Oliver taking down his first target's guards while storming his penthouse, ducking in and out of their gunfire like the wind, then finally taking on Constantine Drakon and killing him with an arrow to the chest.
The moment where you see the wireless transceiver attached to the arrow stuck in Adam Hunt's wall and realize that Oliver's "missed shot" wasn't missed at all.
"Honor Thy Father": Diggle taking down two Triad assassins and then mixing it up with China White. She outclasses him, but he still held his own for a while.
Seeing Laurel kicking ass was a refreshing change, with hopes high for seeing her take on her own superheroine mantle.
Arrow versus Deadshot: Ollie sends an arrow right through Deadshot's eye. And out-draws a wrist-mounted machine gun beforehand!
Or not...Deadshot was aiming for DIGGLE with his last volley!
Yao Fei's flashback smackdown with Billy Wintergreen.
Likewise, their rematch in "Year's End", though he loses this time. It's not quite the same one-on-one fight, since Wintergreen had a few henchmen with him.
"Legacies": Diggle playing Oliver to get him invested in the Royal Flush Gang case. He arranges for the police officer who was injured in the last robbery to be transferred to a better hospital, paid for by Oliver, then tells Oliver a lie about his next target attempting suicide to get him to come to the hospital, where he meets the officer's wife. When Oliver calls him on it, Dig retorts that he's working with Oliver, not for him, and is the kind of man to help those who truly need it. An excellent reminder that Diggle is more than just Oliver's bodyguard, he's his conscience.
"Maybe you should start acting like my mother, so I don't have to act like yours.''
Oliver's He's Back moment, getting over the PTSD he's been suffering from ever since his fight with Dark Archer and stopping Firefly from killing his final target. Especially notable is that at the beginning of the episode, it's established he's lost his Improbable Aiming Skills, but he makes his entrance here by shooting Firefly's lighter out of the air as it's thrown at the fire chief, knocking it clear away.
"Trust But Verify": "You forgot one thing... I'm the one with the Grenade Launcher." Dig, you are the man.
The scene before that makes it better. Diggle tries to stop him from going by proving that the drugs will screw with his aim, and challenges him to hit a tennis ball he holds up near his face. Ollie aims, realizes he can't aim at all, and puts the bow away. Diggle is relieved, then Oliver just says, "You should remember one thing: I don't need the bow." Then he suits up and leaves an exasperated Diggle behind. That's right, he took down Vertigo WITHOUT HIS TRADEMARK ARROWS. That's how awesome he is.
The raid on Cyrus Vanch's mansion:
Vanch: "He's going up against trained men with their fingers on the trigger of guns that fire up to 600 rounds per minute. Now I'm no Einstein, but that is a lot of bullets."
*Gilligan Cut to Ollie taking out the first round of guards*
Vanch: "And even if he were to take them out, I have two sharpshooters on the roof."
*Ollie takes out the snipers*
Vanch: "But even if he were to get by them, what's he gonna do against the veritable army of sons of bitches I've got waiting for him?"
Vanch: "Now, as I said, I'm no Einstein, but I can count to 24. And in case you're wondering, I was, so I studied up on my news footage. 24 is the exact number of arrows he carries in his quiver and flechettes around his forearm."
The Hood: "MOIRA QUEEN! YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY!"
What could be Island!Ollie's first real Moment of Awesome (well, second if you count him not betraying Yao Fei in spite of being tortured by freakin' Wintergreen): At this time, he has no fighting technique yet, is tied to a chair, and has just been beaten by Slade Wilson, who is about to kill him so that Oliver won't betray him. Ollie dislocates his shoulder to free himself and punches Slade, who isn't affected at all, since Ollie doesn't know how to fight yet. It allows Ollie to earn Slade's respect and teachings.
"The Odyssey" is just one long episode of awesome:
When Oliver stands on a land mine and is cornered by some of Fyers' Mooks, Slade seemingly abandons him... only to come back and take the soldiers by surprise, killing them and tossing one on top of the mine so it doesn't explode when Ollie gets off.
We continue to see Oliver go from spoiled playboy in over his head to the beginnings of a true hero — Slade is planning on calling in an airstrike on the island once they get on the resupply plane to escape. However, Oliver refuses to leave without Yao Fei, and gives a speech about why. And then later, giving a brief "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Billy Wintergreen.
