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Arrow Season 2 Report Card: Grade it!

by at .  Updated at . Comments

Arrow is a series that tries to top itself every week.. and nearly always succeeds in doing so.

Like Arrow Season 1, our characters were set against nearly impossible odds and found the strength and courage to fight on this year. We were introduced to new characters, some who didn't make it out of Slade's attack on Starling City alive. We lost someone we greatly cared for in Moira Queen.

Discover the other successes and failures of Arrow Season 2 and then give it your grade below...

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Best Episode: The award does to Arrow Season 2 Episode 23 for doing the "Unthinkable" - giving Olicity fans something to cheer about, not killing off Slade and keeping him around for the future as Deathstroke, for bringing the Lance sisters up from cheesy melodrama and making their family business our business and for having the guts to send Thea off with her birth father, all setting the stage for what can only be an amazing Arrow Season 3.

Worst Episode: Even the resurrection of Malcolm Merlyn and the Arrow killing The Count couldn't raise Arrow Season 2 Episode 7 up to a 4 star rating. You know it's bad when I'm begging in the review to get Slade Wilson to town to shake things up, STAT! 

Caity Lotz as The Black Canary
The Canary arrives in Starling City. She doesn't take long to reveal herself to Oliver Queen as Sara Lance.

Fan Favorite: Never have a group of fans been more adamant and wanted to something so desperately as have those of the possible paring of Oliver and Felicity. The drama between the Lance sisters hurt their chances at an approval; but even before, it was Felicity Smoak who sank herself so deeply into our hearts (love or not) with her intelligence, plucky attitude and intense loyalty over whom fans will fight to the death for a chance with Oliver. She deserves far more than that -- Ms. Smoak deserves it all (and a back story!).

Best Plan: Speaking of Felicity and Oliver, his use of "I Love You" in the mansion Slade planted with bugs to draw Slade toward Felicity so she could get close enough to deliver the Mirakuru cure was both diabolical and brilliant. We wouldn't change a single minute of how it played out.

Worst Plan: Slade Wilson set himself out to ruin Oliver Queen, and in doing so he decided one of the easiest ways was to use Oliver's own secrets against him. However, instead of making things worse for Oliver, it forced him to step up and into his heroic greens. Talk about a backfire! Laurel didn't give him the chance to hide from the truth, but by keeping additional secrets from Thea, he lost her.

Best Redemption: Poor Laurel. Ms. Lance was the most despised character on the show for most of it's second season. First she blamed the Arrow for Tommy's death, then when she started to blame herself, her drinking took over. The arrival of her sister, having died and been reborn, only made her realize what a mess she made of her life and she took it out on her. Attending AA and learning the truth from Slade about Oliver kicked her in the pants and by the finale, she was someone we could care about again. Well done.

Least Heroic Death: Isabel Rochev. Never cared about her when she hit town, didn't care when she declared herself some sort of a Queen victim and her Ravager was wasted except for a good one-liner about Felicity. She didn't even go out fighting. What an easy kill. Boooo.

Most Heroic Death: Moira taking the decision away from her son and screaming "Don't look!" at Thea was the stuff that is written into history books. Even Slade was impressed. Not enough to set her free, however. He didn't shoot her in the head but drove a blade through her instead. Moira went down a true Queen.

Best Island Scene: Who knew that the freighter showdown between Oliver and Slade was only the beginning of some of the best fight scenes on television? Taking some of the action away from the green grasses and towering trees and onto the gloomy Amazo and all that it represented in Arrow Season 2 Episode 15 blew us away. It also gave us a hint of what was to come on the finale, where the second best use of the Island came: when Oliver found himself off of it and in Shanghai. 

Worst Island Scene: Hang on with me here... this is the worst because it set the stage for Oliver's guilt, Slade's need for vengeance and we lost an Island character we loved. When Ivo made Oliver "choose" between Sara and Shado in Arrow Season 2 Episode 9 we knew there would be repercussions for a long time. This was the worse scene because it was so utterly heart breaking. It killed the Island.

Hopes for Arrow Season 3: Less use of named guest stars for bad guys (it gets your hopes up), more Suicide Squad (we love you Deadshot!), a back story for Felicity, determining how to use both Lance sisters so they can both remain on Arrow and both kick ass, that Thea goes dark (even if only for a while) and gives her brother a run for his money with her new daddy and that there is a bit more time spent developing the characters before the next big thing happens. We're happy to wait for greatness.

