Arrow Season 4 Episode 12 – TV Review

Arrow Unchained Roy back

Could you have just not come back at all?

Tatsu/Katana is also back, by the way. Just when we thought DC had cleaned house ahead of Suicide Squad.

Amanda Waller died for nothing.

TL;DR Roy is blackmailed by a new villain to steal shit for a bomb; the Super Friends stop the plan, and the new villain turns out to be Felicity’s dad; Thea starts to die because she won’t murder to keep her bloodlust down, but Nyssa might have a cure; Damien’s wife enters the mayoral race; flashback Oliver has pointless visions of Shado; Felicity learns herself some cripple pride.

She certainly stands up to the company’s board members. Metaphorically.

So the Super Friends find themselves on the hunt for a fleet-footed thief this episode, who seems to be stealing things to make a bomb of some kind. They find out it’s Roy, and he reveals he’s being blackmailed by someone named The Calculator. Together with the Super Friends, they foil The Calculator’s plans to kill people or whatever, with Felicity taking particular excitement in facing off against a fellow super hacker. Roy leaves town (hopefully for good this time), and we, the audience, find out that The Calculator is none other than Papa Smoak. Good grief. Meanwhile, Thea, having abstained from murder, starts dying from the Lazarus effects (Malcolm says that if the resurrectee won’t take lives, then the magic takes theirs). Oliver desperately arranges a meeting with Damien to beg him to help her with his magic, but a mortified Thea refuses to let Oliver stoop so low. Luckily, Nyssa, who spends her episode taking over Nanda Parbat in a coup and visiting Tatsu/Katana in Japan, arrives at the eleventh hour with a deal: kill Malcolm, and she’ll give him The Lotus, a cure she wrangled from Tatsu that will save Thea. Cool. Meanwhile, Damien’s wife, Ruve, enters the mayoral race; and Felicity finds the confidence in her wheels to present Afrojack’s invention (a battery) to the company board. And flashbacks to Lian Yu show Oliver being visited by a hallucination of Shado. She convinces him to let his inner darkness go so he can move forward yada yada yada, which results in his anguished confession to OSG of how he killed her brother.

You’re running out of allies on that island, Oliver.

I think Arrow tried throwing the returns of Nyssa, Roy, Shado, and Tatsu at us in a vain attempt to distract from the fact that Felicity now has her dad on the scene, making her even more vital to this show.

We don’t want more Felicity, Arrow. It’s bad enough that you didn’t have the balls to kill her off when given the chance, but you don’t need to keep inflating her role.

I’m not even in it for the Laurel/Oliver factor anymore. That ship has sailed. I just simply don’t want more Felicity.

 

Why I hate this episode:

Did we need an episode about her finding the confidence to wheel herself out to the product presentation? I suppose I should be grateful that Dark Felicity didn’t show up to snark at her. Blech.

And Afrojack’s amazing, company-saving invention is a battery? Yawn.

I never quite understood what The Calculator’s plan was. He was going to kill people by blowing up the Internet or power grid or something? Like, I get that it would cause some level of chaos and be a huge inconvenience, but surely you’d get better results blowing up actual populated places, right? How about putting the bomb in the hospital, instead of trying to cut the power to the hospital from afar and hoping a few patients die?

Also, how the hell are so many prodigious tech companies still operating out of Star City? Roy steals from three separate ones this episode to get the pieces to make the bomb. Isn’t Star City supposed to be a dying black hole of doom? Move out, people. Gosh.

Malcolm fucking Merlyn has decided to honour Thea’s wish to die. I kept waiting for him to privately whisper to Oliver that he has a plan, but no. He’s chill with it. What the fuck?

I didn’t care that Roy was back. He leaves as unnecessarily as he arrives, so I can’t rage about it. Meh.

Oh, and the flashback stuff with Shado is total water-treading garbage. Again, why bother bringing back Shado’s actress when her role in the episode is so insignificant? And enough with the visions and apparitions, already. Dark Felicity was cruel enough, and TVD is doing that shit, too. Stop it.

 

But it’s not all bad:

At least she got to shoot Black Boss with an arrow. It was part of the hallucination, but I’m glad someone shut him up.

Roy’s return was pretty whatever, but he did suit up to fill in for Thea during the final outing to stop the bomb. He risks his life to detonate the bomb to prevent The Calculator from completing his plan, and he gets a pretty nifty zip line stunt while outrunning (outlining?) the explosion. It looked sweet as, bro.

The best return of the episode is Nyssa, who opens the show this week with a full scale coup of Nanda Parbat while Malcolm is away. It turns out she’s not the only one who doesn’t agree with the current League leadership. She then journeys to Japan for The Lotus, where she finds Tatsu as its guardian. In full Katana get-up, of course. I love it.

They have an obligatory sword fight, and then Nyssa convinces Tatsu to give her The Lotus because it’s for Oliver. And hey, getting to kill Malcolm to save Thea is a win-win proposal for Oliver, so good one, Nyssa.

Thea isn’t dying of just some nebulous illness, either: we actually see her mortal stab wound from Ra’s start to open up as a result of her murder abstinence. Grisly.

The Calculator has the potential to be camp-tacular. I mean, on name alone, right? And maybe if Oliver ends up being forced to kill him, it will create a rift between him and Felicity? Then everybody wins.

Oh, and with Katana’s reappearance, despite Suicide Squad, I have hope that Amanda will somehow come back. Her death was way too muted to be final. Besides, you need her for diversity points. Diggle can’t do it all on his own.

Arrow Unchained Katana Tatsu

When Will and Jada say “diverse” they don’t mean Asian, silly.

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About ijusthateeverything

Sincerity is death.

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