"Oliver Queen! You failed this city!"
Even though there hasn't been an episode of Arrow in months, there has been plenty of action behind the scenes. Since the "Sacrifice," The CW superhero show has been busy in the off-season making several moves to earn calling itself "super." But how will introducing powers affect the 'Nolan-esque' universe that Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg have created? That's going to be a major factor at some point in the second season, but "City of Heroes" (despite the suggestive title) doesn't stray too far from the gritty, realistic formula that has worked so well for the series thus far. That's not to say that the premiere wasn't still a game-changer of sorts with our hero's return to the fight the good fight dependent on some new rules. Like no more killing people.
"It has been a very difficult year for Starling City..."
After Colin Donnell's Tommy sacrificed himself to save Laurel at the end of the first season finale, Oliver had the pleasure of watching his best friend die, and that obviously had a profound affect on the hero. And the fact that the Merlyn heir went to the grave thinking his lifelong pal was not much more than a 'serial killer' (his words) didn't help either. So how did Ollie deal with the Earth-shattering events? He took a vacation to Lian Yu! Nothing to clear your head like a trip back to the place where you were marooned and then trained by mercenaries to become an assassin. I actually loved the choice to send Oliver back to the island as a sort of sell-imposed exile, and having Dig and Felicity go there to retrieve him was a great way to open the episode. These are the three characters that fans would want to catch up with immediately and the Tarzan-like land-mine rescue was ridiculous but fun, especially since it put the Smoak under the sweaty hero. I like their chemistry. Her (Freudian) slips and his, well, pretending nothing slipped.
"You aren't at all what people say about you."
Dig and Felicity can't convince him to come back to Starling City to be the vigilante, but mention of both the family and family business being in trouble was enough to get him home. His drive through the Glades upon his return shows the devastation and has the first bit of character foreshadowing with a piece of graffiti telling people to 'Vote Blood.' Shortly after hinting at Kevin Alejandro's upcoming appearance, Ollie meets one of the other off-season additions in Summer Glau's Isabel Rochev. Rochev is a character from the DCU but it's unclear how she will work her way into the action and not just the business dealings. You don't cast Summer Glau and not have her kick some ass, right? Right?! At the moment, she's just a hostile executive at Stellmoor International trying to takeover controlling interest in Queen Industries.