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Arrow S2x13 “Heir to the Demon”

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Nyssa Al Ghul. A whole lot more badass than Katniss Everdeen.

Meet Nyssa Al Ghul.

Arrow‘s last episode before a three-week break is one of the best episodes to come out of season 2 so far, with the appearance of Nyssa Al Ghul, and a storyline that’s focused on the Lance Family that doesn’t feel as though it’s one of the more boring elements of the show, with the re-appearance of Dinah Lance (Alex Kingston), allowing for some family drama when Sara has to choose between her family and returning to join the League of Asssasins. It’s a fast paced, action packed drama that makes a prominent villain character actually feel threatening and well developed, as opposed to being a villain-of-the-week like Shrapnel was earlier in the season.

With Sara back in Starling City, it’s about time that the Lance Family had a storyline centric on them despite the fact that through Season 1 they were mostly the least interesting parts of the show. However, Heir to the Demon has turned that around mainly due to the focus on Sara and her past history with the League of Assassins. This allows for a very interesting episode that leaves us eagerly anticipating more episodes with the three week break feeling like the mid-season one, rather than dreading the show’s return, but in the meantime the show’s creators have given us something to think about with another game changing episode.

The Lance Family have quickly become among the most compelling characters during Season 2. The return of Sara went a long way to help this matter and with even Quentin improving greatly as a character, the only real weak spot has been Laurel, although she has improved in recent episodes before becoming more unlikable as a character once again. Her character is going through hell in this series and it’s got to be only a matter of time now before the Arrow writers do something to change Laurel around – or at least, hopefully – because her parts are among the most uninteresting ones of Season 2 and aside from a good improvement earlier on in the season, she’s quickly become a waste of space.

Heir to the Demon is an episode that most likely, fans were really anticipating before its airdate, and it certainly delivers with a great look into the show. Anybody who may have been skeptical about the decision to go with the lesser-known Nyssa over Talia Al Ghul will be won over by the strong performance of Katrina Law. Her inclusion will no doubt be one of the bigger talking points of this episode but there’s a game-changing final act which will needless to say, make things very different in future episodes. It won’t be spoiled here, but you’ll want to keep an eye out for the final scenes of the episode.

Nyssa enters Starling City Airport in disguise.

Nyssa enters Starling City Airport in disguise.

As good as Heir to the Demon is, there are a few weak points and a few questions that need to be answered. Firstly, where is Roy Harper? You get the feeling that this episode was written before the previous episode because it acts as though Roy isn’t working with Arrow at all. You’d be expecting such a promising ending from last week’s episode to be mentioned here but the writers do not discuss this at all, which is a real shame. There’s also the very final scene (not the big game-changer above) which does feel a bit too “teen drama”, and could have easily been done without, with an underwhelming execution. And finally the flashback scenes were a letdown as well, which makes a change because normally they’re the most interesting parts of the show.

Heir to the Demon is one of the best episodes of Arrow yet despite its plot holes. It’s not quite Sacrifice,  League of Assassins or Three Ghosts level but it’s certainly up there contesting for the top 10, and falls just short of the Top 5 which adds The Odyssey and Dead to Rights. It has a strong debut for Nyssa and some good character scenes between the Lance family – and several elements make this episode awesome to watch. Now if only we can have more Arrow ASAP.

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