[This is a review of Arrow season 2, episode 13. There will be SPOILERS.]
There's a moment late in 'Heir to the Demon' where Sara Lance has finally come out of hiding and is enjoying a small moment of happiness with her relieved parents, only to come to the realization that Laurel isn't raising a glass to toast the apparent resurrection of her little sister; instead, she's just getting toasted. The confrontation between siblings has less to do with thinking Sara had been dead since the Queen's Gambit sank, and more to do with the reason why she was on the boat in the first place. And yet, there's something about the whole situation that suggests the stakes are even higher than that. It would certainly be easy to say that any residual anger Laurel might harbor for her younger sister is in relation to Oliver, and, to a certain extent, that's probably true, but things get positively meta when Laurel looks at Sara and proclaims, "You stole my whole life."
Being out of the loop is one thing, but since Arrow began, Laurel Lance has been largely kept on the sidelines, dealing only occasionally with the Arrow – often by becoming the target of a villain or targeting him herself– and then, despite being tucked away in the corner with Tommy Merlyn, she enjoyed a brief interlude where it seemed a lingering spark could ignite the flames of passion between her and Oliver once more. The writers apparently realized how tacked-on this development felt and wisely chose to shelve it come the season 2 premiere.
The issue of what to do with Laurel, however, still lingered. It's a question that has become even more apparent as the second half of the season developed certain plotlines, and the increased importance of Sara – and especially her dual life as a vigilante – were put on display. In a sense – at least from a character development/future plotline standpoint – the notion that Sara "stole" Laurel's life isn't too far off base. On the bright side at least, now the marginalization of Laurel's character begins to feel less like a question mark in the writer's room and more like a motivation for her to turn against those closest to her.
So it seems that in an effort to make Laurel more relevant to the ongoing storyline, Arrow had to drag Sara back into the present day, but doing that meant the League of Assassins would once more make their presence felt in Starling City. This time, however, the League is represented by Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law), daughter of Ra's and, surprisingly, former lover of Sara Lance.
Nyssa's main objective is to bring Sara back with her, as apparently the only thing more difficult than trying to cancel a gym membership is leaving the League of Assassins. This leads to several well-paced fight sequences that further demonstrate how dangerous the League is. The action is great, but it doesn't necessarily give us much insight into Nyssa other than beneath her somewhat cold demeanor, she's just a big softy when it comes to family reunions.
Despite her releasing Sara from the League, it would be nice for Nyssa to factor into more stories in the future, if for nothing else, than to distract from Moira Queen's run for mayor, and her sudden relapse into underhanded scheming.
Arrow continues on Wednesday, February 26 with 'Time of Death' @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below: