Title: Arrow: “The Demon” Review
Release Date: November 12th, 2018
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
I really can’t believe what I’m watching. Seriously. Is Arrow back to being a high-quality superhero series again?
Based off of what I’ve seen this season, including this episode, I would have to say yes. I barely even realized that we didn’t see any flashforward or Green Arrow developments this episode. That’s because, unlike “Crossing Lines”, this week gave us some interesting stories to follow.
Most notably, Oliver’s time in Level Two. Turns out, The Demon is none other than Talia Al Ghul. She teamed up with Diaz to get revenge on Oliver for killing her father. Oliver despises Talia for her role in Adrian Chase’s plan on Lian Yu, which resulted in the death of William’s mother.
So, these two aren’t on the best of terms and it made for some fantastic television. Stephen Amell and Lexa Doig have some great chemistry and it shined when the two hashed out their issues with each other. Talia was a huge question mark at the end of season five so it was nice to have that plot thread tied up. It was also just great to see the character back in action, along with some pretty sweet on the nose Batman references.
With Bronze Tiger’s speech in “Crossing Lines” and Talia’s remarks about Oliver’s change in attitude, it seems that Oliver is slowly but surely on his way to being less antagonistic towards the people he’s put away. This will be a good change in character for him and could potentially set him on an exciting new path.
That being said, we may see a more “sympathetic” side of Oliver later this season but he won’t lose any of his brutality. There’s something about the way Amell screams out “My name is Oliver Queen!” that just gets you hyped up for what happens next.
Special thanks to Arrow stunt coordinator James Bamford (nicknamed “Bam-Bam”) and new showrunner Beth Schwartz. It is obvious that there is a big focus this year on Arrow’s action and I credit that to them. That scene with Talia and Oliver, in particular, was extremely impressive. It wasn’t a one-shot hallway scene akin to Netflix’s Daredevil but it makes up for it in well-done fight choreography.
Finally, I want to touch on the episode’s villain, Dr. Parker. He gave off a Hugo Strange kind of vibe to me that makes me question if that was what the character was originally supposed to be? Not a complaint, just generally curious. He was a fine antagonist for Oliver and actually brought up a few solid points on how tainted his original crusade was. Luckily, the series didn’t drag his character out too long and gave him a satisfying death at the hands of Talia.
Another strong arc this week comes from Felicity, Laurel, and Dinah. Felicity and Laurel make a surprisingly hilarious pair. The addition of Dinah into things could’ve ruined this dynamic. However, I came out of this episode wanting to see these women featured together again, maybe even as another version of the Arrowverse’s Birds of Prey.
Other than some questionable decisions in “The Longbow Hunters”, Felicity has had a strong arc this season. She’s becoming more one-dimensional in her hunt for Diaz. I haven’t been the world’s biggest fan of Emily Bett Rickards in the role but she actually shined here. She balanced the strong drama and desperation with her comedic moments well.
Felicity is dead set on taking down Diaz by any means necessary. It’ll be interesting what happens when she actually sees The Dragon again.
In probably the most shocking Arrow development since the flashforwards reveal in the premiere episode, the series has finally given Curtis something to do. By this, I mean that he is actually developing a personality that isn’t “the male Felicity”.
We see why Curtis barricaded himself at A.R.G.U.S. and how large a toll being a vigilante can take on someone. Now is he my favorite character? No. Not even in the top ten. But, he is making some great strides towards becoming his own character with this episode.
Like the last episode, Diggle is basically there to churn out advice for whoever needs it. With Jesse L. Martin (who plays Joe West in the Arrowverse) taking a leave of absence on The Flash for health reasons, they might as well just move Dig there for the time being. Maybe he can give Barry some much-needed parenting advice.
Obviously joking but Arrow has got to come up with something meaningful to do with this awesome character soon. Luckily, it seems that Ricardo Diaz is starting to crawl out of that same hole. His new powers (which I think is Mirakuru?) and his capture of Anatoly are intriguing. Hopefully, Arrow can turn this into a worthwhile conclusion to The Dragon’s story.
Verdict: Fantastic performances from the cast, a focus on action scenes, and a possible Birds of Prey team up all headlined what made “The Demon” a great episode. I can now confidently tell you that Arrow is back!
- Performances by Stephen Amell, Lexa Doig, and Emily Bett Rickards
- Well-made action sequences
- Oliver's change in attitude
- Birds of Prey tease?
- Laurel and Felicity make a great pair
- Curtis' character development
- Just like last week, Diggle needs a meaningful role soon
- Small nitpick but why were Oliver and Talia not strapped down in Dr. Parker's lab?