Somehow, “Arrow” continues to convince us every week that it is more than just the average superhero show. Ever since moving away from that ho-hum procedural feel a decent ways into season 1, the show has become the sort of thing that comic-book fans have been wanting to see on TV for decades. It’s not an extremely faithful adaptation, but it is not trying to be. Instead, it is like reading a new comic series where your favorites are shown in new ways, and you get to imagine what could have been.
What makes “League of Assassins” so great ultimately is that it takes so much of that to heart in presenting us with a heck of a story all about the Black Canary as both a hero and a tragic figure that Oliver can related to on a number of different levels. She has been through a similar level of loss and suffering, and understands what he went through for five years before trying to reintroduce himself to society.
Caity Lotz was someone that so many were concerned about before the season, but to be honest we actually enjoy Sarah Lance as the Canary right more more so than we would Laurel. If the latter is to ever put on the mask, she has quite a bit of work to do to not be destroyed courtesy of the new evil faction known as the League of Assassins.
While seeing all of her backstory was fascinating, so much so that we did not really even mind that they recast the original Sarah for the role, the real moment that was unbelievably touching was seeing the reunion between her and her father, who she managed to protect while also unfortunately revealing to him that she was alive. She only did so to save him, and now he is burdened with the news that he has to keep from Laurel for the sake of her own safety. This sounds cheesy and superhero-like, but it makes sense.
The reason that this entire tale of Sarah’s woeful past and present worked is because the show has put in the work establishing the relationships Oliver has with people in the present, and also the growth that he has made. The same goes for the other characters who played a part here, from Diggle to Felicity. We did not miss too much the lack of Roy this week, and the Moira scenes were well-contained as we saw Oliver appropriately use the Sarah situation as motivation to continue to encourage her to fight the District Attorney rather than accept a plea deal.
This episode ultimately had everything you could want, whether it be commitment, action, drama, and even a tiny bit of romance that proved Laurel to be losing her mind. (Why would she think Oliver would want to kiss her, given that she is helping to lock up her mom?)
The grade here should be predictable: A.
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Photo: The CW