Felicity Smoak better still be alive. I mean that from a fan’s perspective, but also for the sake of Damien Darhk. While Oliver Queen left his criminal-killing ways behind him a while ago on Arrow, something tells me he’d walk back his vow to do things without fatalities if his fiancée dies.
Thus, it’s not too difficult to surmise why this first episode after the winter break might be called “Blood Debts.” Let’s see if revenge gets to be served or if there are more surprises awaiting.
On-the-Mark Recap: Flashing forward four months, we see part of the mystery funeral scene again, focusing on the conversation where Oliver vows to Barry Allen that he’s “going to kill him.” In the present, we see Felicity get wheeled into the ER interspersed with scenes of Green Arrow questioning some Ghosts. Unfortunately, they happen to be a death before dishonor bunch.
Oliver returns to Arrow Lair 3.0 to report on his lack of success, telling Diggle they need to talk to his brother Andy again. He gets word that Felicity is about to go in for more surgery, but he wants to stay and keep looking for Darhk.
Sure enough, Felicity gets ready for her surgery without her beau, though Donna Smoak and Thea Queen are with her. She assures them, Dig and Laurel that she’ll be fine, and the doctors think they might be able to repair her nerve damage.
Diggle goes from there to his brother’s cage, and it’s clear he’s not there to have a quiet chat. As he gets ready to lay on a beating, Andy says he didn’t think John had it in him and asks what has changed. Her name’s Felicity …
Ollie has his own mission, meeting with Lance to ask about playing the one card they haven’t in regards to Darhk. Namely, Lance has been meeting with the villain, and he gives the location of the office building Damien has been using. Sounds like he might have to live in the Arrow Lair for his own good though. Lance asks if Oliver is “back to dropping bodies,” and he promises it will only be one.
Green Arrow takes the info and heads to Darhk’s office, but all he finds are a bunch of dead Ghosts. Oh, and an anarchy symbol on the wall, written in blood. There is that.
At home with Lyle, Diggle has a talk with his wife about Andy. She suggests treating him like a brother instead of a Ghost to see if that works, then changes that suggestion to an order.
Thea is more than a little worried about the return of Lonnie Machin, considering she burnt his face up real good last time they met. She also comes clean to Laurel about how Darhk’s power erased her bloodlust, though she now blames herself for the bloodlust in Machin. Sure, but …
Things get even more awkward when they walk in on some PDA between Lance and Donna, though Laurel tells her dad it’s fine, and she only wants him to be happy. Both Lances are worried about each other, and they get a lead: the blood from the anarchy symbol came from Machin’s foster parents.
Team Arrow runs with that lead and finds Machin sitting and watching TV in a creepy plastic mask. Can we just call him Anarky now? He pins most of our heroes down with his remote control guns, but Speedy is able to follow him until she runs into another booby trap. She’s surprised when Anarky says he won’t hurt her since she’s “the one who saved me from myself.” A Canary Cry stuns him, and the others manage to easily knock him out.
Alas, that just leads to an argument about what to do with him. Green Arrow, of course, wants to use him to get to Darhk. That might mean torturing him, but Speedy arrives with bad news of the Felicity variety.
In the meantime, Diggle tries following his wife’s advice and has another talk with Andy, admitting that he’s ashamed that he beat his own brother for information. They reminisce a bit and discuss some ghosts (no pun intended) from the past before John begs Andy for help getting justice for a woman he calls better than both of them put together. Andy obliges, saying they can now be equally ashamed.
As for Machin, he’s having a different kind of heart to heart with Speedy. He’s not upset about his face, claiming that Thea burnt away his weakness. He asks what makes them different, and Speedy says it’s because she can control herself. Anarky taunts her, she holds an arrow to his throat and starts to make him bleed, but in the end, she leaves him for the cops.
Donna is upset that Oliver has taken so long to visit Felicity. And her news is indeed bad: the doctors say her daughter will never walk again. Ollie says they will find another doctor, but it seems they already have received the second opinion.
To Anarky’s surprise, Green Arrow frees him from the police transport van taking him away. His confusion only grows when the hero shoots his handcuffs instead of him and says, “You make sure he’s dead.” Ah, I guess he can skirt his rule about killing villains by letting other villains do his dirty work?
That stunt doesn’t sit well with Laurel, setting off another argument. Diggle has something to say too, imploring Oliver not to throw away all the progress he’s made over the past few years.
