Comic Vine Review

77 Comments

Arrow #205 - League of Assassins Review

4

Can Black Canary escape from the League of Assassins' grip? Meanwhile, Moira's offered a deal to avoid the death penalty.

Oliver often has the spotlight and rightfully so -- it's his name in the title, after all. But "League of Assassins" shifts focus and finally fleshes out Black Canary. Has she just been lingering around to make sure her family's safe and won't reveal herself because she doesn't want them to see what she's become or resurrect so many emotions? Thankfully, the writers avoid predictability with her path and what ensues is an episode filled with a whole lot of ninja action and some legitimately emotional moments. Laurel's still kind of a pain, but that's to be expected given all the weight she's putting on her shoulders.

You can't have an episode called "League of Assassins" and not have some legitimately solid melees, right? There's plenty of that this time around and there's a slight variation each time to keep things fresh. First is a straight up brawl that demolishes a room, then there's a fight for survival in a different location, and lastly, a fight which shows off Black Canary's tactical mind. I have some gripes with the action (we'll get to that later), but overall they're still entertaining and definitely enthralling.

Also surprisingly good this week was the drama. The heartfelt moments between Moira and her family are well-executed (sorry, poor choice of words), but the truly attention-grabbing stuff is whenever Sara or Quentin are on the screen. The script gives both the opportunity to show off their acting chops and reel us in for some feels. There's been a lot of drama which has felt forced or just fell flat over the course of this show, but "League of Assassins" has some honestly gripping material. And Felicity? Well, she just remains lovably awkward. Diggle doesn't get much focus here, but that's fine seeing as next week's episode will apparently revolve around him.

While this was quite a good episode, I do have some gripes. For one, the constant quick cuts and shaky cam makes it seriously difficult to appreciate some of the fight choreography. I know some say it's to "throw you into the chaos," but I'd much rather fully appreciate all of the hard work they're putting into these brawls. Additionally, there's some other minor gripes with the fight. For example, did Oliver really open with a kill-shot to the back of that guy's head? We know he's good, but how'd Oliver know for sure he'd catch that and he's that good? The dude didn't deal with projectiles in their first fight. Yes, it was a cool moment, but seeing as the guy is trying to go non-lethal, a shot to the back would have seemed more appropriate. Additionally, how'd that highly trained ninja not see the blatant rope trap on the ground? And for someone who trained the very dangerous Meryln, the main dude wasn't all that formidable (reflex feat aside), but hey, there's plenty of times where the student has become better than the master and all that, so it's not that big of a deal. Lastly, this show has been hitting us with some seriously great cliffhangers, but this week felt really weak in that regard. Ultimately, it was the "next week on..." preview which was needed to keep the hype going. Honestly, the flashbacks in this one weren't nearly as compelling as the current era material.

The script was impressive and the talent each did a more than engrossing job bringing the emotion front and center. This episode has without question had some of the most powerful moments in the show's history. When it's not all surprisingly good drama and sadness, there's thankfully some fairly rad ninja action to help even the mood. All in all, "League of Assassins" is a darn good episode. Oh, and how awesome was that Batman Begins reference?!

One Spoilery remark: I really hope this isn't the last we'll see of Sara or the League of Assassins. Her departure makes sense, but let's be honest, this was great and hopefully they'll reemerge sooner or later.

Viners, what do you think of "League of Assassins?" Get your elaboration on below. Just be considerate and remember to use spoiler tabs!

79 Comments
  • 79 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by LordoftheNorth

First Canary for the longest time had to do more with batman more than arrow

Second the vast majority of the characters are more connected to batman like Huntress, deadshot, slade, firefly. the royal flush gang, bronze tiger, brutale, Dollmaker, Ra's.

the show part is fine but when they use someone elses characters it shows they dont think hes own characters are interesting to carry the sho themselves

Posted by Black_Arrow

Sarah said that she saw Shado, so she survived. I think that Shado is going to save Ollie and Slade is going to be tested by Ivo. And when they tell that Sarah is the beloved of someone I think it is of Ivo. If Slade is going to be upgraded by Ivo and he is going to get training of the League of Assassins, He could kill all of the characters of the show at the same time (except the Flash)

Posted by CuddleBear

@cuddlebear said:

why do you do this to yourselfs comic fans? you at least deserve agents of shield quality production. why does DC allow these shows? go make a movie.

