ARROW Season 4 Episode 13 Review: Sins Of The Father

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Margot Hitchcock deals with the sins of the father(s)...

This week’s Arrow was aptly named “Sins of the Father,” but they probably should’ve skipped the nuance and simply called it “We All Have Daddy Issues.” And true to its name, we learn a lot about a lot of dads:

** Let’s not fail to recognize that Diggle is the ONLY guy escaping scrutiny as a dad this week. Hats off to you, sir. Way to balance bad-assery with family time. For that, you’ve proven yourself worthy:

Just kidding. But, hey, a girl can hope, right? **

Anyway, there was plenty of angst-filled drama going on this episode, but who are we kidding? It wouldn’t be Arrow if these people were actually happy. So let’s break down this 55-min. therapy session, shall we?

Nyssa & Oliver start us off strong by throwing down the “Who’s dad is worse?” gauntlet, recapping the various sins of both the former & current Ra’s Al Ghul. The major takeaway: buckle your seat belt & prepare for plenty of Blame Game moments.

And while I’m always glad when Nyssa shows up – she reminds me of a modern-day Xena, Warrior Princess, which really implies I think she’s a ninja badass – she had to go and make the whole thing awkward by playing the husband card on Oli.

Really? Weird. And it doesn’t just happen once. (Not to mention, she seems to have past relationships issues. She not only refers to her hubby, but also subsequently calls Sara “beloved” repeatedly. Come on, girlfriend. Pick one. Don’t be that Shakespearean.)

Now, I will say, it is definitely appropriate that Oliver & Co. struggle over what to do with Malcolm Merlyn. Haven’t we all thought to ourselves, “What do we do with this player? He definitely fends for himself and only uses people to his advantage, BUT he’s kind of entertaining and certainly not all bad.”

And he’s certainly not all bad if he throws out lines like the following, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Bryan Adam’s theme song from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. (A character often compared to our own green archer – was this on purpose, CW?)

“Do not question my love for my daughter. Everything I do, I do for her.” Sing it, Malcolm.

Then there are the flashbacks …
Yep, still boring. However, at least I can now confirm that what’s-her-face-with-an-accent is most definitely Russian. I don’t know about you guys, but I haven’t been paying that much attention to her & whatever is going on.

Her brother died. Oliver killed him. As far as I’m concerned, she has every right to be angry. However, Oliver isn’t really fighting for himself either. If I remember correctly (and it’s highly likely that I don’t because, as I mentioned, I haven’t really invested in this season’s flashbacks), her brother attacked Oliver. So bro tries to kill our future hero & we can’t let that happen, so Oli has no choice. But whatever – I’ve already given this segment more space in my review than I would’ve liked. Here’s a flashback picture just to remind you they’re in this season:

Oh, semi-shirtless Oliver & Constantine … how did that get there? ;-) 

But I digress. Let’s cut to the chase.

The ultimate showdown between Nyssa & Merlyn, turned Oliver vs. Merlyn was EPIC. I loved the last-minute switch-up, & I thought the ever-heroic Oliver played this off perfectly. Oliver proves he isn’t afraid to make the deathblow if necessary, a la the nobleness of Ned Stark.

And no, that Game of Thrones reference isn’t an accident. In fact, did Arrow writers grab a drink with George R. R. Martin this week? Cutting off Merlyn’s ARM? So it comes as no surprise that Merlyn is thoroughly pissed about losing his fighting arm. Maybe he can talk to Luke & Jamie about how to get a replacement.

I mean, incestuous feelings aside, Malcolm is certainly worthy of these ranks. However, it’s more his issues over the death of his wife & his total douche-iness that apply. And while I think offing someone’s arm is a bit extreme in any circumstance, it’s better than the continued “I’m yelling in my Batman-like voice & spitting because what I have to say is so intense & thought-provoking” bickering between he and Oliver throughout the episode.  Game, set, and match.

It also comes as no surprise that Merlyn is now throwing out the ultimate daddy issue at the close of the episode: Oliver’s big secret of the season.

I don’t think Felicity & the gang will be pulling out the cigars for this one. Hopefully Season 5 Oliver will finally understand the sage-old saying, “Secrets, secrets are no fun!” Let’s hope that Oliver not only is able to protect his new-found family, but he can also salvage his relationship with Felicity & the rest of Team Arrow after the big reveal.

And one final note: since the League is now disbanded, can we recognize that Nyssa & Oliver are divorced? Because it’s still awkward …

Yep … definitely awkward. #TeamOlicity all the way. Until next week, friends!

Margot is a huge supporter of all things relating to "nerd culture," in particular those involving superheroes and Disney. She loves books, movies, music and working out, and currently lives in Athens, GA, with her rabbit, Gigi.

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