Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Arrow Season 4 Episode 12 "Unchained" Review and *SPOILERS*


Director: Kevin Fair
Writers: Speed Weed and Beth Schwartz

First Aired: February 3, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Last week on Arrow, we had a pair of more personal conflicts rather than the usual fighting of bad guys. The main focus was on Diggle, trying to convince his little brother Andrew, who turned out to be alive AND working with Darhk, to come back to the right side of the law. Meanwhile Felicity has to conquer her fear of failure after her accident. It ended up being about 90% positive as the Diggle brothers reconciled, Felicity returned to form and got the new code name Overwatch, but we lost Amanda Waller to terrorist...which means no more Suicide Squad for Arrow.
This week we get two treats as Team Arrow not only has to fight the Calculator, a master hacker who could possibly even put Felicity to shame, but has to help an old friend as Arsenal returns to Star City. How does it hold up? Lets find out...

We open not in Star City, but Nanda Parbat, where we watch the return of Nyssa as she breaks out and a few members of the League of Assassins turn on their brothers...That's right boys and girls, were setting up for a League Civil War. A bit later we watch Nyssa head to Japan to fight the guardian of a precious artifact...That guardian is our favorite sword wielding hero Katana. We'll be back to conclude this bit later in the review, but for now lets talk the main group.

Back in Star City, Team Arrow tries to stop a thief from taking special tech, only to have Thea nearly pass out off the roof. Later that night, the team deduces, and Malcolm confirms, that Thea is dying due to the Lazarus Blood lust returning to her system. To those who don't know, Thea was resurrected by the Lazarus Pit, which means that she has a near insatiable blood lust. This plot point was thought nulled as Damien Darhk's Life absorption powers stopped it. Well unfortunately it returns and now she's out of commission.

The next night Oliver is able to subdue the thief, to learn it's Roy, but gets away. Felicity begins to put together what the items are being stolen for: a net bomb that can mess with any computer system....all Roy needs would be a power source to run the device...something which Micheal Holt of Palmer Tech. By the time they arrived, Roy was beat after a pretty descent fight with Holt, so Oliver was able to subdue him, but not before Roy's boss had gotten  the power cell.

Roy then explains that he was getting watched by someone named The Calculator, who would reveal to the world Roy was still alive. Using the contact, Felicity is able to hack into the Calculator's computer and confront him. Calculator just mocks Felicity yet commends her skill as a hacker...he even quips about his love of the internet Cat videos. He then blocks her out, and she instantly gets to work in trying to hack him again. 

While we wait for that, along with Nyssa's plans, we also have 2 storylines involving Roy and Thea making up a little more, and Oliver ready to ask Darhk a favor to save his sister...I won't go into too much detail because in all honesty, I didn't really care. I thought Roy and Thea's scenes were cute, especially their goodbye, but it really wasn't needed. I bet you could cut them and nothing would change. 

When Felicity finally figures out where the Net Bomb will be uploaded, we have the whole team go in and kick some ass, with Roy replacing Thea. While the fighting between the teams were great, the highlight was definitely Felicity going against Calculator in uploading worms and firewalls to stop him from activating the bomb. It really shows that these two are meant to be intellectual rivals. With all the firewalls up, Roy blows up the bomb and gets out on a bad ass zipline, probably thinking he deserves a spin off.

We end the episode with Felicity revealing the Power Cell, the thing Roy stole and will supposedly get Palmer Tech. out of near bankruptcy. As Oliver goes to check on Thea, the Calculator approaches Felicity...and her response is simply...."Dad?" YUP! The Calculator is her father, CUE THE LUKE SKYWALKER MOMENT! Meanwhile Oliver finds Thea has entered a coma...and Nyssa arrives to reveal she has a way to fix Thea...he just needs to kill Malcolm. That escalated EXTREMELY quickly.

Bits and Pieces:

This episode was solid to say the least. We were introduced to new storylines that we'll be covering over the next few episodes, cool action, and a new villain that I can't wait to see more of. I think the downside to this episode actually has to be the fact that the other side stories such as the Roy and Thea Reunion and the plan to ask for Darhk's assistance kind of consumed the time we could have had on more action and Calculator. Despite the drawbacks, I did enjoy this episode and can't wait for next week's battle with the League Civil War.

+ Roy back with the team
+ Calculator and his twist
+ Cool action scenes
+ Civil War begins

- too many unimportant storylines

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