In the flashback, Oliver's plan to use the missile launcher's circuit board as leverage.
Team Green Arrow deduces that the killer of the week is using the subway network. Felicity, in particular, is happy to have redeemed herself (in her eyes, even if Ollie doesn't think she could have done any better than she did, crackerjack IT genius that she is).
Oliver breaking down every office door on a seven-floor building, then roof-hopping several buildings in search of the guy is too awesome to not mention.
Shado taking out several of Fyers' goons, and beating him unconscious, with her bare hands.
Roy holding the flechette that Ollie used to save him while the lights in the club go red. Epic foreshadowing is epic.
After force-feeding Oliver concentrated Vertigo,, the villain mocks Oliver, and says he doubts Oliver could aim a single arrow. So he fires three. One which hits the bad guy dead in the heart.
Diggle pulling a Big Damn Heroes moment, and kicking multitudes of Mook ass. Even finishing one off with a defibrillator shock to the head.
"City of Heroes", the Season Two premiere, shows that the writers will keep giving us awesome moments:
Island!Ollie showing some good moves while sparring against Slade.
Laurel disarming one of the copycat Hoods.
Felicity nailing one of the copycats with a piece of wood in an attempt to distract them from killing Ollie.
Roy beating two copycats at Verdant, even if they do manage to kidnap Thea.
The return of Arrow. Ollie appears in costume in only one scene in this episode, but what a scene: he singlehandedly defeats all four copycats without killing themto save Thea. Seems that this other way works well for now.
A non-fighting one: Walter showing up, as CFO of Starling's National Bank, to buy Queen Consolidated's remaining shares, ensuring that Isabel Rochev doesn't take control of the company.
Finally, when Ollie says he doesn't want to be called the Hood, Diggle asks him what he does want to be called. He holds up a green arrow and the camera focuses on it, then cuts to the title card. It's not at all subtle, but it's just awesome!
There's the opening scene, with Roy taking on the Triad by himself. He totals his car, bangs himself up and gets arrested, but he took out one of the bikers and held off the other.
Later, Arrow and Diggle vs. White and Tiger; Ollie shows that you don't need a kill shot to take someone out, and Dig reminds us that he can hold his own against China. And when she attempts a Break Them by Talking rant against Arrow, saying that he'll never be seen as anything but a criminal, he shoots her downbeautifully:
"As long as this city is safe, it doesn't matter."
Felicity sending the whole SCPD task force on a wild goose chase after the Arrow by hacking into their video feeds with year-old surveillance.
A minor one for both characters involved is Roy hearing something suspicious behind him and accurately throwing his flechette, only for the Arrow to casually catch it, then tell Roy that you don't need to beat up bad guys to be a hero, offering to let him be a spy and scout in the Glades.
Finally, though it was a pretty cruel move, Laurel setting up a police sting to catch the Arrow was admittedly impressive for her.
Black Canary, pinned under a pile of metal rods, kills the Dollmaker and disappears in the space of a few spoken words. And before that, her Big Damn Heroes/Dynamic Entry at the very start of the episode, crashing down through the ceiling and wielding her sonic device against the cops to stop them from capturing Oliver.
The Reveal at the end where it would appear that Black Canary (and by extension Malcolm, going by what he said last season and by the messenger's Dark Archer outfit) was trained by none other then The Demon's Head himself, Ra's Al Ghul.
Finally, our vigilante is called the Arrow for the first time in-universe! And Lance gets to coin the new name.
Arrow and Black Canary (who thought Oliver would have told her family that she was alive) fighting side by side in a true Battle Couple moment against the hired goons of "The Mayor", and it finishes with them using each other's own Weapon of Choice right after Oliver had taken out a grenade with his arrow.
"League of Assassins":
The various fights against Al-Owal and the League.
Round 1: Ollie and Sara barely defeat Al-Owal, before he gets away.
Round 2: The Arrow and the Canary barely escaping with their lives against three members of the League.
