TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 14 "Code of Silence"
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 14: "Code of Silence"
Synopsis: Oliver and team uncover HIVE's plan to take out Team Arrow once and for all. With HIVE’s next attack imminent, Lance wonders if Donna is safer without him in her life. Meanwhile, with the wedding fast approaching, Oliver begins to feel guilty that he hasn’t told Felicity about his son.
Review: There has been a pattern developing on Arrow where our heroes face off against Damien Darhk for a few weeks and then take a breather to battle another nemesis or bad guy of the week. After taking on The Calculator and then Malcolm Merlyn, the HIVE-centric story arc returns and drops us right back into the middle of the contentious Star City mayoral race, something that was ver one-sided until a few weeks ago when Darhk's wife, Ruve, decided to run opposite Oliver Queen. Now, the team is determined to find proof of who his opponent really is before she has any chance of jeapordizing the future of leadership in Queen's hometown.
But, for as much as Oliver and company are searching for Darhk, there are a slew of subplots in this episode. Whether it be Quentin Lance breaking up with Donna Smoak to protect her from the wrath of HIVE or Thea discovering Oliver's son, William, during background checks on the mayoral candidates, there is not a lot of downtime for these characters and even more fuel for theories of which character is dead in the season long mystery hinted at in the season premiere. Tonight's episode makes a case for everyone from Lance to William with the ending of this hour strongly suggesting the latter.
As the team tracks Ruve to try and prove she is Darhk's wife, they also get involve with a crew of demolition expert thieves working for HIVE after Quentin Lance is mysteriously summoned to a building and almost blown up. They quickly learn that these criminals are tough opponents and eventually find that they are planning to target the mayoral debate. Quickly clearing the premises, Team Arrow gets to work stopping the criminals and disabling the bombs and still have enough time to hold the debate which Oliver wins handily. All seems to be good with the world. It even culminates with an engagement party where Curtis presents a gift to Felicity: a bio-implant that can be powered by the new Palmer Technologies power cell and may give Felicity the ability to walk again.
Quentin Lance also reunites with Donna, explaining to her about his connection to HIVE and that he wanted to protect her from harm. She, of course, forgives him and everyone seems to be hunky dory. That is until we see Damien Darhk at his home where he introduces his daughter to William, Oliver Queen's son. It is one heck of a way to close the episode but does open the question as to why Malcolm Merlyn, whom we see now working directly with Darhk, hasn't revealed that Oliver and Green Arrow are the same person. It is possible that I missed something where this reveal took place, but I don't think so.
In the flashback sequences, Oliver is told by Reiter why he is so important. Well, sort of. Reiter indicates that destiny is drawing the two men together and he feels that whatever he is searching for on Lian Yu requires Oliver to stay alive. The other survivors look at Oliver with Disdain and demand he kill Conklin to prove he is not a bad guy but Oliver is torn with returning to his old methods of violence. When cornered by Conklin, the two men fight and Oliver does end up killing his tormentor but also learns that whatever Reiter is about to uncover will spell death for everyone.
I enjoyed this hour of Arrow quite a bit. The fight scenes still feel overly choreographed but they had a little more gravity to them. Giving the chief demolitionist a nail gun as a weapon was an interesting choice even if it ultimately felt like a gimmick. I did enjoy the development of Donna Smoak through this episode. Pairing her with Quentin Lance was a brilliant move as it gives both characters some depth this season and also adds to their potential as the death that will rock Oliver later this season. But, Damien Darhk's bold move of kidnapping Oliver's son seems like it will bring everything to a head next week and could speed up the timeline for Oliver and Darhk to go against each other again. I am not sure how the show will sustain this for another ten episodes, but I hope we don't go too many more episodes without Neal McDonough. The guy used a friggin Vader choke hold tonight and killed a guy on a different continent! This is definitely the toughest foe Arrow has had to date.
Next on ARROW: "Taken" airs February 24th: Oliver realizes he needs help battling Damien so he calls in an old friend – Vixen. Using her magical ability to summon animal powers, Vixen gets a lock on Damien's location and the team goes to war. Meanwhile, Thea has a heart-to-heart talk with Malcolm.