Arrow Re-Nocked: Sins of the Father (4×13)
Wow! I haven’t seen so many ninjas fighting each other on screen in a while! This week’s episode of Arrow, titled “Sins of the Father”, was an episode filled with a lot of twists and turns that weren’t too hard to predict, but were fun to watch at the same time. I felt the writers in this episode did a great job carefully setting up this episode. First Team Arrow and Malcolm had to confirm that Nyssa actually had a cure, then they tried plan A and were later forced to find a plan C. With Thea’s life on the line and The League of Assassins fighting each other all over Star City, the B-story involving Felicity and her father was a nice breather that were actually interesting and didn’t slow down the flow. This episode was the turning point for a lot of characters, and has set up the rest of the season to come.
Warning: SPOILERS will follow!
Team Arrow was pretty much on the sidelines this episode trying to call the plays while The League of Assassins was busy assassinating itself. Stephen Amell was as good as always in this episode as Oliver had to wrestle between a rock and a hard place to figure out how to keep people from dying. It was fun to watch them trust Malcolm for a while this episode even though we all knew he was going to screw them over. The show has been trying to make us trust Malcolm this whole season, and if you were one of the viewers who fell for it, this episode was probably more shocking for you than it was for me. Malcolm’s betrayal was expected and it changed the whole dynamic of Team Arrow with it. At first, Digg, Laurel and Felicity were for Oliver’s plan to try and strike a deal, but after Malcolm reversed the deal, Digg and Laurel began to lose hope that anything could be done without killing. Even Felicity couldn’t see a way around somebody dying even though she remained supportive of Oliver. This really showed us viewers that Oliver is 100% committed to changing his ways and won’t fall back to being the bringer of final judgement that he was in the first few seasons. This, though, will come back into play after the graveyard scene when Felicity urges Oliver to kill “him.” Will Oliver be able to stick to his guns then like he was able to in this episode? Laurel was pretty good in this episode, as more and more they give her more scenes where she completes a task by herself. While I thought the scene where she stopped Nyssa, only to then lead her to where she was going in the first place, was a bit silly. It was still fun seeing Black Canary on her own and talking about “her city.” This is the kind of stuff they need to do with Laurel if they aren’t going to kill her; but let’s be fair… she’s probably going to be in the grave.
What can I say about Malcolm? He’s seriously the worst… and by that I mean his stubborn selfish attitude, because in terms of acting, John Barrowman knocked it out of the park this episode. It was interesting watching Malcolm wrestle between his feelings for Thea and his desire to remain Ra’s al Ghul. You have to remember… Tommy died during Malcolm’s “Undertaking“, and since then we haven’t really seen Malcolm truly change his ways. Sure, they’ve tried to trick us into thinking Malcolm changed by showing up a few episodes where he sacrifices something small or risks himself, but that wasn’t the same as giving up his title. Malcolm’s desire to become Ra’s al Ghul was so strong, that he seriously was going to let Thea die to keep it. I loved how Oliver finally was able to out-maneuver Malcolm, tricking him into dueling Nyssa. I knew that Oliver would just cut his hand off by the end of their extremely short and effortless duel, but the moment Oliver betrayed Malcolm was the moment that changed Malcolm back into the evil son of a bitch he was in season 1. Now that Malcolm’s lost everything (except Thea), he’s definitely going to aim to make Oliver lose everything as well. It was funny at the end of the episode when Team Arrow was congratulating themselves and talking about how it’s over. It’s not over! If they were smart, they should be planning for some serious backlash from Malcolm, and that’s what they’re going to get. To no one’s surprise, Malcolm’s meeting with Damien Darhk was a super low blow. Telling Darhk about William, Oliver’s illegitimate child, was so hypocritical that I found myself angry after this episode. I know that Malcolm just wants Oliver to have to choose between his son and his city, but it’s such a shitty thing to do after just having gotten out of that situation himself. The question is… is that the only secret of Oliver’s that Malcolm will tell Darhk? I’m betting it’s not. Damien just gained a huge advantage.
