We are almost midway through Arrow Season 2 and it's time to break down the best and the rest of the season so far.
As one of the best series on television, we have a lot more good than bad, but there have been some disappointments. Let's take a look at Arrow with our TV Fanatic report card!
Best Episode: Arrow Season 2 Episode 5, The League of Assassins. Black Canary made her appearance and there wasn't a long, drawn out wait for her to show her face to either Oliver or her father. We learned what had happened to her in some detail rather quickly and she made an impact on the town before flying out of there to ensure the protection of her family from The League of Assassins. She'll be back, and we can’t wait.
Best Character: Oliver Queen. Oliver has grown into an incredible man from the billionaire playboy he once was. He lets people in on his secrets when necessary and although he’s still afraid to open his heart, he can’t help but show his affection for the bright light on his team, Felicity Smoak. He kindly removes his shirt to work out at decent intervals and cares about his friends and family. He still makes mistakes (shooting Roy, for example), but admits he can learn from them. When ghosts show up, he recognizes their significance. He's a good friend, a loving son and a great brother.
Most Disappointing Character: Laurel Lance. She can’t seem to catch a break. There were hints of excitement early on, such as when she kicked ass during gala as everyone else was hunkered down in Arrow Season 2 Episode 1. That strong girl has disappeared as fast as her storyline dried up. If Arrow hopes to utilize her more in the future, they have a lot ground to cover before it can happen.
Biggest Surprise: There were a lot of surprises in only nine episodes. Sara’s reveal to Quentin Lance, learning Slade is pulling the strings behind Sebastian Blood’s army and has been doing so a long time, Thea’s daddy problem, Malcolm’s resurrection and Shado's death, but nothing holds as big of a potential shift to the story as what it could mean for Roy Harper being shot with Mirakuru. With his desire to fight, his displeasure with The Arrow and the new super-juice running through his veins, it sets the stage for an exciting storyline for the hot-headed, wanna-be hero.
Worst Resurrection: Malcolm Merlyn. I realize this isn't going to be the most popular opinion, but his survival wasn't necessary to drive the story forward. He was done. Given Moira's trial, Thea's parentage could have just as easily been uncovered by Laurel during prosecution and it would have given Laurel a bombshell so big it could have secured her downward spiral. As much as I love John Barrowman, he’s being wasted here.
Best Guest Star: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen. Reservations about casting be damned! Gustin made mincemeat out of any qualms about the former Glee actor becoming a superhero. He not only stole the hearts of the viewers, he almost grabbed Felicity’s eyes from Oliver Queen, and that’s a hell of a task.
Best Reason for Fan Fiction and GIFs: Oliver and Felicity. Just try to argue against them as a couple and fans will come out of the woodwork to tear at your flesh and either persuade you otherwise or eat you alive. Your choice. Emily Bett-Rickards took a bit part and rocketed it to viable romantic interest for one of the best characters on television, and her ability to be both insecure and strong at the same time make her undeniably adorable.
She doesn't need to be a superhero to toss off her glasses and go from nerdy to glamorous with a shake of her hair. Laurel who? Sara? Olicity is hard to beat.
Overall Grade: A+ The pacing is incredible. The story is constantly changing without sacrificing the integrity of the plot. If anything, it only gains momentum and intensity because the adjustments are so expertly delivered, and rarely exactly as expected.
Hopes for 2014: For the showrunners and writers to keep wowing us with their tremendous ideas. More Oliver, Felicity and Diggle moments as they grow together as a team. It would be nice to see Lance brought in on The Arrow secret. A decision about Laurel's fate needs to be made -- by that I mean whether she will be a major player some day and an arc is set or whether she's always going to be second fiddle. More Slade and Sara action in the present and less Merlyn and Rochev interference.
It's your turn, TV Fanatics. Grade Arrow Season 2 at its midway point now:
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.