After a shocking, if not somewhat unexpected midseason finale, Arrow has returned, and with it, a return of an old persona.
One of the classic superhero stories is one of the hero questioning how much good he is doing when a loved one is seriously injured or killed. For Oliver Queen, the question is whether he can be the Green Arrow and save the city, or return to The Arrow and be the definitive ender of all crime. Seeing Ollie struggle with this throughout “Blood Debts” was great, as he did all he could to try and find and eliminate Damien Darhk before going to see Felicity…
…who is alive! Yes, not so surprisingly, she’s alive. What was interesting though was seeing her state of mind and condition evolve throughout the episode. First she was shot, then in surgery, then ANOTHER surgery, and now she’s apparently paralyzed. I don’t think that’ll stick (based on what I’ve seen in the previews) but it does show that there was a point to the ending of “Dark Waters” at the break.
Felicity’s condition weighed heavily on all of Team Arrow, even Diggle, who went physical on Andy to try and get information in response to this. It’s been very compelling seeing Diggle deal with Andy, who we now find out was a troublemaker long before he got in with Darhk, adding another wrinkle to their relationship. But leave it to Lyla to try and bring the boys back together, and do it in the right way. I’m so glad she’s around.
And then…there’s Anarky. I’ll admit, I did not see his return coming, and it was a very scary return. As he’s even more demented after his “baptism by fire” via Thea in the first half of the season. Hearing him try to woo her was incredibly dark and creepy, as he begged for her to kill him. Even noting how she had a piece of him in her. Wow.
But he wasn’t just randomly appearing, oh no, he was out for the blood of Damien Darhk, and apparently knew how to get him, which is what Ollie wanted. Him hijacking the police caravan to free him in order to get to Darhk was both bold and desperate, a prefect reflection of Oliver in his current state of mind. Then to see it fail, and him realize what he had done was great.
Thea had a good little run, as her feelings about what she did to Anarky was brought to the forefront, even so much as her trying to push her new boyfriend away to try and protect him from the killer inside her. Yes, it was a little hokey at times, but Thea’s struggle with the bloodlust was a key part of Season 04 so far, so I’m glad it’s not totally gone.
The ending is one to note in many ways. From Darhk thinking Green Arrow killed his family, to the mercy he showed because he actually saved them, to the reveal that his wife is not only complicit in his plot, but she wants Green Arrow dead as badly as he does was very interesting. All the while adding more layers to Darhk.
In the end, “Blood Debts” did a great job of following up on “Dark Waters” and setting up the stage for the back half of Season 04. Felicity is NOT the one who has died, but she’s pretty torn up about who Damien did kill, so that narrows down the suspects a lot. Who will die? We’ll have to wait and see.