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Arrow S02E05: "League of Assassins"


As primetime television has come to favor serialized drama—even with shows that would've been episodic to the core 30 years ago, and especially with broadcast shows, since they generally run for 22-24 episodes per season—I've often felt it would be to most series' benefit to borrow from the serialization practices of older media. Superhero comic books come to mind; typically, they had self-contained story arcs that would span a number of issues. So you'd have a run that would cover a story like "The Trial of Peter Parker," and each issue within that run would be Part 1, Part 2, and so on until the arc's conclusion. These stories could still be part of a larger narrative—my example is from Spider-Man's never-ending Clone Saga in the mid-1990s—but the setup would help build that larger narrative with discrete chunks. 

While some television shows have sort of toyed with that idea—the third season of Veronica Mars comes to mind—common practice dictates that the television season as a whole is the "discrete chunk" in a series' narrative. We know from experience that that doesn't always work, since the "big" story is often dragged out, stuffed with too much filler, or paused during a sudden return to those pesky "standalone" episodes. Arrow had this problem throughout much of its first season, in that its standalone episodes were never quite as interesting as the onesdevoted to the Undertaking, or as compelling as the flashbacks grew to be once they found their narrative momentum.

At some point in my Season 1 reviews, or possibly in the comments, I suggested that Arrow would benefit from breaking up its season into miniature arcs, like the comic books from which the show draws so much. It could still engage in and set up longterm narratives—stories involving Oliver's non-costumed activities, and the establishment of a Big Bad, for example—while also doing a better job of telling its self-contained tales.

So imagine my pleasant surprise when "League of Assassins" turned out to be the end—for now, I have to imagine—of Sara's arc on Arrow. Call it "Cry of the Canary" Part 4 of 4, if you want.


And what a satisfying end it was, in that it answered the questions of why Sara decided to return to Starling City (to check on Laurel and Quentin), how she ended up on the freighter (they found her), and where she got all that sweet ninja training (the League of Assassins). There are still plenty of blanks to be filled in, particularly with regard to her year on the freighter with Anthony Ivo (Dylan Neal), her training with the League in Nanda Parbat, and why the child of Ra's al Ghul is so eager for her to return, but at this stage in the narrative, it makes sense to fill in those blanks at another time. After all, we've just learned some new things about Sara and seen the scope of Oliver's world expand with the introduction of some members of League (and their connection to Malcolm). We now know the complete story of Sara's return, even if we still have plenty of questions about her past.

While Sara's past is important both from a narrative and a character perspective—especially since it's linked to some of Oliver's past as well—this episode's emphasis on her present situation likely matters more for the time being. While last season had lots of villains who were intended to serve as parallels and foils to Oliver as the vigilante or the Hood or the Arrow or whatever we're calling him now, Sara's return put her in that all-too-familiar place of keeping secrets from people, a place that Oliver continues to inhabit to varying degrees, and also that's created trouble for him that's been one of Arrow's larger concerns.

So I was glad that not all the secrets were kept, and that one of the Lances was informed that Sara was still alive. I was gladder still that it was Quentin who learned the truth. His reunion and reintroduction to Sara ran a nice gamut of tearful joy, from concerned parent to acceptance that his daughter is a different person now, and to such a degree that he's willing to carry the burden of Sara's secret without question. It's a nice contrast to Oliver's experience in revealing his identity to Tommy, which went from "Best friend and drinking buddy is back!" to "You're a murderer and a horrible human being!" and which weighed heavily on both men.


It's obviously too soon to tell whether Arrow will stick with this mini-arc approach, but I feel like there's a decent chance of it as the show moves forward. While we have larger plots waiting to be expanded upon—Isabel with Queen Consolidated and Blood with his dual identities—Moira's trial has picked up steam over the past two episode, making it the most likely story candidate to next demand our attention. How Arrow has handled the progression of her trial by actually giving it a progression has been a real treat. I feel like the Arrow we knew in Season 1 would've gone from the DA seeking the death penalty in one episode to the trial in the next, if not in the same one altogether. 

Some bad habits do die hard, though, and in this case, it was Laurel being assigned to Moira's case. I appreciate that the show made a deal out of the obvious conflict of interest, but I have a sinking feeling that Laurel's still going to be at the prosecutor's table when the proceedings begin, for no reason other than to have all of the drama. However, at least Moira's plot still fed into the episode's point about the burden of secrets, as well as her concern as to how Oliver and Thea will react to whatever it is that she's worried about them reacting to. That helped to soften the ridiculousness of Laurel being second chair.



FROM THE QUIVER


– I enjoyed the fight sequences much more this time around, especially Sara and Oliver's first fight with Al-Owal in the mansion. They weren't cut up into teeny-tiny rapid shots in order to give the illusion of a fight.

– So Thea's staying at Roy's place more than she's staying at the mansion. And Roy is living where, exactly?

– Lots of talk of Malcolm being dead in this episode. I would like for him to stay dead. Have him come on back in flashbacks all you want, but let him stay dead in the present timeline.

– "Gee, I didn't get you a bag of dirt."

– "It's your funeral, Sara." "Wouldn't be my first."

– I hope someone's going to explain to Sin what happened to Sara.

