Arrow ‘Taken’ Recap- Episode 04.15

Arrow
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Old Wounds

Tonight’s episode opens with Felicity testing out Curtis’ computer chip to see if it’ll make her walk again.  It doesn’t go very well but her physical therapist (who is also Curtis’ husband) tells her not to be discouraged.  Oliver and Felicity are next seen in a parking garage where they are confronted by Damien.  Damien tells Oliver that he has until Friday to publicly drop out of the mayoral race or he’ll never see William again.  A naturally confused Felicity wants to know who William is and Oliver reluctantly tells her that he’s his son.

Once Oliver and Felicity make their way to Arrow HQ, Felicity unsurprisingly blows up at Oliver, using most of, if not all the same dialogue from the Flash crossover episode because it was all such a joy to watch the first time.  Thankfully, this is interrupted so Oliver can bring the rest of the team up to speed about the situation.  Since William lives in Central City the first thing they decide to do is ask Barry to reach out to Samantha.

Oliver meets up with Samantha at his campaign office, who tells him that William simply disappeared from their home a couple days ago.  Oliver tells her that he’ll handle things but she doesn’t believe him.  Then out of nowhere, Oliver decides to earn her trust by simply telling her he’s the Green Arrow because why not?  Seems like it would’ve been better if Oliver just said he was friends with Green Arrow but whatever.

Oliver then introduces Samantha to the rest of Team Arrow at Arrow HQ (wow you’re really showing all your cards at once, aren’t you Ollie?).  With that out of the way, Oliver decides they need some reinforcements to deal with Damien’s magic.  Sadly, Constantine isn’t an option since he’s literally in Hell (anybody else have the urge to watch that story instead?) but he does have someone else in mind.

We are then introduced to Mari McCabe AKA Vixen (Megalyn Echikunwoke).  For those of you not familiar with the character, Vixen has the magical ability to mimic any creature in the animal kingdom through the power of a totem around her neck.  She also has an animated web-series on CW Seed that ties into the Arrow and The Flash universes and at one point Oliver even makes a point of mentioning they met through an “animated” encounter.

While Vixen uses her abilities to track William’s scent, Oliver and Diggle get to talking.  Diggle says that as a father he understands why Oliver did what he did concerning William and advises Oliver that once they’re able to rescue him, that he should keep him close.

Back at Arrow HQ, Felicity helps Samantha build a search profile for William.  Samantha then confesses to Felicity that Oliver had wanted to tell her about William the whole time but the only reason he didn’t was because she told him not to and that she shouldn’t be too mad at him.

Meanwhile, at SCPD, once Laurel gets Captain Lance caught up on the investigation, they talk a little about this week’s revelation.  Captain Lance concedes he wasn’t all that surprised to hear about William given Oliver’s old playboy reputation.  Laurel in turn admits that it’s bothering her more than she thought it would since William was conceived when Oliver and Laurel were still an item which Captain Lance finds to be perfectly understandable.

Vixen appears to have found William’s location but when Team Arrow storms the place, he’s nowhere to be found.  Oliver and Vixen try to fight Damien but as usual he uses his Jedi force powers to throw them around like rag dolls before he escapes.  To make matters worse, Damien makes a call to Oliver afterwards for an increase in his demands.  He now wants Oliver to drop out of the mayoral race ASAP and to also endorse his wife to further legitimize her candidacy.  Oliver left with no other choice agrees, though since he hasn’t forgotten his encounter with Damien during the holidays, he’s not very confident that Damien will hold up his end of the bargain.

Meanwhile, Vixen figures out Damien likely has some kind of idol he draws his powers from just like she does with her idol which causes Captain Lance to remember the statue in Damien’s old lair.  With Captain Lance’s description of the statue she discovers that it’s actually a Khushu idol, which she says is very rare and powerful.  The downside to it is that it’s apparently easy to trace if you know how to look.  While Felicity narrows down Damien’s location, Vixen talks with Oliver about William.  Contrary to Diggle’s advice, she tells that it might be best to let him go and give him a chance at a normal life like her own parents did with her.

Felicity is able to find Damien’s compound and Team Arrow immediately goes to storm it.  Vixen is able to steal Damien’s statue without much difficulty since he apparently left it sitting out in the open in his living room and all things considered he acts rather blase about it (his actual line: “Well.  That happened”).  While Damien is busy force choking Oliver, Laurel and Thea, Vixen smashes the statue, which takes away Damien’s powers.  With Damien’s powers now gone, Oliver now has no problem beating Damien unconscious before leaving the police to arrest Damien and rescue William.

Now that Oliver has gotten William back, he decides to make a video for him to watch on his 18th birthday.  In it, he tells him that he is his father and the Green Arrow and because of how dangerous his job is he has asked Samantha to move them both far away and to not tell anyone, including him where they have gone.  Unfortunately, the hits keep coming for Oliver as Felicity then comes to tell him that even though she understands the position he was in, she is still unable to trust him.  She then takes off her engagement ring, miraculously stands up out of her wheelchair and walks away.  Alright, first of all, even if her legs were no longer paralyzed, her leg muscles would’ve still gone through about two months worth of atrophy that probably would’ve taken at least of few weeks of physical therapy.  Second, how long has she been able to do that exactly?  Did she just wait until this exact moment so that she would have a more dramatic way to leave Oliver?

