Thursday, February 25, 2016

Arrow Season 4 Episode 15 "Taken" Review and *SPOILERS*


I (Don’t) Love the Way You Lie
Director: Gregory Smith
Writers: Story by Mark Guggenheim,
Teleplay by Keto Shimizu & Brian Ford Sullivan
First Aired: February 24, 2016

*NON-SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM*

The past few weeks of Arrow have admittedly strayed from the main villain of Damien Darhk to deal with more personal matters. I have no problem with that, but Damien has grown to my second favorite big bad(No one beats Slade Wilson), so to see him come back to the forefront definitely brings a smile to my face. However what doesn’t bring a smile, but dread is the fact Damien has kidnapped William, Oliver’s son… The fact an evil sorceror who wants the city to die has the son of the man who defends it is a BAD sign. Oliver will need some help, and thankfully he has a magic enhanced woman with a very particular set of skills: Vixen! Let’s dive on in folks!


We open the episode with Felicity at physical therapy with Oliver. The chip that will give her the ability to walk is working, but a lot slower than she wanted, but a pep talk from Michael's husband and Oliver, boost her spirits. All is right in the world! Then Damien shows up to ruins everything like usual. He reveals that he has taken William, and will return him to Oliver IF he drops out of the mayoral race and supports his wife to be mayor. As he leaves, Felicity asks Oliver who is William and Oliver reveals the truth that HE IS THE FATHER!


Felicity does not take it well, and despite Oliver telling her the reason why, she verbally despises the fact that she lied, even if he was forced to… Yeah sorry, but no. Felicity has been THE most understanding person on Team Arrow, and this was a good reason to hide it, HELL DIGGLE AND VIXEN SAY IT’S A GOOD REASON, AND DIGGLE FOUGHT WITH HIM ABOUT LYING LAST SEASON!! But no, Felicity feels like only Oliver is to blame for this and it doesn’t matter if William’s Mother told him to lie! After that Oliver then has to deal with the mother of his child… and just flat out reveals he’s the Green Arrow and the rest of the identities of Team Arrow… ARE SECRET IDENTITIES NOT SACRED IN THIS WORLD?!

The team realizes that they will need help of the magic variety. Constantine is out of the picture as he’s in hell(*Laughs at prospect*), so Oliver thinks of another person that could help: Vixen. Ho-lee crap was Vixen awesome as a live action character. I was afraid that the budget for the show would not allow for a proper representation that we got in the animated show last year, but not only did the actress look and play the part well, but her powers looked friggin’ amazing!

Using the enhanced smelling of animals, Vixen leads them to Dahrk, but they lose him after they get tossed around, and as punishment Damien pushes up the mayoral withdrawl time to that night.. With no other choice, Oliver withdraws...but not before thinking of a new plan of taking on Dahrk… Take out his totem that grants him his powers. This is actually a clever plan as it continues to expand on the Arrow-verse’s magic side.

Following the magical leylines of his city, the team find Dahrk’s base of operation and start the assault, leading to some impressive action sequences, before the final confrontation with Dahrk. The battle ends with Vixen using the strength of the animals to smash Dahrk’s totem and removing his powers, William gets picked up by police… and I ask myself… Shouldn’t there be a dark step? I mean we have an evil superpowered, backstabbing villain who kidnaps the child of the hero… THIS KIND OF PLOT SHOULD HAVE A DARK TURN! Maybe it’s because I’m used to all the dark stuff in the past 3 seasons of Arrow, but to me this felt like there was no dramatic tension to the plot.


In the end, Damien is arrested, but it’s revealed Malcolm was the actual one who kidnapped him. Thea confronts him and for the thousandth time, disowns him and tells him to leave, really nothing new. Oliver decides to stay out of his son’s life, and record a message for him when he turns explaining who he was, why he couldn’t be apart of his life, and how he hopes he will have a good life without him. Then Felicity rolls in… ends the relationship, despite Oliver’s reasons are completely justified… then walks out… I mean literally walks out, the chip finally works and she can walk again, just in time for her to walk out on Oliver… and when I saw that, I felt a great disturbance in the Fanbase, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in despair and were suddenly silenced… Dick move Felicity, dick move…


Bits and Pieces
This episode was really solid all things considered. Action is on par as usual, Oliver’s struggles played out the drama, Damien Darhk and Vixen were amazing on screen, and Vixen’s powers really showed off the magic of the Arrowverse. That being said, there were two BIG issues for me. 1) Felicity acting the way she did, it didn’t feel right. She acted like end of Season 3 Diggle and who wants that? 2) The conclusion’s lack of dark tone made the entire villain’s plot feel a little lame. A MAN WHO DRAINED THE LIFE OUT OF OTHERS DIDN’T TRY TO BACKSTAB OR CURSE THE BOY?! Besides that, this episode was pretty good.

8/10
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