Overall Grade: A.

It's your turn TV Fanatics!! What grade would you give to Arrow Season 2?

 

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

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Apollo003

I have to give season 2 an A. There were parts of the season that I didn't necessarily love, like the Lance sister drama and some of Roy's stuff, but for the most part it was a great season. The death of Moira Queen was truly heartbreaking. She without doubt had her flaws, but I still really enjoyed her character. I still can't say I am a huge fan of Roy, but he has his moments. The storyline between him and Thea was interesting at first, but then it started to get a little annoying. However, I did enjoy Thea's gradual descent into darker territory, culminating with her agreeing to leave with her father, Malcolm Merlyn. I am very curious to see where that storyline goes in season 3. Like pretty much everyone else, I love the Team Arrow dynamic of the show. Adding Sara to the group was a great move, and it added some freshness to the dynamic. The slow, gradual progression of Oliver and Felicity's relationship is really fantastic. They continuously hit all the right notes in respect to their relationship, and the fact that Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards have amazing chemistry is a huge bonus. Diggle has been one of my favorite characters since the very beginning of the show, and he had some really good moments this season. The reunion of him and his ex-wife was really enjoyable, and it's nice to see Diggle finally find some happiness that will hopefully last. One of my favorite things about this season was that it successfully wrapped up multiple storylines. Oliver decided that The Count needed to die, The Huntress was finally caught and locked up, and we finally saw the end of Oliver's adventures on the Island. Now next season we will get to see what he got up to in Hong Kong. Now to talk about my favorite part of season 2, which was undoubtedly....... Deathstroke!!!!! Deathstroke was such a brilliant villain, and Manu Bennett played him to absolute PERFECTION!!!! He was easily Oliver's physical superior, although some of that had to do with the Mirakuru. Even more than that though, he consistently outsmarted Oliver and was always multiple steps ahead of him. If it weren't for the rest of Team Arrow helping him, Oliver would almost undoubtedly have lost to Slade. I am also happy that they didn't kill Slade, meaning he could possibly make a return later in the series. As for season 3, I have a few things I would love to see.
1. Thea forging her own path with the help of Malcolm
2. Continued progression of Oliver and Felicity's relationship
3. Little less drama with the Lance family
4. It would be awesome to finally see Ra's Al Ghul, even if he doesn't end up being the big bad in season 3.

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Should of got a A+ but a A works!!! Great season!! Luv Thea in this season!!!

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I definitely preferred the main storyline this season, and I think it definitely flowed better than last with more shocking moments, but admittedly there was something missing with some of the characters this season for example I absolutely adored Oliver and Laurel last season but this season I found myself simultaneously crying for and wanting to punch Oliver, and shouting at the tv when Laurel came on screen. Oliver was a lot darker this season, and made a lot of frustrating choices, many of them in regards to the Lance sisters. One of them that had me fuming was when Oliver finally had had enough of Laurel and gave her that whole speech in which he told her to 'go to verdant, get drunk, I'll pay for it' as well as 'or are you going to blame Tommy for dying?'. That totally rubbed me the wrong way, first of all it was just plain CRUEL and unnecessary, and whilst I agree she was in need of some tough love I found that was just below the belt. I think Oliver this season was so serious all the time, rightly so with the Slade story line haunting him of course, but he was just an a** at times. Then there was Laurel. Don't get me wrong, I loved Laurel last season and I'm still rooting for her redemption. I wanted to like her this season, I really did, but sometimes it was just too much, it was poor writing at times. I felt like the writers WANTED us to hate her, starting it off with her hating the vigilante for Tommy's death, then throwing a fit at her sister (the second time round after finding out she was with Oliver was sort of understandable but the first one was unbelievable, especially as she just got her sister back). Then they inserted her into Team Arrow in such an awful way, having her dismiss Dig and Felicity and basically having Oliver completely shut her down telling her she can't play with them. They literally gave all the Laurel haters out there something to cheer at, when you'd think they'd be trying to draw out a little sympathy. I really want to like Laurel again, I'm hoping the Black Canary story line will help with that. I'm definitely going to miss Sara though, I loved her and she had a great relationship with Dig and Felicity and it would've been nice to see more of that. I think what really made this season for me was the Team Arrow dynamic as well as the beautiful moments between Oliver and Felicity which I hope we continue to see more of, I love the gradual progression of their relationship, it feels very natural and their chemistry is fantastic. I hope it's not wasted in favor of more Laurel/Oliver drama. I hope to see more awesome team arrow and Oliver/Felicity moments, I'm excited to see more of the journey of Roy, Thea and Laurel, and I'm so happy we get more John Barrowman! I gotta say I really hope they don't pursue the Oliver baby daddy story line, really really not my thing. Daddy Dig is enough for me. Now that Sara is gone Felicity really needs some female friends people! AND A PROPER LOVE INTEREST. It feels like they're trying to keep her 'pure' or something for Oliver, which I hate. Give her a sweet guy who treats her right, hell give her a one night stand with the cute guy from the bar for all I care. Let's just give her a life outside the arrow cave please. Overall I really did thoroughly enjoy this season though, if at times the writing was a little lazy. I gave season 2 an A overall because despite a couple flaws, this really is my favorite show.

