I’ve had a hard time embracing this season, what with all the new characters and constant struggle to find some consistency, but if this episode is any indication then Arrow might have found its second wind as it continues on through its fifth season. Although not without its flaws, “Second Chances” gives us some great action, an interesting new character and flashbacks that wait for it, actually mean something.
Most shows struggle at some time when they have too many characters to manage and Arrow has really had trouble in this regard. So I was less than thrilled when they decided to make an episode that centered on finding yet another character to add, that being a replacement for Black Canary. However, the search turned out to be fun and the character is not what you would expect, save for the fact that she miraculously has the same power of Black Canary. (Hey, just don’t think about that little plot device too much and roll with it.)
The new potential Team Arrow member is Tina Boland, a meta-human who has been on the hunt for revenge for years. This is familiar territory for Oliver so it was a natural choice to try and bring her into the fold. However, she is not quite ready to jump on board Team Arrow and leaves a trail of bodies to prove that point. In some ways, she is almost a female version of Oliver when he first started his crusade, which makes you wonder which way she will eventually decide to go.
There were many solid fight scenes but none more so than the rooftop rumble that had Oliver using a helicopter to help subdue the bad guys. Using arrows, explosions and kicks to the head, this was a very well-choreographed sequence that was loads of fun. Of course, Oliver tosses aside his promise not to kill and I’m not sure if that helicopter ended up crushing anyone on street level but hey, it was still some great action.
To my utter surprise, the flashbacks this week were very useful, making use of Oliver’s mysterious new archer friend Talia in some very violent but effective ways. There is a great nod to season one when Oliver ends up putting on the original costume of The Hood as well, making the flashback one of the better ones they’ve ever done. I have no idea they will continue to be this useful but at least for this week, Arrow showed the fans that it can changes things up a bit and surprise us now and again.
The ‘save Diggle’ part of the episode was far too quick and neat for my liking, except for the part involving Felicity and the dark net. It’s not what she found that was interesting but whether it awoke the goth hacker of old to go back to her old ways and rebel again. I sure hope so because for me, her character is getting too predictable and this would be a great way to shake things up.
After last week’s disastrous “Who Are You?” Arrow came back and embraced the familiar grey area it has lounged in for quite some time, that uncomfortable space between good and evil. If this episode is any indication, they should stay here for a while as it seems to work well for both the actors and writers, with the fans of the show benefiting most of all.
Four stars out of five
- Great action and fight scenes
- New character is actually interesting with potential
- Flashbacks were useful and informative
- Did not buy the Diggle storyline of the episode