Felicity’s storyline was pretty decent this episode, as it picked up just after last week’s episode (Unchained 4×12) left off. The Calculator is her father and he straight up admits to her that very fact. This was a bit surprising. It left the rest of Felicity’s plotline had her trying to decide if he’s anything like her or not. His argument was a pretty good one, but he obviously didn’t account for Oliver and how much Felicity has changed since meeting him. Sure, maybe Goth hacktivist Felicity wasn’t much different than The Calculator, but the Felicity Smoak who’s the CEO of a huge tech corporation by day and super sexy superhero by night is everything he is not. Charlotte Ross gives another great performance as Donna Smoak, when Felicity informs her that Noah (The Calculator) is back in town. It was a pretty tough and heartbreaking scene when Felicity gave her father up to police custody, but I feel like I totally agree with why she did it. This also sets up a pretty loveless future confrontation between the two if The Calculator ever gets out of jail. The quick #Olicity moment we got in this episode was still a great one. Felicity pointing out that the way Oliver managed to find a third option, even though it didn’t seem like there was one, was an example of why she loved him; it was pretty effective. I really love that they’re going to rush the marriage too, but something tells me that it may not go as smoothly as they imagine it. I think the wedding will happen before, and may even be a part of the events leading to, the graveyard scene. With William coming back into the conversation, Oliver and Felicity’s relationship is about to go down a pretty rocky road. I just hope they make it out together.
The flashback story took a back seat again this episode while Ollie and Tiana are still imprisoned. Tiana doesn’t take Ollie’s revelation about who actually killed her brother well, and it was made obvious by her ignorant attempt at betraying him. The stone Ollie had last episode is apparently the “last piece of the map” that Baron Reiter needs to find the object he’s on the island to find. The Baron’s threat to Tiana that she has to keep Ollie alive and healthy was a pretty interesting twist. The Baron is a different kind of villain in the flashbacks to those we find in the current time lines. He needs Ollie alive because of his knowledge of Lian Yu. Ollie tries to explain her brother’s dead and apologizes to Tiana, but the ultimatum she gave him was simple: get them out of there if he wants to show he’s sorry. We know that Ollie will eventually meet and become part of the Bratva, so Tiana will most likely be the connection there. I still think she’s the daughter or wife of a high ranking Bratva member. We also know that someone in the Bratva didn’t like Oliver back in a previous season, which I attribute to Tiana’s brother being killed, while someone else in the gang liked Ollie. While the flashbacks this season have been slow, with the exception of Haunted (4×05), I still find it an intriguing mystery. I think we could do with and episode where the flashback is the A-story soon to really get the viewers involved in the flashback story again. Also, Jimmy Akingbola as Baron Reiter is seriously one of the best actors of the season, and we could all do with more of him. I think now that Baron Reiter has what he needs, to find whatever it is he’s looking for, this part of the show will start really picking up the pace.
I’m super tired of The League of Assassins. After last season… I just really don’t care about them or their politics anymore. That’s why, when Nyssa announced that she disbanded them, I was extremely happy. I thought the resolution to this episode was a pretty decent one. While the obvious pain that The Calculator and Malcolm were both reeling from at the end was palpable, I keep telling myself that they’re the bad guys, so I shouldn’t care. I loved Darhk’s reaction to Malcolm Merlyn mentioning William. You could just read on Darhk’s face “How did my HIVE not find out about this?” I think the happy ending we got with the heroes was sweet, but even before the last scene between our two main villains, I was thinking… why are you guys thinking you’re done and safe? This episode ended with a very dark cloud in the sky heading straight for Star City. When it hits? That’s the question. Now we have the #Olicity wedding plans in motion, a bloodlust cured Thea, an evil alliance between Malcolm and Darhk, and a grave still being dug. While next week’s promo shows some intense scenes, I think that’s just the calm before the storm. What do you all think?
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Check out the promo for next week’s episode titled “Code of Silence”:
In this week’s competition between Arrow and The Flash, I gave the point to The Flash. While Arrow had some decent ninja on ninja action, visiting Earth-2 on The Flash was soooo cool! The only way Arrow would have beaten The Flash this week, was if Arrow had gone to Earth-2 as well. Check out my The Flash Zoom-In: Welcome to Earth-2 (2×13) thoughts here.