Arrow Season 2 Review “League of Assassins”

One thing that can never be said of Arrow is that it skimps in the action department. There were more fists, feet, and arrows flying in this episode than any other I can remember. That is saying something considering how action packed the first few episodes of this season have been.

The League of Assassins (Ras Al Gul’s daughter in particular) wants Sarah aka Canary to return to the League headquarters. So, they sent some minions to retrieve her. Sarah told them she was out and she wasn’t going back, but they apparently don’t take rejection very well. When they couldn’t get to Sarah, they went after Laurel and Det. Lance. Oliver went to keep an eye on Laurel while Felicity went to try and get Det. Lance to leave town. He of course refused to do that, so Sarah had to reveal herself to him. She took him back to her perch above the city, and waited for the League’s assassins to come to them. Sarah and Oliver were able to defeat the 3 assassins, but I doubt it’s the last we’ll see of the League.

Sarah has been adamant that no one tell her family that she’s alive and in Starling City. Part of that had to do with the fact that it would be dangerous for them to know she’s alive. The League wants her and they know they can use her family to get to her. Keeping her family in the dark is the only way to keep them save. She only revealed herself to her father because that was the only way to save him. Aside from the danger though, Sarah didn’t want her family to know about her because she’s ashamed of what she’s become. After the Queen’s Gambit was destroyed, Sarah had to make some hard choices in order to survive. She’s no longer the innocent, sweet girl her family believed her to be. Now she’s sharper and hardened by her experiences. In short, she’s a finely-tuned killing machine. She regrets some of the choices she made, and she feels that what she’s done goes far beyond anything that can be forgiven. It was important for her to know that she is still loved and can be forgiven despite the things she’s done. Even more than that, it was important for her to realize that she needs to forgive herself. Most times that’s a whole lot easier said than done, but I think maybe now Sarah realizes that she is not beyond forgiveness. Letting go of her fear of what the people she loves would think of her was the first step. Sarah still left Starling City so that the League won’t go after her family anymore, but at least now she knows that she’s not alone.

I am enjoying the Oliver/Sarah relationship. Both of them have been through an extremely traumatic series of events, but they’re each dealing with it differently. Well, not really differently. I suppose a better way to say it is that they’re at different places in their recovery. When Oliver first got back to Starling City, he was much like Sarah. He was with his family, but he kept them at arm’s length. He didn’t really let anyone in, and he was carrying the burden of everything that had happened to him all by himself. However, through much patience and even more love, Oliver’s family and friends helped him finally got to a place where he realized he doesn’t have to deal with everything by himself. He has people that love him and support him. Sarah is just now beginning to come to that realization. Oliver is not only patient with Sarah, he’s honest with her. He’s the only person who truly knows what she’s going through, so his approach to her is coming from a place of understanding and concern. Probably because of their shared past, Sarah is willing to let Oliver help her. I’m interested to see how their relationship evolved during their time on the freighter and afterwards. Also, I really enjoy watching The Arrow and Canary kick butt. They make an excellent team, and the fight scenes they had in this episode were some of the best the series has done. I will say that the first one in the warehouse was shot a bit too dark, but that’s a relatively minor nitpick.

Then there’s Laurel. It’s a shame that Sarah has been more interesting in 8 or so episodes than Laurel has been in 2 seasons. Laurel got assigned to Moira Queen’s case and apparently talked the DA into offering Moira a plea deal. He would take the death penalty off the table and Moira would get life without the possibility of parole. I’m going to ignore the fact that there is no way Laurel would ever be assigned to Moira’s case. Aside from the glaring conflict of interest, Laurel is a first year attorney with the DA’s office. There is no way that she has the seniority to ride second chair on a case as big as Moira Queen’s. So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me just reiterate now next to useless Laurel has been this season. Her primary function in this episode was to ignore her father’s telephone calls, make a fool of herself with Oliver, and play the victim. That last one kind of came out of left field too. Oliver took her to dinner to (unbeknownst to her, but knownst to the rest of us) protect her from the League. After Oliver walked her to her to her door, she took the opportunity to try to kiss him. When he didn’t reciprocate, she chose that moment to complain that everyone leaves her. Uh…what? Where did that even come from? Laurel has been through some traumas recently, but that whole abandonment issue doesn’t seem to fit. It felt like that was thrown in just to provide a psychological reason for Laurel’s alcoholism, pill-popping and attempts to alienate her family.

I love Olicty a lot, but I love Oliggle (that’s my term, but feel free to use it) just as much. Oliver and Diggle’s bromance is one of the best on TV. They pick at each other constantly, but they’ve always got each others’ backs. I’ve loved Dig since the minute he walked into the Queen mansion. It’s not just that he’s smart, witty, and capable of handling himself physically. It’s not even that from the get go Dig has been able to see the real Oliver. I love Dig because from the beginning he’s been able to see the larger picture of what Oliver needed to do. Ever since Oliver let him in on his mission to save Starling City, Dig has been trying to make Oliver see that there is more than one way to accomplish that task. At the beginning of this season, Oliver finally accepted that. Yes, he said he was doing it to honor Tommy, but it’s something Dig has been saying all along. If Dig had not been there to support Oliver, steer him toward the hero’s path, and from time to time remind him to remove his head from his rear end; things could have gone a very different (and deadly) way. I can’t imagine where Oliver would be without Dig, and it looks like Oliver has finally decided to open up about the 5 years he was away. He’s told Dig more about that time than he’s told anyone else, but he hadn’t shared everything. I liked that the episode ended with Oliver finally allowing Dig to help him carry that burden.

Once again, solid episode. I really did enjoy the Arrow/Canary fight scenes. They looked more real than a lot of the choregographed fighting on TV nowadays. Det. Lance is kind of starting to grow on me too. I wasn’t a fan of his last season, but this season he’s a very different man. I like this guy a whole lot more. I also liked that he was able to put together fairly quickly that Sarah is Canary. It’s always refreshing when TV cops aren’t dimwits. It seems the writers are having a hard time figuring out how Laurel fits into the story. There are so many other, more interesting story arcs going on, I don’t believe I would even notice if Laurel disappeared for a while. Wishful thinking, I know. I’m interested to find out what Moira is hiding now and why she was willing to accept a life in prison rather than have anyone find out about it. Whatever it is has got to be pretty good. So what did y’all think of this week’s Arrow?

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