Arrow is a series that tries to top itself every week.. and nearly always succeeds in doing so.
Like Arrow Season 1, our characters were set against nearly impossible odds and found the strength and courage to fight on this year. We were introduced to new characters, some who didn't make it out of Slade's attack on Starling City alive. We lost someone we greatly cared for in Moira Queen.
Discover the other successes and failures of Arrow Season 2 and then give it your grade below...
Best Episode: The award does to Arrow Season 2 Episode 23 for doing the "Unthinkable" - giving Olicity fans something to cheer about, not killing off Slade and keeping him around for the future as Deathstroke, for bringing the Lance sisters up from cheesy melodrama and making their family business our business and for having the guts to send Thea off with her birth father, all setting the stage for what can only be an amazing Arrow Season 3.
Worst Episode: Even the resurrection of Malcolm Merlyn and the Arrow killing The Count couldn't raise Arrow Season 2 Episode 7 up to a 4 star rating. You know it's bad when I'm begging in the review to get Slade Wilson to town to shake things up, STAT!
Fan Favorite: Never have a group of fans been more adamant and wanted to something so desperately as have those of the possible paring of Oliver and Felicity. The drama between the Lance sisters hurt their chances at an approval; but even before, it was Felicity Smoak who sank herself so deeply into our hearts (love or not) with her intelligence, plucky attitude and intense loyalty over whom fans will fight to the death for a chance with Oliver. She deserves far more than that -- Ms. Smoak deserves it all (and a back story!).
Best Plan: Speaking of Felicity and Oliver, his use of "I Love You" in the mansion Slade planted with bugs to draw Slade toward Felicity so she could get close enough to deliver the Mirakuru cure was both diabolical and brilliant. We wouldn't change a single minute of how it played out.
Worst Plan: Slade Wilson set himself out to ruin Oliver Queen, and in doing so he decided one of the easiest ways was to use Oliver's own secrets against him. However, instead of making things worse for Oliver, it forced him to step up and into his heroic greens. Talk about a backfire! Laurel didn't give him the chance to hide from the truth, but by keeping additional secrets from Thea, he lost her.
Best Redemption: Poor Laurel. Ms. Lance was the most despised character on the show for most of it's second season. First she blamed the Arrow for Tommy's death, then when she started to blame herself, her drinking took over. The arrival of her sister, having died and been reborn, only made her realize what a mess she made of her life and she took it out on her. Attending AA and learning the truth from Slade about Oliver kicked her in the pants and by the finale, she was someone we could care about again. Well done.
Least Heroic Death: Isabel Rochev. Never cared about her when she hit town, didn't care when she declared herself some sort of a Queen victim and her Ravager was wasted except for a good one-liner about Felicity. She didn't even go out fighting. What an easy kill. Boooo.
Most Heroic Death: Moira taking the decision away from her son and screaming "Don't look!" at Thea was the stuff that is written into history books. Even Slade was impressed. Not enough to set her free, however. He didn't shoot her in the head but drove a blade through her instead. Moira went down a true Queen.
Best Island Scene: Who knew that the freighter showdown between Oliver and Slade was only the beginning of some of the best fight scenes on television? Taking some of the action away from the green grasses and towering trees and onto the gloomy Amazo and all that it represented in Arrow Season 2 Episode 15 blew us away. It also gave us a hint of what was to come on the finale, where the second best use of the Island came: when Oliver found himself off of it and in Shanghai.
Worst Island Scene: Hang on with me here... this is the worst because it set the stage for Oliver's guilt, Slade's need for vengeance and we lost an Island character we loved. When Ivo made Oliver "choose" between Sara and Shado in Arrow Season 2 Episode 9 we knew there would be repercussions for a long time. This was the worse scene because it was so utterly heart breaking. It killed the Island.
Hopes for Arrow Season 3: Less use of named guest stars for bad guys (it gets your hopes up), more Suicide Squad (we love you Deadshot!), a back story for Felicity, determining how to use both Lance sisters so they can both remain on Arrow and both kick ass, that Thea goes dark (even if only for a while) and gives her brother a run for his money with her new daddy and that there is a bit more time spent developing the characters before the next big thing happens. We're happy to wait for greatness.
Overall Grade: A.
It's your turn TV Fanatics!! What grade would you give to Arrow Season 2?
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.