– Dear Laurel: I know you're going through a hard time and all, but hot pink pants are not appropriate for the DA's office, even on the most casual of casual Fridays. 


– "So, you were right." "Yeah, I usually am, Oliver." Arrow isn't the kind of show to do this since it loves its cliffhangers, but if every episode could end with Oliver and Diggle drinking vodka and talking in the Arrow Cave, the way Supernatural ends its episodes with Sam and Dean talking next to or in the Impala, I would be a happy camper.

– This community post went up last Thursday, so I'll make sure everyone sees it here: We're looking to rename the Arrow community, and there's already a poll running. Voting ends at noon on 11/7, so take some time to vote if you haven't already.


What'd you think of "League of Assassins"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/25/2016

Season 4 : Episode 23

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arrow is turning into everything i wanted from smallville. in smallville it was all about clark learning to fly over like 20 seasons or something. in between filled with krypto enhanced sub villians and a horrible mess of introducing dc universe into the story line...but this arrow starts with the nigha trained and just goes at it. season 2 is amazing. black canary. bronze tiger, red arrow/arsenal, league of assassins which was created by Ra's al Ghu, professor ivo the mad scientist and soon the flash(barry not wally) will join the frey...coming from a marvel fan boy... its outclassing shield
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that arrow catch was badass!!!!
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I liked the episode I am glad Quentin knows Sara is alive, but I still don't like the fact that truth is hidden to Dinah and Laurel. They deserve to know. They could have imagined a way to tell the women the truth, that they will put Sara in danger if they try to find her, so, to protect her, they have to let her alone.
About Malcolm, I am very confused. Oliver told Tommy he didn't kill his dad and I thought he was telling the truth, so why is everybody now insisting Malcolm is dead?
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I just catched up with this episode - it was great! Lots of new information, lots of action, the emotional part with Lance and daughter, and I even enjoyed the flashbacks this time (not always my cup of tea).

I felt a bit sad that Sarah's arc was over, but Noel is probably right and mini arcs work better. Now we can move to focus on a different plot for a while.
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Loved this episode...lot's of action in it. Lot's of puzzle peaces fell into place.
Like the flashbacks of Sara.
Now finally Quentin knows the truth about his daughter...i just wonder if he will be able to keep it secret when we will see how Laurel will fall apart..unfortunately a bit slowly to my taste...she should have the big meltdown already, so she can be saved etc..etc..etc..
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Possibly the most enjoyable episode of Arrow so far this season, as far as I'm concerned. The preceding installment had already shown signs of improvement, and this one took things further.

I would very much love it if the crew of Arrow followed Noel's suggestion and focused more on smaller arcs that build into a larger narrative. And perhaps let some storylines last longer than a season. The "standalone" episodes of this show are generally the most boring and insufferable for me to watch.

I must admit that I wasn't fully on board with Sara as a character (nor with Caity Lotz's portrayal of her) until now. If this Sara-focused showing meant to convince non-believers and demonstrate that they chose a proper actress for the part, it certainly did its job in my case.
I think it's the first time we had flashbacks that weren't fully focused on Oliver? I thought that they largely worked at polishing the youngest Lance's traits and filling in some of the blanks. They even retconned the "Gambit" sequences, which lessened my disconnect of having another actress take over the role. In the end, I was left wanting to see more.

Sara also did good things for the modern narrative of Arrow. A lot of high points.
The fighting scenes were a joy to watch for a change (especially the mansion one where our vigilantes didn't even have their costumes on; as well as Sara & Oliver's escape from Al-Owal's temporary base).
Paul Blackthorne was allowed even more quality material; and what a turnaround this is: so far everything is making Quentin a much more compelling character this season.
Oliver also shared a few good calmer scenes with Sara, and it only stood to demonstrate how much better than Laurel she could be. Perhaps there is a tiny chance at more retconning, one that would involve Laurel dying and never donning the mask of Black Canary? Please, please, please.
By far the only thing Sara should get scolded for is her treatment of Diggle. Unacceptable, miss.

On a side note: I would've expected the League's assassins to be trained a little better than that, but I suppose that goes into nitpicking territory.

So now with Sara taking off again, I'm starting to worry that we might be back to more fillers of questionable quality. But I'd very happy if that turned out not to be the case.
Moira's trial is progressing at a fine pace, but it doesn't have the potential of becoming anything more than a side-story, in my mind. Blood and Rochev have yet to become compelling in my book.

Kudos for having Oliver and Diggle share a drink in the Arrow Cave! That ought to become a semi-regular theme.

P.S. I was hoping for an elaborate commentary from Noel with regards to Anthony Ivo, but perhaps it would be too soon? And I probably shouldn't be expecting comic book references every single time.
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re: Ivo -- I felt it was just too soon. I felt bad about the Blood background I gave when he first showed up after it turned out he had himself a mask and some drugs that played more into his comic incarnation. I honestly was not expecting Arrow to go that route with its version, so now I'm a touch gun-shy about it; it was on reason I was very glad they didn't drag out his identity under the mask in that scene. If/When we see more of Ivo, I'll circle back to him.

And, yes, those were our first not-Oliver flashbacks, which was narratively exciting. I was hoping we'd get more than what we got, but I would not be at all surprised if we start getting flashbacks within flashbacks. I'd prefer that to Lotz delivering lots of expository dialog in the flashbacks, anyway.