What are you even talking about?

this show is soap opera quality

Posted by Black_Arrow

@madeinbangladesh said:

@cuddlebear said:

why do you do this to yourselfs comic fans? you at least deserve agents of shield quality production. why does DC allow these shows? go make a movie.

What are you even talking about?

this show is soap opera quality

Arrow>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Agents of Shield.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

@cuddlebear said:

@madeinbangladesh said:

@cuddlebear said:

why do you do this to yourselfs comic fans? you at least deserve agents of shield quality production. why does DC allow these shows? go make a movie.

What are you even talking about?

this show is soap opera quality

Arrow>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Agents of Shield.

Word. Arrow is 1000000000x better than AoS, but I'm gonna see how the show turns out after season 1.

Posted by Knightfall225

Great episode

Posted by tximinoman
@patrat18 said:

Can this show get any better?

yeah... with better writing and actual actors, for example.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy this show and all, but it's aweful.

Posted by AWeekInGeekdom

So many cool references, the action and acting has been great... what can I say, AOS has been a big disappointment so Arrow all the away! Can't wait to see Barry Allen in a couple weeks! I keep wondering though, let's say Flash gets picked for a season, would that mean Arrow is open to Super Powers soon?

Posted by sagejonathan

Loved this episode; 5/5

Edited by Loki2u

First Canary for the longest time had to do more with batman more than arrow

Second the vast majority of the characters are more connected to batman like Huntress, deadshot, slade, firefly. the royal flush gang, bronze tiger, brutale, Dollmaker, Ra's.

the show part is fine but when they use someone elses characters it shows they dont think hes own characters are interesting to carry the sho themselves

Well if it bothers you that much....you have the choice not to watch it right?

I enjoy watching any comic book character come to life on movie or tv....I could care less if it makes sense. Arrow has been solid entertainment for me so far....that's all that matters.

Posted by War Killer

I really hope Sarah returns soon, seeing her with Oliver and the rest of the gang in the "Arrow Cave" just felt so right, making the group feel...complete.

This episode was great, seeing Sarah's side of the story (kinda) was a nice change from the typical flashbacks with Oliver. I still can't get over how bi-polar Laurel is in this show though, one minute she's fine and the next she's a complete mess. One minute her and Ollie are the best of friends, yet the next she hates his guts and blames him for all her problem. It's like dang girl, make up your mind!

Posted by Mr_Athrilla

Man the League of Assassins are a bunch of snobs.

Ninja 1: Arrows are a primative weapon, we stopped using them years ago.

Ninja 2: Guns are a cowards weapon.

So what the hell is left to use?

Edited by patrat18

@patrat18 said:

Can this show get any better?

yeah... with better writing and actual actors, for example.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy this show and all, but it's aweful.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

Man the League of Assassins are a bunch of snobs.

Ninja 1: Arrows are a primative weapon, we stopped using them years ago.

Ninja 2: Guns are a cowards weapon.

So what the hell is left to use?

Posted by ajshadowhawk

@mr_athrilla: Swords, maces, bo-staff, shuriken, hands, legs. Basically anything up close and personal or something that requires more precision than carrying around an obvious and bulky weapon like a bow (plus quiver for arrows).

Posted by Lurkero

In regards to the arrow to the back of the head:

Writers are often stuck in a corner because they have opted to have a non-violent show that has pro-violent weapons. The best example is how Wolverine has claws as his main weapon but depending on the age rating he doesn't actually kill anyone. This is also apparent in the Ninja Turtles cartoons. The writers want to show cool scenes but in order to do that someone has to ALMOST get seriously hurt, but not really.

The are scenes in Batman cartoons and movies where the police don't open fire on mass murderers, but for some reason will shoot at Batman on site. The writers probably do this to make Batman's escape seem more desperate, but it is inconsistent with what one would expect to happen.

