I had a feeling this episode would be a disappointment and unfortunately that was the case. While many new shows struggle in their second outing, I was hoping Arrow wouldn’t fall into this familiar pattern. Nevertheless, the tone of the show is so confident that I have a feeling it will keep on getting better from here on out.
The main problem with this hour is the constant influx of exposition. The dialogue felt extremely forced as characters continuously stated plot points from the pilot. Hopefully this will be the last time that happens. In addition, I’m really hating the voiceover. I get its effectiveness if it provides insights we normally wouldn’t catch but here it’s just superfluous and unnecessary.
This episode also introduced a potentially recurring villain in the form of Kelly Hu as the lethal China White. While I love the actress and the character’s intriguing name, she felt a little underwhelming and disposable. I’m hoping they flesh her out more in future outings because she seemed a bit cheesy here (especially with that jarring wig).
I’m also unsure what to make of Moira who they seem to be painting as the villain of the piece. The contrast between her role as a loving mother and the sinister villainess who knows about the yacht being sabotaged just seems a bit much at the moment.
On the plus side, I enjoyed how the writers are developing several of the show’s key relationships. I’m already a fan of Oliver and Thea’s dynamic, but I also really like Laurel’s relationship with her father. Detective Quentin is obviously very protective of his daughter, and she evidently has no limits when it comes to doing the right thing in her quest to save the city. I’m looking forward to seeing them clash with Arrow in the future.
The ending however was excellent and a much stronger cliffhanger than the pilot’s with Oliver burying his dad on the island only to be shot by a mysterious figure dressed in Arrow garb. Hmm…
Bits & Arrows
– The opening rooftop fight sequence: gritty and beautifully choreographed.
– Oliver once peed on a cop? Ha!
– I really don’t like Oliver’s Arrow voice. It’s too growly and reminiscent of Batman Begins.
– Oliver’s whole “you failed this city” spiel is much too cheesy. Never again please
– Horrifying flashback to the island as Oliver tries to stop the birds from picking at his father’s corpse. I think the island stuff is sometimes more compelling than the rest of the storylines.
– I’m really enjoying Oliver’s dynamic with Diggle. It could really evolve into some exciting places.
– The Triad? Hmm sounds ominous.
– I liked Thea’s plea to Ollie to letting her in but unfortunately we haven’t seen enough of him shutting her out for it to have that much resonance.
– I really loved Oliver and Laurel’s ice cream date. There’s a charming chemistry between Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy. I do wonder how they’ll ever get over her sister’s involvement in the issue.
– The attack on Laurel’s house was quite thrilling.
– I’m unsure how I feel about Arrow and China’s white fight scene. On one hand, it’s well choreographed but on the other hand, I didn’t really love the way it was shot or edited. Something about it felt very off.
– Hilarious speech by Oliver as he fakes being drunk and calls Walter his “new dad.” It’s a heartbreaking but necessary development.
– We didn’t see much of Tommy throughout the hour but I can’t wait for his relationship with Laurel to come out in the open.
– So what is that symbol that Robert Queen had in his notebook? Because Moira’s mystery limo figure has it too!
Oliver: This guy gets more airtime than the Kardashians!
Thea: Five years on an island and you still know who they are huh?
Oliver: Thea, you think this is what Dad wanted for you?
Thea: Dead people don’t want anything; that’s one of the benefits of being dead.
Oliver: Everyone fantasizing about me getting my MBA on that island or the fact that my father’s CFO now sleeps down the hall from me?
Laurel: Protective custody? I seem to recall you tried that when I discovered boys.
A relatively disappointing hour, Arrow‘s second hour is a letdown after an amazing pilot.