As Gully pointed out below, the show isn't unwilling to allow storylines to last more than a season, like the Deadshot/Diggle stuff. It's still a young show, and as such is building those threads. I feel like this season is all about building those threads of recurring antagonists, so we'll see how successful they end up.
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Speaking of recurring villains (and in view of Gully's comments), a look at the synopsis for a coming episode reveals the second return of someone--but no, it's really real this time, even despite the ending from last time. Or is it?

I just hope they don't keep up the "return" teases just because they've name-dropped Ra's al Ghul. I felt the same twinge that Noel did with the ample "Malcom Merlyn is dead" references--the same kind they kept making about Sara before the unmasking.

Leave the Merlyns in the ground, please--both of them. (We really don't need either a slasher-film-unkillable-villain or a Jason-Todd/Red-Hood situation here. Really.)

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Exactly what I was thinking about pink pants in the workplace, srsly? Also starting to hate Laurel, popping pills "I'm not a drunk, see?", and being such a tease with Oliver, "I can't be with you! Let's make out"... ugh. Stop being a whiny, bitchy, prosecuting mothers sucky person.
Also, I found Quentin and Sara's reunion rushed and forced. "Hey, I'm alive! Gotta go." I knew they wouldn't keep her character around permanently, but only 1 episode for all of this to play out? Plus, was it just me or was Quentin's ominous comment to the Hood about keeping secrets a hint that he knows the truth? It wouldn't be that hard to put two and two together since he knows Sara was with Oliver on the Gambit. Since secret identities are important in Arrow I understand not everybody is going to know about Oliver, but let's not Superman draw this out people; it always make the smart, capable cops, lawyers and reporters in these stories look like idiots.
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I really enjoyed this episode however being a long time HUGE Green Arrow/Black Canary supporter I'm not 100% on board yet for the story of Black Canary that they're doing not only is being portrayed by Dinah Laurel Lance's SISTER the one who SHOULD be Canary but her past is also completely warped from the comic version. Usually I am okay in them changing things for the sake of the TV show case in point...Lois Lane meeting Clark Kent BEFORE Daily Planet on Smallville...but they're changing Black Canary's background quite a bit.

I DO however still love what they did for her "Canary Cry" that was good, love it. I'm not dissing it completely trust me I am ecstatic I get to Fangasm over a show again since Smallville's end, looking forward to EVERY week now with Arrow and it just keeps getting better :)
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Oh no! Abu Nazir! I hope no-one on this show has a pace maker...
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That's about what I was going to say, but then I thought someone must've already mentioned the surprise attack of Abu Nazir. So Arrow should be careful NOT to kill him, because Nazir has his best terror moments AFTER he's dead (which is part of his brilliant plan).

OK, any more Homeland jokes?
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So they did change the Sara actor?
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Yes.
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I find it interesting (and hopefully not a plot hole) how Al-Owal said to Oliver that arrows are such an ineffective projectile, yet he was the one to train Malcom. Wonder how Malcom became such a great archer.

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I'd have thought Oliver would've used the exploding arrow on Al-Owal like he did Malcolm on the roof. Granted, the gag's been played, but did he really expect to have a different result from a regular arrow than he had with Malcolm during their first two fights?
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Not to mention that, between Merlyn and Sara, proficiency with the bow and arrow appears to be pretty standard practice among the League.

I think that Al-Owal was just trying to play head games with Oliver.
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Freakin Awesome Episode. It just keeps getting better.

I enjoyed last season, but this season has be fantastic. Arrow is by far my favorite show right now.
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awesome episode, we need Sara/Black Canary in Arrow full time !!!
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I certainly hope this was not the end to present day Sara.
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Oh, I'm sure she'll be back. She's recurring guest for this season, so I imagine they're picking and choosing the best ways to use her, and when (like they did with Walter and Malcolm last year), and since she's tied to the flashbacks now, they're probably doing prioritizing.
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I wonder if Arrow pulls a Smallville later on and they replace Laurel with Sarah in the coming season. Lois Lane was introduced as a recurring guest before becoming a regular in the show the following season.
Sarah could adopt the "Dinah" middle name as her own, in honor of her fallen sister (who dies heroically in the Season 2 finale).
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Worst assassin ever!

No wonder Sarah let him live. *Stupid ninjas pose NO threat.*
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Besides, she knows the League well enough to figure that the assassin's life is forfeit anyway due to his failure. Once he delivers the message, of course. :)

"Search him. Then I will kill you."

:D

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This was another great episode season 2 is fantastic I really like Sara as black cannery. The scene in the bat cave when she told Oliver abot TLA to me he seemed to know exactly who they were and was majorly pissed that she joined them, also what more happened on the island how did Sara get the invite and yes Sado didn't die in the explosion. Arrow is a great show for giving you answers to 5 question then giving you 8 more to figure out. Love it.
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This episode was not as good as the previous, but not terrible, just overly-compressed.

