TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 13 "Sins of the Father"
Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.
Episode 13: "Sins of the Father"
Synopsis: Oliver receives an offer from Nyssa that is hard to refuse. Meanwhile, Thea continues to battle the blood lust, Malcolm steps in to help his daughter, and Laurel has a heart to heart talk with Nyssa.
Review: Though tonight's episode of Arrow starts out feeling like a big tangent from the main narrative for the season, by the end of the hour we now have a solid indicator of who may be in that mysterious grave teased since the first episode of the fourth season. That coupled with some big time daddy issues for multiple characters finally pulls the series back on track while doing so with virtually no scenes featuring Oliver Queen dressed as the Green Arrow and minimal appearances by Damien Darhk. This is a very different episode of Arrow and that makes it one of the most refreshing stories we have seen in quite a long time.
Picking up right from the final scene of last week's episode, Oliver is presented with a deal by Nyssa Al Ghul: the death of Malcolm Merlyn in exchange for a lotus flower that has the capability of curing Thea's lingering bloodlust. Oliver is of course torn because despite his hatred for Merlyn, he is Thea's father and Oliver knows all about losing fathers. Maybe it is the discovery that he himself has a son, William, but Oliver is very hesitant to off his foe and head of the League of Assassins. Malcolm pleads with Oliver who has to act as a go between the two unrelated Al Ghuls as they could potentially bring Star City down with their infighting.
At the same time, Felicity has to deal with the return of her absentee father, better known as The Calculator, whom the team faced off against in last week's episode. Noah Kuttler, a known criminal and technology genius, acts as if he has returned to forge a relationship with his daughter, but Felicity doubts his true motives. After talking with her mother and inviting her father into the Arrow headquarters, Felicity realizes he is after something at Palmer Technologies. There could be some truth to his motivations, but Felicity errs on the side of caution and turns her father into the police. I believe this is not the last we have seen from Kuttler but for now that arc appears to be resolved.
In the episode's flashbacks, Oliver continues to heal from the torture at the hands of Reiter and make amends for killing the brother of Taiana. It turns out, with all of the maps and items that Reiter has obtained, the item he has been searching for appears to be underground. Reiter indicates an excavation will begin next, but we still have little idea of what he is actually looking for. Last season's flashbacks ended up having very little impact on the main storyline and should have really been the end point for these weekly asides, but there are still a couple of stories left to tell before we finally arrive at the time Oliver was rescued. Here's hoping this flashback season isn't an utter waste and we can plug through a couple more before focusing attention on the contemporary stories at hand.
Back to the main story, Oliver realizes there is a way to put an end to everything without killing Malcolm Merlyn. With Thea at death's door, a final showdown is set on a Star City rooftop. Oliver steps in and declares his right as spouse to Nyssa in League law to fight on her behalf. Oliver and Malcolm duel and unlike the last time they faced off, Oliver wins. Instead of killing Merlyn, Oliver cuts off his hand and removes the R'as Al Ghul ring from the severed limb and hands it to Nyssa. With things seemingly aligned, Nyssa reveals she has disbanded the League and melts the ring, ending the reign of her father's clan once and for all. Nyssa leaves for unknown places but Malcolm swears to destroy Oliver once and for all. Oliver is still dealing with guilt at what he did to Malcolm but he and Felicity decide to get married and not wait another day. The episode ends with Merlyn meeting with Damien Darhk and revealing that to strike a deadly blow for Oliver Queen, he must go after his son, William.
To be honest, it never really occurred to me that the dead character would be Oliver's estranged son. Yes, his death would have massive impacts on both sides of the Oliver/Arrow dynamic, but I was expecting it to be a main character. The death of a child is always a risky move on a series, but this could really take the darkness down to a much deeper level if the writers deliver on this tease. Overall, this episode opens some serious potential directions for the rest of the season and does a great job of bringing Malcolm Merlyn back to his rightful place as nemesis to Oliver Queen. I am glad we can finally put the League of Assassins to rest, something that should have been done last season. I would not mind seeing more of Nyssa on the show, but we can at least now focus our attention rightfully on Damien Darhk and HIVE.
Next on ARROW: "Code of Silence" airs February 17th: Oliver and team uncover HIVE's plan to take out Team Arrow once and for all. With HIVE’s next attack imminent, Lance wonders ifDonna is safer without him in her life. Meanwhile, with the wedding fast approaching, Oliver begins to feel guilty that he hasn’t toldFelicity about his son.