Round 3: Sara faces Al-Owal and his two minions in the clock tower, which she has booby-trapped Skyfall-style. She ends up defeating them with the Arrow and Quentin's help; the latter kills a ninja with his spare gun, she kills Al-Owal, and they spare the last one to send Ra's Al Ghul a message: Leave the Lance family alone.
Al-Owal performs an Arrow Catch... with an arrow shot at him from behind.
Quentin deserves credit for deducing that Sara is the Black Canary after only talking to her for a few minutes.
"Keep Your Enemies Closer":
Ollie and Diggle not only breaking into a Russian gulag, but breaking back out. Credit for an assist goes to Felicity, who designed the compact explosive hidden in a red star to look like a piece of Soviet kitsch.
Diggle proving just how honorable he is by letting Deadshot go despite having a clear shot at him, because that was the deal he made.
A world-class hitman and a special forces Battle Butler decide to work together to escape from the worst prison in Russia. Cue the ass-kicking.
"State v. Queen":
Malcolm's Wham Shot of an entrance, leading to The Reveal he wasn't dead AND he still hadn't lost his aim. Not to mention him casually telling Moira that he bought off the jury to her trial, releasing her from being in jail — oh, and The Reveal that Thea is his daughter.
Even though it breaks his one rule, Oliver, not as Arrow, putting an end to Count Vertigo by shooting him in the chest with three arrows, the force of which sends him falling to his death.
Thanks to one mention of Nanda Parbat, Moira manages to contact the League of Assassins and inform them that Malcolm is still alive, ensuring he'll be too busy running away from Ra's Al Ghul to reveal to Thea that he is her father. To truly emphasize how awesome this is, upon hearing Moira speak the name Ra's Al Ghul, the smug smirk that seems to be Malcolm's default facial expression vanishes and all he can ask is how Moira knows that name.
Moira Queen: I am through being afraid of you.
Barry trying his hand at guessing things about the Arrow... and actually is pretty Awesome by Analysis. Along side, Felicity of all people, who gets more and more edgy. And then he starts to describe her.
Barry: So you've seen him, right? The Vigilante? I read that he saved you. What was he like?
Felicity: (beat) Green.
Barry:Green. That's interesting, right? I mean, why green? Black would be better for stealth and urban camouflage. Me, personally? I think that he trained in some sort of like, forest or jungle environment. And the green is a nod to that.
Barry: Do you wanna know something else? I think that he has partners. Definitely someone with a background in computer sciences.
Felicity: (Guiltily moves towards her computer babies)
The Arrow's fights against Cyrus Gold/the Acolyte, who's been injected with the Mirakuru serum, giving him superhuman strength and durability. Ollie loses both fights, but he really holds his own. Also, he reveals that he has defeated another Mirakuru user — presumably Slade — while on the island.
Felicity coming up with a plan to save Oliver from an unknown substance and being discovered by the public when Diggle, second best Team Arrow tactician couldn't. Drafting Barry Allen to help figure out the solution that has been injected into Oliver, by revealing their secret to him. Since she's the only one who really spent anytime with Barry, she both knows he's pro-Vigilante and has a strong enough relationship with him that even if he wasn't, he probably still wouldn't reveal her secret, ipso facto (thank you, Count) not being able to reveal Oliver's.
Barry going right up to Oliver: "And you don't have to thank me, but you should thank her instead of being kind of a jerk." Especially considering that the first thing that Ollie did upon waking up is strangle him and threaten to kill him.
Barry shows off more Awesomeness by Analysis, managing to figure out what's wrong with Ollie and cure him in a matter of minutes. He then reveals that he went to the trouble of getting the oils off Ollie's neck so they can recreate fingerprints of his attacker.
Oliver getting over his survivor's guilt thanks to an hallucination of Tommy, who encourages him to get up and fight, and defeating Cyrus Gold by shooting the centrifuge full of Mirakuru, that spills on him and probably kills him.
And before he does that Oliver fights Gold and pretty much demolishes him in close combat, and this is the guy who kicked him into a ceiling not long ago.
The comic-based Deathstroke, Slade Wilson, complete with eyepatch, superpowers and some white hair, is in town, is the man behind Brother Blood, and wants to make Ollie suffer before killing him.
Also, superpowered Slade making a demonstration of his new abilities combined to his skills, easily killing three of Ivo's men and breaking a rifle.
