*WARNING! Thar be spoilers in here!*
Now that Oliver Queen is striving to be a more traditional hero, it's time to see how he plans to battle the evil dwelling within Starling City. No longer does he have a list of targets to eliminate -- now it's all about taking on the challenges as they pop up.
As implied by the title, "Identity" dives into the toll a dual identity is taking on our hero. As the "Vigilante" (go by the new name, dammit!), Oliver sweats and bleeds to protect the innocent people in the city. However, this leaves Oliver Queen, CEO of Queen Industries, notable absent and seemingly ignorant to the damage his family's company has done to the city. Despite his best efforts to prove otherwise, it's safe to say we all know he's not going to win over the public any time soon. To make matters even more troubling for Oliver, Brother Blood finally enters the picture and, as you could have guessed, he doesn't help the CEO's image much, either. It's a narrative we've seen before, but it has a lot of potential to reel in more emotion as the season progresses.
The true highlight of this episode is Roy's expanded role. His efforts to fight crime in the Glades has put him in a rocky spot with Thea Queen, but his actions -- as foolish as they may be -- are justified given the circumstances. Without giving anything away, I will say there's some majorly satisfying moments with this character in the episode and his role is sure to only get bigger from here.
"Identity" also sees the introduction of Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger. In his debut, he's allied with China White and stealing supplies FEMA is bringing to the Glades. Naturally, this puts him at odds with
Green Arrow the Hood, and while his reflexes were displayed awesomely, his fights were kind of a letdown. First, Ollie can barely take him on in a 1v1, then he can go toe-to-toe with Tiger and China White at the same time in close combat? Also, it was a tad silly watching Ollie walk around the crates after it was clear that spot gave Bronze Tiger a massive advantage. The setting wasn't that big and Ollie totally has what it takes to get out of there and take BT out in the open, but whatever, it's a fairly minor gripe and the use of a trick arrow helps compensate for that.
The cliffhanger comes as a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's absolutely exciting to think about what could happen if the worst comes to fruition. But on the other hand, it seems VERY unlikely his identity will be revealed so soon in the second season and he'll likely escape via smoke arrow or some other method shortly after being grabbed. I'll be thrilled if they prove me wrong and take that big move this soon, but it seems doubtful.
The backstory ties to his dilemma over killing, but at this point, it just feels like rehashing familiar territory. There's a slow burn with the mystery going on over on the island, so hopefully there's a big payoff or major development in the next episode. It's kind of funny because Season One had me more intrigued with the island story and now it's the polar opposite.
Lastly, some of dialogue felt cheesy (most notable during his encounter with the villains) and other remarks came off as a bit inorganic and seemed like exposition that wasn't really needed (elaboration on the map / their discovery, for example). That said, there was a mostly tight script for Ollie's interactions with Diggle and Felicity and the dynamic between those characters has grown an absurd amount since the first season.
"Identity" isn't quite as gripping or consistently solid like the premiere, but it really shines when Roy's plot begins to move forward and, despite not being the biggest fan of how the fights went down, it was still pretty exciting to see China White return and Bronze Tiger make his first appearance. Oh, and Diggle's awesome. That is all.
Viners, what did you think of "Identity?" Let us know!