‘Arrow’: The Hood’s Crusade 2.0

Published 11 months ago by

Stephen Amell and David Ramsey in Arrow Identity Arrow: The Hoods Crusade 2.0

[This is a review of Arrow Season 2 Episode 2. It contains SPOILERS.]

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Since coming back from the island, Oliver has not been the man that he was before. That goes for both instances: The time he came home after spending five years supposedly stuck on Lian Yu, and after his brief stint there during the season 2 premiere. For whatever reason, the island is a transformative place, as well as the starting point from which Arrow propels Oliver Queen in whatever direction he’ll be headed next.

Showing Lian Yu in more than just the flashbacks helps tie season 2 back into the series premiere and that sense of direction the character had from the second he stepped foot back in Starling City. But after the series made the move to end the first leg of the Hood’s journey in what amounted to a massive failure, topped off with an unthinkable death toll, it made sense that Oliver would have to undergo some kind of mental and spiritual reboot, even while the world around him kept right on going.

In addition, bringing the story back to the island also works by giving the audience a chance to see what shaped Oliver and turned him into the kind of person he is today. We understand where he obtained his physical abilities – hanging out with Slade and Shado, one is likely to pick up a few tricks – but understanding the psychological shift that took him from being the spoiled son of a billionaire to a vigilante willing to kill for what he believed in wasn’t quite as clear. And to a certain extent, it’s still unclear; we’ve only just begun to see glimpses of his change under Slade and Shado’s tutelage. And while the ‘Identity’ goes to great lengths to show the initial struggles Oliver had coming to terms with almost instinctively killing a man to protect someone he cared about, the episode also does a nice job of illustrating how the character views himself in the wake of the Glades earthquake - and especially Tommy’s death.

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger in Arrow Identity Arrow: The Hoods Crusade 2.0

To that end, ‘Identity’ makes it clear in several different ways that, although his quest is essentially a morally principled one, Oliver Queen has more than just the blood of evil doers on his hands. And that’s not counting the other, more troublesome Blood he has on his hands with regard to Kevin Alejandro’s Alderman Sebastian Blood (a.k.a. Brother Blood), who, with his growing legion of supporters, is quickly turning not just the Glades, but all of Starling City against Oliver Queen’s civilian identity.

So with an action-packed second episode, Arrow marks the next transition for not only Oliver Queen, but the rest of the characters in the series as well. While we see personal and professional shifts in Diggle and Felicity, those Oliver has done battle with in the past have chosen to bolster their ranks, as China White does by brining Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White) along while the triad is hijacking FEMA medical supplies headed to the Glades.

This approach of greater force meeting Oliver’s shift to non-lethal tactics presents an interesting challenge for a vigilante who is fighting to present himself as a hero, even if the city he’s trying to protect and people like Laurel may always see him as a villain. It’s a familiar conundrum, but one that seems entirely appropriate for the story that Arrow is trying to tell.

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Arrow continues next Wednesday with ‘Broken Dolls’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below:

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  1. This was A good story but I’m still curious about the Japanese troops in the cave. I also want to know more about Black Canary.

    • That Canary likes my perch.
      If she goes to dinner with me, I promise the meal won’t be “seedy”.

  2. That Green Arrow/Bronze Tiger piggy-back image will never not be funny.

    • Are they Humping ???

  3. Great episode! Season 2 has been superior in every way to season 1 so far. Great start

  4. One of the more entertaining series out there right now.

  5. I quite enjoyed the effect (granted, seen many times before in similar circumstances in shows and movies) of Blood’s predatory speech played with the images of Laurel’s reaction AND Arrow’s ride to save the supply delivery. The irony of the verbalized perception versus the grimmer reality was beautifully presented. A couple of the dialogue bits between Arrow and China White/Bronze Tiger WERE cringe-worthy, but I loved the episode otherwise. I very much appreciated Oliver’s recruitment of Roy…to NOT physically engage the enemies of Starling City. I liked that he did it with a RED arrow.

    The march toward true (or, at least, truly UNDERSTOOD) heroism continues…

  6. This episode was good, but was missing a couple characters, glad to see them back next week! hopefully we will be seeing more of Summer soon.

