Arrow : A thoroughly great 'Arrow' episode!

A thoroughly great 'Arrow' episode!

'Second Chances' I mean. I thought I wouldn't care much for it what with yet another new Black Canary replacement being forced down our throats but...I have to say I kinda loved the episode by the time the credits rolled.

-The flashbacks were AWESOME. We're definitely now at the home-run of Oliver's five years away and we get answers to questions that have plagued us since the pilot. Talia is proving to be a fascinating character who has the potential to surpass Nyssa (and definitely surpasses Ra's al Ghul already!) That she was going to be one of Oliver's many mentors was a given, but they've found a clever way to tie together Oliver's earliest days on the island with the final months of his exile by linking Talia to Yao Fei and having her be the one who leads him to ultimately adopt the persona of 'the man in the green hood' in order to be 'someone else, something else'. The poignancy of that apart - seeing Oliver and Talia being badasses cutting through a small army of Russian mobsters is a cool sight!

-The thematic linkage between the flashback and present-day narrative was great too this week. Oliver's mentorship of fellow vigilantes (and Barry Allen) takes on a new light when you consider how he himself was mentored by Talia - to harness the darkness within him by becoming a force against evil. It also gives a deeper psychological insight into why Oliver and by extension all those he has trained feel the need to 'suit up' beyond mere identity concealment.

-I like the direction Felicity's arc is heading in. For too long, her story has been tied either to Oliver or to her romance with Oliver. If Felicity as a character is to have a future on this show beyond Olicity, she needs to have a story-arc that DOESN'T directly revolve around Oliver or Team Arrow (or, for that matter, either of her parents). Nearly every character on the show has taken a turn to darkness during its run - Oliver too many times to count, Thea nearly as much, Lance when he lost both daughters (even if one came back), Diggle after what happened with see Felicity, the very definition of the 'token light-hearted character' on an otherwise dark show, to herself take a turn towards darkness would be something worth watching no doubt.

-Its great that the 'Diggle being framed' story is FINALLY getting somewhere. Now that Dig's no longer a fugitive or prisoner, maybe now they can finally bring it to its final conclusion by giving us the true story behind Walker (something we might just be getting next week with the 'Bratva' episode).

-And finally...Dinah Drake. The issues with the rather abrupt 'replacement' of Laurel aside, as a character on her own merits, she is pretty darn near perfect! A kick-ass fighter with a dark edge, she fits perfectly into Team Arrow. Plus she's got an honest-to-God Canary Cry. And a backstory that at least thematically resonates with the comic-book Black Canary backstories (cop background, personal loss etc.) I don't know where they are going with her and I still hope for the return of Katie Cassidy and some version of Laurel - but if Dinah Drake is here to stay then I could in time learn to live with that!

Formerly sn939