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Malcolm Merlyn/new Ra's Al-Ghul with his League of Assassins

Daddies Dearest: Arrow Season 4, Episode 13 Review

StarCityBFFs StarCityBFFs I also thought about calling this review "You Can't Pick Your Relatives."

Even the in-laws. Nyssa, please STOP already calling Oliver your husband! Although that technicality did come in handy during the Oliver-Malcolm duel to settle the Lotus ownership to save Thea, who was in the hospital again.

For the 3rd time on the show, and the 2nd time this season. Please admit somebody else to the emergency room next time.

Nyssa Al-Ghul with Lotus antidote to Lazarus Pit
Nyssa Al-Ghul with Lotus antidote to Lazarus Pit

Nyssa. Unbelievable. They way she wiped the League of Assassins off the face of the earth was like winning the Super Bowl and then disbanding the NFL.

But I digress.

How can one show have this many despicable fathers?

Malcolm, who when it came right down to it was willing to gamble Thea's life to find a way to help her that didn't involve giving up his Demon's Head ring. Oh, and he told Damian Darhk, another member of the evil father fraternity, about Oliver's son William as a weakness to exploit.

Nyssa Al-Ghul & Malcolm Merlyn
Nyssa Al-Ghul & Malcolm Merlyn

We didn't see nearly enough of Felicity's morally ambiguous dad, The Calculator (and no scenes at all between Papa Noah Kuttler and Mama Donna Smoak), who went contrary to Arrow tradition and revealed his secret identity during their first meeting. Of course he knew she was Overwatch; he's his daughter's father. I hope his arrest means there's more of that story to come.

Noah Kuttler/The Calculator & Felicity Smoak/Overwatch
Noah Kuttler/The Calculator & Felicity Smoak/Overwatch

Maybe Malcolm and/or Damian spring The Calculator out of jail? Felicity knows he's stolen some Palmer research. (That she would give him a guided tour of their latest R & D only the second time she's seen him in 18 years felt uncharacteristically unguarded and needy.) Maybe the evil father troika holds hostage from Oliver the cure that would allow Felicity to walk again?

Felicity Smoak, Palmer Tech CEO & her father Noah Kuttler/Th
Felicity Smoak, Palmer Tech CEO & her father Noah Kuttler/The Calculator

Oliver is still keeping his Central City son secret and sneaking around behind his beloved fiancée's back, which he's going to deeply regret. This whole situation is going to come crashing down next week, right before Oliver and Felicity's wedding. I can just feel it.

Oliver Queen & Felicity Smoak
Oliver Queen & Felicity Smoak

Remember the good old days back in season 1 when the most contentious family relationship on the show was Detective Lance and Laurel, when all they did was haul each other out of bars and into AA meetings?

Remember, too, when the fight scenes were consistently challenging? (Did the real Dark Archer not show up for the filming?)

This whole episode was so promising, yet so sloppy. Sloppy writing. Sloppy fighting. Teleporting to and from Nanda Parbat? Importing League torches to Star City rooftops?

There was a lot of foreshadowing in this episode, if by foreshadowing you mean the writers hitting us over the head with "people don't change." The question is largely about Oliver.

Donna Smoak "Mama Smoak"
Donna Smoak "Mama Smoak"

He decided in the season 2 premiere "City of Heroes" that for Tommy Merlyn's sake he wouldn't be a killer anymore. He finds another way with Malcolm, although it's shockingly brutal, after his friends actually encouraged him to make an exception.

He's definitely not finding another way with Felicity. He's hiding a very material fact from her and lying about it, even as he proposes to her again.

Oliver Queen & Felicity Smoak
Oliver Queen & Felicity Smoak

Isn't that the 3rd time now?

Oliver has no idea how dearly he'll pay for that flashback-like behavior, for both Felicity and William. (The real flashbacks continue to waste valuable minutes in every episode and are not worth mentioning.)

Somebody tweeted earlier today, "The best way to get revenge is to tell your enemy your biggest secret." Malcolm as Ra's Al-Ghul ended up learning some Arabic after all: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."


Coming up next, episode 14 "Code of Silence"

Arrow 4x14 Promo "Code of Silence"

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