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Loved this season, loved Team Arrow, loved Olicity, adored Sara (gonna miss her) Deathstroke was AWESOME, the finale blew me away. A for sure.

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Oliver is off to Hong Kong, not Shanghai.

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best epi scientists n unthinkable
worst epi time of death i skipped 3 epi aftet that
fan fav of course felicity bitch with WiFi stealing the show for a long time
deathshot, hated in s1 bt like him now, that's how u redeem a character

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I'm going to be honest and give them a B for this season. Because although I felt Arrow had a very strong first half of the season, I felt they lost what was important on the show for a long stretch there from 214 until about 220. That's a good long stretch to lose yourself for. But they really pulled things together by the last two episodes of the season. And I was so happy to have my show back. I live for the Team Arrow dynamic. Oliver/Diggle/Felicity just make me want to watch nonstop. I even think that Roy is growing on me a bit. Sara was awesome when she was introduced early on in the season but upon her return, she seemed to be written as a different person that was portrayed as far to selfish and a parallel to Oliver's regression during that period. I didn't like him for a good period during season 2. He just didn't seem to possess the qualities that I grew to love about him. The show really turned me off for a while there when they focused so heavily on the Lance family for a huge chunk of the season, first Laurel and then Sara, it was too much. They took a character in Sara that I loved and eventually I was just annoyed by they way they over-saturated the canvas with her. This is a mistake I think the show recognized and attempted to fix. You can't spend for much time focusing on the Lance family who are not suppose to be such key elements to the plot, which is Oliver's journey, while simultaneously tearing Oliver's family to shreds. I adored Moira Queen. Also, I really try to stay away from the Laurel discussions because I really don't feel that they pertain to me since that is not an aspect of the show that I watch for. But I don't begrudge others that do. All I'll say is that far too much as been granted to this character that hasn't been earned. Her first appearance in the lair didn't not make me want her there in season 3. What exactly does she have to offer by way of skill-set to the degrees of the others, and all they have selflessly fight to be there? I just don't see that selflessness in her. She comes off as all about herself in an environment filled with heroes. But again, not my problem, until or unless she messes with my Team Arrow dynamic. I find that I'm really looking forward to Season 3 and that much deserved back-story on Felicity. Although I feel it's too soon to put Oliver & Felicity together, I'm thoroughly enjoying watching the story unfold with these two. As far as Diggle having a baby and Oliver having a kid out there, well as long as they don't turn the lair into pee wee's playhouse, I guess I'll have to embrace it. But I still can't imagine anyone worthy of John Diggle.

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@ Trish

Well said. I nearly quit the show during the Lance Sister drama. I hate that they tore down Sara in an attempt to make Laurel more likable. I really didn't like that the first time Laurel is in the presence of Team Arrow she dismisses two thirds of the team. Team Arrow is why I watch the show. I love Diggle/Oliver/Felicity together. I just endure the rest of the show to see them, so the idea of messing with that dynamic does not make me happy.

