Tonight's episode of Arrow, "Heir to the Demon," balances Sara's dilemma with the League of Assassins and the issues behind Moira becoming a mayoral candidate. While one sounds like it's full of action and the other sounds... well, somewhat bland, they're thankfully both full of pretty engaging drama.
First and foremost, the political push Moira is making has brought about some legitimately compelling material. Without spoiling anything, let's just say this episode was able to completely change Oliver and Moira's relationship while also further establishing the potential mayor as a much bolder and stronger character. Overall, the scenes surrounding her are somewhat brief, but they're my personal highlights of the episode due to some commendable performances and tension (e.g. scenes with Felicity, Brother Blood and how it all concludes). They've been teasing us with Slade, but now it looks like this plot will finally make him step into the light.
On the League of Assassins side of things, Caity Lotz sold the trauma she was experiencing and turned much of her situation into an honestly enjoyable dose of drama. There was a completely unexpected twist thrown in there with Nyssa al Ghul and it made the situation much more interesting than expected. It didn't boil down to just a series of action sequences as Sara tries to elude them -- there was an appreciated dose of solid emotion in there, especially with her father.
The stunt work remains strong as usual, but some very awkward editing in a few moments took away from the experience and, at one point, an assassin and Oliver make a debut as if they're teammates. Yes, it's clear Ollie was chasing him, but their entrance felt awkward. There's one moment which takes away from the effectiveness of the final fight (which has a neat round of bow and arrow fighting) and came off as somewhat silly and forced. Also, as cool as Nyssa's entrance may be, does anyone else find it odd she can just casually walk away after taking out a handful of security guards in a major city's airport?
Laurel has a right to be upset with the developments here -- especially after all she's been through -- but damn, they're really going to make us wait awhile before she gets some redemption and we can legitimately root for her, aren't they? She continues to lash out in a manner that makes her unlikable instead of wanting to see things get better for her.The flashback scenes cut to her family life with Sara to help sell the character's return in the episode, but truthfully, it didn't expand my emotional connection to the two. Continuing with the islands plot would have been more effective, but maybe that's just me.
Minor gripes: the music in Oliver's final scene makes it beyond obvious what's going to happen and felt a bit too "teen drama" for me. I'm glad this relationship is happening, but the execution took away from it a bit. Oh, and where's Roy? It seems odd to leave us on such a promising note with the character and then not have him appear at all.
Tonight's episode was all about the drama and, for the most part, it delivered. Not only did the show hit us with some pretty strong emotional scenes, but it made some major strides with the plot and concludes with a whole lot of potential. It's just too bad we have to wait three weeks to see what comes next.