The Arrow fights members of the League of Assassins and we learn more about the back story of the Black Canary in the Wednesday, November 6 episode of Arrow, which is called — appropriately enough — “League of Assassins.”
The CW sent this one out for advance review, and with cast and crew members hyping the episode up so much, there’s always the concern that they oversold it. Actually, they didn’t. The show has no slow points; lots of action and character moments, and some great elements from comic book mythology, brought to life on television. With Sara Lance, the new Black Canary, the show is also bringing new elements to that mythology that we haven’t yet seen in the comic book world.
On the other side of town, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been getting a lot of attention lately, as far as comic book shows go, but it’s also getting some negative feedback from those who’d like the show to play a larger role in the greater Marvel Universe. However, producers of that ABC series have more or less said they don’t want S.H.I.E.L.D. to become “cameo theater,” so apparently those choices are intentional. Arrow, on the other hand, embraces that mythology. In the four episodes of Arrow Season 2, we’ve had so many fantastic elements from the comics, that is has probably become one of the strongest, if not the strongest series in TV history in that department. See the name drop at the end of “Three Ghosts” as an indication. Sorry, Marvel: “Ra’s al Ghul” packs a bigger punch than “Graviton,” and if you can bring us even a character like Mockingbird, it would be a much bigger draw than “ooh, it’s that Jasper Sitwell guy from Thor.” No offense. With Arrow, Warner Bros./DC are certainly not holding back, and I have a feeling that the Arrow world can and will only get bigger. They’re off to a great start already.
Anyhow, this week’s show gives us some background on Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and it begins with a flashback that could only make me think of the opening minutes of Back to the Future Part II. Watch the episode and you’ll surely guess why. The Black Canary story arc seems to give Oliver a perspective of someone else who has been in a similar situation, and in my opinion, it is all handled a lot better than The Huntress storyline was done last season. The emotional stakes behind the Canary being Sara have potential effects on many characters. I admit, I like this “Canary” a lot and am at the point now where if Katie Cassidy’s Laurel did not put on black leather, I might be okay with it, because Caity is just that good. Arrow producers, keep her on, somehow, please? The Canary is also fun as she has a very cool clock tower lair (surely an homage to the Birds of Prey), and she has cool friends like Bex Taylor-Klaus’ Sin, who sadly does not appear in this week’s episode.
The other thing Arrow has never been afraid to do, and that hasn’t been more evident than when you watch Season 2, is they don’t waste time. In one season, Arrow has had character development that would take some series several years. The Arrow producers seem to have a philosophy of giving us all the good story NOW and coming up with more later, rather than taking several seasons to get to the point in some cases. Stephen Amell’s performance in the role also has grown; he is not playing the same Oliver Queen that we first saw in October 2012, nor should he: A person can change a lot in over a year, especially with all of the drama and challenges he has faced since returning from that island.
I’d like to think it’s not just because I also run GreenArrowTV that I’d say Arrow is legitimately my favorite show on television right now. Oh, and there’s a reason I said what I did about advancing storylines: Things happen this week that I thought would come much, much later.
In addition to the Canary storyline, “League of Assassins” also has a tough decision for Moira, the first appearance of Dylan Neal’s Anthony Ivo, and three of the show’s best action sequences yet. If you haven’t caught on to the show yet, I highly recommend that you do so. Five episodes in, and there has yet to be a weak spot. Some shows go downhill for Season 2; I actually think Arrow has done the opposite: It’s a better show than it was a year ago, and I think it’s going to get even better.
Take a look at some preview images for “League of Assassins” at GreenArrowTV.com and don’t miss the episode Wednesday, November 6 on The CW!