Arrow Recap And Review: Sins Of The Father


If you had to save the life of a loved one and the only way to do it was to kill someone you didn’t really like anyway, would you do it? The situation facing Oliver Queen in tonight’s new Arrow, “Sins of the Father,” is a little more complicated than that, given that the potential victim is also the father of his sister Thea, but the question is essentially the same.

On-the-Mark Recap: We begin right where we ended last week, with Nyssa and Oliver in Thea’s hospital room. An argument over whose father is really responsible for Thea’s current predicament goes nowhere.

Felicity Smoak is having coffee with her father, a little upset that he abandoned her for so long. Why did he come back now? Because he was doing a job and someone almost beat him. So he did some digging, and he was amazed at what he found … Overwatch. Felicity tries to leave, but her dad wants a chance to convince her he’s not a bad guy, offering proof of some of his verifiable hacks to show he’s been after the bad guys.

John Diggle and Laurel Lance seem pretty much okay with killing Merlyn to save Thea, but Oliver tells them there has to be another way. He wants to negotiate Malcolm giving up control of the League of Assassins in exchange for the Lotus, asking Laurel to speak to Nyssa.

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As you might expect, Malcolm is understandably skeptical when he meets with Oliver, not even believing in the Lotus. He does say he’d do it if what Nyssa was offering was actually true.

Laurel’s meeting with Nyssa goes only a tad better. The daughter of Ra’s al Ghul is out for revenge, but when she hears Team Arrow’s plan, she does say she’d agree to it — but Malcolm never will. There will be war, she predicts, threatening anyone in the way.

As everyone regroups at Arrow Lair 3.0, Felicity fills the others in about her dad, the Calculator. She muses about wishing there was a test to determine if he’s telling the truth, and that gives Oliver an idea …

Nyssa is training with her assassin splinter group when Oliver shows up. He needs proof for Malcolm, and she agrees to go along with it out of respect for their marriage (oh yeah, that), handing over a small sample of the Lotus serum. Still a ray of sunshine, she says someone will die, and she hopes for his sake it isn’t Thea.

Oliver and Malcolm go immediately to test it out. When Thea is injected with the serum, her mystical wound seals up. Merlyn asks when they can meet with Nyssa. Tonight, he’s told.

Elsewhere, Felicity gets a visit from Donna Smoak, who can see her daughter is upset. Told that Felicity’s dad is back in town, Donna warns Felicity not to get sucked in, because every time he shows up, it ends the same way.

Wow, it looks like Malcolm is really going to hand over the ring and leadership of the League of Assassins … but only for a moment. Slipping the ring back on, Merlyn orders his assassins to attack, and we’ve got ourselves a big old sword battle. Nyssa orders her forces to retreat, but Oliver, Diggle and Laurel step in front of Malcolm and his men, preventing them from pursuing.

For some reason, Oliver can’t believe leadership of the League means more to Malcolm than the life of his own daughter. Now what? The four heroes can’t fight two armies of assassins, so Oliver declares that taking down the generals is their only option.

They need to do it fast, too, because Captain Lance explains that things are already out of control in Star City. Diggle takes Ollie aside and says Malcolm needs to be put down for good, and he needs to do it. Thanks for undoing all of the progress he’s made!

It looks like Felicity is going to give dear old dad a chance. While showing him around the R&D wing at Palmer Tech, one of Curtis Holt’s T-spheres catches his eye. He does thank his daughter for hearing him out. Baby steps, she says.

Black Canary goes to confront Nyssa and is told in no uncertain terms to step aside. There’s no chance to do that as the League of Assassins attacks, and a Canary Cry and a nifty pyro trick by Nyssa only delays them briefly. A huge battle breaks out in the streets, with Green Arrow and Spartan joining the fun. The League members are chased off, but Spartan ends up knocking Nyssa out with a tranq dart. Laurel goes to visit her in her old cage later, suggesting that she finally had a chance to be free of her father’s shadow by doing the right thing.

Elsewhere, Oliver and Felicity compare notes about whether or not some people can really change. It’s not looking good for the Calculator, as Felicity discovered her dad left a device behind to steal data from Palmer Tech. When the subject turns to killing Malcolm, Felicity offers that Thea’s dad is no more likely to change than her own.

