‘Arrow’ season 2, episode 2 review: Why ‘Identity’ left Oliver Queen up against the wall

Take a look -Maybe at this point, we have a soft spot for “Arrow.” It’s easy to therefore ignore some of the things that the series does wrong, mostly because there are so many things that it does manage to do right.

For one, it captures what it really means to be a comic-book hero on television, and the various influences that are weighing on you. For Oliver Queen, this is a man in a no-win situation. The people of Starling City want to see the Hood’s head on a platter for things that he is not even responsible for doing. They just want a scapegoat, and it is easy to blame him as a sort of infamous public figure. He will almost likely never be a hero in the eyes of all of them, just because of the trail of violence that comes with the territory.

As for Oliver himself, he’s seen as nothing more than a rich kid who doesn’t care. That is why this episode was fitting titled “Identity,” as it was an exploration not only into who Oliver is, but how perception plays a huge role in how you can effectively do your job. Take for instance Alderman Blood, whose identity seems to be opportunist. He is forging his own political career out of turning other people into poster children for bad behavior; or, look at how Laurel has turned herself into some sort of hard-nosed employee of the DA, desperate enough to blame the vigilante just so she can find solace after Tommy’s death.

While it was disappointing that the Canary cliffhanger from last week went nowhere, just getting the chance to see Roy Harper’s evolution was enough for this week. Oliver at least now has him working as a helper of his alter ego, and not someone who is going to get himself killed or arrested. This is a smart move, since he can now being a better protector for Thea in the process.

Finally, kudos for having Felicity go through her own identity crisis when she realized that her new career path being Oliver’s “assistant,” was something certainly unworthy of her skill set. But, as Diggle said, he has to walk around with the title of Oliver’s “black driver” … and it’s all for the greater good. Can we beg the producers to not kill Diggle again? We’re still worried about it.

“Identity” was a strong episode, one that set the stage further for the rest of the season. Let’s just continue to hope that the momentum stays in this positive direction for a while longer. Grade: A-

If you do want to see some more news pertaining to “Arrow” season 2, just be sure to click here if you want to watch a preview for next week’s installment.

Photo: The CW

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