Arrow Season 4 Episode 14 – TV Review
Yeah, Donna and Quentin are older people.
But they’re CW older people. Which means they’re still goddamn smokin’.
And can you believe a Quentin and Donna episode is bearable?
TL;DR Quentin almost loses Donna by trying to protect her from the truth; this parallels Oliver’s inner struggle about keeping the truth about his bastard son from Felicity; the Super Friends take down a HIVE demolition squad sicced on them by Ruve; Oliver beats Ruve in a campaign debate; flashback Oliver kills Supervisor and earns the trust of his fellow slaves.
It’s an epic revolution! That Oliver will not mention for half a decade.
So with Malcolm and Nyssa’s soap opera put to bed, it’s time to get back on Damien’s case. The Super Friends try to track Ruve to him, but she’s a slippery little sucker. Damien, meanwhile, is determined to install Ruve in City Hall, and must eliminate the traitorous Quentin along the way. Laurel saves him from a death trap, and Quentin decides to take a break from Donna for her safety. But she can sense he’s not telling her the real reason why, and they break up for legits. Aww. The attack on Quentin provides clues that lead the Super Friends into conflict with a HIVE demolitions team, which eventually culminates in our heroes taking them out when they try to blow up (under Ruve’s orders) the venue for the Queen/Adams campaign debate. With the demo team thwarted, the debate goes ahead, and Oliver crushes her. But Oliver better put off those celebrations, as the episode closes with William being abducted by Damien. Meanwhile, Thea finds out through campaign research that Moira tried to buy off William’s mother, and puts the pieces together about Oliver’s son. Oliver feels like dog shit for hiding the truth from Felicity (which is cleverly exacerbated by Donna and Quentin’s episode-long praise of how honest Oliver is in his relationship with Felicity), but Thea agrees that William would be safer if kept secret. Too late. Meanwhile, Quentin ends up telling Donna the truth about HIVE, and they make up; and Afrojack designs a bio-implant that might help Felicity walk again. And in flashback, Oliver kills Supervisor to ingratiate himself to the other slaves. It doesn’t much impress Black Boss, but he’s gonna keep Oliver alive because he believes Oliver’s involvement with his plans is destiny or something.
This treasure better be bloody spectacular.
So yeah, I found myself invested in the fragile romance between the aging hotties, the demo team goon squad had a little more personality than usual and were pretty fun, Supervisor finally dies in the flashbacks, and Damien sends us to black with the incredibly vicious abduction of William (where’s his poor mother? Yeesh).
It’s a winner, Arrow.
Why I hate this episode:
Felicity and Oliver’s melodrama is the major downer this week. Watching the relationship troubles between Donna and Quentin was so rewarding, which makes the bullshit between Oliver and Felicity so intolerable. Felicity has swallowed a lot of shocking revelations, and she’s pretty good at keeping a secret, so I don’t see why Oliver is so torn up about whether or not to tell her about William. What, is she going to go running (rolling?) to Samantha’s door first thing to tattle on him? Get a grip, Oliver.
The little “you could walk again” surprise from Afrojack at the end is such a copout. Felicity’s only been paralysed for five episodes. Way to backpedal (back-roll?), Arrow.
Oliver calls Afrojack “terrific” for inventing it. Groan.
Malcolm is apparently allowed to sit in on HIVE board meetings, now. Come on, Damien. You know he’s dangerous. And he displayed his betrayal skills just last episode. You can’t trust him.
The slave solidarity stuff in the flashbacks is eye roll-worthy, though I am glad it results in Supervisor’s long-overdue death.
Of the demo team, only one is female. So guess who she gets to fight in the final showdown? Thea and Laurel. Yes, it’s a Designated Girl Fight. So regressive.
Oh, and I can’t believe the debate went ahead after a terrorist plot to blow up the venue. The attendees evacuate after Thea pulls a fire alarm which I guess everyone would have realised was bogus. And the Super Friends are the ones who take down the demo team, not the police. But then we see Quentin, having come in at the tail end, putting one of the demo team through a perp walk right through all the re-entering attendees. So the police are being open about the attempted bombing, then? Weird.
But it’s not all bad:
I loved that Ruve, having planned the debate to be pre-empted by Oliver and the building getting exploded, isn’t prepared for the debate and loses (off-screen, sadly). Burn.
The demo team are super cool for what is essentially just a goon squad of the week. Their members actually have faces instead of masks, and they even use themed weapons (one of them wields a sledge hammer to fight the Super Friends). I love it.
Ruve and the demo team may not be successful in their ploys, but Damien doesn’t have that problem. He introduces William to his own daughter as someone who will be living with them, and William doesn’t seem to be aware that he’s been kidnapped. I wonder what he did to Samantha?
Speaking of Samantha, Thea shows some welcome maturity when she agrees with Samantha’s demands that Oliver can only have a relationship with William if he keeps it secret. Everyone else in the episode is zealously thumping the Truth Is All bible, but Thea is practical. I appreciated it.
Oliver sweats when Quentin praises him for his truthfulness in his relationship with Felicity. It was great. Donna, to Felicity, also praises how truthful Oliver is. Oh, boy.
The best scene of the episode is when Quentin is called to the bogus police callout, which is actually an explosive-rigged, imploding death trap. Laurel insists on hanging out with him and saves him when shit pops off. The highlight is the sequence of them trying to outrun the blasts that is presented as a mostly one-take tracking shot. The mixture of practical and CGI effects is perfect. This season has featured a few of these long shot sequences, and they’re worthy of praise.
Quentin and Donna are the hottest couple on Arrow right now. Sorry, Felicity, but your mum is stunning.
Damien demonstrates the alarming range of his telekinesis when he murders a HIVE naysayer in Madrid during a video conference. Fuck, man.
Oh, and Supervisor will not be missed.