'Arrow' react: Yin and yang

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Image Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched the second episode of Arrow season 2, stop reading now.

After last week’s whirlwind of a premiere, with Oliver returning, Felicity drooling, Laurel fuming, and a mystery woman fighting crime, Arrow‘s second episode caught us up on much of what we/Oliver missed when he decided to return to the island. We should probably just be thankful he didn’t decide to return to the island hair, amirite?

But oh wait, forget about everything in the entire world, because this episode kicked off with a shirtless workout sequence! Thank you, Arrow. It had been too long since I pretended to be amazed by Oliver’s abilities while really just being amazed at how defined his ab muscles are. Feels good to be back, doesn’t it?

Elsewhere, in the not-so-shirtless world, Roy was causing trouble while also attempting to stop trouble in the Glades (see his problem?). He stole a red Mustang so he could chase down a truck heist, but things got a little messy when someone pulled a gun on him (which you probably should’ve seen coming, big man). Roy flipped the car, got arrested, and then got grilled by Laurel, who was feistier than ever when it came to finding the vigilante. Roy gave nothing away, but that didn’t stop him from getting a talking-to from both Thea and Oliver.

Oliver, who still hadn’t quite figured out what Crusade 2.0 was going to look like now that he’s listless, was in the middle of a rather moving speech about how he and Roy are the same when Roy revealed some very disturbing/interesting information: FEMA shipments to the Glades hospital were being hijacked. Doctors and nurses were leaving as a result, and the sick people were piling up. “What’s it take to make you angry?” Roy asked Oliver. The answer? Sick people piling up (with the real answer being people messing with the women he loves).

Cue the flashback, where we found Oliver after having killed a man by bashing his head in with a rock. He did it to save Shado, he told himself. But she explained that we all have two sides, light and dark, a yin and a yang. And you know what a yin and yang speech is perfect for? Foreplay. The two got a little clean (but really dirty) in the river.

Back in present day, new Alderman Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro) — NATE! — was yelling things at TV cameras about how people had abandoned the Glades. And when Oliver showed up at the hospital, well, let’s just say the people surrounding Blood weren’t happy to see him, which seemed to be a trend. By the time Oliver got home, Felicity was loudly refusing to be his Girl Wednesday Friday (a.k.a. to pose as his executive assistant for her secret identity). Diggle said it best: “It could be worse. My secret identity is his black driver.”

Wait, back to the yin and the yang! It really does apply to us all, hence Diggle’s speech about why he and Carly broke up — he couldn’t balance his two sides of loving her and hating Deadshot. Thanks for noticing, Oliver. But to be fair, Oliver had just been shot by cops who broke up his breaking up of truck heist No. 2, led by our old friend from the Chinese triad and her new friend, the wannabe Wolverine the Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White). Don’t worry: Oliver got his revenge later when she was arrested.

Meanwhile, at Verdant, Thea gave Roy an ultimatum: Accept that rock thing Oliver gave her when he returned from the island or accept a severance check. She was not too excited about the man she loved getting hurt. Luckily for Roy, the Hood showed up and told him that he needed him as his eyes and ears in the Glades, nothing more. He even gave him a little red arrow to prove it. So Roy reconnected with Thea, albeit by totally lying to her about no longer trying to be the hero. Technically, he did give up fighting, but only because the Hood told him to. And he’s still being a hero one way or another. (Side note: How funny does it sound to talk about not being a hero as a good thing?)

Speaking of love lives, the Hood paid Laurel a visit, where she revealed that she saw him leave Tommy without saving him, and therefore, she hates him. Then she headed over to Oliver’s benefit, where she watched as Oliver was “crucified” by Alderman Blood when he didn’t show up at his own benefit (Sorry, but he was a little busy fighting crime!). It was a tough call, but Oliver made it. And then, when he went to visit Laurel one more time in the Hood, she trapped him in an office full of armed police officers. Oh, snap.

Other important facts: The rock Oliver gave Thea (and she now sort of gave Roy) was from the necklace of a Japanese Imperial soldier who had been on the island back in WWII. And although we still haven’t started calling the Hood Green Arrow yet, Chinese triad lady did call him Emerald Archer, so we’re getting closer.

Overall, I loved the dynamic between Felicity, Oliver, and Diggle — the witty moments, the sincere moments, the almost hugs, all of it! I’m not so happy with Roy right now, but his decisions will make for good drama. Laurel? Well, as frustrating as she is, at least she’s being bold. But that Alderman guy is a real jerk.

What did you think? Will Oliver find a way out of Laurel’s trap? Is Alderman Blood a bad guy? And how long before Roy’s story blows up in his face?

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