I feel like a lot of genre shows could benefit from mini-arcs from superhero to sci-fi, in Arrow's case though I do feel like the Canary arc wrapped one episode too early - too many things happening at once to really get under Sara's mask and play out her tale. I wanted to see Black Canary do more than what we got, and deal with the League more before playing it out, having her win the immediate battle so quickly and succinctly didn't satisfy for me. Also, it gave Ollie less chance to show what he can really do, apparently he straight out sucks - so does Quentin Larry Lance with his gun though, that was downright embarrassing to watch, they really need to revamp this show's action.

The fight editing I will give you was less awful than usual, but the cinematography and the actual choreography was really bad. The mid-distance shot of Ollie and Sara fighting on 2 different levels wasn no better than a Mutant X shot from a decade ago - it was clunky and awkward and bordering on silly.

Oh Laurel, you are embarrassing yourself, they need to figure out how to write genuine passion for this character, STAT! There's a character in there, and this episode starts to show it, but then everything that character does is ridiculous and presented in a stilted manner due to weird acting/writing/directing.

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"Oh Laurel, you are embarrassing yourself, they need to figure out how to write genuine passion for this character, STAT! There's a character in there, and this episode starts to show it, but then everything that character does is ridiculous and presented in a stilted manner due to weird acting/writing/directing."

^ So much this.

Katie Cassidy has simply forgotten how to act. She used to be so good on Supernatural. Whatever did happen to her? *confused*

Also her new face is distracting. <
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After it was pointed out that she was on Supernatural for one season and was better there, I went back and looked, she definitely has more impact there, and I'll argue it's the character they wrote her.
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I was hoping that they might have taken the plot in a different direction here where Sara would have died and Laurel kidnapped and trained as the new Black Canary. The set up for it was perfect.
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If you prefer Laurel over Sara, you might be in tune with the direction the writers may take (especially since Laurel is the one with the name Dinah), but you're in the minority among the viewers, my friend. Not just here, but all over the place, fans are begging for Sara. :)

It's a very good week for Caity Lotz's agent.
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I was actually thinking that it would have removed both actresses from the storyline for awhile. They could then bring in someone else to play the Dinah Lance part. Neither of those women can act.
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I can see wanting an additional episode to wrap up this particular aspect of the story, though I think the compression is purposeful given the other plots they have brewing and the groundwork they're clearly looking to lay with the League's presence here, and Ra's child looking for Sara.

The abandoned factory fight was odd. I liked it as a locale and that they did go with a two-level fight sequence (ambitious for them), but it happened in their standard quick-cutting style, and I'm not entirely sure why they left so quickly other than they needed the showdown at the clocktower.
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They left because Oliver could see they were outmatched--and separated--in that seetting, and Sara had the disadvantage of being hemmed in on the catwalk from both sides, which had just resulted in an assassin slicing her back open (which they didn't make very clear during the fight, at least not for a person's first viewing).
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Isn't Ra's child Talia?
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Ra's actually has several children so they could go several ways. Talia is probably the most recognizable due to Batman movies and regular comic book appearances.

They seem to be getting deliberately close to Batman territory here. Yet more teases in my mind to linking Arrow to the larger DC cinematic universe.

Nyssa and Dusan being the other somewhat used in the comics children of Ra's. In the comics Ra's is very old due to the Lazarus Pits so ostensibly he has many children.

An interesting take would be to have the child be Damian (Wayne). Which is the grand"child" of Ra's, whose mother is Talia, and whose father is Bruce Wayne. That is totally blitzed out fanboy-ism on my part but a young Damian who is in the care of Ra's whose "nanny"/guardian could have been Sara/Canary and who desperately wants her to return. Like I said fanboy-ism but that would be very cool.
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Yes, in the DCU and the recent films, but this is Arrow, home of the bait-and-switch.

Only time will tell. :)
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Very good episode.
I did start wondering though, how did people discover that Sara was on the yacht when it went down? I got the impression that nobody except those on it knew.
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I think they established last season that her Mother knew she was on the yacht, and blamed herself for letting her go, and subsequent "death". This to me seems like the larger betrayal "timebomb" for Quentin. Ex-wife or not what little resolution and acceptance they had for one another is toast after Mrs. Lance finds out that Sara is alive, Quentin knew and didn't tell her. In fact Sara wore the Starling Rockets baseball hat to the hospital to see Sin. The same hat that was at the center of her mothers belief that Sara was alive and had been spotted in Thailand(?).
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I might be wrong, but I seem to remember that when Dinah (the mom) was in Starling City last season, she mentioned knowing what Sara was doing. She felt guilty for not stopping her, and I think she and Laurel argued about it. I'd have to go back and watch it again to be sure, though
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Thank you for that, I'd completely forgotten.
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Yeeees. That happened. I knew someone knew, but could not remember who it was.
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If it was up to me, Sara would never die and would eventually become the Black Canary. I would prefer for future Laurel to just be a really great lawyer that knows Oliver's "other identity" and that often helps Green Arrow, Felicity, Diggle and Black Canary fighting crime in Starling City.
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That helped to soften the ridiculousness of Laurel being second chair. It was silly, wasn't it? I'd sooner believe in meta humans. Frankly, I am so over Laurel that I'm going to be really upset if they get rid of Sara in order to give Laurel more screen time as the Canary. NOTHING would soften the ridiculousness of that. There's a lot of argument about whether it's the writing, the actress, or both. Granted, she is not given the best stories, but I still think a better actress would be able to salvage some of it and garner a bit of sympathy. I can't stand to watch her. On the other hand, Caity Lotz as Sara is very compelling, and I'm interested in her story.

