Episode Title: Sins of the Father
Original Airdate: 2-10-16
Arrow had a throwback episode of sorts as this felt much more like a Season 1 or Season 2 episode with some major developments that will definitely impact Team Arrow going forward.
The episode was a bit clunky with Nyssa seemingly jumping back and forth with her desire to battle Merlyn to the death or have Oliver do it. I really like that Oliver had to choose between killing Merlyn or letting Thea die. Team Arrow had no qualms with watching Merlyn get killed. After all, he was responsible for so much grief the group had endured over the past few seasons and there would be few tears with his death. Oliver wants to mature though as a person and get beyond his former murderous vigilante days and he wanted to find a different way to handle the situation even as the war of the League of Assassins threatened to overwhelm Star City.
Felicity had her own daddy drama as she learned her not so dear old dad was The Calculator. I appreciated that reveal wasn’t dragged out almost as much as I did Donna dropping her ditzy persona for a moment to warn Felicity to have no parts of him. While it was no surprise The Calculator tried to steal all of the Palmer Tech research, it was interesting he was so caught off guard that Felicity called the cops on him. Tom Amandes is only slated for two appearances this season, but I’d love to see more of this family dynamic in future episodes as this was intriguing subplot for Felicity that’s been much more engaging than her running Palmer Tech.
The island flashbacks still came up lacking. It was frustrating watching Taiana give up Oliver’s one advantage for a barely hinted at release from her cell. Then almost immediately after seeming to forgive Oliver and suggesting he find redemption in freeing all of Baron Reiter’s prisoners. Fortunately, not a lot of time was devoted to the flashbacks so it couldn’t weigh the episode down too much.
In the end, the rest of the episode didn’t have to deliver too strongly considering the major battle with Merlyn and Oliver. It seemed like the two were working together right up until the moment Oliver cut off Merlyn’s hand and gave the ring of Ra’s al Ghul to Nyssa. I suspect Oliver and Merlyn had some sort of agreement until Oliver went rogue. As Oliver later remarked, Merlyn didn’t have much leverage with Oliver since he was willing to let Thea die in order to retain his title of Ra’s al Ghul.
Oliver will immediately quickly come to regret this move though as Merlyn snitched to Damien Darhk about his son William. This is definitely going to further the personal vendetta not just between Darhk and Oliver, but Merlyn as well. I’m very excited about the potential with this villain’s alliance going forward.