ARROW Season 4 Episode 15 Review: Taken

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Margot Hitchcock is taken with this weeks Arrow...

This week’s aptly titled “Taken” does exactly as it promises: Oliver Queen basically gets all his happy things taken away like a kid losing his toys. Coincidentally, a sufficient summary of the entire episode can be “taken” directly from the script. So let’s check out the 5 Moments that Define “Taken.”

1. “Well, it didn’t work, did it?” ~ Felicity Smoak

In a nutshell, Oliver’s master plan to be in control of … well, everything is (of course) foiled & the major elephant in the room over the past few weeks is exposed. And it sounds a little something like this:

“Hey, Felicity, Oliver has a son. No big deal – except a lot of other people know and you didn’t because he ‘promised.’ But you’re cool with that, right? … Please?”

And while Felicity definitely keeps her cool in order to accomplish their mission, she most definitely has the right to be angry at the episode’s close. I can’t say I wasn’t expecting some big blow-up between Olicity considering CW’s made a huge deal about secrets since the show’s beginning. However, I did NOT think it was cool to break up entirely and then WALK out the door.

Like, literally, walk.

As in, “That thing I couldn’t do that once I did, we were going to celebrate together, Oliver. I’m going to use that awesome moment against you. Watch me walk away.”

Isn’t that a song?

(It definitely explains why Felicity acts so cold towards Oli in the “6 months later” limo scene. Have we seen the last of Olicity? I doubt it.)

2. “No, Oliver should’ve been.” ~ Laurel Lance (on Oliver’s honesty)

So not only does Laurel get a serious dig in towards Oliver in regards to his less than innocent past, but calling out his lack of honesty both illuminates our hero’s arguably greatest fault, and potentially catapults him into telling the truth … possibly too much? Take Samantha, for example.

I mean, did I watch the episode correctly? Oliver barely knows Samantha, yet manages to explain EVERYTHING to her in a matter of seconds, barring nothing. And to her credit, Oli’s Baby Mommy handles her shell shock relatively well. How does he manage to tell someone he hasn’t seen in 10 years all the darkness in his life, while keeping it from the one woman who wants to understand and accept it all?

Then, he makes a video for his son, William, to watch when he is “old enough” to know the truth. Does anyone else find this incredibly reckless? Especially when we have someone like Malcolm Merlyn running around exposing people’s secrets. Can’t wait for this video to conveniently find it’s way to a major news source. If you ask me, Oliver is starting to lose his common sense.

That’s not all he loses either. In a mere 55-minute episode, he also manages to lose his fiancée, his mayoral campaign AND access to his son, William. Yikes. Oliver’s probably thinking something along these lines:

** Side note: Anyone else think it’s way past time for Laurel to have a romantic interest? Like a serious one? She hasn’t really cared about anyone since Tommy in Season One, and perhaps she’d spare us all some angst if CW gave her a boyfriend. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but in the relationship department, I’m going to have to lean towards Team Laurel. Girl deserves some happiness. **

3. “Felicity, I need you to … Would it be alright if you …?”

The ever smooth-talking Oliver Queen, ladies & gentlemen. Poor guy can NOT catch a break this episode, BUT he should be given credit for attempting to learn from his mistakes – as made evident in this sad attempt above to persuade Felicity into not totally kicking his lying butt. Not only that, but he learns a few other things this episode.

You’re never too good to call for back up.

Enter Vixen. I enjoyed Megalyn Echikunwoke performance a lot in this episode. If nothing else, CW brings yet another kick-ass woman to the screen, showing viewers anyone can save the world. And look good doing it, too. Here’s hoping she makes some more appearances now that the animation/live-action crossover has been established.

People should really listen to John Diggle more often.

John Diggle: Crime-fighter. Father. Oliver Queen advocate. Supportive husband (especially if you watched this week’s Flash). Ultimate advice-giver.

Basically John is the only grown up in this cast who can multi-task his many roles in life. Thank God for you, John Diggle. Without his advice, support & example, Team Arrow would just be a bunch of angsty 20-somethings with something to prove. I’m glad he keeps his cool this episode & tries to help Oliver through this extremely confusing time of balancing fatherhood with being the Hood.

4. “No. I won’t (answer the question).” ~ Malcolm Merlyn

Ohhhh, Thea – she has tried again and again to believe there is some semblance of honor in Malcolm, only to be disappointed over and over again (and I think we’re all go right along with her). That’s not to say he doesn’t sometimes do “the right thing,” but his motive is always more about himself than helping anyone else.

And to her credit, Thea stands her ground. She is quite the strong lady these days.

But, seriously, Malcolm. Stop whining.

Everyone doesn’t trust you because you’re not trustworthy. Accept it and move on or change it, but we all know you a little too well to believe your veiled lies of whether you’re involved in something sketchy (like telling Darhk about Oliver’s son).

And finally …

5. “Well … that happened.” ~ Damien Darhk

How does this guy manage to keep his cool? He is like Ash from Alien or something. He shows very little emotion & even once his magic token is destroyed and he’s effectively useless, he goes after the Green Arrow with a pretty strong right hook (which is probably made even more difficult by the fact he’s wearing a less-than-flexible business suit). I know I’m supposed to be glad that Damien lost his magical abilities, but I don’t think we should underestimate his mental capacity either.

Team Arrow still has to discover his “evil plan” to destroy the city, and I’m hoping we haven’t heard the last of Damien Darhk. I love how he always seems to have a couple of extra plans up his sleeve at any given time. And hey, he has a few extra weeks to figure something out, right?

Arrow’s “Broken Hearts” doesn’t air until the end of March, so we’ve got plenty of time to stew over the details of this week’s awesome episode and give our villain(s) ample time to prepare for their next move.

(Until then, you can always enjoy seeing Old Oli on Legends this week!)

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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