Arrow Episode Review: Heir to the Demon
This is one of those episodes of Arrow where nothing goes as you would expect. This episode had some great action as well as some pretty tough emotional moments.
The character of Oliver Queen suffers from the same character flaw as Bruce Wayne: They're both hypocritical as fuck. Now I'm not saying this to say that's a bad thing. I'm not one of those people who complains about character flaws purposely written into characters. This character flaw is a HUGE part of who Oliver is and it makes for some interesting moments in this show. Every week there seems to be another example of Oliver contradicting himself. In the first season, there was him trying to lecture the Huntress about killing while he was killing. This season, there's been a lot. just last episode Oliver revealed his secret to Roy Harper and brought him onto the team. This after a few episodes ago, going off on Diggle and Felicity for letting Barry in on his secret in order to save his life. Truth is, Oliver didn't learn to control his emotions on the Island, he just learned to bury them. I wasn't expecting Oliver to continue forward with the public support of his mother after finding out the truth from Felicity (who I didn't think was going to tell him so soon). Remember, he is friends with Sebastian blood and it would have been just as easy to turn on his mother at that announcement and ended her campaign before it started. The great thing about his is, I wasn't sure which way I wanted Oliver to go. But like I mentioned before, Oliver's hypocrisy was glaring in his confrontation with his mother later on. Oliver didn't want to hear his mom's excuse that she lied about Thea's paternity because she was afraid of Malcolm Merlyn and she was protecting the ones she loved. But that's EXACTLY why Oliver doesn't tell anyone he's the vigilante. It's even more hypocritical when you realize that Oliver, having almost been killed by Malcolm and then believing he killed Malcolm to end his reign of terror, knows just how dangerous Malcolm Merlyn is. So for him to not give his mother the benefit of the doubt when he's full of secrets himself is "classic" immature Oliver. I really like the character of Moira because she IS shady. But it's repeatedly shown that she's only shady when she's being a lioness and protecting her cubs. When Moira tries to put Felicity in her place by telling Felicity that if she tells Oliver, Oliver will never forgive her (Felicity)...you can see how ruthless Moira is. We forget in Season 1, Moira had a close family friend killed to protect her family
Speaking of family....
I'm really interested in seeing what ends up happening with Sara and Laurel. I don't believe both of them will end up making it into season 3. The end of the episode basically shows that Oliver and Sara have real feelings for each other. Truth is, it makes better sense than Oliver-Laurel ever did. Both Sara and Oliver went through similar ordeals on the island. They're both vigilantes. This leaves Laurel out in the cold. Laurel's reaction to Sara being alive was unexpected at first (if you remember how much she wanted to believe in season 1) but honestly, it makes sense. Sara & Oliver really are the cause of a lot of her downfall in an indirect way and while she's definitely projecting, it's understandable. We didn't get any island flashbacks this episode, but the flashbacks to the Lance family before the boat ride were actually pretty good in the way they show WHY Laurel's fallen apart. Before Oliver and Sara took that trip, Laurel was looking for apartments to move into with Oliver. She was planning their future together. Then everything falls apart and Sara and Oliver were the beginning of that. What I want to know is how she'll handle it if Sara & Oliver start to reconnect romantically publicly. Part of me believes it's going to be Sara that is killed off and Laurel around that time is going to find out Oliver is "The Hood". That's going to put even more strain on her friendship with him because she'll blame him for taking her sister from her a second time. Also, if Oliver was jealous of Barry and Felicity, how is Felicity going to feel about Sara being around and being with Oliver?
Katrina Law does an excellent job as Nyssa al Ghul. From the first moment she shows up, you can tell that the action sequences in this episode are going to be great. I'm pretty sure a lot of people wondered why the writers went with Nyssa instead of Talia but to me, it seems like the easier choice. Nyssa is the lesser known daughter and therefore gives the writers more freedom. Her fight with Oliver was pretty awesome. I like it when Oliver goes against another archer because we get some pretty cool Archer-on-Archer action.
The end of the episode pretty much confirms that Slade is going to get more hands on with dealing with Oliver. The chills you get when Slade tells Sebastian he'll "Take care of it"....
The only real problem I had with this episode was the glaring absence of Roy Harper. Even though the storyline didn't have anything to do with him, after last episode's HUGE developments, not having him appear at all in the episode is a rare misstep for this show. I don't think he needed any significant screen time or even more than just a cameo, but last week he was brought onto the team. Even if, instead of showing him, they gave a throwaway line about why he wasn't around would have been acceptable. I bring this up because this is going to start becoming an issue with this show. A lot of people have already pointed it out but now that we're getting more significant recurring characters, it is going to have to be a juggling act that the show deals with. We haven't seen Isabel Rochev in a while and that's odd after the conflict and relationship she was having with Oliver. Roy is now on the team and not having him around is going to be like having an episode where Diggle or Felicity don't show up now. I'm not saying they need to have huge roles, but there needs to be explanations as to why certain characters aren't around. Especially as more characters become regulars. We now have Sara Lance coming out of the shadows to her family. That and her relationship with Oliver is going to make this juggling act more complicated. Having said that, I have full faith that this show will handle it. Honestly, I expect some people won't make it into Season 3. But we'll see. There's actually not that many characters that I see as expendable right now. Even Diggle, who clearly has been getting less screen time this season, is still needed because Oliver still isn't entirely clear headed and sensible right now. My theory is that Slade is going to punish Oliver by forcing him to make the same decision he made on the Island before. The question will be, who will it be that Oliver is forced to choose? The easy answer is to say he'll have to choose between Sara and Laurel but what if Slade makes him choose between Felicity and Sara? I really think we're in for that kind of gut wrenching choice for Oliver coming up on the end of the season.
This was a really good episode. Even though she released Sara, Nyssa is going to be a formidable foe and I expect the League of Assassin's to cross paths with Arrow's team again. I can't wait to see what the repercussions of Sara Lance now revealing herself to still be alive. We already see how Laurel is taking it but what about Det. Lance knowing that she's also out fighting crime? And how long before he puts two-and-two together and realize that the Arrow is Oliver? Does Oliver stick to his guns with cutting his mother off when they're behind closed doors or does he finally realize how hypocritical he's being? And what is Slade's next move going to be? My biggest problem is that I have to wait until February 26th to see what happens next.