TV Review: ARROW Season 2, Episode 13 'Heir to the Demon'

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Pollard

Another episode of The CW’s Arrow, another familiar DC face turns up. With all of the previous allusion to Ra’s Al Ghul, here we get introduced to his other daughter, Nyssa (Katrina Law). Arriving in Starling City to clip the wings of Canary (Caity Lotz) and take her back to the League of Assassins, Nyssa makes her mark and attacks Sara Lance where it really hurts: her family. Kidnapping Dinah Lance (the returning Alex Kingston), viewers will be shocked by the rationale behind Nyssa’s take-no-prisoners mission. Elsewhere, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) struggles to convince those closest to her that she did not take an overdose and was actually spiked, Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) begins her mayoral run, and we’re treated to secrets and reveals galore in the best episode since Arrow’s mid-season return. Oh yeah, and there’s also the exploits of a certain Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) to cover - you know, the guy whose show this actually is?

Heir to the Demon is another fantastic episode of Arrow, and the character of Nyssa is a brilliant addition. Certain elements and actions won’t be revealed here for fear of spoilers, but it’s safe to say that this daughter of Ra’s is most definitely a badass. From the character’s introduction in the opening of the episode, Nyssa is depicted as a clinical, efficient, brutal and innovative fighter who is arguably the most impressive Arrow character that we’ve seen to date when it comes to kicking ass.

On the other side of the fence, the object of Nyssa’s mission, we have Canary. Caity Lotz’s performance as Sara Lance seems to get better and better with each appearance she makes. Here she is a major focal point of the episode, and she delivers in a variety of different ways, showcasing several different layers to the character. As vulnerable homebird Sara she shows a regret, a void and a heartache at where she is in her life, yet as Canary she delivers a heroine that is equally impressive as Stephen Amell’s Arrow, and that is in no way meant to demean Amell. Oliver Queen and the Arrow both play important roles in this episode, but Heir to the Demon could get by purely as a Canary-centric episode, for which the team behind Arrow should be given huge props for the world of characters that they have created so far and continue to create.

Seeing as this is an Arrow review, it speaks volumes on the great showing from the rest of the cast that Stephen Amell’s Ollie has yet to really get a mention despite this review being 400+ words in. On the Oliver front, we see the rich playboy supporting his mother’s run for mayor. Despite giving his public support for Moira, certain things are revealed in Heir to the Demon that cause Oliver grave concern. Similarly, this episode gives a whole new depth to the character of Moira Queen. From being portrayed as the victim whose hands were tied when it came to 'the undertaking', we now get to see another side to Moira; a side that particularly comes to the foreground when confronted by Felicity Smoak (the ever-charming Emily Bett Rickards).

Whilst Oliver is introduced to a new, nasty truth, the Arrow has his own trauma to contend with. Aiding Canary in her fight against Nyssa, the Emerald Archer is pushed to his emotional limits. An impassioned Arrow has to face up the very real threat and force of the all-powerful League of Assassins, with the lives of many potentially hanging in the balance. Also, it’s just ridiculously cool to see him and Nyssa Al Ghul exchange arrows, if for no other reason than seeing two comic book characters going head-to-head on the small screen. Still, Arrow is more than that. Yes, these are comic book characters and it is great to see them in action, but Arrow has crafted its own mythology, its own story, its own characters that the audience are genuinely emotionally invested in. As a result, regardless of the Green Arrow books, Arrow is a great, great show, and it has managed that rare feat: to gain its audience’s trust. Arrow has proven that there are consequences to actions, it has proven that it is its own beast that follows no stringent guidelines, and it has rewarded viewers with moments of joy and moments of sorrow. Because of this, Heir to the Demon has several intense moments that will pull on the heartstrings of regular viewers and will draw a tear from the most hardened glass eye. Then, just when you think you’ve been put through the ringer, the episode closes with reveals and warnings of so much more to come. And yes, by that, I mean that Deathstroke seems to be coming into play in a rather big way.

Heir to the Demon delivers another fantastic episode of Arrow. I’m starting to feel as if these reviews are almost becoming a parody of themselves; that I could literally just type something along the lines of “New episode of Arrow. Brilliant. Next.” To me, Arrow is simply the best thing on TV right now. The fact that the show has developed so many characters well enough to get to a place that the titular character could easily take a break for a week or two speaks wonders of the cast and crew. As I said before, that is by no means a slant on Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen. Again, here, he’s brilliant and as comfortable under the green hood as a tramp is with second-hand chips.

With the topic of the show’s roster of characters, Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro), a character that was so, so, so important a few weeks ago, makes merely a fleeting appearance here. Similarly, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) doesn’t appear at all, despite the big reveal last week of him finding out that the Arrow is actually Oliver Queen. Vital to recent episodes, the show again proves what an exciting, complex and diverse group of characters it has that it can afford to give Brother Blood and Ray some time out of the limelight, restricting the chance of audiences getting bored of those characters and of them getting stale.

Simply put, if you’re not watching Arrow, why not?

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