Reviews

‘Arrow’ Review: Unexpected Ex-Lovers Reunite in ‘Heir to the Demon’

Cate Cameron/The CW

Heir to the Demon” was an excellent episode of Arrow until it suddenly wasn’t. This show frustrates me so much because it has the potential to be amazing and I get really excited when it taps into that and then all of a sudden, it changes course and I want to throw things at my TV or maybe at myself for falling into the trap again.

But before we get into the bad, let’s talk about the good. Nyssa, the daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul, was a BAMF from the second she appeared onscreen and started causing chaos at the airport when an alert came up with her passport. All of the fight scenes in this episode were fantastic and I loved watching Nyssa tangle with Arrow and Canary (that motorcycle chase scene? SO good).

As many of us guessed, Nyssa was looking for Sara because she wanted her lover back, not just one of her assassins. In fact, Nyssa was so determined to get Sara back that she poisoned Laurel (with snake venom!) and then she kidnapped Dinah and demanded that Sara trade her life for her mother’s. Sara complied, but she took the snake poison first and was willing to die. Nyssa wasn’t okay with that and after Arrow gave Sara the antidote, Nyssa released her.

I really enjoyed that moment. The chemistry between Nyssa and Sara was palpable and I loved that even though they weren’t on the same side, Sara didn’t want Nyssa to die and Nyssa was willing to let Sara go rather than risk her life. Of course I don’t believe this is the end of Nyssa or the League of Assassins storyline, but for now, it was a lovely way to free Sara from them and preserve their relationship in case the show decides to go there again in the future.

Before we get into more Lance family drama, let’s detour to Moira’s campaign. I didn’t really care that much about Moira’s decision to run for mayor, but the story got more interesting when Felicity pulled Walter aside and mentioned that Moira was moving money through Tempest again. Walter said he’d handle that, but Felicity knew he was lying so she kept digging and figured out Thea’s paternity secret. She went to Moira to try and get her to tell Oliver, but Moira turned things around on Felicity and warned that Oliver would hate her too if he learned the truth (Moira is ice cold and I love it. She should have been a villain).

Poor Felicity was struggling with the weight of the secret and Oliver urged her to tell him what was wrong. We FINALLY got a piece of Felicity’s backstory – her father left when she was young, she barely remembers him and she obviously has a complicated relationship with her mother – and she admitted to Oliver that she was afraid of losing someone close to her again. Oliver assured her that she wasn’t going to lose him (aw!) and then she told him the truth about Thea’s paternity.

Oliver didn’t take it well at all, but was it just me (and my dad), or was he over reacting? It wasn’t news that Moira slept with Malcolm and Oliver knows better than anyone how terrible that man truly was. Why would he want to burden Thea with reality that he was her father? Why take away the positive memories she has of Robert? But somehow this whole thing was an unforgivable sin in Oliver’s judgmental eyes and he basically declared that Moira was dead to him. Good thing that Oliver hasn’t been keeping a huge secret from his family for the greater good since he came back from the island…oh wait…

I don’t even know what to say about Thea’s lack of agency at this point. She more or less had to stand there, noticing the tension, but not really getting to say anything about it. Really, show? Her paternity secret is going to be all about Oliver and his reaction. I’m guessing when Thea does find out, she might get one or two lines before she’s stuffed back into the club to be a recurring player in Roy’s story. It’s beyond frustrating.

And then there’s Laurel. Even though I was only cautiously optimistic that she was getting a storyline, I still ended up completely disappointed and I have no one to blame for that except myself. I knew better. So where do we start with tonight’s disaster? On the positive side, the snake venom proved that she was telling the truth when she insisted that she wasn’t taking drugs again. Laurel’s happiness when she confessed to her dad that she saw Sara (thinking she was a hallucination) was adorable. After that, it was all basically downhill.

The flashbacks showed the Lance family during happier times or mostly happy times. Sara had returned home for the weekend and was secretly texting Oliver even as she asked her sister how their relationship was going. Sara tried to plant doubts in Laurel’s head and Laurel got angry (rightfully so). Sara’s reaction was to text Oliver and agree to meet up with him, presumably for sex, and then a few days later, she got on the yacht with him and we all know how that ended (loved the scenes with Moira having to tell Quentin and Laurel about Sara).

In the present day, Dinah and Quentin enjoyed a reunion with Sara after Nyssa let her go (and Arrow took off) and Laurel showed up to witness their mother’s rescue and her sister’s miraculous return, but she wasn’t happy about it. All the rage that Laurel had to bury came bubbling to the surface and she was furious that Sara hadn’t let them know that she was alive and she blamed Sara for everything that went wrong in her life over the past six years and ordered her sister to get out because she’d stolen her life.

