Arrow

Arrow 2×05 – League Of Assassins

"Pain and I came to a little understanding a few years back."

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What a season.

While I didn’t love Caty Lotz as much as I did in Crucible (her acting felt a bit off during some key moments), The Black Canary continues to be an outstanding addition to the Arrow cast. Truth be told, her backstory has still yet to be fully revealed, but it was still fascinating to watch Sarah get taken aboard the Amazo. It was there that she ultimately came face-to-face with Dr. Anthony Ivo, a sinister new villain with a plot to “save the human race”. We’ve still got lots of ground to cover regarding her involvement with the League of Assassins, but the writers are doing a pretty terrific job of slowly unveiling her journey by shifting the flashbacks away from Oliver for a while.

Speaking of the League, they’re an brilliant addition to Arrow’s rogues gallery. Not only are their outfits an awesome callback to Malcolm Merlyn, but the hooded figures are both unsettling and tremendously proficient in combat. I especially loved them mentioning “the child of Ra’s Al Ghul” – a namedrop that hopefully foreshadows the arrival of a new Big Bad in the form of the infamous Thalia Al Ghul. Whether it’s the League, Brother Blood, Isabel Rochev, China White or any other baddy, the Arrow world is now populated with an incredible array of villains. I am beyond impressed.

Paul Blackthorne delivered some exceptional work this week, and that streak will undoubtedly continue now that Detective Lance has to keep Sarah’s secret from a very broken Laurel. I’m at least glad that one of the Lances now knows the truth, as the reunion between the ex-detective and his long-lost daughter proved to be particularly moving. The two definitely have chemistry.

As for Laurel, her downward spiral now constitutes prescription pills (woohoo), and getting rejected after trying to go for a kiss with Oliver. It’s not the most thrilling subplot. but I’m still rooting for these two and I’m excited to witness the next chapter in Laurel’s journey. She’s bound to hit rock bottom soon no? And I do want Katie Cassidy to start having some fun on the show; god knows she was deliciously memorable on Supernatural and a standout on Melrose Place

I must mention that the action this week was astounding. From the attack on Ollie’s mansion to the double fight scene with the League’s assassins, the action was just incredibly staged and choreographed. It really felt like the show’s production values had been elevated to a whole new level of awesomeness.

But, something stopped this episode from being truly perfect… the ending. Apart from Sarah kicking Ollie in the face and proclaiming that “prisoners don’t talk”, this was the exact same ending we got last week. I think if we just had one more scene of Sarah with the Dr. Ivo, it would have given us added insight into her transformation as torturer. On its own, it felt like a repetitive and anticlimactic bookend to the hour.

Bits & Arrows

– So Sarah’s met both Slade and Shado. In fact, she first saw “the hood” on the latter.  I can’t wait to see her dynamic with both characters.

– Creepiest scene in a while: a drenched and beaten Sarah begging dragged through the Amazo.

– Loved Sarah pulling a makeshift staff out of Ollie’s ceiling. She got knocked out pretty quickly though.

– Al-Awal was a badass: his escape was nifty (using the chandelier as a distraction), and he caught Ollie’s arrow with his bare hands (while his back was turned). I do wish they didn’t kill him off so soon. Here’s hoping he reappears in flashback form.

– Further proof that Sarah is tough: she threatens to kick Diggle’s ass.

– Nifty little revelation: Sarah telling her Dad why she chose the Black Canary as a name, which explains the watchtower as her home base.

– So Moira has rejected the plea and will fight the death penalty (and Laurel). I do like that her kids are sticking by her. But please writers, give Susana Thompson more to do; she’s your secret weapon.

– Since that final Sarah scene was so unnecessary, I kind of wish the episode just ended with Ollie having a drink with Diggle.

Starling Quips

Felicity: What’s the League of Assassins? And please don’t say it’s a league made of assassins.

Sarah: I’m sorry if I upset you before.
Felicity: We’ve all joined clubs we wish we hadn’t. It took me a year to get out of that gym membership.

Diggle: How did it go with your mother?
Oliver: Not well. Have you found somebody for me to hit yet?

Sarah: You three are quite the team.
Diggle: We have our moments.

Felicity: That sounded a little less crazy in my head.
Lance: I doubt it.

Diggle: It’s your funeral Sarah.
Sarah: Wouldn’t be my first.

Warrior: Guns are a coward’s weapon. What are you without your sidearm?
Lance: (he shoots him) A guy with a spare.

Conclusion
Captivating and gripping, League of Assassins continues Arrow‘s impressive hot streak.

Nad Rating
A

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