After the fantastic first episode of ‘Arrow’ last week, I came into this week’s episode with a little bit of apprehension. After all, with such a great start, you would hope that the show continues to move upward. Second episodes are hard as it is akin to coming out and performing after a headliner in a concert. Did ‘Arrow’s’ second episode hold its own? Read on for the recap to find out!

(Warning! Spoilers ahead!)

The episode opens with a narrative from Oliver explaining why he has decided to don the hooded vigilante disguise (mainly for the benefit of those who may have missed the first episode or those who were too busy looking at Amell’s abs to pay attention). We see Arrow in action as he takes out the entourage of Marcus Redman and then demands Redman to return the pension money that he stole. (Okay, demands may seem soft…coerce may be more accurate).

The next day the family gets together to bring Oliver to court so that the judge can rescind his death-in-absentia declaration lifted. A horde of reporters descends on Oliver as he get out of the limo asking him questions and crowding around which triggers Oliver to remember the day of the yacht accident when Laurel’s sister was pulled out to sea. He tells the judge the basic story of what happened to him while not going into the details. (Flashback images fill in the real story as Oliver speaks.)

After the court hearing, Oliver bumps into Laurel. Still stinging over Oliver’s rebuff from last week telling her she should stay away from him, Laurel shoots a sharp retort about him to her client and walks off. (Looks like arrows aren’t the only sharp things that can hit a mark!)

Outside, Oliver witnesses Martin Somers, the man who Laurel’s client, Emily, is testifying against. He proclaims his innocence before going to the courtroom. When the reporters see Oliver, they again horde to him asking questions about what happened to Sarah and to him on the island as John leads him to the limo. Oliver has that vengeance look on his face and as John tries to get inside the limo, the car takes off leaving him behind.

A wonderful gratuitous sequence of Oliver working out shirtless is now shown as Oliver explains in a voice over how bad Somers is and why he’s his next target.

That night, Somers is demanding that his lawyer finds a way to shut down the trial but when the lights go off and come back on, he sees that his men have been knocked out. He is dragged out of the room. We next see him handing upside from a crane and Arrow telling him he better testify that he killed Emily’s dad while he shoots arrows at the corrupt man. Arrow warns Somers there will be no second warning. At this point we can only assume Somers needs a change of pants as he looks around and Arrow is gone.

All is not well at the Queen home front. Moira is chastising Diggle for losing Oliver but then Oliver comes in and tells her it’s his fault as he is secretly seeing someone. She insists that he take Diggle with him as she doesn’t want to lose him again (motherly concern… really? If you wonder about my skepticism, head to the last part of last week’s recap). Diggle, not happy being shown that he’s not as good as he thinks he is as a bodyguard, tells Oliver he’ll quit if it happens again while Thea tells her brother that she is going out and doesn’t understand his concern since in the past week, he avoided his mother, ignore Walter and judge her.

Walter and Moira give Oliver a tour of Queen Consolidated and they tell him they want him to take a leadership position in the company. Oliver declines but Moira is insistent. Walter tries to be understanding toward Oliver’s situation telling him he understands this transition is difficult for him. Oliver takes this moment to express his displeasure of the “transition” of his father’s former CFO of the company now sleeping with his mother.

As Oliver leaves the building and gets into the limo, he flashes back to the time of the first few days while on the island.

Later that night, Somers calls in China White to take care of Arrow but she insists on also taking down Emily. Somers tells her that won’t solve the problem of Laurel still coming after them and the Triad so China While suggests they kill her too.

The next day, Oliver watches the news and sees that Somers is not testifying after all. As he is putting on his shirt (yes, this time there is a good reason why he’s shirtless in this scene), Thea comes in and notices the scars on his chest and asks him what happened with full sisterly concern. He blows her off and tells her he doesn’t want to talk about it. Hurt, she walks away but Oliver stops and tells her he’s not ready to talk about it yet.

Thea decides to show Oliver the headstones that were erected for Robert and him. She tells him that while he was missing, she would sit and talk to the headstone about anything and everything as if he were there. Now that he’s back, she feels closer to the headstone because of the distance he’s put between himself and his family. She begs him to let her in. If not her, someone.

