Arrow’s Truth Bomb Explodes

Arrow’s “Taken” buzzes with energy thanks to a rescue by Vixen and one stinging revelation. Party-boy Ollie Queen fathered a child ten years ago and later opted to keep this tidbit from those closest to him, including his truth-loving fiancée. But Damien Darhk’s power play to kidnap the child causes Oliver to fess up about William. This news rips through the lair causing Laurel to relive the pain of his serial cheating and Felicity to walk out the door.

Damien Darhk continues to murder and maim his way through Star City with an exhilarating “wash-rinse-repeat” glee. His latest crime forces Oliver to drop out of the mayoral race clearing the field for Ruvé Adams. Mrs. Darhk runs her campaign like a woman hell-bent on destroying the world and yet she’s still a more credible candidate than Donald Trump.

ruve adams
Janet Kidder as Ruve Adams, http://www.dccomics.com

Darhk succeeds in crushing Oliver, not by kidnapping William, but by putting into motion the events that separate Felicity from Oliver. Darhk’s first attempt to destroy Oliver, by gunning Felicity down and thus leaving her paralyzed, ends up strengthening the couple’s bond. Felicity improbably accepts her new physical limitations in record time and leans on a willing Oliver for support. She cannot, however, move past the emotional pain Oliver causes her by withholding the truth about William. Felicity responds by taking care of herself. She knows that Oliver has not left his Ollie days behind him. After ten years of island shenanigans and vigilantism, or maybe because of them, he has still not learned how to be a true partner. Rather than wait around while he keeps “trying,” she wriggles that rock off of her finger and chooses herself.

felicity taken
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, http://www.greenarrowtv.com

Like her mother, Felicity knows exactly what she needs and what she deserves. This is Felicity at her best. The writers give us a glimpse of what might have been, how Emily Bett Rickards could have tackled a serious paralysis storyline, when Felicity finds the strength to stand up and walk at the height of her self-possession and conviction. That she uses her newfound mobility to walk out the door slays Oliver.

Felicity now has more in common with Laurel than she ever wanted. The two belong to that not-so-exclusive women’s club whose members Oliver has loved and lied to. Thea is also a member, though not in an icky-incest sort of way. Oliver made withholding information from his sister a habit. Thea, who is more skeptical of her brother as a result, confronted Oliver about his baby mama a whole week before Laurel and Felicity received their invitations to the party. After the news breaks, Felicity and Laurel gingerly move around one another in the lair. They know that Oliver’s relationship with Samantha has wronged both of them. This silent acknowledgement might be as close as the two ever come to discussing their shared connection to Oliver.

threesome
Arrow — “Taken” — Image AR415b_0205.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance/Black Canary, Anna Hopkins as Samantha, and Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak — Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Incidentally, I have to take a moment to say that Katie Cassidy is enjoying her best season on Arrow. Laurel Lance has been allowed to grow and develop because the writers have not saddled the character with an awkward love story. Female characters do not need a romantic partner to prove their worth, especially when they are busy perfecting their bad-ass superhero credentials. Black Canary has won me over with her fighting skills and her eye-lashes. Mostly the eye-lashes – they are amazing and deserve a glass display case all their own.

black canary lashes
Katie Cassidy as Black Canary, http://www.ign.com

Laurel and Thea make a fabulous duo zipping around on Canary’s motorcycle or giving the bad guys a one-two punch. Quentin continues to show his father of the year chops in heartfelt honest scenes with Laurel. And Laurel and Oliver share a nourishing friendship that shows no signs of regressing into nostalgic yearning. Let’s keep this Laurel in town, the independent one who grows stronger and more capable by the day.

laurel and speedy.jpg
Arrow — “Taken” — Image AR415A_0205b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance/Black Canary and Willa Holland as Thea Queen / Speedy — Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The same goes for Vixen who can show up in Star City anytime. Mari McCabe’s magic necklace gives her an edge, but as the character makes clear, she would still be a powerful woman without it. Not only does she show no signs of backing down from Damien Darhk, but also she locates the source of his power and destroys his special little idol with super-strong gorilla blows. On top of that, she gives Oliver sound advice about parting with William to preserve his childhood. The only downside to Vixen’s appearance is that now I have to watch some sort of cartoon to keep up with her.

