ARROW Season 4×13, “Sins of the Father” recap

11 Feb


Welcome back, Arrowheads! We got a few father issues to discuss before we get into this week’s episode. One, Felicity got reunited with her dad, but she doesn’t know her dad is the villain she just fought known as The Calculator! And Thea is dying from her Lazarus Pit exposure, but Nyssa (fresh from escaping Malcolm’s prison) has a serum that will cure her, but has only one condition for Ollie to get it: kill Malcolm Merlyn! Sounds like a no-brainer for me. So, let’s get to killing this psycho!

What was that? Oh wait, before we get to this, let’s get to the flashbacks…

Rock and a Hard Place. Ollie is still recovering from his injuries, and Taiana is a bit ticked off at him killing her brother. This causes her to try to trade that mystical rock Ollie has to Reiter for better than nursing her brother’s killer. Well, Reiter just snatches that thing and then threatens to kill her if she doesn’t keep Ollie alive, so surprise, that stupid plan failed. Ollie manages to finally reason with Taiana by explaining what his dad did to save him, and vows to free them all from Reiter. But Reiter already has a job for the improving Ollie and his prisoners: dig under the prison to get to what Reiter wants. Anyway…


Thea must have a room reserved for her, based on the many times she’s been in the hospital.

Our Fathers. We pick up where we left off last episode, as Ollie is asking the questions we all are asking, which is, “why not just cure Thea with that serum?” and “Can’t you fight Malcolm to the death?”, and she answers, “Because.” and “You can defeat him, ’cause you did it before.”. Oh, and Ollie’s technically still her husband, because League divorce court takes a while to get the paperwork cleared, I guess. Meanwhile, Felicity is having dinner with her dad, and he decides the best approach to talking to the daughter he hasn’t been around for in the last eighteen years is to be honest about what he knows about her. Well, that he knows she was the hacker he fought last episode, and she wants to shut things down, but he convinces her to explain himself as being not some evil hacker with some evidence of good he’s done over the years. At least he came prepared to back things up.

The Merlyn Ultimatum. At Arrow HQ, Ollie’s letting Laurel and Diggle know what is going on, and really, they let him know that he should probably kill Malcolm, because, you know, killing Sara and Tommy (oddly, the several hundred citizens of Star City he killed NEVER COMES UP.) was wrong. Well Ollie won’t do that, because he doesn’t want Thea to lose her dad, no matter how evil he is, which I think you can argue successfully she’s better off with him dead. Ollie’s compromise idea is to get Malcolm to hand over control of the League in exchange for the serum.

So, Laurel talks to Nyssa about breaking free from her dead father’s legacy and she cautiously agrees (and forebodes a war against her and Malcolm’s forces on the street), but Malcolm? He says “no” to Ollie’s pitch, based on how vague it is (a solution he doesn’t know about can save Thea? Not a bad argument to make.). At HQ, everyone is figuring out what to do next, when Felicity brings up her dad is The Calculator, and she decides a test is needed to prove her dad isn’t trying to betray her. Ollie realizes he needs the same from Nyssa, so he manages to get a sample of the Lotus serum from her to prove its legit.

Proof of Authenticity. At Palmer Tech, Felicity takes her dad around the big secret tech lab and seems to be bonding with him. Later though, she talks to mom, who upon hearing he’s back in town, recommends not trusting him because of how abruptly he left them. But let’s get back to Thea, as she’s moved from the hospital to the HQ, where the sample vial is tested on her. It seems to stabilize her, and Malcolm agrees to the meeting with Nyssa. So the Team joins Malcolm to the meeting, and non-shock, he sets Nyssa up to be attacked by his men! She flees and the Team gets in the way of Malcolm’s further pursuit. Well, things are gonna get bloody now.


“I also have procured the Colonel’s secret recipe for chicken, at great expense, if you are interested!”

