After a really strong showing last week from ‘Arrow’ as they finally paired up Roy Harper and Oliver Queen, the CW superhero drama slipped a little bit back into meh mode for me. The main focus of the latest episode titled ‘Heir To The Demon’ was the various family dynamics in the show, specifically the secrets being kept by the Lance and Queen families. Through flashbacks and hostage situations organized by the League of Assassins, we got to delve more into the background of the Laurel, Sara, and their parents since all of the action in this installment was connected to the blonde vigilante known as the Black Canary. Meanwhile, as Moira Queen announces her intentions of joining the Starling City mayoral race against Sebastian Blood, the secret about Thea and her real father has revealed itself to a member of Team Arrow.
Now I’m aware that “meh” could be an unfair assessment of the episode considering that so many things were done well. For instance, the action sequences involving Katrina Law’s deadly other daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, Nyssa Raatko, were top notch. She put up a great fight against Ollie and Sara, which made for pretty exciting TV. I also thought it was interesting that the writers went with Nyssa versus Talia when deciding to use one of al Ghul’s offspring, but Nyssa has a cleaner slate as a character, so they were more open to play around with her story a bit more, which ended up working in their favor.
But besides making Nyssa more than just a villain of the week and giving her an adequate amount of character to make her interesting, the rest of the episode seemed like filler to me. It was so forgettable that I had to go back and watch it again so that I’d have something to talk about in this review. The flashbacks were a little redundant since we’ve already known that Sara was on the Queen’s Gambit with Oliver from episode one and we’ve gotten to know how other characters in the show felt about that. Instead of giving us more of what we already knew, I wish that we got flashbacks of Sara and Nyssa. They briefly touched on their past relationship, but I think it would have been more memorable if we actually got to see that. It was nice to see Detective Lance be happy with his family and less of a hard ass in general, but it didn’t really serve much purpose.
Then there was the other storyline in this episode following Moira and her campaign, which I still don’t fully buy into yet based on her role in the Undertaking. I’ll spare you my problems with it since I went into it in my last review, but another layer added on top of it this week was Felicity’s involvement as she learned of a pretty huge secret that Mrs. Queen was hiding. While all this was happening, I couldn’t help but repeatedly ask myself why. I don’t know why she wouldn’t have just dropped it after she talked to Walter. That whole thing just came off as sloppily done since Felicity never really had a proper motivation to drop this bombshell on Oliver. She said that she didn’t trust Moira, but that doesn’t really give her the right to share this secret with the rest of the Queen family. I’m getting all jumbled just trying to think about why this felt wrong, but the fact of the matter is that this whole ordeal seemed out of character for Felicity Smoak, except the part when she kind of attempts to explain what’s wrong to Ollie, but doesn’t actually say anything. Basically, it all could have been handled better.
Those two things combined with some overdramatic moments that were certainly eye roll worthy were what really killed this episode for me. But the saving grace is that the pair of Black Canary and Green Arrow is finally together. Plus, Slade is off the bench and getting back in the game thanks to the mayoral race. Those things make me very happy and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out, especially the rekindled relationship between Sara and Ollie. I might even be interested in Laurel again now that she’ll have to face her sister again eventually.
When it comes to ‘Arrow’ at this point and time, it’s like the old saying goes: You take the good. You take the bad. You take them both and there you have the facts of life. That basically sums up how I feel about it all, so we’ll see where things land on that spectrum next week.
‘Arrow’ starring Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Katie Cassidy, and Manu Bennett airs every Wednesday at 8:00pm on The CW.