Friday, January 22, 2016

Arrow - Blood Debts

Arrow returns from mid-season hiatus with both good and bad news for Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) fans. Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) attack has left some serious challenges for Oliver Queen's (Stephen Amell) girl Friday to overcome, but on the bright side Felicity is not the one buried at the grave site in the near future that the show teases us with a glimpse of once again. Although it looks like Felicity will have to struggle through her paralysis (be it temporary or permanent) for the remainder of the season, she isn't the loss we see Oliver mourning over (which narrows the possibility down to a very small number).

Beginning the same night as the attack, "Blood Debts" picks up from where the mid-season finale left off with an angered Team Arrow doing anything and everything to pay Darhk back for the attack on Felicity. For Oliver this means temporarily aligning himself with the murderous Anarky (Alexander Calvert) and for Diggle (David Ramsey) it means crossing a line and beating some answers out of his brother (Eugene Byrd). I grew weary of this version of Anarky in very quickly in his first appearance on the show and I'm not pleased he gets more air time in this episode (or that the show leaves the door for him to return yet again). Diggle giving in to his anger is a more interesting choice that may or may not having lasting consequences.

The episode feels every bit like the drawn-out mid-season episode it is. With half the season remaining we know damn well that Oliver isn't going to defeat Darkh on this night (or in the coming weeks). The confrontation between the pair is anti-climactic, nearly prolonging the inevitable through a stalemate and momentary peace. In the same way the flashbacks to the island only tease us with more of the same questions without yet revealing what Ollie's new magic tattoo means (it glows, really?) or why it is so important to the mercenaries.

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