Arrow Season Four Episode Twelve “Unchained”

reviews, TV

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Warning Contains Spoilers

This week’s episode should’ve been called “The Return” because, like the title would’ve suggested, there was a lot of returning. Felicity returns to Palmer Tech and her insecurities, Thea’s bloodlust takes revenge, Felicity’s dad shows up as this week’s villain, Nyssa and Roy Harper come back, and even Ruve Adams, Damien Darhk’s wife, makes an appearance as the new opponent for Mayor. And that’s not even all of them. Let’s break all of that down.

The episode starts off with an epic escape fight sequence and the return of Nyssa, which I was into because Nyssa was one of my favorite characters and I missed her. She escapes to go find this special Lotus flower that helps reverse the effects of the Lazarus Pit. But it isn’t that easy. Who does she meet guarding the special flower? Katana, with yet another return. Cut to another cool epic fight sequence! It is cut short, however, by logic because let’s be honest. Who would actually win in that fight? Answer? No one. It would go on forever. So Nyssa suggests they put down their weapons and talk it out. I’m guessing they came up with some sort of an agreement because Nyssa shows up at the end of the episode offering the flower to Oliver to save Thea.

Thea wasn’t looking too well in this episode. While Team Arrow was chasing a robber–a very acrobatic robber at that–Thea collapses and almost falls off the roof. She seems fine at first, but has a steady decline throughout the episode. Malcolm stays by her side the whole time saying that she isn’t whole. The only reason Sara is whole is because of Constantine. If Thea doesn’t give in to her bloodlust, she will die. This was kind of refreshing take on the bloodlust, having it fight her instead of her fighting it, which they have already exhausted.

In a complete twist, Oliver and Malcolm shake hands and Oliver thanks him. What is this madness?! But that excitement is short lived when Thea goes into a coma, and a bad one at that. I hope that whatever this Lotus flower is can help. I’ve really enjoyed seeing Thea grow into the strong, crime fighting vigilante, “Speedy”. But it wouldn’t be Nyssa if there wasn’t a revenge plot string attached. Oliver must kill his new best friend Malcolm in order to get the flower. My better plan: Constantine could just come back and save Thea like he did Sara. I want more of him.

That acrobatic robber I mentioned briefly was the wonderful return of Roy Harper. Roy was stealing supplies for this week’s villain, The Calculator so that he could make a web nuke that could kill everyone in the city by wiping out water mains, hospitals, anything that keeps a city alive. Doesn’t seem like the Roy we grew to love. When he tries to steal the battery technology that Curtis made to save Palmer Tech, Curtis tries to go up against Roy. Valiant effort, man, almost had him. I really enjoyed seeing that side of Curtis. I hope we get more of that going forward as more and more layers of his character are revealed.

We find out that Roy had a contact in his eye that was a piece of technology that The Calculator made to watch him. You see, The Calculator found Roy and blackmailed him into stealing these items or he would expose him and ruin the whole The-Arrow-died-so-Oliver-Queen-couldn’t-really-be-The-Arrow plan. So now we see the Roy we missed.

There was some fun banter between Felicity and The Calculator while Team Arrow was taking down the nuke. Weird that they had an open line of communication, but I guess anything can happen with tech geniuses. It was nice having Roy back on Team Arrow, even if it was brief. It reminded me of when Arrow was at its best.

There was even a feels moment when Roy said goodbye to Thea. They exchanged “I love yous” and let go of each other once and for all. Thea wants him to have a normal life away from all of this and he wants that for her too, even though we all know that’s not her story. It was an amazingly acted scene. I miss their chemistry.

Remember last week when I said I was glad that Felicity got through all her insecurities about her new status all in one episode? Yeah, well they brought that back this episode too. Felicity stumbles through a practice presentation of the new battery that Curtis built because she’s really insecure about being at the office. Curtis gives Felicity a nice pep talk about being the strong-willed-leader-Felicity and not the unsure-of-herself one. I thought strong Felicity was here to stay, but I guess she feels more confident in her role as Overwatch than CEO. Felicity ends up giving the speech after all and kills it if you ask me. I hope strong Felicity stays this time. I don’t want to keep seeing that plot line. It already got old.

Who was in the audience at her speech? The Calculator. But we the audience are the only ones who know that. Felicity only recognizes him as her Dad, which I thought was a really cool twist that I’m excited to see unfold. I think Felicity should look at The Calculator and her Father showing up at same time as more than just a coincidence. We will have to wait and see about that.

As all over the place as this review was, that’s basically how the episode was structured. It was kind of everywhere but still made sense. Moments of awesome scattered across an hour of television that set up some pretty exciting things moving forward. I just hope The Calculator, aka Felicity’s father, doesn’t add too much to the fire where we can’t see through the Smoak.

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