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Arrow S2E13: Heir to the Demon Review *Spoilers*
Canary returns, a daughter of Ra’s al Ghul comes to Starling City, Moira Queen officially announces her mayoral candidacy, and secrets get revealed in Arrow’s final episode before the Winter Olympics induced break. This week is also the first episode to not feature flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island, instead we witness a Lance family prior to and immediately after the sinking of the Queen’s Gambit. While this wasn’t the most Arrow-centric episode, Heir to the Demon did a good job of progressing from the end of last week’s episode and was a natural fit into season 2’s overall story arc.
Nyssa al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s, has come to Starling City to seek out Sarah (Canary) and bring her back into the League of Assassins, something Sarah has been running and hiding from since her brief return to Starling following the earthquake. Sarah returning at the end of last week’s episode to save Laurel and Nyssa’s arrival soon after is no coincidence. Laurel’s apparent overdose last week was really a ploy, snake venom slipped into her drink, set by Nyssa to get Sarah to return to Starling so that she could take her back to Ra’s and the League. Despite their past relationship, Sarah denies Nyssa’s offer to return to the League of Assassins, which does not sit well with the heir to the demon and leads to her kidnapping Sarah’s mother in a final attempt to convince Sarah to return. It is only after Sarah attempts to kill herself in front of Nyssa, with the same snake venom that was used on Laurel, and the Arrow almost killing her, that Ra’s daughter reluctantly releases Sarah from her ties to Ra’s al Ghul and the League.
In the midst of Nyssa and Sarah’s story, Moira Queen officially announces her candidacy for mayor of Starling City. However, as is always the case with political campaigns, Moira’s skeletons begin to come out of the closet though not publicly, yet. Ever since learning about Moira’s shell company, Tempest, Felicity has been keeping track of the money hidden in it and notices a rather large sum of money transferred out of it into Queen Consolidated. Digging further, Felicity learns of Mrs. Queen’s bribe to Dr. Gill, the doctor who aided in Thea’s birth, and knowing about the affair between Moira and Malcolm Merlyn, puts two and two together. Felicity confronts Moira about Merlyn being Thea’s father, insisting that she tell Oliver, but Moira has no intentions of letting Oliver know the truth and threatens Felicity to not tell him. Right before Oliver is to go on stage to publicly support his mother’s mayoral campaign, Felicity tells Ollie the truth about Moira, Merlyn, and Thea. After the extravaganza of the announcement, Oliver confronts his mother and informs her that while he will support her campaign publicly and will keep the truth hidden from Thea, their relationship is over.
Normally Arrow’s flashback sequences feature Oliver, Slade, and Shado/Sarah on the island, but this week the flashbacks show us the life in the Lance family leading up to Oliver and Sarah’s disappearance to the island. Since this week’s episode focused more on Sarah than it did on Oliver/Arrow, looking back at life in the Lance family fit perfectly with the story. Though it didn’t take up a lot of screen time, viewers are shown enough to know that the relationship between Laurel and Sarah wasn’t on the best of terms prior to her and Oliver’s disappearance. Laurel’s hostility towards Sarah being alive at the end of the episode will likely add for more drama between Laurel and the rest of characters, something I know most fans aren’t exactly eager to see, but this tension feels more natural, justifiable, and fits the story all while adding a bit more depth to Laurel’s character.
This wasn’t the most action packed episode, but the action we did see was top notch as always. The only scene that detracted from the episode as a whole was Nyssa’s fight with airport security at the opening. It allowed for viewers to get a quick glimpse of Nyssa’s skills, but the fact that it wasn’t mentioned at all for the remainder of the episode slightly took away the realism that Arrow has done an excellent job of maintaining. Heir to the Dragon was also the most soap opera feeling episode of Arrow in quite some time. While some viewers would probably have preferred for more action and humor from Ollie and company, the increased dramatic scenes with the Lance family gave them some much needed screen time and also gave us more to the back story of Canary.
With just 4 episodes remaining in season 2, a three week break due to the Olympics is sure to throw off the pacing of the show as this wasn’t exactly a high octane type episode one comes to expect before long breaks. Regardless, Heir to the Dragon was a piece of the Arrow puzzle that was needed to keep the story moving forward, even if it wasn’t the most vital piece in the puzzle.