After numerous 'bombshell' announcements regarding the direction of not only this show, but of the greater cinematic direction for the entire DC line of characters, there is a lot of pressure on Arrow to perform. Announcements have ranged from the direction of this show, the introduction of new, and beloved, characters and potentially setting up characters for big screen debuts based on the strength of ratings for Arrow. That's a lot to live up to, and Arrow starts off up to the task.
At the beginning of season two we find Oliver Queen back on the island, running away from Starling City and his problems there. As Diggle and Felicity arrive at the island, it's a foregone conclusion that they will be able to talk Oliver into coming back to Starling City, but what we weren't expecting is his hesitation in taking the mantle of The Vigilante/The Hood back on.
It is only after a series of crimes, culminating in the capture of his sister, Thea, by the new 'Hood Gang' that Oliver reluctantly dons his own hood in an effort to rescue her.
If you've seen this episode already, then you know that the big character/plot shift comes in regard to Oliver's approach to how he will operate as the hood. He will no longer take lives if it can be avoided, much more closely resembling the Green Arrow we know from comic books.
Numerous things have changed this season, as Detective Lance is now just Officer Lance, following a demotion. Olivers mother, Moira, is now in prison for her role in what happened in the Glades at the end of season one. Walter is still in the picture, though not as Moira's husband, but as Oliver's benefactor. Summer Glau joins the cast as a new business partner of sorts to Oliver after she tried to take over Queen Consolidated by force, and ended up as an equal partner instead. Roy Harper is now out taking on vigilante efforts on his own, in a Red Arrow-esque hoodie no less! And finally, we got a tease of the first new edition to the superhero cast in Starling City as Roy was attempting to fight off a group of criminals attacking a woman in an alley, only to be saved by Black Canary!
I geeked out pretty hard over that moment, being a huge Black Canary fan, and I'm sure a lot of you did as well.
I believe that next week we will see the introduction of Barry Allen, though not as The Flash, so it appears that Warner Brothers will be expediting the introductions of superheroes into the Arrow universe somewhat quickly, possibly in an attempt to cross some of those characters over into big screen roles.
So, what did you think of the season premiere of Arrow?