Arrow: City of Heroes

Arrow returned from its freshman hiatus to find Momma Queen in the clink, a teenage Thea presumedly graduated from high school and now running the bar, and Oliver back on the island by choice in a self-imposed exile to get his head right about Tommy.

We start with Felicity and Diggle on a bi-plane parachuting in to get Oliver to come home. It works, only he arrives home just after a hooded gang kills the mayor within line of sight of Laurel, and her new boss, the DA. That’s not the only thing waiting for Oliver–Queen Consolidated¬† is about to be overrun by Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau).

The two problems collide on Oliver’s first day back at work and he gets Rochev to safety and then Tarzan-style whips Felicity out one window and through another one floor below. But he very sweetly checks to make sure he hasn’t injured her after they hit the floor. (He also does the Tarzan trick to get her off a land mine on the island).

The Laurel/Oliver thing gets addressed and then resolved with an asterisk as they agree that they can be friends but cannot be lovers.¬† They have the first chat when Oliver comes to the gala where Laurel is a witness and then later at Tommy’s grave. They also revisit Oliver’s guilt over her sister, so that’s not totally done, either.

Momma Queen is sitting in jail and Thea has been punishing her but not going to see her. Oliver makes a stop as soon as he’s home and then she helps him thwart the Queen Consolidate takeover by suggesting he call Walter, who comes through with the funds they need. When Thea is kidnapped from the club by the hood gang, she finally realizes how much a pickle her mom had been in with Malcolm Merlin and goes to see her and they reconcile and all is forgiven.

Roy is still doing the super-secret nighttime patrolling and he’s interrupted by a blonde after he lies to Thea that he’s on the way back to her with dinner, so there’s another new player (or maybe a reappearance of Kelly Hu?).

Oliver suits back up to rescue Thea but this time he brings the guys alive to now-patrolman Lance instead of leaving their bodies, and that drives his new mandate, which Felicity and Diggle go along with, because any Hood is better than no Hood and the city needs a hero. So the new goal is to find some sort of balance where he’s effective without being mercenary.

And we close with him realizing “The Hood” is so season one, so stay tuned for his new masked man moniker.

I really liked the premiere. I’m okay with Oliver refocusing his efforts, and I like that he’ll have to have a day job. I hope we find out exactly how an 18-year old is running the bar and whether she ever graduated. I also wonder if they lost the house since momma went away.

And I’m glad that they have established the Undertaking as something that had huge ramifications for the city. We’ll see what they do with it. I’m guessing that’s going to be the hook this season, that instead of finding people who have failed this city, Oliver’s going to face the people failed by the Undertaking.

And I’m guessing the backpedal on Laurel opens the door for something at some point with Felicity? We’ll see. I do wonder where she got the money (Queen Consolidated R&D?) to redo the lair.

Here are sneak peeks of tonight’s new episode, “Identity,” which airs at 8 pm E/7 C on The CW in the U.S. and CTV in Canada.

Photo courtesy of Cate Cameron/The CW

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