Vixen
Arrow — “Taken” — Image AR415A_0015b.jpg — Pictured: Megalyn E.K. as Vixen — Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Oliver will recover from temporarily losing William. He cannot move forward, however, without Felicity by his side. Since Felicity has shown that she will not drop out of the Green Arrow game altogether, Oliver might have a chance to redeem himself. Again. On the upside, Damien Darhk will wreak more havoc on Star City. And who doesn’t want to see that?

4 Comments »

  1. Hey I am back and happy to be. I missed our discussions a lot. Alright to dive right in, personally, I think Felicity handled the whole situation selfishly. Oliver has been a serial liar and because of his lies he has hurt a lot of people. I acknowledge that and he deserves all the guilt and side-eyes from others for his indiscretions. However, in this case, I don’t know what he could have done differently. Him cheating on Laurel, I get her disgust and feelings creeping back up but with Felicity not so much. He was told specifically by Samantha that he could not tell Felicity even though he made it known to her that he didn’t want to keep this from her. Had he not agreed to Samantha’s conditions, he wouldn’t have gotten to see his son. The same son he had no idea he had because Moira hid the kid from him. I can even understand why Moira did it because Ollie at that place and time, was not in a position to be a good father. Sorry for the side rant. Samantha even told Felicity that she made Oliver keep it a secret even though she knew he wanted to tell Felicity. And what does Felicity do with this knowledge….get pissed off, take off her wedding ring and leave Oliver just sitting there after he made a difficult decision to let his son go. That is selfish of her. And for her to hold Oliver’s lying over his head when she in fact started the season off lying to him is hypocritical. It is not the mark of a strong character at all so I disagree with the premise that Felicity did this out of strength. In my opinion, she came off as a spoiled “me me me” type of character and that makes me sad because I love Felicity. Truth is, every character on the show has lied at one time or another and for them all to keep holding Oliver’s past and THIS lie over his head is wrong in my opinion and just reeks of self-righteousness.

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    • It is good to hear from you again!

      In the spirit of diving right in . . . Felicity is a strong character. She does not need to hang around Oliver and comfort him when she has her own problems – big ones. The writers did a total injustice to her with the paralysis story line. They trivialized the entire thing by having her recover at a rapid pace, both emotionally and physically. I would like to think her choice to leave Oliver had something to do with her realization that being with him led Darhk to attack her. Should she stay with Oliver despite the danger? Maybe, but she deserves a chance to think things through before marrying the guy.

      Samantha gave Oliver a ridiculous ultimatum. Why should he keep his connection to William a secret from Felicity? Plus, how would Samantha even know that Oliver told Felicity? That is the most unbelievable thread in a weak story. The writers chose to unravel (ooh I am going with a tapestry metaphor) Oliver and Felicity’s relationship before walking them down the aisle and this silly “William is a secret” story line was their way of doing it. Sure, Felicity could have stayed with Oliver, but then the two would not break up and then be able to get back together again.

      That being said, it was pretty harsh for Felicity to walk out on Oliver seconds after he parted with his son. I happened to cheer because I thought it was a pretty bad-ass move on her part – she loves him, yet she cares more about herself and that is ok. I can certainly see why you thought it was a selfish move. It was. Selfishness and self-protection are in the eye of the beholder.

      Welcome back! Until next time . . .

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      • I agree with you that Felicity should choose herself and she should not just excuse Oliver’s behavior. My issue is with the timing and the circumstance when that finally occurred. I would much have rather had her go down this road after she became paralyzed and almost died because she was associated with Oliver. She should not have used the “William” issue as the reason for her choosing herself. Did she even notice how much Oliver was going through with this whole impossible situation? That is my issue. Marriage is a partnership. So yes, I will say Oliver should have told Felicity but Felicity shouldn’t have made THIS situation all about herself and her needs. She should have recognized how much turmoil and hurt Oliver was going through. It was just poor timing and a poor decision by the writers. It just irked me a bit is all. I still love Felicity and always will.

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      • I can’t disagree with you! The timing of her departure was rather cruel. I am eager to see how they repair their relationship from here. It seems a little too convenient to shuttle William off to parts unknown. Keeping him in the mix would have made the stakes higher for Oliver and Felicity. I could imagine that William could win her over if Oliver couldn’t.

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