Thursday, October 30, 2014

Arrow - The Complete Second Season

Past mistakes loom large in Season Two of Arrow as old friends and enemies make their way to Starling City and Oliver Queen's (Stephen Amell) journey from killer to vigilante to hero continues. Split between flashbacks from the island and his time in Starling City following the Undertaking, the show's Second Season forces the Queen family to deal with ghosts from their past and the arrival of another madman who has plans to burn the city to the ground.

Much of the season revolves around Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) and Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) who returns home, much like Oliver, changed by her experiences following the shipwreck. Flashbacks deal with Slade's exposure to the super-serum that makes him a mentally-unstable but nearly unbeatable warrior and the end of his friendship with Oliver. Slade's arrival in Starling is slow to unfold, choosing to work through subordinates such as Brother Blood (Kevin Alejandro) to build an army of warriors and destroy the city Oliver swore to protect.

Highlights from the season include Roy Harper's (Colton Haynes) exposure to the Mirakuru which almost destroys him, Oliver's crisis following his mother's death, Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) stealing control of Queen Consolidated, the return of Ollie's murderous ex-girlfriend the Huntress (Jessica De Gouw), Deathstroke's attempts to isolate Oliver from his friends and family, Diggle (David Ramsey) making peace with Deadshot and temporarily joining the Suicide Squad, Black Canary taking on the League of Assassins, and the first appearances of Clock King (Robert Knepper), the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, and a certain Central City police scientist.

There is a bit of a lag in the middle episodes as Blood's mayoral campaign stalls from time-to-time, Moira's trial gets underway (but never really gets interesting), and Laurel's descent into booze and pills often works better in the longterm of her character's arc than in individual episodes. That said, the show picks up steam again fairly quickly and improves over its sophomore season continuing to expand the universe and even create its first spin-off.

The season includes all 23 episodes on both Blu-ray and DVD, a gag reel, highlights from the show's panel at San Diego Comic-Con, deleted scenes, a look at Oliver's journey into a hero, and featurettes on the stunts and visual effects of the season.

[Warner Home Video, Blu-ray $69.97 / DVD $59.98]

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