Arrow season 2 episode 13 review: Heir To The Demon

Review Caroline Preece 7 Feb 2014 - 13:52

This week's Arrow focuses on the Lance family, and is all the better for it. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.13 Heir To The Demon

It was about time we spent some more time with the Lances on Arrow and, now that Sara seems to have returned to Starling City for good following the events of Heir to the Demon, it seems we’re going to be focusing on their collective pain for the rest of the season. This entire episode was about the return of their lost family member, and how Laurel would cope with the knowledge that the sister who betrayed her so deeply has actually been alive for the last five years but, thankfully, the show resisted the urge to wrap things up anywhere near neatly. These issues are deep and complex, to the show’s ultimate credit, and they deserve a little time to fester.

Despite its problems, that’s what the first half of Arrow’s first season excelled at – spending time with Oliver’s PTSD and showing how it would affect his relationship with people from his past as well as those people who chose to involve in his superhero antics. The reintroduction of Sara gives the show another opportunity to do something similar, but crucially different, and to involve Laurel in her storyline. Laurel’s relatively quick forgiveness of Oliver had a lot to do with necessity – the show needed a love story – but the relationship between the two sisters, still involving Oliver as the barrier between them, is potentially richer and more interesting to explore.

As the last instalment of Arrow to carry us through the Olympics-hiatus period, we couldn’t have asked for more. Two things I’ve wanted this year – the return of Sara and Roy discovering Oliver’s secret – have now transpired in fun and satisfying ways, and the promise of a rapidly expanding Team Arrow hanging out down in the cave when we return is a tantalising prospect. Roy wasn’t actually in this episode, I assume for reasons of time and focus, but the show has really stepped up its game with new characters that are both recognisable for comic fans, and interesting and likeable in their own right for newcomers.

The problems with Laurel’s journey up until this point completely acknowledged, the fact that the Lance family have become such compelling central figures in a show unequivocally about Oliver is a feat in itself. It’s hard to remember a time when Sara wasn’t a presence on the show, for example, and this episode especially could have survived without the presence of our hero at all. We might not be getting a Justice League movie on the big screen but, if Arrow keeps going the way it has been, it’s entirely possible that we’ll have our own band of heroes by the end of the season. I’m ecstatic that Sara has returned to the present day storyline, and can’t wait to see how the characters react to her presence in the long term.

Elsewhere, Moira’s secret about Thea’s paternity was rumbled by Felicity and, despite some expert emotional manipulation, Felicity decided to come clean to Oliver anyway. This could have been dragged out for weeks, adding even more drama to the Oliver/Felicity pairing but, other than giving us a brief insight into her back-story, it was a bit of a dead end. What hopefully isn’t, however, is Oliver’s emotional banishment of his mother, and I wonder just how long it’ll be before Malcolm Merlyn creeps out of the shadows and Thea gets a storyline of her own. That’s one downside to having so many new characters – old ones like Thea and Diggle are being increasingly sidelined. 

Arrow returns on February the 26th but, until then, we can only dream about how the show can possibly capitalise on so many great narrative turns and solid character development. See you in three weeks! 

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, Tremors, here.

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Is it just me or has the actress who plays Laurel lost a LOT of weight? It wouldn't be so much of an issue if it wasn't so noticable during the flashbacks.

But please correct me if I'm wrong, though I think I am going to have to rewatch older episodes to be sure because I never thought her chin was so pointy!

I've been thinking just the same for a while ago, but in this last episode it was pretty evident, specially when she was in the hospital. Its clear that she has being losing weight progressevely since the show started, but now its starting to be worrying. I think she may have a health problem.

I want to know what Laurel was drinking at the end for her glass to explode like that!

"Roy wasn’t actually in this episode, I assume for reasons of time and focus[...]"

Exactly. Roy was actually in the episode and was given the task to keep an eye on Laurel. When Dinah was kidnapped, he confronted Nyssa and eventually lost, after being injected with the snake venom, which would have killed him, if he weren't powered up. This scene will likely be included in the season 2 dvd.

can anyone tell what happened to Malcolm Meyrln is he just on holiday or compleatly gone now i think i may of missed a scene?

Cool!

I imagine he's just hanging out with Ra's until he comes back lol

This show is so well written that it should be Required Viewing in every TV series' Writers Room. Every episode is better than the one before--and it's thrilling to see how long they can keep up this pace. There's not a single element about "Heir to the Demon" that didn't work. And, please tell me where I can start (or sign) the petition demanding the "Birds of Prey" spin-off, or movie franchise. Oh, one more thing. Caity Lotz is the FIND of the current TV season: Sexy, athletic--and nobody pays the vulnerable-but-tough girl better.

Yes...she has definitely lost lots & lots of weight since the series began. Just go back to Season 1 and look at her face and body in the episode where Laurel is on the dock with Oliver as he is about to depart on the ill-fated boat trip. Then compare her look to recent episodes...HUGE difference. I don't know whether Ms. Cassidy needs a doctor, or is just another victim to the current Hollywood craze that "a woman can never be thin enough." Whatever, she need to gain at least twenty pounds.

maybe it was the residual snake venom.

Agreed. Somebody give that girl a cheeseburger.

Malcolm is currently on the run from Ra's. In an earlier episode of the season (the one where he showed up and tried to strong-arm Moira into telling Thea he was her father - in fact the episode where we found that out) Moira told him she had got information to Ra's telling him Merlyn was still alive, as a way of forcing him to leave town and therefore get out of her life.

And large fries.Her head resembles the screaming skull these days more the pity.

She might just be using the method acting approach, where she purposely loses weight to suit the physique of a person struggling with drug addiction etc. She's a pretty good actress, so wouldn't surprise me, but yes, her natural weight in SE1 was proper for her body frame etc.

I'm genuinely not convinced that she's a good enough actress to pull it off. Also, if it is supposed to be method acting then it is a pretty half hearted approach as she'd be suffering from a hell of a lot more than just weight loss (the fact that she still has perfect make up for example).

I also mentioned in my first post that it is more distracting in the flashbacks, as I can acknowledge the effect the drugs/alcohol abuse may have, but in the pre-sunken ship scenes, Laurel still looked dangerously skinny, which completely ruled out the idea of method acting for me.

If it is method acting then it would have made more sense to give her larger versions of the same clothes to depict the same thing, which would work as the do the exact same thing to depict Oliver's weight on the Island.

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