  7. good ep loved diggles line ” i’m just his black driver” lollol. Cant wait to see black canary

  8. Great Episode. Kevin Alejandro is the perfect casting choice for Brother Blood, can’t wait to see how that develops. Michael Jai White is great i wish they would of choreographed his fight better though it was a little sluggish. the ending, hot damn they’re not messing about, i’m sure Oliver will sneak away somehow but still that happened sooner then I thought it would. CW for the love of all that is holly please give Manu Bennett his own spinoff, he is awesome.

  9. This might just be one of the best episodes the show has put out so far.
    I loved it! A good story, brilliant executed. They also managed to stay on focus and there was hardly any melodrama or unnecessarily corny and sappy dialogue, which is something I’ve kinda started getting used to seeing from Arrow, but now I hope they can continue with the way this episode went.
    All in all a great, action packed episode with realistic drama and humor.

    There’s just one thing that bugs me: China White must now know that Oliver is Green Arrow. She saw Diggle’s face in this episode while he was fighting alongside GA, and she’s also saw/fought Diggle back in season 1 when Diggle was protecting Oliver Queen, his employer – so she knows the face, and she knows who he works for… it shouldn’t be a stretch to assume she can put two-and-two together

    • I was thinking the same thing. The only resolution I can think of is some kind of “honor between assassin’s” code.

    • The only thing I could think of with that is that she would rather take him out herself (or have bronze tiger do it) rather than put his name all over or tip off the cops. Maybe its a pride thing also.

  10. China White called him the “Emerald Archer!” That made me so happy.
    They are killing it this season!

    • Yes!! That made me smile big! Hopefully he gets called that more often.

      This episode has surpassed every episode I’ve seen the writing was fantastic and the story was very strong! The fight scenes continue to be a strong part of the show. The references to the furtire. The bond he now shares with Roy which I loved. Dig needs to become arsenal and Roy can be speedy. Te cliffhanger was especially exciting and not foreseen.
      The characters all seem better this season and I absolutely loved season 1 but the actors seem more in tune with who their playing and I love it.

      The island scenes have always been a favorite. I bet that shado tears him and slade apart. Also I wonder If their getting off the island soon. Cuz they get off at some point then go back. Still lot of ground to cover on the island and I look forward to it.

      Quick question. Anyone notice how their dressing felicity this season so far. Not complaining just wondering the reason to specialize her tight dresses. She was hot before.
      Also she is the funniest character on te show. Her comedic relief is the best.
      But diggle had the line of the show, ” I’m just his black driver” had me cracking up.

  11. The question is no longer, “Where have you been Oliver Queen, but what have you done for me lately?”

    Anybody else catch that?

    For those that need a reference watch Eddie Murphy: RAW.

  12. No wolverine jokes? No, not anyone? Ah, that was all I came here for

  13. Loved seeing Felicity step-up and show she has a pair as she railed against being “promoted” to executive assistant then again when Oliver was getting all sappy about his relationship sacrifices. And no, that’s not an endorsement for an Oliver/Felicity relationship. That should NEVER happen. Such a thing would put this show straight on a Smallville soap opera trajectory.

  14. Season One was great but Season Two is hitting on all cylinders and this is only Episode Two. It’s hard to believe all the suspense that is brought so far. The storytelling is tighter the characters have found their marks. Well done!

  15. Yes yes yes

  16. Rising from a 0.9 ND 2.74 premiere to a 1.1 18-49 ND 3.02 total viewers is great for a network like the cw.i wish Stephen would be part of any film green arrow ,his acting is very improved.

  17. I love the new “trick” arrows he’s sportin. Much closer to the comic. Im waiting for a pun on the ol boxing glove one

  18. great episode, those claws on bronze look stupid it’s like clumsy brass nuckles

    what happened to detective lance? they replaced his storyline with laurels

    • In the premiere, it showed he had been demoted. I don’t remember the reason.

      • Quentin has been demoted twice. After the events of “Year’s End”, he was demoted from sergeant to detective, for disobeying direct orders from his superior officer Commissioner Brian Nudocerdo. After the events of “Sacrifice”, he was demoted again from detective to officer, for associating with a known vigilante. – Arrow Wiki

  19. They forgot to mention his new name? Emerald archer… i was expecting Green Arrow, emerald archer sounds like a girl name. /disappoint

  20. Just don’t show Summer Glau anymore, and maybe just maybe Arrow will make it to season three.

  21. I think Felicity was definitely a highpoint in the episode. not only was she cracking me up but she was very easy on the eyes

    • she is not ugly.

