Oliver Steps Up As Star City’s “Candidate” On This Week’s Episode Of Arrow

Credit: The CW
Credit: The CW

After several months of summer break it feels almost cathartic not having to wait that long again for a new episode of our favorite TV show. While Arrow’s season premiere set up this year’s mood and journey, episode two, “The Candidate,” has us jump right back into action.

Team Arrow – Better Than Ever?
The opening scene proves that even though there is still tension between its members, Team Arrow is back to doing what they do best: fighting crime and making Star City a little better each time. While the team has had various configurations in the past, this one seems to be one of the strongest. The stunts in those first few minutes of the episode had our jaws dropping to the floor, wondering what fight coordinator James Bamford will come up with next. Laurel flying down that grappling hook arrow? Amazing! It is especially the in-fight synchronicity between the siblings that makes us want to believe that Team Arrow has it all figured out.

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Interfamilial Rivalry
BUT television does not work without a conflict, and Arrow offers plenty. One of them being the consequences of Thea’s resurrection in Nanda Parbat. Ra’s al Ghul had warned Oliver that the people who come out of the Lazarus Pit are not always the people who went in. Thea has become more aggressive in her fighting, recklessly hurting people to gather intel or even going as far as burning them alive. Her actions are cause for concern, but when Oliver tries to approach the matter, Thea fights back – literally. As entertaining as seeing the Queen family fight together is, it is mesmerizing to see them fight each other.

The Star City Candidate
This week’s episode centers on Jessica Danforth, a friend of the late Moira Queen. She publicly announces her intention of running for major, which is promptly shut down by a gunman, proving just how dangerous wanting to make a change in this city can be. While Jessica initially refuses to give up her candidacy, the abduction of her daughter results in a change of heart. There are some risks the Danforth family is not willing to take. The idea behind Jessica’s candidacy inspires a call for action in Oliver – he does not only want to work towards making Star City safer at night, he wants to be more than a shadow in the darkness; Oliver wants to become a symbol of hope for the city and its population. By the end of the episode, Oliver announces that he will step into his mother’s footsteps and run for major himself.

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Anarchy Breakout
Lonnie Machin is your average bad guy. He has worked for some familiar names before, such as the Triad or the Bertinelli family, but presently he is interested in working for Darhk’s organization, now officially identified as HIVE. But butting heads with an incredibly sassy Damien Darhk does not seem like a clever idea. In a solo mission Lonnie abducts Madison Danforth in order to stop her mother from running for major. While Team Arrow manages to contain this particular situation, Machin escapes and we bet he is getting ready to wreak even more havoc. This is not the last we’ve seen of Anarky, a villain in the making.

Leadership Qualities
Back at Palmer Technologies we meet the newest addition to the cast in the form of Echo Kellum’s Curtis Holt. While Felicity believes her return to PT comes with the possibility of saving the company and Ray’s legacy, she is quickly met with the sad reality: being the boss of a multimillion dollar company means firing people. Initially fired, Curtis eventually becomes Felicity’s right hand man, or dare we say sidekick, and this is a dynamic we want to see more of. However, not only this budding friendship has us glued to our screens, it is also the way Felicity handles being CEO. She is bossy and determined but remains funny and quirky, something that we have missed during the last, admittedly darker, season. Do not get us started on Oliver packing her lunch – husband material. With Felicity as CEO of Palmer Tech and Oliver running for major, this couple is on its way to becoming actual Star City royalty.

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Nanda Parbat Road Trip?
Thea confides in Laurel and tells her about the time she was resurrected by the Lazarus Pit. This motivates Laurel to take action, to do every possible thing to save her own deceased sister. While lying to the rest of the team about their whereabouts, Laurel and Thea dig up Sara’s grave – something we wish we could unsee – and take off for Nanda Parbat. We already know this won’t end well. But on the bright side – the return of Sara Lance is upon us!

Flashing Back
Back in 2010 on Lian Yu, Oliver is attacked by a soldier, which he quickly and ruthlessly eliminates, giving information about how close this Oliver’s mind set is to the one’s we met in the pilot episode. He gets purposely captured and brought back to a camp, where he is recognized as Oliver Queen and then offered to take over the deceased soldier’s job. We say goodbye to the horrendous flashback wig and spot a clean shaven and dapper Oliver. We are more than willing to follow your every order, Mister Queen. But this version of Oliver is far from the present time’s hero. The scenario they are setting up for this season already piqued our interest. One question remains: how does Oliver end up looking like he did in the pilot episode?

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Favorite Lines
“You’ve been gone. You don’t know what this city’s facing. And I’m not saying it doesn’t need saving, but a guy hiding behind a mask isn’t going to get it done. What this city needs is someone willing to stand up in the light of day, not a guy lurking around in the shadows.” – Captain Lance

Catch Arrow Wednesdays at 8/7 ct on The CW!

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