I definitely agree with your point about the episode arcs. It's better if they don't try to jam all the plot points into one or two episodes. Looking forward to Moira's trial and whatever secrets she's still holding onto. I have a terrible feeling Laurel will end up more than second chair, though (ugh.) Loving the growing bond between Team Arrow, and I felt Sara could fit in there if she had the opportunity. Oliver/Diggle bonding! That was excellent! I just want to see more Felicity/Diggle/Oliver on my screen, period. Team Arrow is awesome.
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Poor Cassidy. I know a few people who like her and are suffering with everything around Laurel, including Cassidy's performance. A better actress might be able to make it at least interesting, but the writers have to do better work in making it click.

And I am so hopeful about the Team Arrow bonding next week. VACATION!!! ...Well, to Russia.
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Well I'm giddy as a schoolgirl about the trip Russia, even though I know what I really, really, really (just imagine a couple of thousand more really's in there),really want to happen won't.
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I've never seen Katie Cassidy in anything else, so I hesitate to say it's all her. Something about her just doesn't work here, though. I think the back story between her and Oliver was unnecessarily angsty and reminiscent of what I didn't like about the Arrow comics I read years ago. They were dysfunctional there, and they're a mess here. It's not fun to watch. My other problem is that Dinah Lance was a strong character, and I don't see Laurel growing into that in any believable sort of way. At this point, I'd rather them not stick to comic canon and leave Sara as Black Canary. It doesn't have to be set in stone - they've already changed quite a lot!

I vote yes to more Team Arrow field trips! I'm so excited for the Diggle centric episode
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"Dear Laurel: I know you're going through a hard time and all, but hot pink pants are not appropriate for the DA's office, even on the most casual of casual Fridays." - lmao

More Laurel jokes please! XD
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I cant believe that officer lance still hasnt reached the conclusion that oliver is the arrow .I mean is he really that stupid??
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Yeah, between hanging out with the Arrow - staring him in the face and having plenty of time to study his mouth and his nose and his chin and jawline, Quentin really should have picked up on it - and then to have all this interaction with Sara as the Canary, I mean...

COME ON MAN, USE YOUR BRAIN!

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Quentin joins a long line of people oblivious to secret identities.



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The difference is that those are generally played as camp, and The CW hero shows are under the pretense of abandoning all camp. (Because a domino mask is so much campier than sloppy green makeup somehow.)
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You're no fun whatsoever.
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"That's what she said" ... oh.
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This is getting a little thin to me. I hope they can right some plausible angle when the reveal does happen. How do you not recognize the presence of Diggle, Felicity, and "Some guy in a hood" and not fill in the blank with Ollie. Especially now that Felicity is Ollie's "personal assistant". Oh well I can suspend my disbelief with the best of them.
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The best episode of Arrow of both seasons so far
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I agree. Arrow was finally able to reach it's full potential in this episode. I loved Sara's story arch and it made total sense for her to leave in the end, although I doubt Arrow will ever be as compelling without her in it. I hope she will at least continue to appear in the flashbacks and I would love for her to return before the end of the season.
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yeah but action scenes were also good 1st time it looked like real acton scense
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Sara will be back.. probably at the end of the season and Laurel will find out that shes alive and the Sara will die and Laurel we pick up the Canary mask later
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It would be better other way around. But sadly it makes sense.
I love Sara, please don't die.
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Fantastic season! But am i missing something? Oliver thought Sarah was dead but he saw her on the ship after the queens boat vanished?
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That part of the story hasn't been told yet. We'll get there in the flashbacks eventually!
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Good episode. It is hard to believe that there is a Lance that doesn't kind of annoy me. Sarah is a great character, more of her and less of Laurel who now has a pill problem? She sure is moving through addiction and the grief process at her on pace isn't she.

The League of Assassins I think is interesting I have never been a huge comic book fan so all I really know about it is what Batman Begins had in it. But they seem cool. It introduced a whole new level to the who that they can expand upon. The only gripe I had was that they focused a little too much on Sarah/Canary. I would have thought they would have had a little bit of a mention of Merlin and how and why he was a member of the League. The show being called Arrow and everything, would warrant that explanation even just a little one.

But the action was good. There was very little Laurel which is always good. A good amount of Felicity, though not enough. However this whole Bose thing with her and Roy. I don't know if they are trying to have her favorability rub off on Roy but it isn't going to work. Try writing someone or getting an actor with a little personality.

