Arrow Season 2 Review “Heir to the Demon”

When will people learn that you cannot run from your past? It will always find you, and it will always destroy whatever illusion you’ve created for yourself in the present. Running, hiding, and lying never works out well in the end. You end up hurting the ones you were trying to save and losing what you were trying to protect. A few folks in Starling City found that out the hard way in this week’s Arrow.

Sara Lance showed up at Laurel’s apartment after Oliver told her about Laurel’s situation, and it’s a good thing she did. It looked like Laurel had overdosed, so Laurel ended up in the hospital. As it turns out, Laurel hadn’t overdosed. She was poisoned by snake venom. It was Ras Al Gul’s daughter Nyssa’s way of getting Sara’s attention. When that didn’t have the desired effect, Nyssa kidnapped Dinah Lance and threatened to kill her unless Sara came back into the League of Assassins fold. And it wasn’t necessarily because Ras Al Gul wanted it. Nyssa and Sara were an item, and Nyssa didn’t take it too well when Sara ran off. Sara said she left because she was tired of all he killing, and I don’t think she was lying about that. We don’t know all the details of how Sara ended up with the League, but it seems pretty clear that she joined them out of fear and desperation. She didn’t feel like she had any other option at the time, and that choice has haunted her ever since. When Nyssa refused to free her from the League, Sara decided the only way to save her family, and what was left of her soul, was to die. She traded herself for Dinah, but she neglected to mention to anyone that she had also ingested some of the snake venom too. If your ex-girlfriend would rather die than come back with you, Nyssa, it’s really time to just move on. Ultimately, Oliver was able to save Sara and Nyssa finally released her from her oath to the League. Things weren’t all rainbows and kittens though because then she had to go face her family.

I’m pretty sure that if Sara could take it back, she would not have gotten on that boat with Oliver. We were treated to some flashbacks from six years ago that gave us a bit more insight into the Lance family. It doesn’t look like they were necessarily the Brady Bunch, but for the most part they seemed happy. Except that the last thing Laurel and Sara did (before Sara left for the ill-fated voyage on the Queen’s Gambit) was fight. Laurel told Sara about her and Oliver looking for a place together, and she had their future pretty much all planned out. When Sara questioned whether Oliver was really the marrying kind, Laurel got all upset and snapped at Sara. The truth is, Laurel was already insecure about that even though she was trying to pretend otherwise. She lashed out at Sara then because she didn’t want to face the truth, and she’s lashing out at Sara now because she still doesn’t want to face the truth.

I’ve tried with Laurel. I mean, I’ve REALLY tried but I just can’t take it. I do not understand how she takes every situation and makes it about herself. After Sara saved Dinah and the Lance family was reunited, Laurel showed up (drink in hand, of course) and proceeded to lay into Sara. She accused Sara of being selfish and causing all of the horrible things that have ever happened in her (Laurel’s) life. First of all, Laurel has had six years to deal with the whole Oliver/Sara thing. Get over it already! She told Oliver last season that she was mad at first about Sara getting on that boat with him, but she said she’d forgiven Sara for all of that. Apparently she was lying to both Oliver and herself. Second, did Laurel even ask why the League was after Sara? No. Did she even care? No. You know, no matter what issues you have about your sister sleeping with your boyfriend, you kind of need to put that on the back burner when there are assassins involved. Laurel didn’t ask or seem to care about where Sara has been; how she managed to survive; or where she’s been for the last six years. She didn’t even care why the assassins were after Sara. So after six years of mourning her sister’s death; after six years of living with the pain of knowing the last thing you did was fight with your sister; after having the opportunity to hold your sister in your arms again; the first thing you do is call her a selfish brat and kick her out of your apartment? Wow, Laurel. Just wow. So all that time you spent talking about how you would give anything to have your sister back, so you could just hug her one more time and tell her you love her. Was that all just crap you were using to emotionally manipulate the people around you? Because that’s what it seems like. I’m pretty much just done with Laurel.

While Sara was dealing with her family issues, Oliver was dealing with some family issues of his own. Felicity has been keeping tabs on the secret account that Moira had, and she told Walter about some rather suspicious activity she found. Walter said he would talk to Moira about it, but Felicity being the really smart chick that she is, knew that Walter was lying. So, Felicity being Felicity, she dug into it herself. She discovered that Thea is really Malcolm Merlyn’s daughter, and she confronted Moira with that information. Moira thought that Felicity had come to blackmail her, but when it became obvious that Felicity simply wanted Moira to tell Oliver the truth, Moira switched gears. Let me just say, I’ve never been a Moira fan, but I really kind of wanted to slap her for threatening Felicity. She essentially told Felicity that if she ever told Oliver, he would hate her more than he would ever hate Moira. After some inner conflict, Felicity decided that Oliver needed to know the truth. Needless to say, he was furious. Just not with Felicity. He basically called his mother a liar and then disowned her. That didn’t work out the way Moira thought. But Oliver isn’t wrong. It’s a really sad thing when you build your life on lies, and that’s what Moira has done. I don’t know that she’d even be capable of recognizing the truth if it walked up and punched her in the face. The truth isn’t something that you run from, hide or avoid. The only way to live free is to live in the truth. Since Moira can’t seem to tell the truth to save her life, she will always be in one prison or another.

That’s why I’m glad Felicity didn’t give in to Moira’s threats. It was fairly obvious how much Felicity wanted to tell Oliver the truth as soon as she found out, but she also cares deeply for him. She didn’t want to hurt him, and she knew it would. Moira also had her afraid that she would lose Oliver if she told him the truth, but if Felicity had kept that secret, she wouldn’t have been the Felicity I’ve come to love so much. Part of her appeal is that she tells Oliver what he needs to hear and not just what he wants to hear. She always tells him the truth. It’s important that he keep people close to him who will tell him the truth, and it seems the only people in his life who do that are Felicity and Dig.

I am glad to say that I enjoyed this episode much more than the last few. The story, for the most part, centered on characters and storylines that I care about. The action sequences were also wonderfully done. I especially liked the way that last fight scene between Arrow and Nyssa was shot. Nicely done. There wasn’t any mention of or focus on Roy this time, but I hope he makes an appearance in the story again soon. I’m not sure how I feel about Oliver and Sara hooking up. It didn’t seem like they necessarily got together out of love or anything. They were both frustrated and angry with their family, and they needed something familiar. They each needed someone who could understand, and the only person who fits the bill for Oliver is Sara and vise versa. They needed each other. I’m not sure how that’s going to affect things going forward, but I really hope it doesn’t turn into an awkward love triangle type thing. I hate love triangles. All in all, solid episode. We’re on a break for a couple of weeks thanks to the Olympics, but I’m excited (and slightly terrified) to find out what Slade Wilson has in store for Oliver. So what did y’all think of this week’s Arrow?

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