By Ryan Rigley
Taking place a few months after the events of the season one finale, last night's "Arrow," entitled "City of Heroes," starts off with what you assume is a flashback but is then revealed to be present day Oliver Queen running through the dense forests of Lian Yu. Apparently, he has not taken the death of his best friend, Tommy Merlyn, well at all. Never the less, Diggle and Felicity somehow manage to find Oliver on this mysterious island in the middle of nowhere and successfully persuade him to come back to Starling City.
In the wake of Malcolm Merlyn's wrath, the Glade lies in ruin with the percentage of homeless people in Starling City now at an all time high. Not to mention the hundreds of people that were killed during the season finale. Returning to his hometown, Oliver makes one thing perfectly clear; he's not back to be the hood. He's back to protect his family and Queen Consolidated.
At Club Verdant, which is now apparently owned by the youngest member of the Queen family, Thea and Roy make out passionately in a dimly lit room. Apparently, Roy has been playing vigilante since last we saw him. Then, Oliver walks in. Thea explains to her brother that she will not be visiting their mother, Moira, at the Iron Heights prison because she thinks of her as a murderer and a liar.
On the other side of town, Laurel attends a classy press conference with her new boss, the district at tourney. Suddenly, the mayor of Starling City is shot dead on live television. Laurel manages to defend herself against the masked gunmen who have dubbed themselves "The Hoods" thanks to a number of self defense classes. Oliver shows up, having seen Laurel on the news, and the two talk about Tommy and how hooking up with each other was a mistake.
The next day, Oliver pays Queen Consolidated a visit and sits down with the Vice President of rival company Stellmore International, Isabel Rochev. Isabel begins explaining to Oliver that they each share 45% of Queen Consolidated stock, with the remaining 10% being put up for sale the following day. Oliver realizes that he doesn't have enough money to buy the 10% of stock required to win back the company. Suddenly, the Hoods barge in and attempt to assassinate Oliver Queen.
Successfully evading his would-be assassins, Oliver heads over to Iron Heights to seek business advice from his dear old mother. Moira advises Oliver not to trust Isabel. Meanwhile, at Club Verdant, the Hoods shoot up a crowded dance floor and hold Thea Queen at gunpoint. Roy attempts to save his girlfriend, but Thea is taken before he can do anything to stop them.
In a flashback, Oliver, Slade, and Shado come to the realization that they are not alone on Lian Yu after one of Fyres' radars begins bleeping. Searching for the unknown heat signatures, Shado is soon taken by the mysterious men causing Oliver to lash out and beat a man to death with a rock.
Back in present day, Oliver decides to suit up once more in order to save his kidnapped sister. Heading over to an abandoned church near the Glades, the Hoods contemplate murdering Thea for her mother's crimes. At this point, Thea realizes that her mother was in the right this entire time. Just then, Oliver shows up and incapacitates all of the Hoods taking care not to kill a single one.
Officer Lance shows up to discover a gaggle of hooded men chained to a fence. When Lance asks why the sudden change, the vigilante replies that he's trying something new. Oliver, of course, has decided not to kill his enemies anymore in honor of his dead friend, Tommy Merlyn.
The next day, Thea finally pays her mother a visit in jail. At Queen Consolidated, Oliver calls in a favor from a friend, Walter Steele, who manages to buy up the 10% of Queen Consolidated needed to control the company. With that, Oliver and Isabel Rochev are now business partners.
Later that night, Roy attempts to stop a woman from being mugged/raped but is interrupted by the appearance of a mysterious female vigilante. Could this be the Black Canary? Meanwhile, at the Arrowcave, Oliver decides that he doesn't want to be called the Hood anymore. From this point on, he will be known as Green Arrow.
"City of Heroes" does an astounding job of setting up things to come in the rest of this season. Not only is Roy on the direct path to becoming the Green Arrow's sidekick, but we also have the appearance of the Black Canary and another hidden hint towards a well-known superhero. In a news report playing in the background, it's revealed that S.T.A.R. Labs has been working on a particle accelerator that should be done by Christmas. This, of course, is pointing directly to Barry Allen, a.k.a. the Scarlet Speedster known as the Flash! Ironically, his arrival cannot come soon enough.
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