Edited by tximinoman

@patrat18 said:

@tximinoman said:
@patrat18 said:

Can this show get any better?

yeah... with better writing and actual actors, for example.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy this show and all, but it's aweful.

I'm not a hater, I enjoy this show and been watching it since the begining, but I know it's bad even if I enjoy it. The writing's bad, dialogues are full of cliches, and the actors are the worst actors on the planet. Sure, it's fun to watch, but that doesn't make it any better. I laugh my ass out every time they try to be dramatic because it's just so ridicoulous, every single scene with Laurel and his dad is HILARIOUS, the best actor in this show was the guy who played Malcolm Merlin and he was like the GAYEST VILLAIN EVER (not that there's anything wrong with a gay villain, but it made him SO funny), and I could continue, but I think I've made my point clear already.

But then again, I laugh a lot with this show and it's sort of enjoyable. And I guess that's something, at least it makes it better than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (which is just as bad as this one but boring).

(I'm sorry if my english is bad, I'm from Spain so it's not my language)

Posted by patrat18

@patrat18 said:

@tximinoman said:
@patrat18 said:

Can this show get any better?

yeah... with better writing and actual actors, for example.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy this show and all, but it's aweful.

I'm not a hater, I enjoy this show and been watching it since the begining, but I know it's bad even if I enjoy it. The writing's bad, dialogues are full of cliches, and the actors are the worst actors on the planet. Sure, it's fun to watch, but that doesn't make it any better. I laugh my ass out every time they try to be dramatic because it's just so ridicoulous, every single scene with Laurel and his dad is HILARIOUS, the best actor in this show was the guy who played Malcolm Merlin and he was like the GAYEST VILLAIN EVER (not that there's anything wrong with a gay villain, but it made him SO funny), and I could continue, but I think I've made my point clear already.

But then again, I laugh a lot with this show and it's sort of enjoyable. And I guess that's something, at least it makes it better than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (which is just as bad as this one but boring).

(I'm sorry if my english is bad, I'm from Spain so it's not my language)

It was a joke lol. Sorry you feel that way. I really have to disagree with you, but at the end of the day it's your opinion.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@lurkero said:

In regards to the arrow to the back of the head:

Writers are often stuck in a corner because they have opted to have a non-violent show that has pro-violent weapons. The best example is how Wolverine has claws as his main weapon but depending on the age rating he doesn't actually kill anyone. This is also apparent in the Ninja Turtles cartoons. The writers want to show cool scenes but in order to do that someone has to ALMOST get seriously hurt, but not really.

The are scenes in Batman cartoons and movies where the police don't open fire on mass murderers, but for some reason will shoot at Batman on site. The writers probably do this to make Batman's escape seem more desperate, but it is inconsistent with what one would expect to happen.

But there wasn't a corner here. The writers have Ollie using his bow in a non-lethal fashion just fine. The gripe is they wanted a really cool shot, and it was cool, but ultimately, it was stupid move on Ollie's part. Just because he was a good hand-to-hand fighter doesn't mean Oliver should know the guy can save himself from an arrow aimed at the back of the head (a lethal shot, something which they've been blatantly having him go against). There were plenty of ways out of this. It could have gone at his back and he could have sidestepped. He could have still caught it. He could have swiftly turned around and deflected it. So on and so on.

Staff
Posted by X927

This show is AWESOME!!!

Edited by TheAcidSkull

I enjoyed this episode, a lot actually, Arrow is becoming better and better.

Edited by k4tzm4n

Sarah revealing to her dad that she was still alive should have happened later in the season. But I'm glad Diggle is the focus of next week, he hasn't gotten much time so far in these five episodes.

I'm actually happy the opposite happened instead of further dragging it out. Truthfully, I was impressed they pulled the trigger on it -- I really thought they'd keep at the, "I want to tell him... but... I can't!" Given the situation, I thought it was appropriate.

And yes, more Diggle is always worth looking forward to.