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I had to give the season a “B”. It came in really strong with the first 9 episodes, but stumbled a bit with plot holes in 10 and then just went completely all over the place with inconsistencies and plot, picking back up with episode 18, which I had declared my "do or DVR for the rest of the season” episode. The last five episodes were fantastic with the emphasis once again put on Team Arrow (O/F/D) and their relationships. Unfortunately the damage was done by SEVEN episodes that did little to advance character development OR the overall plot. I loved this comment made by a fellow viewer ”When you seriously look at it, S1-S2 was totally showing Felicity's character evolution into a legit hero. What does Laurel get? a dumba** jacket whose passing most people laughed at and were furious as to why the focus was on Laurel instead of Sara being the true hero. I said it before what happens at the end of S1? Roy risks his life to save people from a bus accident. Felicity willingly risks her life to stop the Earthquake machine. Laurel risks her life and costs Tommy his to save a bunch of files. In S2, Felicity takes down Deathstroke, Oliver takes down Salde, Sara and Roy assist in taking on the mirakuru army, then Sara saves Laurel who is a background DiD and SHE gets a jacket!" That being said though, I really hope the last couple of episodes continue to showcase what WORKS with this show. It is Team Arrow — Oliver, Felicity, Diggle and now Roy(?). It is the action and the character development of the Team. Felicity has definitely earned HERO status in the eyes of myself and other viewers, I think it is high time she gets her backstory. I do hope for the return of Sara and a tag-along Nyssa as well. And last but NOT bay any means LEAST is the relationship between Oliver and Felicity. The door has been opened for these two and I hope we continue to see that solid foundation that was established in S2 built upon in S3. Their development has been so natural and organic, it has been a real treat to watch. And what’s even better, is that it is not and has never been front and center of the show.

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I give a B for the inconsistencies and the Lance sister drama. I HATED Laurel's story line. I have not liked her character from the beginning, so seeing characters I care about (looking at you, Diggle & Felicity) being pushed aside to give Laurel story really turned me off. I loved the show until the Lance sister drama kicked into overdrive in 2.14, and I nearly quit watching because of it. Sara was awesome in the first part of the season. I loved her strength and found her to be a very interesting character until they turned her into another one of Oliver's women in 2.14. A hook up between equals would would been interesting, but that's not what we got. Sara begging Oliver to go with her to her sister (the sister he cheated on with her) for a family dinner was ridiculous, but having the same sister then give dating advice two episodes later was repulsive. Not only did it make Sara look bad, but it made Laurel look even worse. In addition, turning Laurel into an addict who kicks the habit after a couple of AA meetings and then can hang out in a bar is insulting to victims of addiction. Finally, this was no crucible for Laurel, and it's ridiculous to claim that her few episodes of addiction follow by a miraculous recovery can compare to what Oliver, Sara, and even Roy have been through. Based on the Lance sister drama, which also made me hate our hero, I'd have graded the show an F. Frankly, when a show turns you against the hero because of his "epic love," there's a problem with the romance. The level of toxicity of Oliver and the Lance sisters is off the charts. What made the show great, however, is Team Arrow. It's never better than when Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity are working together in the lair, at Queen Consolidated, or on the streets. They have such good chemistry as partners and teammates. The Suicide Squad also has great potential. Deadshot is awesome, and I love his and Diggle's relationship. I hope we see more. I enjoy Diggle & Lyla's relationship. I'm not sure I like the baby, but I do enjoy their relationship. I can't say enough about Slade Wilson. What a great villain! Moira was amazing - best death scene maybe ever. Barry Allen's introduction was fantastic. And Barrowman is back! Yay!! And Nyssa. I can't say enough about her. I love that character! I can't wait to see her again. Truly every story without Laurel was fabulous - and Laurel ruined Sara's story. My hope for season 3 is lots of Team Arrow, bad Thea, plenty of Malcolm Merlyn, some Suicide Squad, Nyssa, Sara, LoA, and a back story for Felicity along with a great love interest (Nightwing, anyone?).
I also hope to see far less Laurel Lance. I do not want her as part of Team Arrow mostly because I don't see Laurel as being capable of being a team player. Truthfully, I'd prefer NO Laurel Lance, but I'm sure that's a dream that will not happen. I watch lots of TV, and I rarely find a character that I like as little as I do Laurel. I see no redeeming qualities with her -- and she makes characters I like and care about worse versions of themselves. At this point, I don't know that the writers can do anything to make me care about her.

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Carissa! Hong Kong, not Shanghai :)
I actually boarded a plane to Hong Kong via Chicago the morning after the finale, so it kind of blew my mind...

Arrow Quotes

Laurel: Helena, you don't have to do this.
Helena: Yes, I do. Because once you let the darkness inside, it never comes out.

Every warrior must learn the simple truth -- that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional.

Malcolm
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