Overall good. No Slade though. Was the bomb where he lost his eye? Is that where he diverged from being buds with Oliver? Where is Shado?
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Awsome season so far...only negative would be Laurel. When Sarah said,they can't tell mom or Laurel,because they would probably die,I was like "oh please let's tell Laurel,please let's tell Laurel...COME ON SARAH LET'S TELL LAUREL!!!!" :D
Fight scenes are cool,BC is cool,Quentin is cool...uggh Laurel. No amount of words would describe my hate for her.
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i just fund the tv show i like it a LOT watch season 1 on net flicks did not know this was on tv i am a FAN
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I like this season's story lines better than the first and the mini arcs. I wish Summer Glau 's character had more to do, she is a fine actress and dancer. Felicity is much more confident and Oliver much more mature.
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Why is it that the interesting female characters always leave, while the useless ones hang around, and hang around, and hang around...Felicity excepted, of course!
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I enjoyed the episode, It was interesting seeing Oliver in his house relaxing and commenting on Thea's whereabouts, lol. The fact that the reunion between lance/sara was not prolonged was great, as was his acceptance that his child had changed after those 5 years away. But, I definitely want to see more Digg and Felicity. I get the Oliver is the main character and they only have 42 minutes but come on, I hope they both get more screen time as the season progresses. I would like to see more screen time to the supporting characters such as Thea, Digg, Roy, Felicity and Sin. Can't wait till the next episode though! =)
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I'm still going to miss Caity Lotz on my screen. By the end of last episode, I genuinely enjoyed her more as a character/companion for Oliver than Laurel, and I'm kind of dissappointed that I don't get to look forward to their interactions anymore.
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" – Dear Laurel: I know you're going through a hard time and all, but hot pink pants are not appropriate for the DA's office, even on the most casual of casual Fridays."


Haha best
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As a minor thing, my kudos to the scoring team for the ominous music sting that they dropped in after Ivo was introduced. I'm not familiar with the Arrow lore at all (aside from what gets brought in by the reviewers and commentors), but at least the sound engineers let me know Ivo's a bad dude. ;)
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Look who he hangs out with, that should tell you something. Also, he's got a lair in a pirate freighter a la Nemo (the captain, not the clownfish).
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Actually Prof Ivo and a clownfish is a scarier idea than Prof Ivo and pirate captain
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"I have a sinking feeling that Laurel's still going to be at the prosecutor's table when the proceedings begin, for no reason other than to have all of the drama"

or you could have just read TV.com's episode summary for State v. Queen :P
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You know how many people consider an official episode summary spoilers? I'd rather play ignorant than get into "What defines a 'spoiler'?" war. Because, really, Sara being alive stopped being a spoiler to me as soon it was in Hollywood Reporter.
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Fair enough, it's just your predictive powers don't seem so magical when the prediction is already published on the site :D
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They're only magical when you don't know how the trick is done. Way to be Val Valentino, Gully! ;)
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"Illusion", you mean. A trick is something a whore does for money, Noel.
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People dissing on Caily Loitz? I thought she was quite good in this role. She is a much more compelling actress than, sorry but its true, Katie Cassidey. Again they bring in an actress who just gels with Amell in their scenes together and again, sadly the appearance is brief. (Looks like Jessica DeGouw is going to be available again pretty soon if her new show continues to lose viewers. Bring back the Huntress) The episode was jam packed which is probably why we didn't get to see Oliver and crew meet Sin. What was really great about Sara's introduction to the crew was that as oppposed to the tension that existed when Helena met Diggle and Felicity - she seemed to get along well with both and fit right in. The '. . . but what about me?' scenes with Laurel are getting a tad tedious. Why do the writers make her so a whiny? For all her tears shed over her losses its still just all about HER.

Another great episode; keep this roll going show. Felicity's ...I'm glad that you're alive. I mean I didn't know you before you went missing but... Is it too early just to spin her character off into a half hour comedy AND keep her on this show?

Only complaint - 2nd episode in a row without Slade. He was the first person she asked Oliver about. We got a mention of him in the previous which let us into the fact that Sara knew him then nothing.... Wait a second could the 'child' they are talking about be Sara and Slade's?
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Bring back the Huntress? Oh no, please don't. She was just awful, and so wooden as an actress. I really want to love the female characters on this show, but so far the only ones I really like are Felicity, Moira and Shado. Thea talks through her teeth or cries/is on the verge of crying so much, Laurel's just there to be 'tension', and Sara was meh.
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Noel,
while the compressed story arcs can work and I agree the Canary episodes were pretty much on the money. There is also something to be said for having a bit of gap between the different episodes, we're coming up on Deadshot part 4 and having that story arc spread out over a year hasn't hurt it, if anything having just under radar of extended periods helps.

For me the best bits of the Canary arc aren't what happened 'now' but the foreshadowing of what comes next. We know Sara is going to meet Slade & Shado, we know that Sara was only part of the island group for a year and it would seem that Slade and Ollie have a monumental falling out before Sara leaves.
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It hasn't hurt it, but it's also a carry over from Season 1 in a way that much of the rest of the plots this season aren't. Think about the "search" for Walter last season, something that, much like Canary's presence thus far in Season 2, might've benefited from not fading into the background for episodes on end only to resurface at an appropriate time.

Why the fade-ins and fade-outs of Deadshot has worked is because he's not quasi-permanent fixture on the show, and because Diggle's practical enough to not always go gunning for him, wherever he may be.
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I used to be one of the few people that didn't totally hate Lorel, till the last 2 episodes. Now I just... arrrrg! There should be a character-delete-button somewhere!
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If there's ever a 'Worst Character on TV' poll, her picture should be plastered all over it. I do not understand why the show doesn't just cut its losses already since they killed off the only character that made Laurel bearable.
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Great episode but i didn't want Sara to leave so soon.
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Am I the only one whose brain was fried by the hotness of Oliver Queen during that last Thea/Moira/Ollie scene in the prison, telling her they can handle her secrets? HE WAS JUST TOO HOT. I am way too old to be reacting like a high school cheerleader but oh my god. I need to stop watching such episodes in the train.
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Being from Wales, when Noel mentioned Laurel going to the office in 'hot pink pants', I immediately thought I would've remembered if Laurel had been wandering round the office in 'hot pink pants'. Then I realised that 'pants' in American and 'pants' in Britainland mean two different things! Great episode btw!
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good ep, was ivo from the comics?

