***The review below contains spoilers.***
By Tyler Olson
This second episode of Arrow continues with the steady pace of the first one, only it misses the chance to make the villains more than just punching bags.
Oliver's character has grown more in this episode thanks to the flashbacks and his interactions in his present life. The scene of Oliver burying his father was heartbreaking, but it also showed that the book he has also appeared blank when he first found it. He also was not alone on that island after all. I have a feeling that we may have seen a glimpse of the man who gave him his current identity.
Present Day Oliver also had to struggle with life, but this time it was between keeping his promise to his father and respecting the legacy Robert left for him. A lot of this felt very much like Bruce Wayne in the recent Batman films, but unlike Bruce, Oliver completely abandoned his duties in his father's company for a life of debauchery. I don't think it was the right choice for his character, but it will likely work out for the entertainment value of the series; office life would be very boring.
Diggle's character was also given a chance to grow. I really enjoyed the way he began fighting back against Oliver's dangerous life, but his actual fighting was by far the most impressive. Not only did he successfully take out a few thugs, he managed to fight off China White for a while. It was also great how he noticed that Oliver has some abilities he shouldn't have. I don't think it will be long before he learns Ollie's secret now, perhaps in the next episode or two.
I loved the way Detective Daddy uses police resources to protect his daughter after telling the murder suspect she is fighting that he has no conflict of interest. I guess he plays by the rules until his family is in danger. Also, Quentin may be realizing that the green menace isn't as bad as he made him out to be, but he still disagrees with his tactics. It will be interesting to see if he comes around.
The rest of Oliver's entourage didn't get much time this episode. They all appear to be having problems accepting our hero's return into their lives, especially Thea. The writers really need to build these other characters more, although the episodes have been so packed so far, there hasn't been any time.
The villains also need to be built up more. So far they have little or no story, which makes them all feel very generic. I am sure that recurring villains will feel more lifelike as the series progresses, but the one episode villains need more work too. So far they all feel like punching bags and moving targets. Moria is the only exception, but her character is more of a mystery than a serious threat.
As I stated in the review for the pilot, the narration has to go; it just doesn't match the rest of the episode. Perhaps once he gets people to talk to about his plans they will be able to scrap it and place it in conversation instead.
So far I am really enjoying Arrow, but I hope that more background into the other characters will be revealed, and other kinks get worked out as the series continues.
Reviewer's Rating: 4/5