Quite the Team: Goon Reviews Arrow “League of Assassins”

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So gonna start this off with one very simple statement.  Freaking loved this episode.

Okay, now that this out of the way, sit back and let me tell you why I love it, and why you should love it too.

As per the usual, lets start with the flashbacks.  We depart from the usual this week by having them focused on Sarah, which is good.  This episode is strongly focused on her, and its good that there not taking too long to drag out revealing her history.  We see her pulled out of the ocean by the men on the same boat that Oliver is being kept prisoner on in his flashbacks, and is treated to much the same hospitality as him when he is captured later, i.e. thrown in a cage.  Not surprising all things considered, these men have well been established as being villains, there would be no reason for them to treat anyone with any kindness.  Granted, their cruel treatment of Oliver makes sense, they know that he attacked and killed their men and has information on the bodies they are after, whereas she is a just a girl they fished out of the ocean.  Since she doesn’t really have any information they need, one would think they would have no real reason to be as cruel to her, apart from the whole being evil thing that we already established.   The biggest reveal here was that Professor Ivo, played by Dylan Neal, is tied up with these villains sailors.  This I loved, and the look in his eyes when he talked to Sarah about her helping his research.  Total mad scientist, Neal has that look down cold.  I can’t wait to see more of him as the mad, robot building, scientist.  We close out the flashbacks with Oliver being dragged into Ivo’s quarters, meeting Sarah, and getting kicked.  Solid close out to the flashbacks, the look of shock on Oliver’s face was priceless, and the stone cold killer look on Sarah’s, fantastic.

Jumping to the present, gotta say this, I am loving Caity Lotz as Sarah.  With Sarah being the focus of the episode, the entire thing was riding on Lotz to bring a great performance,  and damn it all she did.  Anger, determination, sadness, joy, she portrayed all of them amazingly.  I will admit I was bit hesitant about the whole Sarah being Black Canary thing, yes it was a great twist that I didn’t see coming, and I am liking her character, but I had yet to be fully sold on her.  That has changed, I’m sold.  She needs to come back.  She had better come back.

Alright, fanboying over, lets dig a little deeper.  This episode revolves around wrapping up this part of the Black Canary story arch.  We had the mentions of the League of Assassins (which I have been calling the League of Shadows, because basically that is what they are) and her ties to them a couple episodes back, and those came to fruition this week.  We see that Sarah has been staying at Casa de Queen, and he have nice scene between the two that is quickly ruined care of an assassin.   I liked that the episode quickly opened with an action scene, and a good one at that.  It did a great job of setting the pace of the episode, things were happening fast, a team of highly trained killers were there for Sarah and she and Oliver had to act fast.  The action scene itself was very well done in my opinion.  It was well paced, good choreography, and did showed the ingenuity of Sarah’s character with her ripping down part of the doors framing to use as a make shift bo staff.  That is another thing this episode had going for it, great action scenes.  They were faced paced, showed the characters strengths, and  were just flat out fun to watch.  The best being of course the final one in the clock tower.  The entire thing set up as a death trap by Sarah was ingenious, and makes sense that an assassin would have her home protected as such.  Best of all, Lance really stood out in this episode.  Even against a far more trained opponent,  Lance held his own and stuck true to this cop nature by using his gun over trying to go hand to hand.  The final shot with his back up piece, and closing quip were fantastic.  I am loving how his character is progressing this season.

Moving away from the action scenes, the bits between were solidly done as well.  Sarah’s introduction to Felicity and Diggle was well handled. There was no mistrust or any sort of hostility between them.  Felicity and Diggle immediately accepted her as a friend of Oliver and new member of the team, at least temporary, and Sarah saw how they were of value to Oliver.  There was even moments where I thought I was seeing sparks of friendship between Felicity and Sarah, which I loved.  Sarah obviously doesn’t have to many friends, the only one we have seen is Sin, who doesn’t even know who she really is, so Felicity’s immediate acceptance of her, and actually showing some concern for Sarah when she was hurt was a great indication of what could be a solid friendship between the two which I am really hoping will see some development in the future.

A theme for this episode seemed to be family.  You had Oliver urging Sarah to tell her family she was alive, the assassin’s targeting Sarah’s family, and the development of Moira’s trial and Oliver and Thea standing beside her.  Wasn’t a bad one, we have seen a lot of family drama this season, so seeing a subplot that is working to resolve some that is good to see.  As I stated above, it was Sarah’s confrontation with Lance was absolutely amazing.  Both Lotz and Blackthorne played these scenes great.  Sarah’s fear over her father rejecting her for what she has done while with the League, and Lance’s relief over knowing his daughter was safe was amazing to watch.  The scene after the fight where Sarah has to leave, Lance begging her to stay, it was all just an amazing scene.  The actors played their roles perfectly.  We NEED to see them have more screen time together.

The scenes with Moira, Oliver, and Thea, while brief, were good.  We saw advancement of the trial plot.  Moira is still accepting of her fate at first, and willing to take the deal that the DA offers her, but in the end doesn’t at the urging of her family.  I always liked Moira as a character.  Throughout season one it could be seen just how much she hated herself for her role in Merlin’s plan, and I love that she is willing to take the punishment for her role in it.  At the same time, in this season we now see a woman desperate to repair and keep her family together, and at the urging of her children agrees to try and fight the charges against her.  My love for her character remains solid, I look forward to seeing how the trial will play out.

Laurel in this episode.  She didn’t do much, we see that she is trying to help Oliver and his family by using what little pull she has at the DA to get the deal to save Moira’s life, which was good, but at the same time we see more of how she is self destructing over her guilt about Tommy’s death.  She comes onto Oliver, which was very out there.  She had previously stated that she couldn’t be with Oliver, and he had accepted that.  Her making a move on him, and how she was presenting herself screamed some sort of mind altering substance, later confirmed when we see her popping pills at the end.  Which are seriously messing with her head, seriously, who the hell wears hot pink pants  to work at a law firm!?  I don’t care how casual your Fridays are, there are some lines that should not be crossed.

And to close this out, lets talk about Blood Rush.  A new tie in web series for Arrow.  It was short, it was sweet, and promises good things to come.  It wasn’t much more than Felicity being her amazing self, honestly I would love to see her and Oliver paired together in the show, and a brief conversation with Roy.  We don’t know for certain why Roy was called up there, just that Oliver wants to speak with him.  It closes out with Felicity getting a call from Lance about an emergency.  While not much happened, it is showing promise of great things to come, and anytime Felicity gets screen time is okay in my book.

Overall, favorite episode of the season.  They will be hard pressed to top it.

Goon out.

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