Last week on Arrow, the team was forced to face down against an alternate-Earth Laurel Lance in the form of Black Siren. That went pretty easy and the Siren was shuttled back to lock-up, but Team Arrow still had a few things to deal with, particularly the arrest of John Diggle and a quest to find a new, improved Black Canary to round out the roster. This week, ‘Second Chances’ brings a triple dose of heroes stepping up to before the big showdown against Prometheus and whoever he happens to pick up as allies in the meanwhile.

We begin with a short origin story. Flashback to Central City – the night of the particle accelerator explosion. An undercover cop named Tina and her boyfriend are about to be offed by a bad guy. Then the explosion hits and Tina ends up picking up some nifty sonic powers as a result. Enter the new Black Canary.

Back in the present, Ollie and the crew are searching far and wide for a new Canary. After shooting down pretty much everyone that the team can come up with, Oliver finally settles on Tina when Curtis shows him a little footage of her kicking people in the face and blasting them with her voice powers. They discover she’s hanging out in Hub City, so off they go to give her the job offer of a lifetime.

They end up tracking her down, but she’s not really the play nice sort of vigilante. In fact, the second time they run into Tina, she’s practically melting some dude’s face off with her super scream. Turns out she’s on the warpath, seeking vengeance against the guy who killed her partner and knocking off anyone who gets in her way. Naturally, Oliver sees a little of his former self in this murderous Canary candidate and wants to help her.

So the plan turns from recruitment to helping Tina track down the main baddie. Unfortunately for everyone involved, this baddie also happens to be a meta. He even has the same sorts of sonic powers as Tina, although his sonic control makes people dizzy and sick as opposed to blowing them through walls. In the end, Team Arrow beats the bad guy and picks up a Black Canary replacement.

While Ollie and his crew are out busting heads, Felicity is back at home, hacking away at the NSA’s secured files in hopes of finding something that will get Diggle released from prison in one piece. When the files in question turn up missing, she has to keep digging. This leads to her meeting up with a fangirl hacker. This fangirl also just happens to be a member of a hacking group named Helix. And they just happen to have the exact files that Felicity is looking for as well as so much more. In the end, John Diggle returns to the fold, out on bail and free to fight crime once again.

And back in Oliver’s past, Talia’s whisked him away from the annoying Bratva and brought him to safety. She even agrees to help him take down Kovar, as long as he agrees to hear her out once the killing is taken care of. Talia eventually points out the obvious to Oliver – that he’s going after one single guy named Kovar when he has an entire list of people to take down thanks to his father’s journal. Finally, she gives Ollie his first Arrow costume, a real sense of purpose and the offer of even more ninja-skills training.

This week was essentially another filler episode, albeit a more interesting one than last week. Seeing Oliver get his suit for the first time was a nice touch and hopefully this spells the end of the constant flashbacks that have been a part of the show since the first season. They’re finally caught up in that respect and we can now look forward to flashbacks which directly relate to the events of any given episode instead of having the writers shoehorn them into a set timeline.

As far as the developments of this episode go, I’m happy with the new choice of Black Canary. So far, anyway. We shall see whether the actress and the character will stand the test of time, but I have no complaints thus far. The John Diggle storyline, however, has me a little less enthusiastic. They spent several episodes sending Diggle to jail, bringing him back again, sending him back to jail and then finally releasing him. Is all of this relevant to the Prometheus main arc?

One highlight was a pretty groovy gun-fu fight between Ollie and a bunch of Russian thugs. The opposite of that was the goofy Arrow-on-a-wire final fight which just felt ridiculous in the extreme. Arrow has always been hit-and-miss with action scenes. This week they managed to do both.

All-in-all, not a bad episode, though not quite a highlight of the season. Next week, we’ll be getting back to the Prometheus storyline and, gods be willing, there will be some actual development on that front and we won’t be subjected to even more buffer bad guys in a writer’s effort to fill out the season.

Category: reviews

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