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REVIEW: Arrow 4×13 “Sins of the Father”

Written by Scott Swartz

Yeah, everything that just happened surely won’t come back to bite Oliver in the ass in any way, shape, or form. That would just be silly. “Sins of the Father” by all accounts is a very good episode. Strongly acted, some exciting action, some interesting resolution, and yet I still can’t believe that we have ended up right here. It feels like a something is missing and that we are beginning to end up exactly where we left off last season, setting up for the next one without dealing with the issue at hand. Having these episodes be so Malcolm centric really helped to add to the idea that Damien is a bit player in this entire affair, rather than being the big bad are expecting him to be. It is a major issue when so much of this episode manages to meet its potential, only to leave me confused as to how the “third” option was the best option.

So let’s start off with the big twist as it managed to make me the most frustrated. Oliver’s plan in principal was to give Nyssa the title of Ra’s only for her to for some reason give it back to Malcolm. Only that is not how things work out and Oliver has inevitably made things worse for him and turned Malcolm into a low rent Slade. Nyssa has now intentionally unleashed lets assume hundreds of assassins out into the world and assumes that they will all just play nice and not be threats in the future. Let alone he manages to create a new blood feud with Merlyn simply because he seemingly refused to account for the fact that Merlyn is a power-hungry psychopath who will do anything to maintain control. It just feels like at this point in time Oliver should be surprised that all of this is taking place and should have made the tough choice to stop Merlyn once and for all.

Despite all of the confusing stupidity that took place at the end of the episode, there were plenty of quality performances that made up for the startling amount of poor decisions made. John Barrowman was and his best throughout the entire episode, his talk about his first time seeing Thea was a truly impressive highlight and helped to seemingly solidify just why he has done what he has done. At the end of the day in his own extremely disturbing way Malcolm does care about Thea, and is willing to go to great lengths to save her. Similarly, I loved the moments between Nyssa and Laurel as they showed that they are both trying to break of what people believe about them. Katrina Law does an excellent job of portraying Nyssa finally realizing her goal of breaking free of the league and her father’s hold. Both characters have been around for such a long time that it is just great to see how natural both actors manage to feel in their roles, although I am left wondering where Nyssa goes from here considering she has been an assassin her entire life.

The only part of the episode that really didn’t work for me was the whole Felicity trying to bond with her father storyline. I mean we all knew how this was going to end right The Calculator is a villain whose prime directive is stealing information. Felicity in all of her good natured well meaning self should know from the word go to not trust the super villain. The only redeeming part of this entire affair was that we got to see a totally different side of Donna that was interesting and powerful. Charolette Ross did a good job of showing exactly how hurt Donna has been by The Calculator before and why Felicity should let her father go to prison. It added some nice depth to a character that has up until this point only been comic relief and mostly grating at times. I am really hoping we get to see more of this side of her moving forward as it would be fun watching angry Donna play off the begrudging Lance.

Same thing goes for the action in tonights episode, which was really touch and go at some points. I mean the street fight was cool and really helped to showcase what the action direction is capable of when it wants to be. At the same time the final big battle between Ollie and Malcolm was considerably underwhelming knowing what both characters have done in the past. It felt like a huge nerf for Malcolm considering he is supposed to be this badass assassin with all of this amazing training, yet he flinches first and grabs a bow. Yes, Malcolm grabbed a bow, in a close rage fight, the dumbest of dumb ideas. I was super confused by how all of this went down since I just expect better.

Overall it was a decent episode. I just expected way more from it.

Final Grade C+

+Cool street fight

+Strong performances from Barrowman, Law, and Ross

-Confusing resolution in the end

-Felicity’s plot was a waste

-Poorly executed final fight

Extra Thoughts

-I feel like Barrowman’s line about Ollie being “Very handsome, but not very bright” was a bout as point blank a way of saying “you should know better”

-So Nyssa doesn’t bring an army when she knows she is going to be double crossed, I am beginning to wonder how she has survived for so long.

-I almost forgot that Diggle has another gun with tranq darts. I mean usually he just full on murders everyone.

About the author

Scott Swartz