The Dark Knight quickly became the definitive superhero film, largely influencing the style and look of Arrow’s first season. However, by the beginning of the second season, Arrow had found its own style and character, making it one of the best network shows on television. Unlike films, the television format of Green Arrow provides more time for character development, not only for Ollie, but also the supporting cast.
Oliver’s Parallel Development
A fan-favorite element of Arrow has been the parallel storytelling of both the present day adventures of Oliver and his flashbacks to the five years he spent on the Island. Each episode features an internal conflict that Oliver must overcome in order to save the day – whether it is making life-or-death decisions or putting others before himself. The use of parallel storytelling not only fills in exposition about how Oliver became the Arrow, but it also gives heart and reason behind his actions.
As Oliver evolved from the “vigilante” into the more heroic Arrow, Slade Wilson transformed from the friendly mercenary into the terrifying villain, known as Deathstroke. As a mentor in season one, Manu Bennett was a beloved character with the potential to be a sympathetic and terrifying villain in season two. Although Deathstroke’s reasoning for revenge towards Oliver seemed forced at times, his on-screen villainy was mesmerizing, with Bennett’s performance as its backbone.
Deathstroke’s defeat felt just, given the two season long journey the character was on. Through one of Oliver’s flashbacks, the audience grasps that the defeat of Deathstroke worked as closure for Ollie in more ways than one.
The midseason finale of Arrow received extra hype, due to the appearance of Barry Allen, the man who would later become the fastest man alive and star in his own show, The Flash. Played by Grant Gustin, his guest spot in two episodes during the second season of Arrow certainly piqued the interest of Flash fans that were looking forward to seeing the superhero finally make a live-action screen debut (Who’s counting the one season Flash show?). The season finale received plenty of publicity, due to the promise of showing the trailer for the upcoming Flash show.
Written by: Kyle Ruckert
+ Oliver’s parallel development as a hero
+ Deathstroke’s strength as a terrifying villain
+ An influx of more DC Comics characters, like Flash, Amanda Waller, and Nyssa al Ghul
– Weak characters in Roy and Isabel Rochev