Arrow: Heir to the Demon

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By Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

“Heir to the Demon” didn’t disappoint with the first ever TV adaptation of Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Nyssa. As Arrow naturally does, they put their own spin on the character that actually aided the reason for her onscreen appearance.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Typically villains who come and go weekly on Arrow are underdeveloped, except overarching villains like Brother Blood or Malcolm Merlyn. This time, the writers really took their time getting it right with Nyssa al Ghul, or in the DC comics universe Nyssa Raatko. Out of all the “villain of the week” characters, hers was the best developed over one episode. The Huntress was developed somewhat well, but it took a couple episodes to really grow that character.

It was an extremely smart decision to bring on Nyssa instead of Talia. The latter sister was just brought to life in The Dark Knight Rises, and it would have been easy for the audience to nitpick and compare Arrow’s version of the villain to Nolan’s. This way the lesser known sister was able to shine, which allowed them to put their own twist on the assassin. Actually, her story with Sara was so flushed out that at one point I forgot she was a villain. She wasn’t there to intentionally terrorize these people, she only came to Starling City to get back what she loved and lost: Sara. Above anything else she was just a scored lover trying to get Sara back, or possibly even have closure.

Nyssa and the Arrow’s archer duel (I don’t know, is that even a thing?) was so epic. The last time there was a genuine archer duel was with Malcolm Merlyn in the season one finale “Sacrifice.” Oh, and Nyssa using a cloth sheet to fall from contraptions was very P!nk inspired.

A little more was learned about Felicity’s past in “Heir to the Demon.” So far there are only a few things known about the IT girl like, she stress eats and she is afraid of heights. Thankfully, a little more of Felicity’s backstory is trickling out. With all of the big characters brought in and OMG moments there has been some neglect of the characters that are already on the canvas. And, good for Felicity for not being bullied by Moira.

The lack of Roy in the episode was almost inexcusable. In “Tremors” Roy had his biggest episode of the series and joined Team Arrow. However, in this episode he was completely absent. Sure, there were a great deal of characters to service throughout the episode, but he deserved at least a nod after being inducted into the team.

Speaking of characters that seem to be largely ignored, present-day Slade continues to only show up in one or at the most two scenes per episode. It’s getting to a point that the short glimpses of the one-eyed man is beginning to wear my patience.

There were no island flashbacks in this episode. Instead, there were flashbacks of the happy little Lance family pre-yacht crash. Dinah Lance also returned in this episode, but was mostly a fringe character. The present Lance family was exponentially less happy with Laurel’s reaction to her sister being alive and well. Most of the time I question Laurel’s reactions to things, but this time her reaction was somewhat justified, but it could have been saved for another time and place.

In case you missed it, in the first scene when Nyssa took down an entire airport security team (which by the way, was pretty awesome) A.R.G.U.S popped up on the computer screen. In the DC universe it is an off shoot of America’s Homeland security, headed by non-other than Amanda Waller, and was referenced earlier in the season.

How did you feel about Nyssa al Ghul’s appearance? What did you think about the Lance family reunion? Any theories on who Felicity’s dad may be?

Rating: 4 out of 5


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