TV Show Review

TV Review: ARROW: Season 4, Episode 13: Sins of the Father [The CW]

John Barrowman Arrow Sins of the Father

The CW‘s Arrow Sins of the Father TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 4, Episode 13: Sins of the Father was brilliant. Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), once again, was forced to make hard decisions to save Thea (Willa Holland), but not before Star City saw a lot of bloodshed. Meanwhile, the episode focused on one truth, that the fathers of Star City’s heroes are not the greatest characters, excluding Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), of course, who has proven to be one of the best fathers ever in comparison to the others. Thea’s father, Nyssa’s father, Felicity’s father, Oliver’s father, and even Oliver, who is a father, were all examined.

From the opening scene I was glued. Nyssa’s (Katrina Law) return brought with it all kinds of chaos, and truth. In holding Thea’s life hostage she forced Oliver to face the consequences of his own decision to make Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) Ra’s al Ghul in the first place. Oliver crowned a mad man king of assassins and Nyssa was forcing him to correct that wrong.

The exchange between Oliver and Nyssa reminded us of the horrible consequences that stem from the actions of several fathers. Yes, Ra’s al Ghul killed Thea, but it was Merlyn who initially imperiled her. Honestly, I thought Nyssa was brave to haggle with Thea’s life to achieve her ends.  She risked Oliver’s wrath, and Merlyn’s vengeance, but ultimately Nyssa needed Merlyn defeated more than she needed him killed. Oliver gave Merlyn the power and had to be the one to take it away.

Oliver’s  diplomatic mission between Nyssa and Merlyn went just as expected, badly. It was also a little surprising to hear Diggle (David Ramsey) encourage Oliver to kill someone, Thea’s father. Oliver would never be able to come back from that. Thea once told Oliver that she would not choose between her brother and her father. What Diggle said was basically true though,  “this needs to be done.” Merlyn showed that his greed was more important than his love for Thea. The trial by combat was swift. If you blinked you missed it because Oliver made quick work of Merlyn. Still, Oliver spared him. Don’t want to give up the ring, chop off the man’s hand Ollie! (Yes, it was shocking, but strangely satisfying).

I do wonder why Nyssa did not just tell Oliver her goal. Maybe her hubby would have supported her. Then again, this had to be a clear shift in power to Nyssa alone in order for her plan to work. Perhaps it was all a trust exercise. Dirty but effective (and, I cannot help but smile a little every time Nyssa calls Oliver “husband”). She played Oliver perfectly in order to have the freedom to do as she wanted – to disband the League, nice! Nyssa gained the power then gave it away. Got to respect that.

This week’s flashback sequence was good too. Oliver bonded with his cell mate Taiana (Elysia Rotaru) over mutual hate for Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola), mutual survival, and her challenge that Oliver become something greater than the man he was. Rotaru and Amell played off each other beautifully displaying a full spectrum of emotions between them as they spoke of intimate issues in a hostile space. We also saw part of the puzzle for the mysterious mystical power that Reiter seeks.

Being back on the island reminded Oliver of the pain he felt for the father he lost, which Oliver expressed in the present day. Oliver’s father died so that Oliver could survive in order to save Star City. Oliver has been paying for his father’s sins for a long time. The consequences of all the actions of all the fathers we have met thus far in Arrow were realized in this episode.

In the B-story, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) had to accept that her father, Noah Kuttler aka Calculator (Tom Amandes), knows her identity as Overwatch and wanted back in her life. She called Mama Smoak (Charlotte Ross) for support and truth about her father’s character. Felicity did not have to wait long to find out that her father was only interested in using her to steal Palmer tech. How disappointing. Soooo, Felicity turned her own father in to the authorities. That was cold.

What’s even colder though was the return of Merlyn, the ruthless rat. He has always been a treasured villain to me, but this was low. Merlyn told Damien Darkh (Neal McDonough) about William, Oliver’s son. Merlyn lost his power because he would not trade the ring for Thea’s life, but throwing Oliver’s child at Darkh’s feet is just wrong. Merlyn has poked a sleeping papa bear. (Who is in the grave?!? I shudder to think).

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About the author


I am ...a lover of all things film ...a published poet with a law degree from Howard University School of Law ...a D.C. native, who frequents local and international film festivals ...a self-professed couch potato who can usually be caught watching anything produced by Joss and Jed Whedon. My favorite TV shows include the Buffy & Angel Series, Sons of Anarchy, Oz, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and The Shield. Still, I am open to everything on TV and Netflix, which is doing big things.

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