BY ZACHARY WHITE //
They’re talking, they’re talking, they’re talking, and BOOM! Assassin’s show up.
Oliver Queen, also known as Arrow, gets his first real taste of trouble when Assassin’s show up at his family’s mansion to haul Sara Lance, ‘Black Canary,’ back to the League of Assassins under the leadership of Ra’s al Ghul. (Not a huge comic book nerd but still recognize that name? That is because Ra’s al Ghul is the same DC supervillain who appeared in Batman Begins.) We find out later Sara was trained by the assassins and her leaving them didn’t sit well with her higher ups. Aka they want her dead.
The mansion gets trashed (OK like three rooms get smashed up, but still an expensive mess) and the assassin gets away, which leads Queen on another of his epic supervillain chases through Starling City.
Meanwhile Oliver Queen’s mother, Moira, is being offered a plea bargain from the District Attorney’s office. She is being offered life in prison for the conspiracy and murder on her part in the destruction of half The Glades in season one.
Oliver continues the dark battle inside himself, caught between the problems with his mother and the return of his lost love in Sara Lance. As he continues to show almost no outward emotion, the show shifts away from him.
This episode really gets into the mindset of Sara Lance, moving away from the strong focus which has been on Oliver Queen throughout the show so far. Even the flashbacks to the island are memories of Lance’s instead of those of Queen.
The episode as a whole seems to have been written as a segway for getting Queen to talk with his comrades about his time shipwrecked on an island for five years. The appearance of Sara seems to be a driving force that may guide many characters decisions as the season unfolds.
More interesting, however, is the subtext of the episode which pits the newfound no killing morality of Oliver Queen, when acting as Arrow, against Sara’s killer mindset assassin training. Will Sara change to become a complementary character to Queen, or will she fall short of his ‘pure’ morality? It will be interesting to see where the shows writers, Greg Berlanti et al., decide to go with their story this season.
The episode’s look into the past of a major character and love interest from the Green Arrow comics, who was basically written off in season one, speaks to the direction the show will be taking this season — an emotional rollercoaster of drama. Of course the drama will be blended together with as much action as a superhero fan would expect, as well.
If you can get past the overly corny one-liners, obvious plot twists, and a Christopher Nolan wanna be Batman look, then the episode is all a superhero aficionado (or any person who likes to watch men and women run around in tights and save the world) could ask for.