Arrow (season 2)

"Your reticence to do what is necessary is why your city burns." - Nyssa

release year: 2013-14
genre: TV action/adventure
viewing setting: home DVD 10/3/-12/14

synopsis: After returning to his city and fighting crime, Oliver Queen decides to try the non-lethal approach, but makes some mistakes and has some problems.

impressions: The good: lots of characters, complex plots, many nods to various comic books, plenty of action. The bad: simply put, Oliver/Arrow's decision to not kill...causes more people to BE killed. In other words, more lives are being lost because he won't kill bad guys (who then go on to kill innocents.) So in sum, each worthless bad guy's life spared causes multiple non-bad guys' lives to end. This equation simply doesn't balance. Other minor things: on the rare occasions when he does kill, he never checks to make sure they're dead, which always comes back to haunt him...tiny masks don't hide your identity from people who've known your alter-ego for years...Oliver takes blame for things that aren't his fault, and doesn't take blame for the things that are. But enough character study. The show is good, and makes effective use of flashbacks; I just think I'd be a different sort of vigilante.

acting: Stephen Amell is the athletic hero who, despite all of his training and experience, is still learning. David Ramsey is his loyal, tough partner. Emily Bett Rickards is the IT chick who gets more involved in the missions and also has a crush on Oliver. Caity Lotz is one sister (who's a vigilante herself) and Katie Cassidy is the other (who's a lawyer with some personal problems.) Paul Blackthorne is their father, a cop who's realized that the vigilante's methods are more effective. Willa Holland is Oliver's sister, and Susanna Thompson is his mother - both of whom grow stronger this season. Manu Bennett is a skilled mercenary who becomes a super-powered skilled mercenary. Colton Haynes is Thea's boyfriend, who has a temper problem. Dylan Neal is an evil scientist from the flashbacks. There are many others in minor roles.

final word: Well-done comic hero television.

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