TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 10 "Blood Debts"

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 10: "Blood Debts

Synopsis: Oliver must deal with the devastating consequences of Darhk's last attack. Seeking revenge, Oliver goes on a brutal manhunt looking for Dahrk.

Review: There have been a lot of ups and downs over the last season of Arrow. Last year, the mid-season finale left us with a cliffhanger that didn't resolve in a way that quite met expectations. But this year, with a major character death looming and everyone assuming they knew who it was in the coffin. Well, the writers have certainly kept us on our toes and delivered one of the more intense hours of Arrow in years. The mystery of what is coming next for Oliver Queen and company is still unknown but we are now able to concretely cross a name off of the potentially deceased list. Hell, they even managed to give us flashbacks to Lian Yu that didn't feel like a complete waste of time!

This week's episode opens with the same cemetery scene from the beginning of the season before flashing back to Oliver rushing Felicity to the hospital after her shooting in the mid-season finale. Intercut with scenes of Oliver hunting down HIVE soldiers as he tries to find Damien Darhk, this is one of the more tense episode openings I can recall on this show. It also sets the tone for what is a very brooding episode with barely any comic banter to lighten the mood. Felicity is in grave condition and is undergoing multiple surgeries to try and save her life. Oliver is staying away from the hospital as he tries to find Darhk as the villain has gone underground since he ordered the attack of the Star City mayoral contender. Diggle confronts his brother for answers while everyone else tries to do what they can to avenge Felicity.

But the secret to Damien Darhk's location rests within the return of another bad guy: Anarky. Lonnie Machin, last seen being set ablaze by Thea in a bloodlust rage, returns scarred and looking for Darhk himself. Oliver tracks the psychotic criminal and believes he can use his hunt for Darhk to his own ends. The team questions Oliver's tactics as the voice of reason, Felicity, is not near to talk her boyfriend down from making rash and violent decisions. Oliver's motivations and actions in this hour harken back to his brutal methods from the first season and it highlights why the original Vigilante version of the Green Arrow offered a lot more intensity than the current iteration. The team track Lonnie and capture him but Thea and Laurel turn him over to the police. Oliver then breaks him out and they track him to Damien Darhk's home where Machin holds the HIVE leader's wife and child hostage.

As the characters all fight to an impasse, Darhk is able to get away with his wife and child after threatening Oliver with weeks to live before Star City is destroyed. Thea has a final showdown with Anarky who feels a connection to her for freeing him to become his true evil self. The episode wraps up with everyone hunky dory, as usual: Diggle plays cards with his brother as they try to find their relationship again, Thea rekindles her romantic interests, and Oliver and Felicity bond despite her diagnosis being that she will never walk again. At the same time, Damien Darhk comforts his wife and daughter after the events of the night. But, his wife chastises him for not killing the Green Arrow and seems to be fully involved with the Genesis plot to destroy the world. Interesting twist.

Flashbacks tonight give us Oliver returned to Reiter's camp by Conklin who reveals Queen's true plans and the maps he recovered. Oliver tries to play it off as a gift for Reiter, but Conklin is given permission to whip Oliver into submission. As he is lashed, Oliver's tattoo (given to him by John Constantine) begins to glow. Reiter takes it as a sign and insists Oliver be spared until his usefulness is up. Still not a stellar flashback, but definitely more intriguing than any from this season or the last. The real interesting scene comes at the close of the episode. We find Barry Allen discussing what Oliver is going to do. This is the same scene from the opening of this episode and the season, but now we see Oliver return to his limo. When he enters, Felicity is sitting inside. She seems to have function of her legs and reminds Oliver that he has to kill the man responsible for the mystery death. But who can it be?

Clearly, the death has an impact that affects Oliver, Barry, and Felicity. My instinct is to say that it is Felicity's mother, but why would that affect Barry? He could have come back to be sympathetic to his friend and former flame. After thinking about it some more, I think it is actually Quentin Lance. Laurel's father has been a major character all through the series and has had interaction with Barry multiple times. His relationship with Felicity's mother this season also seems to point in the direction of impacting her. I think his death would have the biggest impact on the team and his relationship with Damien Darhk this year would also make him the sensible narrative choice. I don't anticipate finding out who is in the coffin any time soon, but Arrow has definitely found a nice groove over the last few episodes that I hope carries for the rest of the season.

Final Verdict:

Next on ARROW: "A.W.O.L." airs January 27, 2016: Diggle must learn to trust his brother Andy when an enemy of their wartime past, an agent of the criminal organization Shadowspire, pays a visit to Star City. However, Diggle learns more than he bargained for about their shared time at war. Meanwhile, Oliverhas to learn a whole new way of life.

Source: JoBlo.com



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