Arrow: League of Assassins

Last week’s episode of Arrow was super emotional, as Sarah decided to tell her dad she was alive to save his life, and Oliver started to get a clearer picture of the version of hell she’d been through.

Oliver introduces Sarah to Team Hood and she’s a little wistful that Oliver’s had backup when she’s been on her own. She clues them in on the Assassins when she and Oliver are jumped at Chateau Queen. Sarah dials back and explains that they were who she fell in with when she was rescued from the wreckage of the Gambit (wearing only a robe and underwear) and brought on board the ship where she later found herself face to face with a captive Oliver.

We don’t get all the details–the better to bring Sarah back again later–but the gist is that they turned her into a warrior, and an assassin, and when she didn’t have the stomach to be a hired killer, she checked out but they keep trying to pull her back in. When they threaten her family, she sends Oliver to protect Laurel and decides to out herself to her dad, and it’s as awful and sad and heartfelt as you’d expect. And she’s ashamed of who she became, and what she did on the Gambit, and Quentin won’t hear it–she’s his daughter and she’s alive–and he tells her she’s the bravest person he knows.

Then the Assassins descend and they and Oliver fight them off and Sarah tells her dad she has to disappear again. Oliver re-bonds with Laurel, who admits she’s dealing with some Defcon 1 abandonment issues. Quentin drops by to see her after Sarah leaves town and when he asks her again if she’s OK, she finally admits that she really doesn’t know.

Over at the prison, Moira is weighing a death penalty-averting plea bargain until Thea and Oliver sit her down and tell her that whatever it is that she doesn’t want to see the light of day, she needs to get over because they love her and there’s nothing that can make them not love her. So she turns down the plea and agrees to fight.

We’re moving forward on all sorts of cylinders.

I really liked all of the small, quiet moments in this episode–Oliver and Sarah, Oliver and Laurel, Sarah and Quentin, and Quentin and Laurel. I wish Oliver and Quentin were on the same page about Oliver’s identity so each had the other to talk to, but Quentin at least has the Hood to sort of commiserate with.

I liked, too, that Sarah could tell Diggle she was stronger than he was when he offered to back her up and he didn’t argue the point.

So much love for the front and center way Paul Blackthorne is getting used this season. I adored Dresden Files and I’m glad Arrow is using all of Blackthorne’s range and not just having him be pissed off dad anymore.

I’m curious to see how much back story we flesh out on Sarah, and how she came to know Shado and Slade, and I’m intrigued that Dylan Neal is coming in as a potentially Very Bad Guy who take Sarah under his tutelage. I’m amused that we’ve had both him and Teryl Rothery (playing Moira’s attorney) segue over from Cedar Cove, a most unlikely show to share cast members with this one.

Here’s a sneak peek of tonight’s new episode, “Keep Your Enemies Closer,” as the gang heads to Russia.

Photo credit: The CW/Ed Araquel

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