Okay writers, was that really necessary? Maybe it was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but it felt like a slap in the face to all the Laurel fans (and Katie Cassidy fans) who have been upset about the Canary bait and switch since the announcement was made over the summer. Instead of making Laurel stronger and putting her on the path to being Canary, it seems to have weakened her and isolated her even more. Is there anyone who is on her side anymore? Maybe her parents to a point, but they’re not sad Sara is alive (nor should they be) and Laurel really has lost everything. Where does she go from here? I fear that like Thea, she will just end up in the background and that makes me really angry.

But it doesn’t make me anywhere near as angry as the final scene of the episode did. After a blink and you miss it scene with Slade promising to take care of things now that Moira is running against Blood, Sara headed to the Arrow Cave after being tossed out by Laurel. Oliver was there, angrily hitting things because he’s mad at Moira and after Sara said that she was home, they just started making out and pulling off each other’s clothes.

Are you kidding me, show? Despite being gone for almost six years, despite everything she went through on the island and with the League, Sara’s first instinct is still to hook up with Oliver when things don’t go her way? And we should be rooting for this character why? And Oliver…how could he do that to not only Laurel, who he supposedly still loves, but Felicity, who he’s been developing feelings for and told her that he couldn’t be with someone he cares about? Felicity spends most of her time in the Arrow Cave. She easily could have walked in on them, but he wasn’t thinking about either woman or even Sara. He was being selfish.

I know characters need to be flawed and make mistakes. That’s what makes TV interesting. But how is this good for anyone’s development? After everything they’ve been through, Oliver and Sara are still selfish and it feels like ten steps back for both of them, which means we’re going to have to watch them redeem themselves again. Oliver is the main character, so fine. I guess I can live with that because I’ve been saying since day one that he needs to overcome his selfishness before he can be in a real relationship with anyone.

But I’m still mad (in case you haven’t figured that out by now, assuming you’re still reading this and haven’t backed away from the crazy ranting). There’s a sane, logical part of me that knows that this was a great episode because it triggered such an emotional response from me, but I’m choosing to tell that part to shut up right now. I just want good things for Felicity, Laurel and Thea. Why is that too much to ask for, show?

What did you guys think? Did you like the episode? Were you okay with Oliver and Sara hooking up? How did you feel about Felicity’s backstory? Do you think Moira could still be the villain? Is there any hope that Laurel will one day be Black Canary? Do you want to see Nyssa again? Hit the comments and share your thoughts and theories with us.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.

  • meggie

    I totally agree with you!!!I wouldn’t be mad if Oliver hooked up with a new girl, that would be fine, but with Sara…REALLY???!!!it was pathetic!!!!

  • Androu Ska

    I really did not like this episode at all. There were good moments ( I liked Nyssa and Sara together because it felt genuine) but I hated the hook up between Sara and Ollie. It did not make any sense and it did not make me happy. It felt wrong and rush. I’m sorry, Sara was betraying her sister again and Oliver was betraying Felicity in a way too. So how she is gonna cope with the two of them together in the lair, kissing in front of her maybe? If I was Felicity, I would simply leave because it would be too painful.

    I’m also sad because I wanted to see a friendship develop between Sara and Felicity and now they have ruined this also for me. I don’t see how she could become friends with the girl who is sleeping with the guy she loves. If she did, she would be a doormat. Felicity deserves better than that. I liked Laurel tonight and, I really hope she hooks up with Slade and become a villain because OMG she has enough reasons to hate them both. If she ever did become a villain, I will root for her… I mean she has every rights to be pissed.

    And honestly, after tonight episode, I’m not looking forward to the next episode. Not at all. I love Felicity and I don’t want to see her hurt and right now, I think she deserves better than Oliver. The thing is she is the only character that makes me love Oliver. So now, I felt let down. I think this episode cured me of my obsession for Arrow and Olicity… I will be watching … maybe… but not with great expectations…

  • Iloveyoursoul

    I agree with everything you said. I’m so disappointed in Oliver hooking up with Sara — I get all the logic behind pent up emotions and needing a release, but after he not so long ago told Felicity he couldn’t be with someone he cares about, and now, he’s supposedly willing to be just that… with Sara?!

    And I’ve never been the biggest Laurel fan, but after this episode I wonder how many fans are left out there. Or, rather, what they’re left with. Any attempt the writers do from here on to redeem her character will be like pushing a boulder up Mt. Everest. The only way I see to give Laurel any valid agency again is to have her turn to the Dark Side, buuut considering their penchant to (up until now) have her be a so-called good girl, I’m not willing to believe the writers will do that to her.

    I’ve seen some instant, post-episode reviews rave about this episode. And yeah, if you only watch for forty minutes and then forget all about the show, not to mention things like character development, and just want an entertaining ride with fight sequences and sex–then hey, great episode. For basically everything else, it was just disappointing.