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Arrow Season 4 Episode 14 "Code of Silence" Review and *SPOILERS*
Here comes the BOOM!
Director: James Bamford Writers: Wendy Mericle, Oscar Balderrama
First Aired: February 17, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Another week, another adventure in Star City. Last week, we had a miniature version of a League of Assassins Civil War, which lead to the dismantling of the League...but more importantly had Malcolm throw his hat in with HIVE. While that's going on behind the curtain, Oliver's Mayoral Campaign has one competitor standing in his way, but she definitely isn't on the lawful side of things. How is Oliver going to handle this woman who is clearly working for a dark organization? How will Damien use the information given by Malcolm be used? Am I done procrastinating? YES, I AM, so lets dive in...
We open the episode with Oliver looking over the auditorium that he’ll be debating at against Reva Adams, Damien Darhk’s wife. After she leaves, the team attempts to shadow her...pretty poorly as Oliver jumps over her limo on a dirtbike and Diggle is following right on her bumper… Team Arrow, Masters of stealth. After Oliver corners her, she gets the upper hand revealing that it was a ruse, and she calls out her HIVE bodyguards. This leads to a pretty good fight scene, showing off a little bit of everyone’s fighting style rather than just focus on Oliver. Unfortunately, despite the team’s best efforts, Reva gets away and meets back up with the heads of HIVE. The Team Arrow attack causes the leaders to realize that they need to push forward with their plans...by getting rid of Oliver Queen.
The next day, Oliver and Felicity face the wrath of something worse than HIVE and the League of Assassins combined… Felicity’s Mother, Donna(BUM BUM BUM!). Last episode, Oliver and Felicity begin to plan out their wedding, and Donna goes full “momzilla” in the planning process...very stereotypical, but it does provide a few humorous moments.
On the other side of the city, Captain Lance gets a call to investigate a break in...despite their being plenty of other normal cops to do this rather than the most important one. After he enters, the building begins to collapse around him, but Laurel runs in and gets him out just in time. While he gets patched up, the team deduces whoever caused the explosion is also going after Lance, since he betrayed Darhk earlier in the season. This leads Lance to dumping Donna, attempting to lie and say he’s in debt...which she instantly calls bullshit on. This entire side story felt dull and pointless as they get back together in the end...BUT it did provide some nice character growth for Donna, as she learned that she needs to trust the man she loves more.
After Diggle’s brother, Andy, does some offscreen digging, we learn that the people responsible for the destroyed building is a mercenary team called the Demolition Team...yup, C-list Green Lantern villains. Despite their status and silly name, I actually thought they were pretty friggin’ badass. Team Arrow tracks them to a factory and clash with them in another impressive fight scene. Each member of the Demolition Team used a construction tool to fight a member of Team Arrow such as a nailgun and sledgehammer, which was just BRUTAL on Diggle. The Demolition Team ends the fight by blowing up the building, but Team Arrow get out just in time, with the laptop containing the plans for their big attack.
Throughout the episode we flashback to Lian Yu, where Reiter’s prisoners want to kill Oliver for all the pain he caused when he worked for him. Oliver explains that he’s trying to free them, but that goes as well as it could in a tv show and they ask him to kill Concran, the asshole who has been screwing him since he first arrived… As he waits for him, Reiter explains to Oliver what he’s looking for vaguely, explaining how it’s a mystical area that will grant him power...BUT ENOUGH OF THAT BORING STUFF! Concran arrives, and after Reiter leaves, he and Oliver get into a fight. Oliver kills him, but Concran muses that Reiter is just gonna kill them anyway...what a jerk, even in death.
Back in the present, Curtis Holt figures out the location of the attack is the debate auditorium that Oliver would have been at. This leads to the final fight with the Demolition team, and while it looked impressive, it was missing that spark of drama...it needed that desperation. Thea pulled the fire alarm, leaving only Team Arrow vs. Demolition Team round two, without real threat of civilians dying. When you remove that edge, that reason WHY they need to save the building, you turn a potentially nail biting climax into a meh fist fight. That being said, just like the rest of the episode, the fight choreography was AMAZING! It’s fight scenes like the ones in this episode that assure me that Arrow is the king of comic tv fighting.
In the end, Demolition Team is put away, the party Donna was planning goes off without a hitch, and Curtis gives Felicity the best present ever...an implant that will help her walk again. Everything is looking up...and then we see Damien arrive home and gives his daughter a new playmate...Oliver’s son, William...next week is gonna get messy.
Bits and Pieces
This episode was truly middle of the road for me. On the positive side, we have some kick-ass action sequences, fantastic character development for Oliver and Donna, and a badass villain team that I hope to see again in the future. On the negative side, the side stories felt pointless to the main plot, the climax felt like it had no consequence, and generally speaking...the flashbacks have grown dull. It feels like this was meant to be a shiny filler episode as the creators wrapped up production for the next episode which promises to be big.