Arrow: Blood Debts

"For better, for worse."

For an episode centered on a character named Anarchy, it was surprisingly concise. Character actions and plots flowed together well, and there was a sense of carry-over from the big cliffhanger in the last episode.

The big question of the hour was Oliver's humanity. Would he retain it after what happened to Felicity? After an episode of cracking Ghost skulls and trying to track down Darhk and kill him, it looks like he might just keep walking down the path of the hero. While his ultimate destiny is still in flux, at least he is trying to keep his humanity, and with help from Diggle and Laurel he might just succeed.

There was also the big question of what happened to Felicity herself. Turns out she got paralyzed, which I guessed was an option last week in my kitchen as I was thinking about the consequences of her getting shot (a continuation of the mini-rant in my last episode review). I think this is a good balance, bringing a new angle to both Felicity as a character and Olicity as a couple. Can they survive both this hurdle, and the fact that Oliver is keeping his son a secret?

As for the Anarchy plot, I kind of liked it this time. The idea of letting Anarchy go so that he could track down Darhk and kill him for the group was very morally gray. It was the kind of thing that first season Oliver would have done without a second thought. This time he had to follow through and stop Anarchy from killing Darhk's whole family. Which is just the kind of thing a hero would have to do. This kind of moral dilemma is a pretty standard one for super-hero stories, but it is standard for a reason.

I'm also kind of digging the whole "Anarchy feels indebted to Thea for burning him alive" thing. While it is not an original idea, it is an interesting one. Poor Thea has had it rough though, struggling to keep her bloodlust in check, breaking up with her boyfriend and resigning herself to being unstable at best, and now she has this psychopath singing her praises. That has to help with her state of mind (that is my sarcastic voice).

At least Diggle has finally made some progress with Andrew, and it came down to a very simple solution. Diggle had to forgive him, and start treating him like a brother again. Which of course makes sense, the only way to bring him back is to be on his side, and to let Andrew back into his life. But that was the last thing Diggle would've done considering his personality, and stubbornness. Actually both of them were being that way, so I guess it runs in the family.

So Mrs. Darhk is even more blood-thirsty than her husband, going so far as to say that Damien should have killed Arrow just after he had risked his life saving her from Anarchy. That's so cold. Well I guess I shouldn't be surprised. They are super villains trying to end the world after all.


We got yet another small bit of incremental movement on the Island. This time we got a new deal between Oliver and the Baron, for Taiana's life. And she still doesn't know that Oliver was the one that killed her brother. I'm kind of surprised Conklin hasn't come right out and told on Oliver, effectively destroying any kind of connection Taiana and Oliver have.


So there are now two characters crossed off the list for occupancy in that grave. Since Felicity was present after the scene between Oliver and Barry, she is now confirmed to be alive. That leaves pretty much the entire cast still in the cross hairs. Considering Felicity's rage, I'm guessing the death is a member of the core group. Which narrows it down to... um, yeah, it doesn't narrow it down at all.

Diggle and Andrew playing cards was a nice coda to their family drama.

Quentin and Donna's relationship is now out in the open, and that's good. I just hope one of them isn't dead by the end of the season.

I'm still partially convinced Alex is somehow a bad guy, working Thea for some kind of nefarious plan. Possibly as a agent of Damien Darhk.

I thought the bobble Constantine lopped off of the top of the magical whozit staff wasn't all that important. But the baron seems to think it is. I'm confused. It seemed to directly affect Oliver's new magical tattoo.

So Darhk wants to end the world, and I imagine he has plans for who gets to survive. My big question is why is he trying to pull this off in a town with costumed super-heroes getting in his way all the time? Is Star City somehow important to the plan? Is it just because they grew their underground crops there?


Lance: "So you're back to dropping bodies."
Oliver: "It's just this one."

Diggle: "But you've come so far, Oliver. You recovered a humanity that you lost when I first met you. I know you want payback for what Darhk did to Felicity, and you should, but don't lose what made her fall in love with you in the first place."

I liked this one a lot, and it follows the series tradition of excellent mid-season premieres.

4 out of 4 Moral Dilemmas.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.


Patrick said...

Actually, considering Felicity's rage, could it be Mama Smoak in the grave? I also like that we saw Felicity sitting in a car, neither standing nor sitting in a wheelchair. Nice way to keep it unclear if they'll find a way to fix her spine anytime soon.

Cesare said...

Could the showrunners be setting Felicity up to become Oracle? Yes, I know, in the comics it's Barbara Gordon, but it's still a DC character, and she seems to have the right skills, and if she's confined in a wheelchair...

Sol said...

I don't think it's Felicity's mom... otherwise Felicity would have been the last at the grave and Barry would have comforted her instead of talking to Oliver. Judging by their equally painful reaction I don't think it's family member, but a friend. Unfortunately i think it's Diggle....

I thought the show runners said that her becoming Oracle is def not an option...