Oliver decides to visit Laurel after what Thea said to him. He confesses that he pushed her away to protect her but after seeing her the other day, he felt bad for hurting her. Laurel lets him in but she’s still stinging from what happened. Oliver admits he’s a jerk. She asks him what’s in the bag and he tells her that one thing he promised himself he’d do if he ever got off the island, he wanted to do with her… eat ice cream (Okay, guys, take note.  A way to a future female superhero’s heart is to admit you’re wrong and bring over a carton of ice cream! She’ll supply the whipped cream – oops! That’s another show…)

Oliver tells Laurel about Moira’s request to have him lead the company and that he said no but his mom won’t accept his refusal. Laurel gives some advice and the topic goes to her father, Quentin, explaining his guilt that had he been closer to Sarah, he could have stopped her from going off with Oliver and would still be alive.

Oliver hears a sound from the fire escape and grabs a knife. He takes Laurel’s hand and they try run out of the apartment when assassins come through the doors and windows. Just when it looks like they are trapped, Diggle arrives and shoots out two of the assassins. China now gets into the fight with Diggle but when she has him on the ground ready to slice him, Oliver throws the knife and knocks hers out of her hand. China runs off as police sirens come closer.

Somers trying to leave the city after the botched attempt on Laurel’s life but Arrow has gotten to him first. Somers tries to run but Arrow catches up to him demanding him to testify. Just then, China sneaks behind him and tells him to move away from Somers. He replies, “Make me!” and a fight ensues. The police arrive announcing to drop their weapons over a loudspeaker. The two separate and flee so as to not get caught by the cops but Quentin catches Oliver in his getaway and aims a gun at him. Quentin warns him not to move but Oliver is quick. He deftly throws a dart that knocks the gun out of Quentin’s hands and disappears. Quentin looks at the dart that is stuck on a storage container and realizes it is a recorder with Somers’ confession of ordering the hit on Emily’s dad.

The next day, Tommy and Laurel see each other at the groundbreaking ceremony. He tells Laurel he doesn’t want Oliver to find out about their little fling but she’s not too concerned. As the ceremony begins, Oliver shows up seemingly intoxicated. He makes a speech talking about how he is expected to take Robert’s place now that he’s back and insists that he is not the man his father was and will never be so please stop asking him to be. He heads back to the limo leaving everyone in shock.

In his room, Oliver crosses out Somers’ name from his father’s list and flashes to the island to the time when he found the book that was in his dead father’s pocket. He is seen thumbing through the pages with are empty except for the symbol in the inside cover.

Meanwhile, Moira meets a mysterious man at an isolated area and tells him that Oliver has no idea that the yacht was sabotaged. The man displays the same symbol found in Robert’s black book.

Later, Oliver heads to his father’s gravestone and tells him how hard it has been to reconnect with everyone. He apologizes and tells him he cannot have people see the real him and that in order to honor his wishes as it is truly meant to be honored, he will have to dishonor his memory.

Flashback to the island and Oliver is building a cairn for his dad’s body when he is shot from behind with an arrow. Just before he passes out, he looks back and sees a hooded figure taking aim…

While still a good episode, this week’s episode of ‘Arrow’ was little more melodramatic and soap opera-ish. While it is understandable that there will be episodes that need to move the back story along, maybe the second episode was a little too soon to do it.

There are lots of minor subplots going on here with the love triangle among Tommy, Laurel and Oliver, Thea’s road to self-destruction, Moira’s concern about how much Oliver knows about his dad and the accident (which begs the question, is she in on the conspiracy or is she being blackmailed to find out how much Oliver knows?) and where does Tommy fit in on the conspiracy issue?

Like any new series, it’s still finding its rhythm and there are some pretty awkward moments and acting scenes which don’t quite gel with the tone of the series. Hopefully by the second half of season, this can be hammered out.

I will admit I’m not a comic book aficionado and would love to hear from you who are big fans of the Green Arrow comic series about your take on the show is and what Easter eggs you found in the episodes.  Overall, this is one of the better new shows this season and if done properly could last as long as ‘Smallville’ did.

If you missed the premiere episode of ‘Arrow’ last week, you can catch up with the recap.  Hopefully next week we’ll meet the mysterious archer who shot Oliver while on the island. Is he the man who taught him all his skills?