Oliver returns to find that a lot has changed. Thea runs Verdent, his mom is in jail, Laurel has a new job, there are cheap Hood knockoffs, and his company is in trouble....
So after Tommy died, Oliver returned to the island to get some alone time. Understandable. Not the best idea in the world, but understandable. I am so glad that Felicity and Diggles returned to get him, because Starling City really needs him. His company is on the verge of being taken over, his mom is in jail and is being completely blamed for what happened, and there are groups of people "imitating" the Hood, More on that in a bit. Oh, and Laurel has decided to hunt him down since she blames the Hood for Tommy's death. Yeah, not good.
First off, let me say that I completely disagree with the idea that somehow the Hood was a killer. Did he kill? Yes, but he never killed capriciously. The Hood had a mission and did what it took to accomplish it. Was it all morally correct? No, but he always had a good reason and a purpose behind his actions. The new group seems to be taking the worst aspects of the Hood and using it as a justification for doing whatever they can. Pretty sad actually.
I also think that Oliver is being too hard on himself. I get why he blames himself for Tommy's death, but he did do everything he could to stop it. Unfortunately, he didn't realize that Malcolm had 2 devices, so he couldn't stop both. I also think that Laurel is being massively unfair in saying that Tommy's death was the result of the fight between the Hood and the Dark Archer. Malcolm was planning to destroy the Glades for years and that is why Tommy died. The Hood only affected the timing because he was working on taking out people on the list. If Tommy had be injured as a result of an actual fight or something that was directly caused by the Hood, she would have a point, but he didn't, so she doesn't.
Also, I am trying to figure out why people are saying that Queen Consolidated's R&D division invented the earthquake device. Malcolm was fairly specific that the devices were invented by another company which he bought. Nothing to do with Queen Consolidated. I get that maybe the ordinary citizens would be confused given Moira's confession, but the DA should not have been confused that way.
I do like that Oliver has definitely grown since he first returned. He has acknowledged that his revenge last season was not the right path and that he needs to turn from being an avenging angel to being a protector. Not that the avenging angel didn't do some protecting, but it was mostly incidental. So having it now be his primary mission is a good thing. I wonder if he'll assume the mantle of Green Arrow yet or if he will go by another name for a bit a la the Blur in Smallville.
I do feel sorry for now-Officer Lance. He did the right thing and is being punished because it was against the rules. I did not always appreciate his single-minded obsession with the Hood and Oliver, but he was never a bad person, just a misguided one. Hopefully he'll find a way to earn back his detective's badge.
I definitely like the improved lair. Felicity's tech touch is very prominent and now she'll be able to be even more helpful to Oliver. I definitely giggled at her crack about liking Oliver's exercise equipment. Sweetie, you're not the only one who appreciates his working out. Having a new bow fashioned for Oliver was also a very good thing. I wonder how she knew what to look for. Maybe Diggles helped?
Thea is running Verdent and she is still with Roy. It is also nice to see how she has grown. I was also very glad to see that she was able to forgive her mother and realize that what Moira did is not the unadulterated evil that she seemed to think it was. Now if Roy would only learn how to pace himself a bit. He seems to be doing a good job keeping some people safe, and now that Oliver is back, I so want to see the two of them work together. I also have to wonder how Oliver will manage to keep Thea clueless about his alternate identity since his lair is in the basement of her club.
I am intrigued by Isabel Rochev. I think it will be fun to watch Oliver take her on in the board room, particularly since she owns half of his company now. That will be a very different set of skills for Oliver to display and I am looking forward to seeing him develop in that area.
The Tomorrow People is next and then Vampire Diaries tomorrow.