  22. Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger to me was perfect casting. I was elated when I heard of it. A better role for him than Black Panther in my opinion- more facially (with his moustache) and physically true to comic type. Even personality wise i think. T’challa has always been to me more regal and calculated. Jai White suits more of the brash, temperamental type- which goes with the Bronze Tiger character. Considering that tigers are not naturally found in Africa I always found the name amusing but the character is interesting in Suicide Squad where I first saw him. Didn’t talk much. I wish Arrow will have more of such spot-on casting. Makes the show more exciting.

  23. Discount Wolverine.

    Honestly after last week I thought this episode would be amazing, instead it was just meh. I may just be to impatient for him to put on an actual mask, and start calling himself “Green Arrow”. The cliffhanger was a nice touch, I don’t think they’ve done that before.

  24. This is why Arrow is my #1 T.V. show. Yes the cliffhanger is new, which is something I did not expect at all, and the casting is amazing, Brother Blood is perfect and I can’t get White’s face in the picture above out of my head haha. At least it’s not kill one per episode. Bronze Tiger does indeed need a weapon upgrade :P

  25. This is the best show on TV in my opinion.

  26. I loved the episode. This season’s writing is much better, the acting is more solid, the characters are better fleshed out, and instead of being mostly episodic, the story seems to be more connected episode to episode instead of being a new name every week to cross off the list. I was a little disappointed in Bronze Tiger’s intro. They sort of just glossed over him and didn’t even mention his name. I am, however, extremely excited to see Black Canary get a proper intro next episode. I’m guessing she’s the one who comes to Oliver’s rescue since he’s got a dozen rifles pointed at him. I’m really glad they aren’t rushing the Red Arrow thing. I hope he doesn’t get trained at all this season. I feel like they have enough on their plate introducing Black Canary, building her relationship with Oliver, and introducing Barry Allen who is (eventually) the first super powered character. Save the Red Arrow intro for next season. I continue to be optimistic about this season, as much as I dislike the CW.

  27. Great episode, probably the best episode yet. I’m hoping they keep on this direction. Also the ending, geez! I’m just hoping they don’t take the easy way out and do the smoke bomb and just jump away lol.

  28. Good Job Arrow. Good Job.

  29. Now I really feel like I’m watching a DC series. It had that dark, crime solving vibe that I would get when watching a Batman animated series. I have Green Arrow (who is still called the vigilante sadly) dealing with a group of criminals targeted medical shipments. The group turning out to be the triads led by China White and her new ally Bronze Tiger (played by Michael Jai White who also plays Gambol in The Dark Knight and Spawn). It was really cool that we got DC villains as the actually villains in this weeks episode and they worked with the plot really well since it wasn’t super powered show down but simple theft and fighting skills. Yay for trick arrows! Then we have Roy Harper (Green Arrow’s sidekick in the comics as Speedy, later Red Arrow) wanting to be helpful to the city and to Green Arrow. In the end it seems he got his wish though I was hoping this was the point where GA would offer to train him but I suppose it is still too early (Roy needs to prove himself a bit more than just being a punching bag). On the other side of things we have Olive Queen struggling to keep the reputation of his family name and company. Sadly there was no good news there and at one point I thought he was going to reveal himself as GA (which does happen in the comics at one point but its way too early for that so I was thankful). We were also graced with another DC presence in Sebastian Blood aka Brother Blood (played by Kevin Alejandro) and much like his comic counterpart he seems quite the charismatic individual that has the potential to form a following. As for the island nothing really went on there besides Slade’s questioning look at Oliver and Shado and his advice to Oliver to not fall too hard for her. Shado is an antagonist and at one point a love interest of GA and I think Slade senses that she is a potential threat (which is ironic given he should be Deathstroke). The end of the episode bothered me because it was such a rookie move, GA should have known Laurel would know he would come back and lay a trap yet he got caught anyways.

    I rate this episode 8 out of 10.

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