At least they find Malcolm, because he’s downstairs in the Arrow Lair visiting his daughter again. This time he explains that Oliver still doesn’t know everything about the League, calling it a force for change over hundreds of years. He’s not about to give that power to Nyssa. Would Oliver let Damien Darhk carry out his plan for Star City if it meant saving William’s life? Merlyn says his decision is the same. Oliver wonders if Merlyn could get the ring and the Lotus, suggesting he challenge Nyssa to a trial by combat.

As everyone assembles on a rooftop, Felicity says this is a crazy idea, even by Oliver’s typical standards. Hold tight, he says, because he’s got a crazier one coming. As Malcolm and Nyssa prepare to battle, Oliver calls for a halt, stating that according to League law, he is Nyssa’s husband — and wishes to fight on his wife’s behalf.

Merlyn taunts him for the choice, but he’s soon getting his butt handed to him, and he ends up at the mercy of Oliver’s sword. Our hero demands that Malcolm yield, but he says Oliver will have to kill him. The sword goes back and comes down quickly … cutting off Merlyn’s right hand. Oliver knocks Malcolm out and exchanges the ring for the Lotus, telling Nyssa she is now Ra’s al Ghul.

The serum works on Thea, who isn’t sure what’s going on. An impressed Diggle admits Oliver did it, and when Felicity asks when they’re going to tell Thea what happened, Ollie says, “Baby steps.” Same thing the Calculator said earlier.

Speaking of that guy, he brings a portable ramp to Felicity at her office. She’s in no mood to chat, defiantly proclaiming that she’s nothing like him and handing over to the cops. Good for you.

Nyssa calls a meeting with Oliver, Laurel and one other, who turns out to be Malcolm. Thanking both of the good guys for showing her that no one needs to be her father’s prisoner, she melts the ring and proclaims the League of Assassins disbanded, with all members released from their obligations. After Nyssa leaves, Merlyn vows that he won’t kill Oliver because death would be a mercy compared to the debt he’s owed, though Oliver simply tells Malcolm that he shouldn’t dare make threats.

Oliver and Felicity both express pride in what the other has done handling a very tough situation. Though he’s already proposed, Oliver wonders if this might not be their window to get married. Felicity says she has to plan it, but seems agreeable to the idea.

Last but certainly not least, Merlyn meets with Darhk, joking that he hasn’t come empty-handed. He knows who Oliver loves more than anything else, and it’s not Felicity: it’s his son, William.

Meanwhile, (Back) on the Island: Taiana asks Oliver for an explanation for why he killed her brother, though she’s unwilling to accept the one he gives. He tries getting her to help him because he has something Reiter wants, but she snatches the stone and calls for the guards.

When Reiter arrives, Taiana tries trading the stone for her freedom, but he simply takes it from her. Too bad. It gets worse for her when Reiter calls Oliver an important part of his plans on the island, saying that if he dies, she will too.

She sets to keeping him healthy, and he shares his own story of loss, especially the part where his dad shot himself right in front of him. Taiana says she knew from the first time she looked in his eyes that he was broken, and that he can’t beat Reiter like that.

Oliver promises to free Taiana’s friends, and she now seems willing to work with him. Reiter arrives with news that the stone was the last piece of the puzzle, and that they dig at dawn. Dig at dawn!

#GraveWatch: This new feature explores who the leading candidates are for the funeral scene based on the events of the current episode. Let’s do this.

  • In the grave: William (Last Week: Thea) – Now that Thea is out of the woods, Oliver’s son could be in a lot of danger after that last scene
  • The person to kill: Meryln (Last Week: Darhk) – This could still switch back to the HIVE leader if he’s the one who actually kills William, but it’s starting to look like the feud with Malcolm, which has been going on since the beginning of the series, outweighs the trouble with the current Big Bad.

Next: Arrow 412 Recap: Unchained

Final Thought: Some unexpected twists along with a couple of big (though brief) fight scenes equals a good outing. It was a little strange seeing Diggle and Laurel convinced that Oliver had to kill again after making so much progress changing his ways, though they had their reasons. The business with Felicity’s dad clearly isn’t over, but Thea’s trials seem to be. Glad that subplot didn’t drag out for the rest of the season.