As the episode title states, this week’s episode of Arrow is all about the daddy issues. Picking up where we left off last week, Felicity’s absentee father is in town as the hacker villain The Calculator. Over coffee, Noah tries to convince Felicity that he isn’t the bad guy that Donna has painted him to be. He abandoned his family rather than make them run from the police and the FBI with him. In fact, he has a thumb drive with jobs he’s pulled that proves he only does bad things with good intentions.
Felicity really wants to believe her father. Who can blame her? But Felicity is wiser now. She guards her optimism. Spending three years as part of a vigilante team does that to a person. If only I could tell you about the years I spent–well, nevermind that. The point is that Felicity devises a test to find out just how trustworthy her father really is. She gives dear old dad a tour and unrestricted access to the innovations at Palmer Tech. Data that pops plans to steal.
In the end, even though it will cost her any potential future with the man who exited her life once already, Felicity turns her father over to the police. It’s the right thing to do, but Ollie warns Felicity that closure never comes quickly and easily when dealing with family.
Well, that’s all for this week. Glad you stopped by, be sure to check back next week when–
Hmm? What’s that? Oh, yeah, I nearly forgot about the rest of the storylines in this week’s episode. Thanks for reminding me.
Nyssa al Ghul made her return to Star City last week, offering a magic potion that can save Thea from the bloodlust that is slowly killing her. All Ollie has to do is kill Malcolm, take the ring passed down from Ra’s al Ghul to Ra’s al Ghul that Ollie gave to Malcolm, and name Nyssa the new Demon’s Head.
Ollie racks his pretty but not to bright head trying to think of a way to save Thea that results in preventing a civil war within the League of Assassin, keeps both Nyssa and Malcolm alive, and saves Thea’s life. Like Felicity, Ollie requires proof of Nyssa’s claim that the lotus will save Thea. Unlike Noah’s spectacular failure, Nyssa comes through with a sample of the elixir, which temporarily halts the spreading bloodlust and momentarily heals Thea.
Even though she’s unconscious most of the episode, Thea has a whole other set of daddy issues of her own. Let’s not forget that Malcolm used his daughter to kill Sarah (Laurel’s sister and Nyssa’s main squeeze). That put Thea in Ra’s al Ghul’s crosshairs, which led to her being injured, then restored in the Lazarus Pit, which had side effects that threaten her life now.
For his part, Ollie lost his father when Robert Queen sacrificed himself in order to prolong Ollie’s life in the hope that the son would one day atone for the sins of the father. While the rest of the usually less extreme team doesn’t understand Ollie’s reluctance to kill Malcolm in order to save Thea, Ollie explains that this isn’t about right versus wrong. It’s about family. He’ll not be the one to strip Thea of any chance at a real relationship with Malcolm by killing the guy who tried to level the poorer parts of Starling City who is now the leader of the frakin’ League of Assassins!
Ollie tries to negotiate a deal. He tries to reason with Malcolm. He tries to understand why keeping power is more important to Malcolm than saving his daughter. Malcolm surprises Ollie by asking Ollie whether he would really lay his bow at Damien Darhk’s feet and sacrifice the city in order to save William, Ollie’s son in Central City that no one is supposed to know about. Because Malcolm says that’s exactly the type of thing that Ollie is asking Malcolm to do.
Laurel (who, surprisingly, is spared the daddy issues in this episode) tries to reason with Nyssa. Laurel tells Nyssa that this obsession that Nyssa has isn’t who she is. It’s who Nyssa’s father was. Laurel tries to get Nyssa to cry off her crusade and save Thea, but Nyssa won’t stop until either she or Malcolm lies dead.
There is the set up for the big rooftop showdown between Nyssa and Malcolm. The two are about to engage in their duel to the death when Ollie invokes his right as Nyssa’s illegitimate husband to stand her champion in the fight. Ollie shows that there is always another option by slicing off Malcolm’s hand, taking the ring, and giving it to his wife.
Rather than be a slave to her father’s old way, Nyssa disbands the league and melts the ring. Like Felicity, it is time to put the past behind her and move forward, unbeholden to the ghost of her father’s misdeeds. Malcolm, on the other hand, seethes at Ollie before giving a vital piece of intel to Damien Darhk… the name of Ollie’s son.
Which brings us back to this season’s big questions. We’re only, what, three months or so from the graveside that we’ve been flash-forwarding to since the season premiere. Who’s in the grave? What happened to Felicity’s engagement ring, especially since the pair are talking about hurrying the wedding along in order to take advantage of the lull in HIVE-related action? After turning over a new leaf and refusing to give in to his hatred, who is it that Ollie has to kill to avenge that death?
Sound off on your latest theories in the comments below!