Staff
Posted by havoc1201

so green arrow is fighting the league now so green arrow have any of his own villains or are they just going to steal form batman the whole run of this show

QFT

Posted by Deathstroke19

Anyone else catch the Ras Al Gul from Batman Begins reference? In the final fight in the clock tower Sarah tells the assassin to "Mind your surroundings" or something along those lines. I thought that was pretty cool and it would be awesome (but unlikely) that they get Liam Neeson in there.

DS

Posted by TDK_1997

The episode was nothing that interesting.I was expecting way more but I can say that this seeason is way better than the first one so far but there are some simple mistakes that annoy me too much.

Posted by tximinoman

@k4tzm4n said:

@lurkero said:

In regards to the arrow to the back of the head:

Writers are often stuck in a corner because they have opted to have a non-violent show that has pro-violent weapons. The best example is how Wolverine has claws as his main weapon but depending on the age rating he doesn't actually kill anyone. This is also apparent in the Ninja Turtles cartoons. The writers want to show cool scenes but in order to do that someone has to ALMOST get seriously hurt, but not really.

The are scenes in Batman cartoons and movies where the police don't open fire on mass murderers, but for some reason will shoot at Batman on site. The writers probably do this to make Batman's escape seem more desperate, but it is inconsistent with what one would expect to happen.

But there wasn't a corner here. The writers have Ollie using his bow in a non-lethal fashion just fine. The gripe is they wanted a really cool shot, and it was cool, but ultimately, it was stupid move on Ollie's part. Just because he was a good hand-to-hand fighter doesn't mean Oliver should know the guy can save himself from an arrow aimed at the back of the head (a lethal shot, something which they've been blatantly having him go against). There were plenty of ways out of this. It could have gone at his back and he could have sidestepped. He could have still caught it. He could have swiftly turned around and deflected it. So on and so on.

He's an assassin from a league of assassins who knows his secret. I totally get why he's trying to kill him.


One thing's not to kill corrupted businessmen, crimelords and thugs who doesn't know who he is, other thing's not to kill trained assassins who will kill every member of his family (and his friend's family) if he let them live

Edited by ThomasElliot

@patrat18 said:

@tximinoman said:

@patrat18 said:

@tximinoman said:
@patrat18 said:

Can this show get any better?

yeah... with better writing and actual actors, for example.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy this show and all, but it's aweful.

I'm not a hater, I enjoy this show and been watching it since the begining, but I know it's bad even if I enjoy it. The writing's bad, dialogues are full of cliches, and the actors are the worst actors on the planet. Sure, it's fun to watch, but that doesn't make it any better. I laugh my ass out every time they try to be dramatic because it's just so ridicoulous, every single scene with Laurel and his dad is HILARIOUS, the best actor in this show was the guy who played Malcolm Merlin and he was like the GAYEST VILLAIN EVER (not that there's anything wrong with a gay villain, but it made him SO funny), and I could continue, but I think I've made my point clear already.

But then again, I laugh a lot with this show and it's sort of enjoyable. And I guess that's something, at least it makes it better than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (which is just as bad as this one but boring).

(I'm sorry if my english is bad, I'm from Spain so it's not my language)

It was a joke lol. Sorry you feel that way. I really have to disagree with you, but at the end of the day it's your opinion.

No, he's right on target: The writing it horrid, the actors are cheesy, there are TONS of illogical set-ups* and moments in EVERY episode, and the dialog is corny.

HOWEVER, what else would one expect from a show on CW? The reality is, some people might have their expectations set way too high (like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones high) and that's why the show comes off as so horrible. Taking it for what it is, its really a fun show.

I like Arrow quite a bit and genuinely look forward to watching it every week, but that doesn't mean I can't admit its flawed.

"Well... that's like... your opinion, man" is a copout. I'd sincerely like to hear the defense of the acting, writing and dialog on Arrow and how/why its not bad. Just because we like the show, doesn't mean its well done. A piece of marinated gristle tastes good, but still tough to chew and swallow.

* League of Assassin guy chastises Ollie's choice of weaponry... even though one of his pupils, Merlyn, was also a master archer? -- lolwut?