Thea goes to see Alex Davis (remember him?) at Oliver’s campaign office, as I guess the run for office is still on. She claims that her anger management issues are too big to be controlled, though Alex bravely says he doesn’t believe that and that Thea is stronger than she thinks. She says she’s just not ready for a relationship, but he says he’ll be there when she is.
She arrives back at the Arrow Lair to discover that Oliver’s plan of planting a tracker on Machin has already gone wrong. With both villains’ whereabouts unknown, the team tells Oliver to go visit Felicity and that they will find Anarky.
The moment finally arrives as Oliver has his first talk with Felicity since the attack. True to form, Ollie lapses into self-doubt, wondering if Darhk is winning because he isn’t willing to go far enough. Sure, it’s not because of his supernatural powers or anything. Felicity also seems worried that because they never exchanged vows, he somehow won’t want her given her injuries, but he reassures her by putting her engagement ring back on her finger and saying “for better or for worse.”
That tender moment turns to action when Laurel tells Oliver that between Andy’s info and where the tracker was found, they might have figured out where Darhk lives. Anarky is already there, with Darhk’s wife and daughter tied up, and he’s about to do something bad to them with a small flamethrower.
An arrow makes sure he never gets a chance, prompting Anarky to wonder if the heroes will simply make up their mind about what they want to do with him. Black Canary and Diggle free the Darhk family while Anarky fights off Green Arrow and Speedy. He flees outside, and the siblings decide to split up.
Green Arrow runs into Damien Darhk on the porch, and the two of them throw down. Darhk is able to get the upper hand by turning GA’s own arrows against him, though he pauses when Oliver reveals that he saved Damien’s family. Stating that he’s proven Green Arrow can’t beak him, Darhk says that saving his family has bought the vigilante a few weeks to spend with his own.
A bolo arrow from Speedy ties Anarky to a tree, and she draws a regular arrow with his name on it. She fires, though Machin says he’s disappointed when she misses on purpose. He’s able to free himself and knock Speedy down to make good his escape.
Now for our obligatory spin through all of the main characters. Diggle returns to Andy’s cage, this time to play cards. Thea sends Alex some mixed signals by inviting him over for wine (and maybe, um, more), explaining that something happened to prove he was right about how strong she was.
Naturally, Oliver returns to the hospital and Felicity’s side. He asks if she wants to go to Bali, but she replies that unless Darhk is in Bali, they have some work to do.
Darhk rides in a limo with his family, and his wife is surprisingly upset that he chose not to kill Green Arrow. She says that Genesis is almost ready, and Damien says she’ll get the new beginning he promised once they’ve brought this world to its end. That sounds … ominous.
Finally, we flash forward four months to a part of the funeral we haven’t seen. Oliver enters the back seat of a car, where Felicity is waiting — so she’s not the one in the grave. She asks if he’s okay, and when he says no, she says he knows what he needs to do: He needs to kill the son of a bitch.
Meanwhile, (Back) on the Island: Conklin has Oliver and Taiana at his mercy, gloating about how it’s now game over. Oliver collapses during their return to camp, forcing Taiana to tend to his wound.
After Conklin gleefully turns in Oliver to Reiter, who’s swayed by the survey maps to finally believe Ollie has been plotting something, the evil boss leaves his fate in Conklin’s hands. He chooses payback in the form of some lashes.
While getting his beating, Oliver sees the tattoo given to him by John Constantine start to glow. Reiter sees it too, stopping the lashing and saying he has need of Ollie. Our hero swipes a gun, but he’s hopelessly outnumbered by Reiter’s other men, so he points the gun a his own head.
That buys him time to bargain. He’ll help Reiter as long as Taiana remains alive. Reiter agrees and orders both of them taken to prison, reminding Conklin that he too is expendable to silence his objections.
Conklin claims the Chinese prison on Lian Yu was said to be worse than hell. He’s also looking forward to some “uninterrupted time” with Ollie once Reiter is done with him. In their cell, Taiana tries to do something more for Oliver’s wound, calling him a good man and saying her brother would have liked him.
- How the heck did Anarky get so good at hand-to-hand combat that he could fight off both Green Arrow and Speedy?
- Is Andy Diggle due for a “Darth Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi” redemption moment before the end of the season?
- Felicity is sitting in the car with no sign of a wheelchair, so does that mean she’ll be cured over the next four months?
- Who in the world is in that grave?
Final Thought: Well, we got our resolution, at least for now, on Felicity. And there was some progress with Thea as well, which counts for something. Not much else came to anything but a standoff, and both villains got away — not that we thought Darhk would be dealt with tonight. Arrow is placing a lot of eggs in the basket of the mystery grave, so the payoff better be worth it.