Well, I suppose after four really great episodes, Arrow was bound to stall a bit.  No one bats 1000.  It’s a pity too, because an episode name like “League of Assassins” fuels all sorts of wild imaginations of fights, action, adventure, and a gripping story line.  It really ended up being three guys vs. Oliver, Sara, and surprisingly Quentin in a showdown that left me going, “meh.”

However, I don’t tune into Arrow for just the fight scenes, which by the way were the only good parts of this episode.  This show has the whole package and can usually balance complex storylines with emotional punches and action.  “League of Assassins” had all the elements on paper, but when fused together it didn’t connect very well.  Often events seemed random, which is weird because this was easily one of the most predictable plots in the history of this show.

Sara has a bunch of assassins after her, something that was established prior.  After one comes and attacks Oliver and Sara at the Queen mansion, thus destroying all those ornate furnishings (the place could use a makeover), Oliver gets mad.  Lucky for him, Felicity can track anything and she finds the abandoned warehouse where the guy is hiding.  Oliver and Sara gear up, but turns out evil dude, who was revealed earlier to be the assassin that trained Malcolm, brought two friends.  Just two?  Oliver and Sara fight but these guys are pretty damned good so they get away.  Color me surprised.  Oh, before they leave though, the guy threatens their families.

So, when I hear of threats to families, I’m thinking it’ll be a multi-pronged vicious attack where anyone of relation is taken out.  Oliver, even though not revealed to be the Arrow dude that assisted in the ambush, was helping Sara at the mansion and could fight like Arrow, so didn’t that put his family at risk?  Surely the bad guys figured it out.  No, they only go after Quentin.  Even Laurel was spared.  Not exactly the well organized league I was imagining.

Quentin wouldn’t listen to Felicity’s insanity, so it took Sara revealing herself to him spilling the same insanity.  Go figure, Quentin believes her.  I do admit to getting very teary when Quentin was overcome with emotion when holding onto his precious baby girl.  You could tell from that expression alone the weight of the world was lifted off his shoulders.  So well played Paul Blackthorne, so well played.  Needless to say, it doesn’t last.

Sara makes Quentin swear not to tell Laurel and her mother she’s alive.  That knowledge will only put them in danger.  That’s when I screamed at the TV, “They’re already in danger!”  Nope, ignorance is not only bliss, it means safety!  Sara sets up an ambush in the clock tower and Oliver as Arrow and Sara do their Ninja thing while Quentin takes out one of the guys by just basically shooting him.  I don’t know why the guy didn’t see that coming.  He did know that Quentin was a cop, right? Anyway, Sara kills Malcolm’s trainer and lets one guy live to take back the message to leave her family alone.  Right, they’re going to listen when he delivers that.

There’s also flashback scenes where Sara survived by floating on debris from The Queen’s Gambit and the mysterious prison ship saved her.  Where they caged her and turned her into an assassin.  Gee, their recruiting requirements are a little loose don’t you think?  Anyone with a pulse.  She did meet the mysterious doctor behind it all, and I’m sure we’ll be learning more of his story in flashbacks.  Unless you read the comics, then everyone already knows what this guy is all about (I’d research, but the whole episode killed my inspiration to do so).

There was also a time killing side drama with Moira getting a plea deal that will send her to prison the rest of her life instead of the death penalty.  She’s considering the deal, so Ollie figures out she’s hiding something.  He and Thea eventually convince her that whatever she’s hiding won’t make them abandon her, so Moira rejects the deal.  The problem is, WE NEVER FIND OUT WHAT SHE’S HIDING.  I give up, lock her away and throw away the key.  What was the point of all that?

Another useless filler bit, what the hell was that mess between Laurel and Oliver?  Why in the world did the writers decide to backtrack?  I thought they had moved beyond all this.  No, Laurel tries to kiss Oliver, mistaking his show of friendship as something else.  Then she gives the “nobody loves me” speech.  Really?  This is the best you can do with Laurel?  Regurgitating very wrong bits from season one?  Yep, Arrow season two just earned it’s first “TV brick” moment from me.

Digg and Felicity were relegated to Arrow cave host and hostess for Sara this week, making her feel as comfortable as possible.  Isn’t that nice.  When Sara predictably left at the end (something we knew would happen since Caity Lotz was not listed as a new cast member and this was a limited arc), Digg was there to be the voice of sympathy when he and Ollie enjoyed some fine Vodka.  Aww, at least bromance is not dead on this show.

Stray thoughts:

  • Why hasn’t Quentin figured out that Oliver is Arrow by now?  Especially now after seeing his daughter, who was mysteriously trained to be an assassin in the same place as Malcom Merlyn and the same part of the world that Oliver was?  How Arrow showed up the same time Oliver arrived into town?  How about just comparing the build of Arrow to Oliver?  How about how that brightly lit tower showed Oliver’s face quite easily, even though he hid it when Quentin was looking?  How Felicity is the contact point, and she just happens to be Oliver’s executive assistant? Come on, this reminds me of The Simpsons episode where Rex Banner the lawman in charge of stopping illegal alcohol production in Springfield didn’t notice the 20,000 obvious signs that Homer was the beer baron, like the mysterious alcohol clouds over Springfield Terrace. That though was meant to be funny!  Here it’s just plain sad.  I half expect when he finds out he’ll tell Oliver, “Come on, how obvious could it get?”
  • When does Manu Bennett come back?  I miss him.
  • Next week Diggle gets a plot!  I’m really looking forward to that.

Arrow gets a pass from me this week, because in a 23 episode season clunky scripts are bound to happen.  I’ve already moved onto the next one.  Just please show, keep these to a minimum.  I only have so much sanity.

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