As you will recall, Arrow ended its first half season on a high note with perhaps its best episode to date. So how would the second half premiere hold up? Not too shabby as it turns out. Six weeks have past and Oliver has lost some faith in himself after being defeated by the mysterious dark archer who was revealed as wealthy Malcolm Merlyn, Tommy’s oppressive father. Walter Steele, Oliver’s stepfather had been kidnapped by Merlyn’s associates to insure that Moira Queen goes along with his plans.
Diggle finally is able to snap Oliver out of his funk in order to check out the deaths of several firefighters that appear not to be the accidents that people believe. As Oliver tries to regain his edge he has several more flashbacks to the island where he was shipwrecked, and when he killed his first man, one of the mysterious mercenaries.
Now sure, I would have loved to have seen a more compelling villain than a vengeful firefighter who was thought to have died, to start the second half of the season but most everything else in “Burned” worked quite well. Diggle gets to do more than just be a sidekick. He’s the one who gives Oliver a good kick in his butt to get him going again. Oliver has realized that he doesn’t have to shoulder all the burden of trying to protect Starling City.
Laurel has also gained some trust in The Hood, stealing the phone her father got from the vigilante so she can contact him for help with the firefighter’s murders. But perhaps the most important development in this episode is that for the first time the media in Starling City is referring to the Hood as a hero rather than a villain or vigilante. This is a good push in the direction of developing Green Arrow as a true comic book hero—short of ACTUALLY calling him Green Arrow that is!
They didn’t do much in terms of Walter’s disappearance and that’s a good thing. This is going to be a pivotal plot in the second half of the season and I’d like to see it developed slowly and build to hopefully a strong season one finale.