Arrow - 2.05 - League of Assassins - Preview

Arrow airs Wednesdays on the CW at 8/7 Central.

Sometimes a show just gets it right. The pacing moves but there's still time for the big moments to breathe. The characters, even ones you don't particularly like, suddenly resonate and you feel for them. The plot gets your heart racing and gives you something to cheer about, but then turns around and hits you right in the gut out of nowhere. It's rare times like these when I can believe in TV magic. For me, Arrow's season 1 finale, Sacrifice, counts as one of those times. From the team, including Quentin, working together to stop Merlyn to the tearjerker of Tommy's death, that episode was 2 steps from perfection and one of the best TV episodes I have ever seen. While nothing may ever top the finale on Arrow, the good news is that, at least for me, League of Assassins (2.05) comes closer than all others and the fight scenes might even surpass it. Two things stick out as particularly good: the stunts coordinated by James Bamford and the emotional resonance. It is a terrific 42 minute ride that had me cheering (out loud), curious about the breadcrumbs, excited (and in one case a little disappointed) about the twists, and more in tune with the characters than I have been since that finale. There are a couple slow points but filling in the story blanks are worth it and overall the pacing moves well.

For me the episode starts off rocky, both figuratively and literally, and combines 2 things guaranteed to make me roll my eyes. In the next scene, I started confused (and I won't be the only one) because what I thought was going to happen did not. Plus, it's very risky. However, it leads to a great character moment and from then on the episode had me. Through subplots I love and exquisite fight scenes the story moves well from action to drama to intrigue, filling in gaps along the way while leaving plenty of mysteries. A new DC character, Dr. Ivo, is introduced, and I was interested enough to actually look him up, a first. New Big Bad perhaps? But as I said before, the best parts were the characters and the stunts. Each interaction was superb and the angst (boy is there angst) felt completely earned. Meanwhile the stunt coordination under James Bamford was unreal. If he is not nominated for an Emmy this season, it will be a complete farce. No one does fight scenes better. No one. All in all, this episode has something for everyone and combined it's a real treat. Season 2 is definitely getting better and better.

Grade: A-

Theme: The power of secrets


"Have you found somebody for me to hit yet?"
"How do you live like this?"
"I think you're one of the bravest people I've ever known."
"I will never leave you." "Until you do."
"I wish there was a sign that it gets better."
"I'm not afraid of cockroaches."
"It sounds a lot like blackmail."
"So step aside or get put down."
"So you were right." "Yeah, I usually am...."
"Thanks for understanding." "I don't understand."
"That sounded a little less crazy in my head." "I doubt it."
"We have our moments."
"What are you hiding now?"
"You really going to tell me you couldn't use a friend."

Best Betrayal Face - Oliver
Best "Hell Yeah" moment - spare
Best "If Looks Could Kill" Face - Thea
Best Introduction - tie - Sara and the Arrow Cave / Dr. Ivo
Best Scenes - Middle of the street, clock tower
Best Use of Everyday Objects - Sara
Biggest Anvil - the bird
Biggest Mystery - Beloved and Moira
MIA - Amell's Abs
Most Confused - Oliver (for the first 15 minutes)
Most Gratuitous Skin - Sara
Most Ludicrous Moment - Mr. Assassin
Most Unusual Element - the flashbacks
MVP - It's corny, but I'm going with the idea of love and forgiveness
Worst scene - Opening flash back
Character I Feel Most Sorry For - all of them

Don't forget to watch Arrow this Wednesday on the CW at 8/7 C.

Screencaps by SpoilerTV

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Posted on November 5, 2013 .