Season Two of Arrow was a highlight of the show so far, and gave the audience a glimpse of what this show can give to fans of DC Comics. However, there seemed to be many viewers who have compared Amell’s portrayal of the character to a different DC Comics character. The tone of the show and the similar plot lines can easily be compared to Batman, so it’s not surprising that many people have made that comparison.
Billionaire playboy, who’s parents are killed, leaving him to fight for justice in a costume with high tech gear. Both characters have faced off against the infamous mercenary Deathstroke in the comics, and have sidekicks in a red costume. There are so many comparisons to Oliver Queen, Bruce Wayne and their alter ego’s that some people use it to complain about Green Arrow, but what a lot of those people forget, is that Green Arrow was created to help regain interest in Batman, so yes, he was created to be almost a copy of Batman, but over the years, the character has escaped that shadow and made his own mark in the DC Universe.
With that being said, Season Three of Arrow, seems to have only pushed those comparisons even further, by bringing in one of Batman’s greatest foes. An enemy so frightening because not only does he control an army of killers, but he also has an unstoppable presence. His name is Ra’s Al Ghul (portrayed by Matt Nable), and he soon became an enemy of Oliver Queen.
This season introduced new characters such as Ray Palmer (portrayed by Brandon Routh) who later becomes the hero known as The Atom. Brandon Routh is probably more famous for his role as Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman in Superman Returns (2006) who as we know is a farmboy turned superhero/journalist. In Arrow however, Routh portrays a charming and billionaire who takes over Queen Consolidated and rebrands not only the company but the entire city from Starling City to Star City.
It also introduces us to Ted Grant (portrayed by J.R.Ramirez), a former vigilante based in the Glades, who fought criminals even before The Hood showed up. Wildcat is known in the comics, as a boxing mentor to Black Canary, Batman and even Superman, but in Arrow, we see him training Laurel Lance who later goes on to become the Black Canary, but Ted Grant himself does not put on his costume in the series. He keeps his costume, along with other memorabillia such as newspaper clippings from his days as a vigilante, in a storage locker. Oliver comes across Ted during an episode where Grant is being set up for murder.
Other characters introduced in this season include Cupid (Amy Gumenik), Digger Harkness a.k.a Captain Boomerang (Nick E. Tarabay), Danny Brickwell a.k.a Brick (Vinnie Jones), Donna Smoak (Charlotte Ross), Tatsu Yamashiro a.k.a Katan (Rila Fukushima), Maseo Yamashiro (Karl Yune) and more. Among the new characters, we also get to see Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) finally suit up and become his comicbook alter ego Arsenal, which is a great addition to the team and a great way to evolve Roy’s character.
The mid season finale of this season was very dramatic with a huge shock to fans, as we see Oliver Queen face off against Ra’s Al Ghul in a one on one fight to the death, which you would usually suspect to end in favour of the hero but this show dares to defy, and ended with a shocking scene that see Oliver fall at the hands of Ra’s Al Ghul. This episode was incredible to see because it had so much impact and with it being the mid season finale, as a viewer having to wait so long to see what happens next was painful. It ensured that those viewers that had stayed faithful to the show, would come back for more when the show returned.
This season didn’t seem to have the same tension and impact that season two had, and that’s no fault of the cast, but perhaps of the writers. The writers of this show are incredibly talented and always push themselves to be the best they can be, but sometimes they fall short of making the series the best it can be. The story was decent, and the idea was great, but I think the execution and was a little less than excellent. This does not mean the season is bad, because personally I think this is a great season, and certainly not the worst one of the series.
It also includes one of the first true crossovers between The Flash and Arrow (which started in The Flash Season One, Episode 8: Flash vs. Arrow). In this episode of the crossover, Oliver and his team continue the search for Digger Harkness, who Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) later names Captain Boomerang.
Blake Neely returns as always with a brilliant score to help add emotion and intensity to the scenes of the episodes. His score continues to build a great atmosphere to the entire season, and make every episode that little bit better.
Overall this episode gets a 3.5/5 from me because whilst it certainly wasn’t the worst season of all, it wasn’t one of the best but without it we may not have had the introduction of so many great characters. The storyline with Ra’s Al Ghul and Oliver Queen was one that I thought helped build the character of Green Arrow that we know in the later seasons.