Arrow: Second Chances

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Not the most fun road trip…

In “Second Chances,” Arrow and his team go out in search of someone to be the new Black Canary. The new candidate turns out to be a cop called Tina, who gets caught while undercover. All this happens on a very important night in Central City three years ago, and as the hostage drama plays out, STAR Labs’ particle accelerator explodes, creating a crop of metahumans.

Back at the Lair, Team Arrow is going through candidates for their new Canary. Oliver is being just as reasonable about this as he is about everything else. Needless to say, he’s driving everyone else crazy, turning down one person after the other without even really looking at the files. Rory finds an amusing way to poke some fun at Oliver about his impossible standards. Curtis comes in with some information about an urban legend about a woman running around playing vigilante, and she even has sonic powers. Rory says it’s fate, and the team has someone new to focus on.

While the rest of the team digs into the new mystery woman, Oliver, DA Adrian Chase, and John Diggle have a meeting. It seems that General Walker, the man doing his best to send Diggle to prison for the rest of his life, is under investigation. Walker has some high powered friends, and is managing to slow the investigation down. After Chase leaves, Diggle and Oliver talk about the search for the new Canary, because conference rooms in high-end prisons never have recording devices, right? That to one side, Oliver gets some reassurance from Diggle about the hunt for someone to take on Laurel’s mantle.

Felicity starts doing a lot of hacking to find out about the files and investigation Chase was hinting at, and is having a lot of fun doing it. Oliver, Rene, and Curtis head out for Hub City to track down the new mystery woman. Rory… does whatever it is he does when they seem to keep forgetting about him. Curtis even finds some cell phone video of the woman in action. She fights really well, and does indeed seem to have sonic powers. The team manages to meet up with her once, and it doesn’t go real well.

Regrouping the next day, Oliver and Curtis get distracted by Rene’s eating habits in a diner. Getting a bit more background on Tina the mystery woman, Oliver calls in to Captain Singh. Singh gets persuaded to cooperate by an almost-cameo from a certain Scarlet Speedster, and tells Green Arrow that Tina is a former cop who is trying to avenge the death of her former partner.

While Rory brings Felicity the CW-verse’s trademark Big Belly Burger, the rest of Team Arrow tries again with Tina. This time, they end up in the middle of an attack from some gangsters who are less than pleased with her activities. Of course, she also kills one of them when he was tied up and helpless, so she’s not exactly an innocent victim. This ends with Tina once again running off on her own after turning her powers on the team.

The team returns to the diner, and Rene eats yet another enormous burger. They dig into Tina’s background, and figure out she’s going after a criminal named Sean Sonas, the man behind her partner’s death. Sonas captured Tina and held her prisoner for two weeks, and since then has gone on to consolidate what was left of Tobias Church’s gang after Green Arrow killed him.

Felicity gets a strange message addressed to her former hacker handle, Ghost Fox Goddess. While she deals with that, Rene and Curtis debate the team’s history and talk about how they get second chances. Rene hints that he’s been in need of one, too, which sort of reminds us that we know very little of his background. The team goes after Tina yet again, but she’s off tracking down Sonas. They have a reunion/argument about their pasts. They fight, and Sonas has a very similar power to Tina’s. I guess Sonas is supposed to be this show’s version of the DC Comics villain Sonar. Sonas almost kills Tina, but Green Arrow shows up in the nick of time and shoots the gun out of Sonas’ hand. Green Arrow persuades Tina to let them help her, finally, since her powers make her very sensitive to Sonas’.

Felicity goes to her rendezvous and meets what could be a younger version of herself. The girl was in awe of what Felicity had done back in college as a hacktavist, and is now disappointed in what Felicity is doing with her life. This note gets hit several times in the scene, and I suspect it’s going to dictate a new direction for Felicity in the future. The girl does give Felicity the files Felicity needs to help Diggle before leaving.

For reasons that I guess make sense to him, but I admit not at all to me, Oliver meets up with Tina again and tells her his secret identity. Because rushing in to that worked out so well with Evelyn/Artemis, right? He gets Tina to agree to accept their help, and then promises to leave her alone.

The showdown with Sonas gets a bit silly. The fight starts off all right, but ends up with Oliver swinging from a helicopter to take out some of the thugs that Sonas brought along. Oliver also pleads with Tina not to kill Sonas, even though Oliver’s gone back to killing, and both Spartan and Wild Dog use guns. Oliver seems a bit inconsistent on this score. The fight ends with Sonas’ death, and Team Arrow goes back to Star City.

Oliver and Felicity meet in the Lair, and Felicity says she has the information to exonerate Diggle. She’s very evasive about how she got it, and Oliver just accepts this and leaves to share the good news. Felicity stays behind, seemingly mesmerized by the thumbdrive she got with all the stolen information on it. Chase is filing a motion to dismiss, and thinks Diggle should be out soon. Oliver then goes back to work at his much neglected mayor job, and Tina drops in on him. They commiserate over how killing your enemies doesn’t feel so great after all, and she agrees to join Team Arrow. She also says that Tina Bolland was her cover name, and her real name is Dinah Drake. That was the name of the original Black Canary in the comics (and Dinah is also Laurel and Sara’s mother’s name). The coincidences are stacking up quickly here.

FlashBratva theater has Oliver working with Talia Al-Ghul in Russia. She knows a lot about his past, and is apparently one of the teachers of Yao Fe, Oliver’s friend from his early days on Lian Yu. Talia helps Oliver take on a human trafficker, who is the source of much of Kovar’s money. After Oliver beats the man to death, Talia talks to him about following up on the list his father left him. She uses lines that are callbacks to both earlier in the episode and to the voiceover that starts the show each week. This ends with Oliver putting on what looks a lot like the first version of his Arrow costume.

What I liked: I’m hoping developments this episode mean we’re finally ending this Diggle in jail story. It’s gone on way too long. The running joke about Rene’s burgers was amusing. I’m glad they used some of their tech from earlier clashes with Black Siren. I’m hoping Tina/Dinah becomes a good member of the team. The scene in Singh’s office was funny.

What I didn’t: A lot of this episode seemed a bit off. They track down a roving vigilante who happens to be settled in one place for a while? Oliver’s chopper swing was goofy, as was his revealing his identity to Tina. And I don’t like where I think they’re about to send Felicity. I keep hoping the flashbacks are going to end, and that keeps not happening. Maybe someday.

It was a decent, not great, episode. I’ll give it a low 3 out of 5.

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