Episode Title: Blood Debt
Original Airdate: 1-20-16
While a lot of people had issues with Season 3, I’m finding this season a much tougher one to enjoy. Though there’s still more episodes left in Season 4 than we’ve seen so far this mid-season return did little to inspire confidence the issues will get resolved.
With Felicity undergoing numerous surgeries after the ambush by Darhk’s men, Oliver is on the warpath to track him down presumably to kill him. Again, we’re flashed back to that mysterious grave site where Oliver tells Barry he has to kill him. For those worried, the immediate transition to Felicity’s surgery made it clear she wasn’t the deceased.
For much of the episode we got an old school version of Arrow where he was back to being the ruthless vigilante although it seemed kinda cold that Oliver would leave Felicity beside duty to the rest of Team Arrow.
Arrow had other problems though with the return of Anarky and he also wanted to settle a score with Darhk. Since he was inside HIVE, Anarky knows a lot of Darhk’s secrets including where he lives. That doesn’t seem like the kind of information you’d make known to a mercenary henchman, but maybe that’s just me?
Oliver and the team are split on how to handle Anarky after they capture him. Oliver thinks he’s the best lead to Darhk while Laurel wants to prosecute him and do things by the book. Laurel has a serious conflict on interest as a vigilante/DA, doesn’t she? Arrow doesn’t have time for games especially after learning Felicity is paralyzed from the waist down — hello Arrow version Oracle — and breaks Anarky free in hopes he’ll lead him to Darhk.
While Oliver’s plan wasn’t all that sound, Diggle was able to help out thanks to finally breaking through with Andy. That was prompted by a decent beating and a kindly brotherly talk after a convo with Lyla. That didn’t make a lot of sense as Diggle had been trying that route since they’ve caught him and there was no genuine reason Andy now felt obliged to help.
Team Arrow arrives at the Darhk household in time to free Mrs. Darhk and their daughter while Oliver battles Darhk himself. This led to another weird moment as Darhk counters Oliver’s “shoot arrows until one hits him” strategy with his telekinetic powers before allowing Oliver to leave upon learning he rescued his family. Why Oliver didn’t continue the fight is another matter.
The island flashbacks felt like something was building for a change as Baron Reiter now knows Oliver is lying, but spares him upon seeing the incantation Constantine placed on him light up. I’m not sure about this end game, but at least the episode let that story develop for more than three minutes.
Back to the present…four months from now, Oliver leaves the grave and heads to a limo where Felicity is still grieving. It doesn’t look as if she’s still got her engagement ring on though. They both agree Oliver has to kill him. My question: How? Darhk clearly could kill Oliver anytime he wants and doesn’t have to view him as a threat because telekinetic > arrows.
I’m not quite sure how this season is going to continue playing out, but I hope the character start making a lot more sense and fast.