'Arrow' and 'The Flash' Return, 'Blood & Oil' Improves

“Arrow” always tends to pack a punch with its season premiere and this season’s was no exception. Opening on the domestic life of Oliver and Felicity, it wasn’t long before they were enticed back to Star City to aid Team Arrow in the fight against a new sinister force terrorizing the city. The action was good and the character-driven arcs were compelling.

Felicity’s admission that she’d already grown bored with her recent suburban lifestyle sort of indicated that she and Oliver’s relationship works best in the bubble of crime fighting. Whether they can actually sustain a relationship outside of that is unclear, given it appears to be the glue to their relationship. Neither have discussed whether they truly share anything in common beyond that.

Diggle kept his guard up around Oliver and when they seemed to be patching things up, they didn’t quite make it. Diggle also got a chance to debut his brand new helmet, which works way better as a disguise than a lot of other superheroes’; unfortunately it also looks a lot like Magneto’s. All in all, it was a strong episode with a twist that found Lance making a shocking alliance. The season to come looks promising and the last minute foreshadowed death gave fans a lot to think about.

Side Notes/Burning Questions: Who’s dead? What happened to Ray following the explosion at the end of last season and why is no one concerned? What is wrong with Thea? How is Oliver fooling anyone into believing the Green Arrow and Arrow are different entities? They look and sound exactly the same.
The Flash
The second season of “The Flash” got off to a phenomenal, if near perfect, start: Joe mentored Barry, Cisco worked with the police on a gizmo to disable meta-humans, Dr. Stein named his first meta-human and Barry brooded for good reasons. Then the big moment came when it was revealed that Dr. Wells aka Reverse-Flash had left Barry a video of him confessing to murdering Barry’s mom, clearing Barry’s dad of the crime.

Before long, Henry Allen was a free man, celebrating with his son, friends and the rest of Team Flash. Then he began to look anxious as Barry started making plans for their future (all of which sounded like great storylines) and that’s when Barry’s dad tells him that he can’t do it. He’s leaving town because Barry can’t be The Flash if he’s around. Come again? Worse yet, Barry agrees with him and helps his dad set off for parts unknown. 

Why in the heck can’t Barry be The Flash with his dad in the picture? It makes zero sense. If the writers don’t want to tell a story with Barry’s dad, leave him in prison or kill him off. Don’t make him out to be a total deadbeat who’d sacrifice having a relationship with the son he's been separated from for 15 years so they can zoom around for a higher purpose. Barry can have his dad and be The Flash, just like Barry can have a relationship with his current friends and family and be The Flash. Why make this a plot point?

Side Notes/Burning Questions: Dr. Stein appears to be stepping in as Dr. Wells’ replacement and he’s a good fit. If Ronnie survived this latest blast, he will have lived through 3 major explosions. Depending on how you look at it, he’s either really lucky to keep surviving or very unlucky to keep finding himself in the position to have to survive them. Just to reiterate, since Eddie killed himself, his descendent Eobard Thawne could’ve never come into existence in the future, hence he could not have been a part of the current timeline. Therefore he could’ve never killed Nora Allen or created The Flash. This part of the time travel storyline needs to be explained.

Blood & Oil
The second episode was a major improvement over the season premiere. Don Johnson’s Hap was front and center, Delroy Lindo’s Sheriff had something to investigate and Chace Crawford’s Billy went the entire episode without having a car accident. The focus was streamlined, centered more on the Briggs family and there were a few surprising plot developments. How on earth Wick is going to get away with all of the havoc and harm he’s caused will be interesting to watch unfold. What exactly, beyond conflicting personalities, has put such a strain on his relationship with his father will hopefully be explained at some point. Perhaps the newly returned Lacey will shed light on what has fueled their feud.

Side Notes/Burning Questions: Why did Hap need to be checked out at the hospital for second degree burns and not Billy, who had suffered third degree burns? Jules was a little obvious with the level of flirtation she cast in her eyes towards Hap. Billy and Cody are slowly but surely becoming a couple worth rooting for.

Photo Credit: "Arrow"/CW, "The Flash"/CW