Bet that Malcolm isnt dead, mentioned him too much.

Wat is moira secret? She has another child or thea isnt her daughter and malcolm is/was her father? wat??????????

3 more eps till we see the flash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Well, the prosecutor hinted that something in her emails and such would prove she wasn't really being coerced. Though maybe it was simply unrelated to the coercion thing and had to do with another private matter (the real father of Oliver or whatever)

My guesses?
A) She had an affair with Merlyn at some point -- perhaps before the ship crash, perhaps after.
B) She made a decision on her own to kill Oliver's father
C) She made decisions / plans / etc. on her own to enact the destruction a while back
D) It will be revealed either Oliver or his sister's parentage isn't what they thought
E) There's another Queen sibling floating around.

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I suppose the secret is that she gave the order to kill their father/her husband. She might understandably think that could piss them off.
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Professor Ivo was from the comics. He was a brilliant scientist / villain.
His most notable achievement was in constructing "Amazo" While it sounds like a stupid name, Amazo is an android that keeps re-appearing in the comics as a very powerful enemy. Since he can mimic the powers of anyone it comes in contact with: meaning the Justice League would be fighting a single person with all of their powers. Though the scope of his powers change, sometimes he can only use one person's power-at-a-time and it takes a few seconds to switch.
http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Anthony_Ives_(New_Earth)
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thanks
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CW's series named ARROW is just getting better exponentially. I cant even start to say how much i liked, no loved this episode. It was beautifully shot and had some really well directed scenes.
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Agree the episode was the best. At the same time, lots of chatter about what is coming. The island, Sara learning about Oliver's transformation, where is Shado, is she coming to the city, etc., lots of great story lines...
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black canary and arrow's interaction in the flashbacks...can't wait.
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Hey, Noel--so does the freighter flashback mean that Sara knows where Amazo's head is? :D
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I think we can all pretty much guess that we won't be seeing the android but I did like the hand on the desk that looked it had just come off Asimo
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Sara is Amazo. DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN.
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And with that joke, Arrow just became super awesome.
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ROFL
So, then Roy doesn't become Red Arrow, but Red Volcano? :)
(You know, when STAR Labs has to rebuild him as a cyborg after Thea is done tearing him apart for cheating with Sin.)
Colton Haynes shouting "Where's Amazo's HEAD???"--it might work!

(For those missing the injoke--I'm referring to S02E14 of Young Justice.) :)
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I think we're on to something here.
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Just fantastic. I loved the contrast between the Quentin/Sara reaction and the Tommy/Oliver reaction. I loved the little bird scene. I had to rewind and make sure I heard the "child" comment correctly. I'm with you I really like the threaded mini-arc pacing and plotting. I hope it sticks around. I feel like the creators/writers should know how this works as many of them are comic book writers as well.

Additionally did everyone see the "headphone" commercial featuring Felicity and Roy? I was a little confused about whether is was a scene or not. I really like it, though it was clearly a plug, such is TV these days. However this one was pretty well done an clearly had some writer input or at least input from the actors to be true to their characters. I'm not sure whether these are canonical, maybe in the same way the digital Arrow comics have been. Sort of color without any significant plot development, i.e. you miss seeing/reading it your not out any story elements, etc. If this one is within cannon I think it was the most significant Felicity/Roy scene yet. It really made me want to see more Felicity/Roy. Seeing as how its "sidekick" of the moment meets "sidekick" of the future.


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Yes - that headphone commercial (for Bose) is a six part mini-sode storyline. One each week for the next six weeks I guess.

Any thing with more Smoak is a plus for me. :-)
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I totally missed these since I got a screener for this week's episode. I'll look for this on my DVR recording of the episode.
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You missed one of Felicity's best stumbling moments ever then. It was a gem. :)
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This is what I get for taking the hour to catch up on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Trophy Wife.
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So I totally had a completely different opinion on that episode, I thought it may have been the weakest yet, possibly weaker than the first huntress ones...

Here were my thoughts, anyone care to disagree?

-Quentin's reaction to "your daughter is alive and has been an assassin for four years" was not believable. I give him as an actor slack because that's one of the hardest things I could imagine having to go through, and while I couldn't tell you How I expected for his character to react, I'm certain that should have been too much to process/handle the way he did, especially after watching his baby girl kill a guy. In fact, even his laissez-faire attitude to Felicity's warning of "You're being hunted by assassins" didn't fit his character; who would have at least taken that threat more seriously.

-Sarah's character needs more depth and even though this episode was all about her, I feel like she didn't get that. She's supposed to be as screwed up as Olliver was but her actor isn't letting that off like Stephen Amell did.

