The CW's Arrow Season 2 wrapped up this week with the impressive finale "Unthinkable," marking the close to the Deathstroke story arc. Fanboys need no introduction to the DC comic hero "Green Arrow", but for those who have just started getting into the series, here we have a crash-course guide that will hopefully get you up to speed without putting you to sleep. Be warned though, there are minor spoilers ahead.
Season 1 introduces us to millionaire-turned-vigilante Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) as he begins his quest to bring justice to Starling City. The series opens with Oliver being stranded on the hellish Lian Yu Island (translated as purgatory in Chinese) in the fictional North China sea. Oliver, the heir the Queen Enterprise Fortune, is the sole survivor of a shipwreck that cost the life of his millionaire father and everyone onboard. Five years of surviving on the island has turned Oliver into a hardened killer, who is emotionally scarred.
Central to the plot is the little brown book that Oliver finds on his dead father. The book contains a list of corrupt and powerful people whom have brought misery to the good citizens of the city. But in a twist that was quickly established at beginning of Season 1, Queen Sr. was actually in league with the bad guys, but gives Oliver the book as a means of atonement for the former's sins. And, as it turns out, Oliver's mother may be responsible for Queen Sr.'s death. The first season focuses on Oliver's quest to right the wrongs that his father committed.
Throughout the first season, we see the evolution of Oliver's crime-fighting operation from establishing a secret hideout in an abandoned factory once operated by the Queen family, to developing an arsenal of "smart arrows" that can do just about anything. At the same time, Oliver begins taking down crooked CEOs and organized kingpins in various story arcs. Old DC favorites have made cameo appearance such as the Huntress (Jessica De Gouw), Deadshot (Michael Rowe), Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White), and the Royal Flush Gang. Tragically, season one closes with the death of Oliver's best friend since childhood, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell).
In season two, Starling City is at the mercy of a new menace that takes the form of Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) - a stranded special forces soldier who mentors Oliver into becoming a seasoned warrior. Due to circumstances on the island, Slade is grievously injured and is given an injection of 'mirakuru' to save his life. The substance has the consequence of altering Slade's mental well-being. Eventually, Oliver is forced to kill Slade in order to save himself. Slade, however, is healed by 'mirakuru.' Years later, Slade travels to Starling City under the guise of Deathstroke, and out of revenge brings grief to Oliver by killing the Queens family matriarch Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson).
The first season was mostly about Oliver's mission, but eventually we begin to see the more human side of the Green Arrow character by Season Two. This side of Oliver is brought out by Felicity Smoak, the awkward but well-intentioned Queens Enterprise technician whom often aids Oliver with his investigations of the criminal underworld. Felicity's role is expanded in season two, and there is a hint at romance between Oliver and her. But in a cruel twist, Oliver declares love to her, which is later revealed as a ruse he concocted to lure Slade into a trap. Just like season one, season two brings a list of comic book-inspired characters that include the Black Canary (Katie Cassidy) and the League of Assassins. In a face-off that surely delighted the fanboys, Oliver's Green Arrow alter-ego faces off with the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, the head of the League of Assassins. But, the daughter in question is not Talia al Ghul, but Nyssa Raatko - Ra's al Ghul's younger daughter, and Talia's half-sister. Season two ends with an implied romance between Oliver and Felicity. Diggle (David Ramsey), an Afghanistan War veteran who joins Oliver's crusade since Season One, is going to have a child with ex-wife, turned-girlfriend Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson).
In Season Three, we can expect an expanded role for the Dark Arrow, Oliver Queen's arch-nemesis. As revealed in Season One, the Dark Arrow is actually Malcom Merlyn (John Barrowman), father of Oliver's deceased best-friend Tommy Merlyn. This information was hinted by Stephen Amell, who plays the Green Arrow character. He posted a picture of himself with Barrowman on Thursday on Twitter.
Season Three is scheduled for premier this Fall of 2014 on the CW network, along with The Originals, Supernatural, Reign, and The Vampire Diaries.