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Character Development: Sara’s Island Past Revealed, Arrow “League of Assassins” 

League of Assassins
Photo Credit: Michael Courtney/The CW

Its time for secrets to surface. From the get go, this episode was all about Sara and I was more than ready to get the scoop. I love getting more back story on our mysterious characters (learning more about island Sara inevitably means learning more about island Oliver) and this season, the island flashbacks have successfully continued to build steam. 

After an unexpected attack on Sara and Ollie at Queen mansion, we learn that Sara is a former member of the League of Assassins. The name is pretty self-explanatory but apparently leaving the League is a big no-no and now they are on the hunt to bring Sarah back. Dead or alive. And they have no shame in going after her family to accomplish this. (Interesting aside – this is also apparently where Malcolm Merlyn received his training…anyone else want to take bets that he’s not nearly as dead as everyone thinks?)
Okay, back to Sara. While we don’t actually witness any of the transformation, we’re given a pretty clear idea of how Sara went from wine-drinking, robe-wearing party girl to the hardcore, kick-ass fighter that she is today. We see that she was saved by the freighter after the Gambit capsized, placed in a cell and eventually freed by Anthony Ivo, who claims to “want to save the human race.” Seeing cold, frightened Sara on the freighter is almost like watching a different person. She gives us a hint as to her experiences the past 6 years when Diggle confronts her about going to protect her father on her own.
Sara: I was trained by the people who made Special Forces look like a kindergarten class so step aside or get put down.
If we had any questions as to whether the formerly meek, trembling Sara was still underneath this hardened exterior, this gave us our answer. She is not messing around. Deciding that she had to reveal her identity in order to protect her father (because Officer Lance is being as stubborn as ever and thinks he can protect himself), she confronts him and comes clean, but swears him to secrecy. I honestly didn’t see this coming. There are so many secrets and so many people are kept in the dark about so many things (not to mention she has been SO adamant about him not finding out) that this just seemed like another secret to add to the list. And just as he did last week, Lance really delivered when it came to the emotional scenes. He doesn’t always have the best material to work with, but he steps up and delivers every time. And now he, like the Hood, knows what its like to have to keep a secret. Another potential bonding point for the two of them? I can only hope.
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/The CW
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/The CW
But as I mentioned before, more island Sara inevitably means more island Oliver. The episode ended more or less mere seconds after last week’s episode so we have yet to see what happens in the Oliver/Sara torture scene, but apparently we’re not the only ones about to learn the truth. As the episode wraps, Oliver decides that keeping secrets and hiding his past may not be in his best interest anymore and he opens up to Diggle.
Oliver: You were right.
Diggle: Yea, I usually am, Oliver. About what specifically?
Oliver: No matter how hard I try, Diggle, my past doesn’t want to stay buried. I don’t want to try so hard anymore. The five years I was gone, I wasn’t always on the island.
I love these two together and am so glad that Oliver is finally opening up. He’s always begging Laurel, Sara and even his mom to open up and stop hiding things, so it’s about time he did the same. I’ll admit, I wish we had gotten more of the freighter confrontation between Oliver and Sara (the end of the episode almost felt like deja vu) but I hope that after two weeks of the same cliffhanger, they’ll deliver a big twist in the rest of the scene next week. While Starling City is full of secrets, it’s obvious that it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.

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