The particle accelerator goes haywire in a storm, killing the power in the process; Barry gets up to close the skylight in his very wet lab to brace for the storm. And then things start going strange: the chemicals start responding to something; time seems to slow. He looks up, and in a great flash of yellow light, he gets struck by impossible lightning. There is something oddly satisfying in finally seeing the creation of Barry's super powers, and despite how traumatic it may be, you know awesome is soon to follow.
Barry making this for Oliver. And when Oliver wears it for the first time (seen here)...
Oliver: How do I look?
Felicity: Like a hero.
Felicity has no hesitation about getting Oliver's personal space when he pisses her off even though he outweighs her and is taller. At one point, Diggle intervenes because it looks like they might actually get into a physical fight.
Oliver: People are dying. So I would like you to pull your head out of Central City and get back in the game.
Felicity: Sure. Right after you get yours out of your ass.
Actually, just about every Felicity/Oliver moment in this episode is pretty awesome for Felicity. She's taken a level in being a classyBadass and is standing up to Oliver and his atrocious mood. Even better, she's still doing her job like a pro the entire time. One of the best moments? She coordinates communications between Diggle and Oliver, finds out that Oliver is standing in a bomb-rigged room, picks up his train of thought to find a solution, begins a panic-fueled ramble, stops herself, snarks at Oliver, and finds a way to deactivate the bomb. Then she promptly heads downtown to dismantle another bomb and almost gets shot.
Oliver: Shrapnel left behind a surprise. Said he packed the drywall with explosives but the trigger needs to be...
Felicity: Would need to be hooked up to some sort of power supply. That's assuming that the detonator is connected to the store's electricity and not something independent like a car battery... I know. Not helpful. Are you sure you want me doing this? My head might notexactlybe in the game.
Felicity has discovered the origins of the bombs and is tracking down who might be responsible:
Felicity: I analyzed the bomb remnants we got from Lance. The design's identical to the bombs used by an anti-government militia group called the Movement. Lucky for us, they have a very active and hackable message board.
Oliver stops Shrapnel cold with one well-placed arrow to the wire connecting his trigger to the cellular transmitter.
A minor one is Island!Sara not hesitating a second to use a big tree branch to stop Slade on Mirakuru from strangling Oliver, in spite of having seen first-hand what he could do and being one of the most knowledgeable people alive on Mirakuru.
Laurel and the Arrow breaking into the Starling Archives, then fleeing when the police arrive too soon.
Laurel saving the Arrow by gunning down the Man in the Skull Mask except it's Officer Daily. By the way, the latter deserves a cookie for a smart use of the environment that allowed him to get the Arrow in an armlock.
Felicity casually admitting to hacking into a prison's computer network and being complimented by Oliver.
The fight between Bronze Tiger and the Arrow in Merlyn's garage.
Roy punching through a container that can withstand Oliver's explosive arrows.
"Heir to the Demon":
Nyssa (alias "Miss Raatko") managing to get the best of several trained Customs and Immigration officers (in high heels no less), then casually walking out as the PA voiceover says "Welcome to Starling City".
Felicity shows her Genre Savvy when she approaches Moira Queen directly (doubles as a moment of funny):
Felicity: I flagged a large wire transfer you made. When I mentioned it to Walter, he said he would talk to you about it. I could tell in his face he wouldn't. British people are really bad liars.
And then, she flat-out verbally sends a shot across Moira's bow, then shows how fast she is on the uptake as she unravels Moira's secret — even though Moira could become a very powerful political figure who could deep-six Felicity's career if she ever loses Ollie's backing:
Felicity: So I looked into it myself because...full disclosure? I don't trust you.
Moira: If you won't keep my secret for Oliver's sake, you should keep it for your own. I see the way you look at him. If you tell him this, you will rip his world apart. And a part of him will always blame you. Oh, he'll hate me for sure. But he'll hate you, too.
Oliver picking up on Felicity's distress to the point that he runs her down to figure out what the hell is going on.
The Arrow and the Canary chasing down the van containing Nyssa, a subordinate, and the captive Dinah Lance, particularly when the Canary again wields her sonic device to shatter the glass in the windows. The bad guys get away, but points for effort.
