Synopsis: Sara’s old League of Assassins pal, Nyssa has come to Starling City to retrieve Sara but Arrow/Oliver objects while Sara’s mere existence is finally revealed to Laurel and Oliver disavows Moira, his mother, seemingly once and for all.
Details: Last week it was all about Roy Harper but Roy conveniently disappears and this week, it’s all about Sara Lance and her background story – seeing how she is going to be sticking around for awhile. That includes a visit from Nyssa al Ghul [Katrina Law – “Spartacus: War of the Damned“] who is – try and follow us here – a former League of Assassins pal of Sara’s and also the love child daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, the Russian baddie who is one of Batman’s legion of archenemies. Ra’s al Ghul’s name in Arabic roughly translates to Demon Head so Nyssa refers to herself as the heir to the demon [hence the title reference]. Got all that?
After Nyssa arrives in Vancouver/Starling City by wounding a half-dozen security agents at the Vancouver/Starling City International Airport, we jump over to important breaking news in the Felicity Financial News Network where Miss Smoak is reporting to Walter that some suspicious activity is occurring on the Tempest bank account now that Moira is intending to run for mayor of Starling City.
Oliver visits Laurel in the hospital but leaves before she tells Dad Lance about the weird thing that happened to her – she saw her supposedly dead sister, Sara, before she passed out in her apartment. Sara, meanwhile, is working out in the Arrow Lair and informs Arrow that she needs to leave due to the fact that the League of Assassins is undoubtedly on her tail.
Flashback #1 intervenes and we have finally moved away from the island and into the early Lance family house life where all the more youthful-appearing members of the Lance family are cavorting about the house in typical cavorting family style from what appears to be the pre-internet era or possibly post-dotcom-bust era.
Dad Lance meets with Sara and reveals that Laurel reports seeing her in a hallucinogenic state but Sara takes off and is intercepted by Nyssa who gives her what may, at first, be confused with the ultra-secret L of A initiation kiss but then appears to evolve into more serious lip-locking maneuvering that seems to indicate they are more than just pals. All of this is being covertly observed by Arrow from afar, who is intrigued but objects more strenuously to Nyssa wanting to take Sara back to L of A headquarters rather than a possible superhero ménage a trois. Sara spurns Nyssa, setting her off an a vengeful mission.
Felicity, for some unknown reason not fully explained, decides to go, unannounced, to the Queen Mansion to pay a visit to Moira and spill her beans on what she knows about the Queen family history as it relates to Thea’s fathering but Moira is unimpressed and warns Felicity that telling Oliver this information will damage Felicity’s relationship with Oliver as much as hers.
After finding out his lover appears to be bisexual, Oliver is taking out his aggression on an innocent truck tire when Diggle and Felicity announce they have Laurel’s blood work and she was poisoned with the venom of a Tibetan pit viper [which is a real snake] and everybody suspects Nyssa.
Flashback #2 shows more Lance family life with Sara and Laurel discussing Oliver’s boyfriend traits and after a few scenes is followed shortly by Flashback #3 where Laurel learns of Oliver’s yachting “accident”.
Dinah – Laurel and Sara’s mother – is reintroduced to the storyline and is immediately kidnapped by Nyssa and some of her League of Assassins thugs in response to Sara’s spurning her love and after a brief engagement with Arrow and Sara, escapes with Dinah to an undisclosed safe house location. During all this, Sara reveals to her Dad that she may be a little closer to Nyssa than merely their League of Assassins membership cards suggest. Dad Lance seems to take it well for the time being.
Moira meets with Seb Blood with the result being Seb warning her not to run for mayor and Moira essentially ignoring his warning.
Sara, Arrow and Dad Lance engage in a martial arts combat session with Nyssa’s thugs but one of the captured thugs would rather swallow poison than reveal Dinah’s whereabouts, so Sara makes a deal with Nyssa to come back with her if she will release Dinah. Nyssa falls for this but Sara steals the Tibetan pit viper venom from the Arrow Lair and poisons herself once the exchange is made. Arrow has discovered what Sara was on about and follows her to the rendezvous with Nyssa and after fighting off Nyssa, successfully saves her life with some Tibetan pit viper venom antidote [could be chicken noodle soup]. In the aftermath, Laurel shows up out of nowhere and sees Sara.
At Moira’s official mayoral bid announcement ceremony, she spies Felicity and gives her the ol’ evil eye. Oliver catches this exchange and accosts Felicity, demanding to know what’s going on, whereupon Felicity gives a few vague, cryptic sentences before finally getting to the point and alerting Oliver to some bean spillage.
Now it’s time for the scenario roundup – yeehaw! – and we begin with Oliver confronting Moira about Thea’s lineage and Moira’s lying problem, resulting in his decision to not be her son any longer [at least in private affairs]; Laurel finds all the answers she needs to know about Sara at the bottom of a glass filled with red wine and comes to the conclusion that the entire “Arrow” show is Sara’s fault [and we couldn’t agree more!]; the final flashback shows Moira breaking the bad news to the Lance family that Sara was actually on board the yacht with Oliver; Slade decides to take care of the problem of Moira himself and Sara and Oliver rekindle their romance in appropriate fashion in the Arrow Lair.
The Poop and Skinny: The name Nyssa is shared with the fourth century Turkish town, home of the Christian St. Gregory but more importantly, also the small farming town in eastern Oregon known as the Thunderegg Capital of the World.
As an all-powerful League of Assassins cardholder, why Nyssa chooses to arrive at the Vancouver/Starling City International Airport instead of just showing up anywhere she damn well pleases is, alas, credibility issue #481.
Arrow is on hiatus while the numerous venue issues at the Winter Olympics in Sochi enthrall the world over the next two weeks and will return with an introduction to the Clock King in the “Time of Death” episode on February 26.
Burning question for the next episode of “Arrow” – What happened to the Dirty Harry police departments who shoot first and ask questions later? Do they only reside in reality rather than fantasy land?
As always – it is important to remember that, at any juncture where the situation appears to be dire for Arrow/Oliver and his very life may be in danger – there would be no more show [and therefore no more money to be made] if he were to die. You continue to be welcome.