Merlyn

Thea reaches out to Merlyn to ask him if he was the one that tipped Damien off about William and he acts all offended that she dared to ask him in the first place.  Of course when Team Arrow finds out later that he’s not only been working for Damien but that he was the one that actually abducted William, Thea lets him have it.  Merlyn once again claims he did it for her and to the surprise of no one except Merlyn apparently, she isn’t buying it.  Merlyn of course being the bastard that he is remains unrepentant and leaves angrily.

Flashback TIme

Oliver and Taiana mull over Conlin’s dying words when Reiter tells them they are within striking distance of finding his treasure and takes them along once again for labor.  When they get to the dig site however they are confronted by a ghostly Conklin who is now speaking a foreign language.  Reiter then retreats with his guards and leaves Oliver and the prisoners to deal with Ghost Conklin.  Once Ghost Conklin notices Constantine’s tattoo on Oliver though, he says Oliver is worthy to pass and vanishes.  Once the ghost has disappeared, Reiter and his men come back and have Oliver and Taiana go inside the hole they dug which turns out to the entrance of a massive cave.

Analysis

Okay, I’m going to say right off the bat that I loved Vixen in this episode.  Now, as of this moment I haven’t seen Vixen’s animated series and I have very little general knowledge about her as a character, having only seen her in a few episodes of Justice League Unlimited.  However, much like Constantine a few months ago, she was a joy to watch even without being privy to her backstory.  The only downside to her is that she does more damage to Damien in one episode than Team Arrow has done in fifteen, making them all look rather incompetent.

Unfortunately, Vixen’s excellent appearance is seriously dragged down with the continuing (and hopefully ending) saga of Oliver’s baby mama drama.  This subplot was never well written to begin with but this week’s episode took things to a new level of asinine.  Granted, Felicity had every right to be ticked off at Oliver and it got much easier to be on her side when she pointed out just how stupid it was for Samantha to give Oliver such a ridiculous ultimatum to begin with.  Unfortunately, that gets overshadowed pretty quickly once she spends the remainder of the episode being passive aggressive with Oliver while he’s desperate to get his son back alive.  Time and place is all I’m saying.  For example, Laurel took the news just as hard since William’s existence served as yet another reminder of how much Oliver cheated on her while they together but she was still able to put those feelings aside for the most part and focus on rescuing William, even taking the time to comfort Samantha.  Then once all the smoke has cleared, Felicity even says she understands why Oliver kept his son a secret and leaves him anyway in a way that’s unintentionally hilarious and further makes it impossible for me to care.  I had long suspected that this was merely a contrived way to drive Oliver and Felicity apart and tonight’s episode certainly proved it.

Arrow will now unfortunately be on a four week hiatus but be sure to come back next month for ‘Broken Hearts.’

Old Wounds Tonight's episode opens with Felicity testing out Curtis' computer chip to see if it'll make her walk again.  It doesn't go very well but her physical therapist (who is also Curtis' husband) tells her not to be discouraged.  Oliver and Felicity are next seen in a parking garage where they are confronted by Damien.  Damien tells Oliver that he has until Friday to publicly drop out of the mayoral race or he'll never see William again.  A naturally confused Felicity wants to know who William is and Oliver reluctantly tells her that he's his son. Once Oliver and Felicity make their way to Arrow HQ, Felicity unsurprisingly blows up at Oliver, using most of, if not all the same dialogue from the Flash crossover episode because it was all such a joy to watch the first time.  Thankfully, this is interrupted so Oliver can bring the rest of the team up to speed about the situation.  Since William lives in Central City the first thing they decide to do is ask Barry to reach out to Samantha. Oliver meets up with Samantha at his campaign office, who tells him that William simply disappeared from their home a couple days ago.  Oliver tells her that he'll handle things but she doesn't believe him.  Then out of nowhere, Oliver decides to earn her trust by simply telling her he's the Green Arrow because why not?  Seems like it would've been better if Oliver just said he was friends with Green Arrow but whatever. Oliver then introduces Samantha to the rest of Team Arrow at Arrow HQ (wow you're really showing all your cards at once, aren't you Ollie?).  With that out of the way, Oliver decides they need some reinforcements to deal with Damien's magic.  Sadly, Constantine isn't an option since he's literally in Hell (anybody else have the urge to watch that story instead?) but he does have someone else in mind. We are then introduced to Mari McCabe AKA Vixen (Megalyn Echikunwoke).  For those of you not familiar with the character, Vixen has the magical ability to mimic any creature in the animal kingdom through the power of a totem around her neck.  She also has an animated web-series on CW Seed that ties into the Arrow and The Flash universes and at one point Oliver even makes a point of mentioning they met through an "animated" encounter. While Vixen uses her abilities to track William's scent, Oliver and Diggle get to talking.  Diggle says that as a father he understands why Oliver did what he did concerning William and advises Oliver that once they're able to rescue him, that he should keep him close. Back at Arrow HQ, Felicity helps Samantha build a search profile for William.  Samantha then confesses to Felicity that Oliver had wanted to tell her about William the whole time but the only reason he didn't was because she told him not to and that she shouldn't be too mad at him. Meanwhile, at SCPD, once…
Episode Score - 8

8

'Taken' is a very enjoyable episode so long as you don't mind that Arrow gets more soap opera-ey than usual.

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8
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About the Author

Derek Johns
is a native Texan who has had a love and fascination with movies as long as he can remember. He attended Sam Houston State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Broadcast Journalism. His love of film only grew during his college days, with seldom an hour going by without him making some kind of movie reference. He has since gone on a seemingly never-ending quest to see as many movies (old and new) that he possibly can, a task made possible by his Netflix subscription. Besides movies he enjoys television, reading, writing, video editing, listening to music, and watching Doctor Who.
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