Another Wednesday means another adventure of our favorite super hero squad. This week’s episode #4.13 “Sins of the Father” proves that sometimes Team Arrow bites off more than it can chew and that things will take a turn for the worse.
One Ring to Rule Them All
With Thea in the hospital Oliver has trouble focusing on the problem at hand: finding a cure for his sister. The possibly life-saving miracle comes in the form of Nyssa al Ghul, who promises that the “lotus” will cure Thea of her blood-lust. The catch? Oliver has to kill Malcolm so that Nyssa can take over the role as the heir to demon and head of the League of Assassins.
In what feels like the longest game of tug-of-war Nyssa and Malcolm fire threats at each other for the first half of the episode, with Oliver and Team Arrow firmly caught in the middle. From the beginning, Nyssa makes it very clear that one person will die, but she hopes it won’t be her sister-in-law. Nyssa spends several moments of the episode reminding Oliver that he is her husband and she is his wife. Why? No one will ever know. This kind of character-assassination makes us wish that Arrow had killed off the heir to the demon herself, instead of making her look like a total fool for forty minutes straight.
As Malcolm refuses to give his ring, and thus the power over the League of Assassins, over to Nyssa; she challenges him to a battle by combat, which Oliver then takes over for her (being a good husband and all). He fights Malcolm and eventually cuts his hand off, delivering the ring to Nyssa. She then takes on the role of Ras al Ghul, just to dismantle the League entirely several moments later. Fighting over a ring has never done anyone any good, destroying it was probably the smartest thing she could have done. Malcolm isn’t quite as happy about being beaten and declares war on Oliver.
Daddy’s Little Girl
The return of Felicity’s father last week has come with a shock. What we learn about Noah this week is that he is wanted by the police for almost killing several thousand people. Now that seems to be the norm for fathers on Arrow. Mass-murderer? Check. What we also learn is that he is very much aware of Felicity’s involvement with the Green Arrow. He knows all about her newly-gained Overwatch identity. He believes them to be similar in that they use their technological powers for what they believe is right. Even though her mother warns her about becoming more involved with her father, Felicity would like to believe that he changed and is ready to commit to fatherhood.
Felicity invites her father to meet her at Palmer Tech and introduces him to their latest technology. The look on Felicity’s face tells it all, she is incredibly happy to have her father back. She has someone who can keep up with her intellect and her knowledge, someone who can challenge her in a way that not even Curtis Holt could. What seems like a second chance at a father-daughter relationship turns out to be a test set up by Felicity, which Noah promptly fails. Felicity proves she is stronger than any other character on the show by eventually handing her father over to the police.
This week’s central figures are, just as the title suggested, the fathers. We do not stop at the obvious choices of Noah, Felicity’s father, or Malcolm, Thea’s father, but is also extended to the power Ras al Ghul still holds over Nyssa. The only surprise of the night – as every other plot twist was incredibly predictable – turned out to be Malcolm’s knowledge of William. Within the short span of fifteen minutes, Malcolm turns his back on Oliver and Team Arrow by betraying him and giving his archenemy Damien Darhk exactly what he needed: leverage. Malcolm knows that Oliver would go above and beyond to keep his son save, even go so far as lying to his fiancé about it. And so does Darhk, now. Shit is about to hit the fan.
Arrow had a lot of potential on its hands, not just the appearance of Felicity’s father, but also the conclusion of the Nyssa/Malcolm situation and Thea’s disease. That potential, however, has not been fully used. The episode felt rushed and what could have been put into several weeks was squeezed into forty minutes. None of the story arcs was explored to our satisfaction. Not even the bright spots of the episode, such as John Barrowman’s fantastic acting or the final tender Olicity moment were able to save it.
Unfortunately “Sins of the Father” was one of Arrow’s weakest episodes to date.
“Felicity, I would love to think that your father didn’t show up with some ulterior motive in your life right now, but I’ve been where you are more times than I care to admit, and it always ends the same way. He tells you exactly what you want to hear, and you get sucked in, and the next thing you know, you have no job, no money, and a sweet 7-year-old daughter who needs a new pair of shoes and wants to go to Space camp. People don’t change, even if you want them to.” – Donna Smoak
“When I was a girl, I hated myself. I thought I was broken, that no one could or ever would love me. It’s the only way a child can grow up when their father abandons them. All I ever wanted to know was why. What was so wrong with me that you would leave?” – Felicity Smoak
“Will you marry me? … Thea’s better, Andy’s better, things are quiet on the Darhk front. I feel like this might be our window, and with everything that we have gone through over the past few months, I want you to tell me why are we waiting?” – Oliver Queen
Catch Arrow Wednesdays at 8/7 ct on The CW
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