The Arrow and the Canary are facing an Assassin, and he is giving them some trouble. Who takes him down?
Quentin: What, they didn't teach you about right crosses in assassin school?
The ending fight between the Arrow and Nyssa — special mention for when the latter manages to shoot out Oliver's quiver and break his arrows.
Present-day Slade gets another villainous one, as he trolls Oliver during Moira's tour of the mansion, all the while planting spy cameras with Oliver none the wiser. He tops it off by anticipating that Diggle would be set up as a sniper, and having him taken out — non-lethally, even, since he wants Oliver and his allies to suffer first.
Two words: Harley Quinn. Out of all the characters the show cameos, it cameos Harley Quinn. This is in many ways awesome: it's a nod to the comics, a nod to Batman, even a nod to the video games as her one line is voiced by none other than Tara Strong, the official voice actress for Harley in the Batman Arkham Series. And it all but confirms that Batman exists in the Arrow-Verse.
It's awesome for one other very simple reason — there had been speculation that, due to Fox's Gotham series using the Batman license, Arrow may not be able to use characters like Nightwing that fall under said license. Harley's cameo confirms that those characters are still on the table.
The Squad in general. Despite not working together for very long, they all apply their skills and perform their roles flawlessly (save for Shrapnel), and work together surprisingly well.
"Birds of Prey":
The Canary laying waste to the mook who had just grabbed Laurel in the courthouse.
Oliver managing to shoot at and shatter Helena's crossbow from approximately fifty feet away.
Quentin knocking out the deranged SWAT captain who tried to gun down all the vigilantes, especially since Sara and Laurel were in danger from him.
Both fights between the Canary and the Huntress. Had Laurel not intervened the second time, Helena would've paid for her crimes with her life.
This episode is basically Slade playing Oliver like a damn fiddle left and right. One moment that particularly stands out for him is stopping a prison bus and recruiting the prisoners for his army — while Oliver is distracted fighting through an army of mooks (an awesome moment for him) trying to reach Thea, only to find she's not there.
Slade's final masterstroke to break Oliver? Paying Laurel a visit, not to hurt her, but to let her know Oliver is the Arrow. Why expend the energy when a few words will do to destroy their relationship?
Another villainous one comes with Isabel Rochev taking over Queen Consolidated, calmly revealing her knowledge of Oliver's secret identity, and proving to already be something of a Dark Action Girl, able to hold her own against him at least for a bit.
Thea gets one for calling out Oliver and Moira on keeping her true parentage from her, even if Slade did lie to her about how long Oliver knew it.
Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon, characters from the upcoming Flash spinoff, get one by being the first people to even remotely slow down present-day Deathstroke thanks to a weapon made by Arthur Light. It only works once, and Slade still ends up getting the machine he came for, but it remains impressive.
Laurel proves she has Brass Balls when she gets her father released from prison by promising her boss, the District Attorney, that she'll make it her life's goal to sue the District Attorney's office for wrongful arrests and reckless endangerment.
At the climax, Slade cutting Oliver's rapidly shot arrows in mid-air.
Isabel again showing her Dark Action Girl credentials and giving Oliver some trouble, though he does overpower her — only for Slade to take over the attack.
Ollie finally surprises Slade and puts him down (albeit very momentarily) thanks to hidden projectiles on his bow.
Diggle saving Oliver by shooting Isabel is rather cathartic after her actions in this and the previous episode, though it does lead to her getting the Mirakuru.
For all her flaws, Moira Queen proves once and for all that she is a woman you do not want to mess with, as she will do anything to protect her children. That includes staring down Slade Wilson and outright demanding no harm come to her children when he kidnaps the Queen family and tries to force Oliver into the same Sadistic Choice that got Shado killed on the island. Moira being Moira, she will not have Oliver live with that choice, so she stands up, stares Slade right in the eye, and gets stabbed in the heart. Crosses over with Tear Jerker.
Also notable for completely avoiding any feeling of Stuffed into the Fridge. Moira had plenty of Character Development in her time on the show, making it hard to feel like there was much untapped potential, and she goes out completely on her own terms, saving her family, like her every action up to this point was designed to do.
