Warning, this page contains spoiler for the latest episode!!!
The last time we saw Arrow before it took its midseason break, Oliver was holding the bullet ridden Felicity in his hands after an attack by Damien Darhk’s henchmen.
The start of Arrow’s midseason premiere – titled “Blood Debts” – harks back to the very first episode of the season and takes place four months in the future with Oliver and Barry Allen standing over an unnamed grave. At this point I thought my theory of it being Felicity who was six feet under turned out to be correct.
We eventually learn that the ordeal leads Felicity to only flirt with death as she manages to come out of it alive. As for Ollie, he takes his rage out on the Ghosts as he embarks on a revenge-fueled mission to find and kill Darhk. Searching for payback meant that he wasn’t there for his fiancé as she lay in hospital and the struggle between his family and his crime fighting has been something he’s been wrestling with over the years.
At the start of season 4, Ollie was on top of the moon as he was enjoying suburban bliss with Felicity. Now his happiness has faded away as returning to Starling City has seen him encounter problem after problem. In an act of desperation, he frees Lonnie Machin aka Anarky (after capturing him) in the hopes that he’ll lead him to Darhk as he’s also seeking to exact revenge on Darhk. His plan very nearly backfires as Anarky comes close to killing Darhk’s family but he manages to stop him in the nick of time.
I found Ollie contemplating whether or not Felicity’s attack would have been avoided if he had managed to kill Dark to be pretty intriguing. Now that he’s made a change to his vigilante methods, I don’t expect him to revert back to brandishing lethal justice but I do think we’ll see him put in a position where he forced to make the choice: kill or not to kill. That decision will probably happen when he comes face to face with Darhk at the end of the season but it would be interesting if it occurred earlier.
Of course Ollie did square off against Darhk in this episode but after getting the better him in a physical fight, the villain once again managed to gain the upper hand by using his mysterious magical powers. I’m still pretty unsure about how Oliver will eventually manage to take down Darhk seeing as he has mystical powers but I look forward to see just how he defeats him. I suspect (if she’s still alive) Thea may be involved as she’s resistant to his evil witchcraft.
Speaking of Thea, she had a couple of run-ins with Anarky who oddly thanked her for scarring him by setting him alight earlier in the season. He seems to be obsessed with her and the fact that he escaped at the end of the episode means he’ll most likely come back to haunt her.
Someone else who’ll need to watch their back in the future will be Detective Lance as presumably blew his cover as a double agent working for Team Arrow when he gave up the location of his meeting place with Darhk. This will almost surely have repercussions for Lance as Darhk will most likely try to punish him for his betrayal.
It appeared Diggle managed to get over what he saw as his brother’s betrayal as he was able to get through to his distanced little bro after punching the snot out of him. Their reconciliation may have come a little quick and easy but it was nice to see nonetheless.
While as a whole the episode didn’t blow my socks off, Arrow’s first episode of 2016 set up some fascinating potential storylines including Darhk’s wife Ruve, who we meet for the first time. It looks like she could be a very interesting character as she encourages the evil plan of her sinister spouse. Darhk himself could have been given a little more screen time in the episode, as while I do understand the writers not wanting us to be fatigued of the villain, he needed more prominence in this episode considering what he did to Felicity in the previous one.
The major talking point has to be the fact that we find out it wasn’t Felicity who was in the grave. While she may not be dead, it appears she’ll be crippled which sets her further down the path of becoming the “Oracle” character and making Arrow seem more like a poor man’s attempt at a Batman TV show. Of course Oliver Queen/Green Arrow shares a couple of inevitable similarities with Bruce Wayne/Batman but I find the show’s shameless poaching of the Dark Knight’s lore increasingly irritating. In the case of Felicity becoming Oracle, who knows, it might be a well-developed storyline that I’ll come to accept. I’m not holding my breath though.
Anyway, “Blood Debt” was a solid return to Starling City and reuniting with Team Arrow was a fairly enjoyable experience. This episode scores a:
What did YOU think of this episode? Feel free to leave a comment below