Thea getting kidnapped for Oliver to put on the hood and become the hero he was meant to be. The island flashback was good and I can't wait to find out more about who there dealing with on that island now. The one thing I wanna know is when Oliver and shado got together because the last time they kissed and he said he shouldn't be doing this because he was in love with Laural so what changed his mine to want to be with shado. I don't really like detective Lance as a cop I hope he become a detective again and I'm glad he's more on the vigilantes side now. I can't wait till the next episode it looks really good. Again I am so glad the show is back I love it so much.

Arrow Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

God, um, you... You're really sweaty.

Felicity

Oliver: If we're gonna do this, it has to be about Tommy. I need to be the man he hoped I could be. Now you two have helped me take the first step.
Felicity: So what's step two? I'm game for anything as long as it doesn't involve skydiving, and I'm pretty down on landmines now, too.
Oliver: The city still needs saving, but not by The Hood. Not by some vigilante who's just crossing names off a list. It needs something more.
Diggle: It needs a hero, Oliver.
Felicity: It's too bad The Hoods kind of ruined your nickname.
Oliver: No, it's good. I don't want to be called The Hood anymore.
Diggle: Okay. So what do you want to be called?

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