TV Club: Arrow gave itself a second chance, and it’s making the most of it

At points, tonight’s episode plays like a meta-commentary on Arrow‘s big comeback season. As Rene argues and Oliver later repeats, the reconfigured Team Arrow exists to give people second chances, and its unlikely success mirrors the show’s own success in pulling out of a couple seasons spent in the storytelling doldrums. After all, a viewer could have been forgiven at the outset for thinking the best way forward for Arrow didn’t involve adding the C-list likes of Mr. Terrific, Ragman, Artemis, and Wild Dog—and honestly, saying Wild Dog is on the C list is probably generous. Yet the new recruits have brought out the best in Oliver in a way that previous iterations of the team, through no fault of their own, frequently struggled to do. He is coming into his own as a leader because the inexperience of the recruits forces him to, but …

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