War of Shadows. Its barely been a few hours, and there’s been a skirmish between both Malcolm and Nyssa’s soldiers in public places. Quentin’s there to confirm things are going to get innocents killed eventually, and so, Ollie thinks the way to stop things is to take both Nyssa and Malcolm out of play. Ollie confronts Malcolm about breaking the deal, but he wants to hold power over the League, maybe more than saving Thea. Laurel gets a bead on Nyssa and her team, and this all spills out into a brutal fight between both camps in a packed street, with Team Arrow square in the middle. When things get quiet, the Team incapacitates Nyssa, but she doesn’t have the serum on her. So now what?

Wanting Change. Ollie and Felicity have some downtime at the HQ, and both have their own disappointments. Ollie’s is that Malcolm can’t see past his need for power to save Thea (as if his behavior over the years didn’t prove that), and Felicity in her dad. She took her dad through that secret lab to see if he would do anything shady, and he left something there to collect information. Malcolm is there by Thea’s bedside, confirming the effects of the sample are wearing off, meaning she doesn’t have much time. Ollie tries to reason with Malcolm one last time, and that’s when Malcolm, in his pretend scenario that would force Ollie to choose between saving a loved one over letting Damien Darhk win, says he knows about Ollie’s son. Ollie thinks there may be a way to end this League civil war properly: if Nyssa challenges Malcolm to a trial by combat for the title of Ra’s. Easy? Not quite…

Take The Ring. On a rooftop, both League groups and Team Arrow are encircled around Malcolm and Nyssa for this trial by combat. But Ollie, knowing Nyssa is no match for Malcolm, flips the script by offering to fight in his “beloved’s” honor. Shhh, don’t say that in front of Felicity, Ollie! Malcolm didn’t expect that, nor to be brought to his knees by Ollie in the ensuing fight. I’m sure he never expected what happens next when he says Ollie can have Ra’s ring over his dead body: that Ollie chops Malcolm’s ring hand off! I guess that counts as a successful contest, because no one dies after this.


Hey, give Malcolm Merlyn a hand. No seriously, give him one, because his left one is not attached to his body anymore.

Baby Steps. Thea is given the full serum, and seems on the way to a full recovery, but not told yet about Malcolm’s amputation. And Malcolm is very much alive, stumpy left arm and all, as Ollie presents the ring to Nyssa…who melts it into slag! Her only act as Ra’s is to disband the League and free her soldiers from their commitments. Wait, do we have to thank Laurel for this? Um, thanks, Laurel? Well Malcolm is not happy about this turn in him being betrayed, but promises to hurt those in Oliver’s circle for this, because it wasn’t like he was doing that before they were frenemies and all.

Felicity gets to see her dad in her office, and tells her she really doesn’t know if his attempt to patch things over with her is genuine, and less so that she knows he was trying to steal technology from her. And that’s probably why she calls the cops to arrest the fugitive hacker right there (and let’s hope that doesn’t go badly for her). She heads home, and despite all the crap that’s happened recently, thinks they should get married…like NOW. Maybe its best to hold on the impromptu ceremony plans, because somewhere else, Darhk is meeting with Malcolm, who offers a way for Darhk to truly hurt Ollie: that Ollie has a son!

(Face palm)

Sigh. Like I said many times before, Ollie…YOU SHOULD HAVE KILLED MALCOLM MERLYN! YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO, HE DESERVED TO DIE, AND YOU BLEW IT! Let’s just get to the notes this week, because…jeez…

–Comic book connections: The reference to Rucka street is one to one time DC writer Greg Rucka, who is the co-writer of a book reviewed here, Gotham Central.

–Why am I now thinking the man Ollie wants to kill in those flash forwards isn’t Darhk?

–Also, Darhk’s “empty handed” pun to Malcolm? Dude, he just lost his hand like a day ago!

–Felicity’s mom is all into lavish weddings, which seems to make Ollie’s low key wedding idea intriguing to Felicity. She has to rebel against mom somehow.

–If this means we’re done with League hijinks for the foreseeable future, then yay to that.

–“It’s bad. Not like ‘my sister is dying’ kind of bad, but…”

–“This is one of your crazier ideas, and that is a competitive field.”

–“We will forego the removal of shirts.”

That’s it for now, but leave your comments below, and come back next week for the recap of “Code of Silence”…

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