Arrow: League of Assassins Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, November 07, 2013
Arrow continues to make great strides this week in cementing its comic book foundation be introducing the Ra’s al Ghul controlled League of Assassins into the show’s mix after a brief glimpse last week. The episode opens with retelling the sinking of Robert Queen’s yacht, ret-conned with Caity Lotz into the role as Sara Lance. Sara survives the ship’s sinking clinging for life on a piece of floating wreckage. She is found by the ship Amazo where her crew immediately imprisons her until she is released by the man funding the ship, Anthony Ivo. So we now have a further connection as Professor Ivo was the man who created the android known as Amazo who had the ability to replicate the powers of superheroes.
Oliver allows Sara to stay at the Queen mansion where they are attacked by a man dressed in the same black, ninja-like garb worn by Malcolm Merlyn. Together, Oliver and Sara manage to take the man out where he is unmasked as Al-Owal, a member of the League of Assassin and is hunting Sara in order to return her to Ra’s al Ghul. However before they can interrogate him, Al-Owal creates a diversion and escapes. When the Al-Owal, realizes he will not be able to forcibly return Sara to the League, he instead targets Sara’s family, Laurel and her father Quentin. While Sara had been keeping her return a secret, she now has no choice but to reveal herself to her father.
With Laurel protected, Sara retreats to her clock tower lair with her father to set a trap for the league but the fight goes poorly until Green Arrow arrives to even the odds. In a true mark out moment that makes Detective Lance realize that Sara is no longer a little girl, she snaps the neck Al-Owal, and allows the last member of the League to escape, as a warning to Ra’s al Ghul to leave her, and her family alone.
There were a lot of good things in this episode. First, it was among the most action-packed episodes of Arrow yet featuring three well-choreographed battles between Black Canary and Green Arrow, and the League. While I thought that Al-Owal was taken down a little too easy—he is the man who trained Malcom Merlyn after all—the fight sequences were still thrilling and creative. This episode also began to build Sara’s background and what transpired for her after the yacht sank. Adding Ivo this week would seem to indicate that the ship named Amazo isn’t just an inside reference but hopefully a hint of what is to come down the road. At the end of the episode Sara leaves so it might be a while before we see her again but she’s already been the highlight of the second season so far.
In other developments, Laurel finds herself assigned to the murder case against Moira Queen much to Oliver’s consternation. Moira decides to refuse a plea agreement and risk the possible death penalty in order to fight the charges. There wasn’t much not to like this week although Laurel’s poor me angst has quickly grown as tiresome as Thea’s rebellious angst from last season.
Mania Grade: A-
Episode: League of Assassins (Season 2, Episode 5)
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Paul Blackthorne, Caity Lotz Colton Haynes
Written By: Jake Coburn & Drew Z. Greenberg
Directed By: Wendey Stanzler
Network: The CW
Studio: Warner Brothers, DC Comics