-This episode was reveal after reveal after reveal, but there wasn't enough made clear in any of them to give enough satisfaction. It required a level of emotional depth that the key actors didn't get across

-The end shows Olliver deciding to own up to Diggle about the island. We can't have that. The only reason that it works for Ollie to keep secrets from the audience is because he's been thoroughly established as the main character. Dig, as much as I love him as a character, can't know more than we do, because the story isn't about him. So they've got to reveal A LOT of island stuff to make that work. Plot wise, it's awesome and SO legit for Olliver to spill the beans to his trusted friend, but it defies the dual story telling of the show. And if he does tell Dig everything, the way I personally feel he needs too now, I don't want to know it all that fast right away. I was living the slow pace of the island reveals, which has been really screwed up by Sarah being back.

Maybe I'm just really still mourning the Sarah is alive and the Black Canary retcon that I figured the writers had too much integrity to do, but even after getting over that I feel they could have done it better...
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Bring. Sara. Back. Now.

Even as a scarred, hunted mess, she's still far more compelling than, oh, I don't know, Ms. PoorMe.

Calling it now--the child of Ra's al Ghul is NOT Bane. :D

But despite the shift toward the comics, the writers could not help borrowing the famous Batman Begins line about being mindful of one's surroundings. :)

The child of Ra's al Ghul reference could mean: 1) It's Sara's child by Ra's, and Ra's is trying to play to her guilt over abandoning her child. (As the previous assasssin two weeks ago said it was Ra's who wished her return, and Sara gave the departing message tonight to be given to Ra's, not his child. 2) Ra's is Yao Fei (in another Nolanverse-borrowed plot device and Arrow bait-and-switch) and by extension Shado is the child (who is maybe wanting Sara to return so she doesn't get killed by her father or someone else, the same way in the comics that Talia sometimes tried to encourage Bruce's cooperation). 3) Ra's has a male child whom this series created in place of Talia, so that Sara's story with this person would be a twist on the Bruce-Talia comics relationship. (I view this as the least likely, however, as the point of Ra's trying to get Bruce and Talia together in the comics was so that he could have a male heir, whether Bruce or a male grandchild fathered by Bruce,)

Loved Slade's vodka. Gives me hope for his departure not having been hateful. But at the same time, Sara's reference to Oliver not always having chosen friends wisely seems to imply that betrayal of some sort will take place in the island flashbacks (whomever it involves, but possibly #2 above--Sara's acknowledgement that the green hood was Shado's, but not asking about her like she had done about Slade, doesn't bode well for Shado's fate though).

Nuce job on having Sara draw the parallel between Oliver's inner circle in the Cave and on the Island (her face got reflective when she mentioned how the three of them worked well together): Oliver, plus a highly intelligent plucky younger female, plus an older seasoned veteran mentor.

Ok, Quentin HAS to know the Arrow is Oliver. Why else in his line of deductive reasoning would he not have stated the obvious question: "Does Oliver know you survived?" And then by extension, "Oh yeah, Oliver mentioned that he'd been through some horrible things too." Ok, Mr. Blackthorne, if the writers aren't going to pony up this one yet, just keep giving both the Arrow and Oliver those knowing-yet-avoidant looks.

Oh, and one more thing: Bring. Sara. Back. Now.
(In case you writers forgot.) :)
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Why can't the child of Ra's just be the same as the comics; Talia?
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Could just as well be, but the fact that the child was referred to specifically (without us even having "met" Ra's as a character on the show) would seem to imply that there is some connection to what/whom we already know. Otherwise, the writers would really run the risk of alienating the non-comic-fan viewers by naming two characters we've never met, and expecting us to care or be drawn in by the statements. (And one would hope--Laurel's character aside--that the writers have grown beyond such errors/holes by now.)

Also, I thought I caught on second viewing that Sara was referred to as "the beloved" (I had already caught "the chosen one"). This would lend greater strength to options 1 and 3, as either Ra's al Ghul's beloved, or his child's beloved. (In the comics, "beloved" was the term applied to Bruce in view of his relationship to Talia--it's not the generic term, but specifically a romantic one.)


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Not a difficult one to call as Bane is the child of King Snake :P
I could be wrong but I don't remember Slade giving Ollie the vodka, I think it came from someone else we've already met.
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It's Russian Vodka... We may learn who gave it next episode.
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next episode or a year ago ;)
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I was making a joke referring to The Dark Knight Rises. :)

Since the vodka was in his "island trunk," I was figuring it would be in an upcoming flashback scene (or maybe one of the earlier ones from last year that I dozed through while waiting for the writers to find their footing).
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But he wasn't always on the island, so who might have given him a bottle of Russian vodka ?
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If not Slade, then my guess is whoever gave Oliver the Bratva tattoo (if it wasn't Slade doing it for Oliver's protection). But given his personality, it's not a stretch for Aussie operative Slade to have procured it from somewhere. Also. the fact that the drink is shared only with Diggle (Oliver's older veteran mentor-figure in Starling City), seems to imply Slade (Oliver's older veteran mentor-figure on Lian Yu), especially as these writers seem to love parallels.
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Phew, what a fantastic show! Another great episode, that makes two in a row!~

Few scenes worth mentioning:

this-

and then this happened:


and my favorite:

Everyone was perfect. Keep it up Arrow!
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If the CGI on the bird had been better, I'd have been there with ya on that first set.
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