Some people think that the best episodes of a show are the ones that delve into some great storylines, have amazing action, maybe a twist or two, and tie it up in a nice bow. And they’re right. But, there are also great episodes that just focus on characters, focus on their stories, and make it all worth it. “Second Chances” was definitely that.
With the hunt for a new Black Canary officially on, it was interesting to see the depths that Team Arrow was going to in order to find a replacement. And for the record, they had some very qualified choices. Although you’d have to wonder if they would actually agree to be vigilantes…but whatever. This showed us that while Oliver wants to honor Laurel’s wish…he’s still suffering from losing her, and “replacing” her seems like a betrayal. Though as Diggle wisely noted, it’s not the same thing.
Which brings us to Tina, a completely original character made specifically for Arrow, and though her real name is a nudge to fans in a way, it’s nice to know they’re bringing in a character with no true ties to DC Comics, much like Diggle and Felicity were in Season 01.
Now yes, Tina’s arc was predictable, though I was intrigued by not only her origin, but the origin of her nemesis….who may have been Sonar? Just saying. Also, I liked how she wasn’t talked down by Oliver at any point basically, especially at the end when she shot Sonar despite his obvious intent to have her spare him.
This was good for many reasons, but mostly, it proved that not everyone is virtuous, and that’s ok. Especially when it was that action that led to her joining the team.
Speaking of new teams, Felicity’s journey to the “dark side” grew when she met…um…well…another her. Personality quirks and all. While that may SOUND unsettling, I thought it was actually pretty cool. Why? Because this girl was inspired by the “hacktivist” Felicity we met in Season 03. And that’s pretty cool because who’s to say only heroes like Batman and Green Arrow inspire people? Plus, her “invitation” to return to her hacktivist ways could be a good clue as to where she’s going in the future.
And, her actions got Diggle out of prison temporarily, and while I don’t think that storyline is over just yet, it was very good progress on two fronts.
But for me, I think the flashbacks were the best part of the episode. As we got to meet Talia Al Ghul in person for more than 5 seconds, and learn quite a bit about her. For those thinking she’d just be like Nyssa, don’t, they’re two VERY different people. Talia seems much more refined, whereas Nyssa was very emotional. Also, we learned that Talia trained Yao Fey…because why not? And, it’s Talia who inspires Oliver to be The Hood/Arrow in Season 01. Where do they go from here? Not sure. But it’s going to be fun!
Small note here, I want to give props to the action teams for this episode. Both the flashbacks and the present day fights were extremely tight and cool. Well done.
In the end, “Second Chances” mixed a bit of old and new and gave a surprisingly deep episode for many characters. Arrow is rolling along at a good pace, and it seems we’re heading to the motherland next episode…exciting!