"City of Blood"
Diggle kidnaps one of Slade's men, who's initially defiant and says he's not afraid of a beating. Then Felicity steps up, announces "I'll be your interrogator this evening," and gets him to sing in seconds by hitting him where it really hurts and sending his secret bank accounts to charity.
Felicity: Looks like you just approved a wire transfer of $1 million to a charity here in Starling City. Very generous. What should I do with the rest?
Felicity: Great cause! (Big grin) And they really appreciate the support.
Laurel revealing that she knows Oliver is the Arrow, and challenging his self-pity over Moira's death by pointing out that Starling City needs him alive to fight for its people as the Arrow, and that Oliver's plan of walking to his death at Slade's hands not only won't get Slade to call off his plan, but would destroy Thea coming so soon after Moira's death. He gets angry and refuses to listen, until she delivers the killer — Sebastian Blood is working for Slade, and this time, she has proof of his evildoing. You can see the moment Oliver shakes off his Heroic BSOD and realizes he's not done yet.
Laurel and Quentin bugging Blood's computer to see what he was up to, and finding some evidence. Namely, a consolation letter for Moira's death written the day before it occurred.
"Streets of Fire"
Diggle going toe to toe with a superhuman Isabel in the begining. Sure he lost, but he held his own against a super soldier/assassin.
Sebastian Blood proving he really does care about Starling City over everything else when Slade's true plan causes him to turn against the maniac and steal the Mirakuru cure from under his nose to give to Oliver.
Oliver and Felicity pulling off an amazing Batman Gambit to fool Slade into letting Felicity get close enough to inject him with the Mirakuru cure. And keep in mind, it was Felicity who did the injection; the same Felicity who very rarely goes out into the field and is usually behind a computer, up against Deathstroke, a psychotic mercenary with Super Strength who can cut her head off with his katana at any moment.
Even without the Mirakuru in him, Slade still gives Oliver a serious run for his money. And bonus point in comparison tot he rest of his men: all the other soldiers and Isabel were immediately incapacitated by the pain from the injection, but Sladepushes through it to duke it out one on one with Oliver, only losing consciousness after being restrained.
In what may be the show's best use of flashbacks to date, Oliver's final battle with Slade in the present keeps switching back and forth with their showdown aboard the sinking Amazo five years prior. And both fights are exactly the quality we've come to expect from this show.
The Canary and Nyssa proving what an effective Battle Couple they are against the Mirakuru soldiers and Isabel.
Quentin going Papa Wolf on Nyssa being anywhere near his daughter, yet still saving her from a Mirakuru soldier during the battle in the tunnel.
And him going through all this, fighting and moving and leading the police, all the while suffering from possibly fatal internal bleeding, that could very well have been very painful with him just covering it up.
For that matter, the sight of Oliver leading his allies in an Unflinching Walk down the tunnel towards the soldiers, then charging into combat. To say nothing of the fight itself.
Roy Harper especially during this scene, fresh off the Mirakuru cure, using the archery training Oliver gave him when teaching him control and the natural fighting skills he learned from dealing with the Mirakuru; thus, we're introduced to Red Arrow.
Amanda Waller proving she's no mere bureaucrat by singlehandedly holding a Mexican Standoff against Diggle, Lyla, and Deadshot.
Ollie having Slade imprisoned in his least favorite place: The island.
From a writing standpoint, keeping the relationship between Nyssa and Sara a heavy secret by posting false casting slides for Nyssa that masked their relationship. It is damn impressive that the writers managed to keep something like that a secret in the age of the Internet and spoilers.
Including it in general; by doing so, Arrow has become the first serious outside-of-comics superhero show or movie to depict an openly gay relationship onscreen, which is a pretty awesome move for them. The announcement that the Flash spin-off is going to include Pied Piper is also a win too.
Stephen Amell broke Facebook. Yes, you heard that right: during a Q&A for his fans, he answered so many questions that the algorithms determined that he was a spam bot.
Stephen Amell's utterly epic rant about the Russian Olympic games forcing Arrow to take a hiatus. His complete and utter disdain for the country's homophobic politics is truly awesome.
"For everyone asking, we're taking a mini hiatus so people can grit their teeth and suffer through an Olympic games marred by homophobia and mediocre levels of public interest. Back February 26th."