Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 10 - Blood Debts

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


With Felicity in the hospital following HIVE's latest attack, Oliver begins tearing apart Star City's criminal underworld searching for Damien Darhk. But Ollie isn't the only one hunting Darhk. Lonnie Machin - now calling himself Anarky - has come out of hiding and he wants revenge on his former employer.


Green Arrow: Year One
(the Lian Yu sequences), Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters (Oliver going over the edge dealing with people who nearly killed the woman he loves) and Batman: The Killing Joke (heroine is paralyzed to fuel hero's rage at villain).


Despite Oliver's restated commitment to not-killing, surely kicking a HIVE Ghost into a live electrical box is pretty darn close to lethal?

How is Speedy unaffected by the Canary Cry despite being between Laurel and Anarky when it goes off?

Anarky says that "the blonde called you Speedy", when is alone with Thea. In fact, Laurel called Thea by her real name when she was saving her from Anarky and never used the name Speedy until after Anarky was unconscious.


David Ramsey doesn't get a lot of time on-screen this week as Diggle but he nails every scene he's in, as usual.

Also as per usual, the scenes between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Richards are the best parts of the show. Their chemistry is amazing and the final scene is all the more powerful for how different Felicity seems in the wake of everything that occurs four months from now. The contrast between how Felicity appears in that moment versus how she usually seems is truly astonishing.


The fight sequences in the fifth segment - both the one between Anarky/Speedy and Green Arrow and the one between Green Arrow and Damien Darhk - are well choreographed.


Oliver's battling not to lose himself in the wake of the woman he loves nearly dying is taken directly from The Longbow Hunters.

Felicity's being paralyzed mirrors what happened to Barbara Gordon in Batman: The Killing Joke.


Anarky's boobytrap in his foster parents' home utilizes motion-sensors hooked up to machine guns.

Speedy makes use of a bola arrow to catch Anarky.

Dialogue Triumphs

Laurel: How are you feeling?
Felicity: I have never been more ready to have a bunch of guys poking around inside of me. (realizes what she just said) Doctors!  Doing doctor things!

Quentin: So you're back to dropping bodies?
Oliver: It's just this one.

Lyla: How's Felicity?
John: She's in surgery. It's a long procedure. I'm going to go to the hospital in a bit but I needed to come here to get something first.
Lyla: What?
(John just leans forward and kisses her.)

Laurel: I thought we'd already worked past this.
Quentin: There's no working past a father caring about his daughter.

Well, I count five guns. And you've got one. What are you going to do?  You can't run.
(Oliver clicks the safety and puts the gun under his own chin)
Oliver: I'm not running.

Laurel: Have you completely lost your mind?
Oliver: I don't have time for a debate.
Laurel: Good. Because there's nothing to debate. What you did-
Oliver: What I did? I did what I had to do after you made it neccesary.Machin was only arrested by the SCPD because you gave him up.
Laurel: You were holding a man prisoner as some sort of personal vendetta!
Oliver: Do you have any idea how many people Damian Darhk and HIVE have killed over the past six months? This may be a vendetta, but it's not personal.
Laurel: I don't know what's worse - you actually believe that or you expect me to.
Oliver: I put a tracker on Machin. He will lead us to Darhk. And then we will take both of them down.
Laurel: And when your master plan doesn't work, you just sent a murdering psychotic back on the streets!
Oliver: Like you did with Sara?
Laurel: That's not fair!

Oliver, I know you're hurting, man. But you should know that whatever your play is, I've got your back.
Oliver: But?
John: But you've come so far, Oliver. You've recovered a humanity that you'd lost when I first met you. I know you want payback for what Darkh did to Felicity. And you should. But don't lose what made her fall in love with you in the first place.

Felicity: Tell me you haven't gone off the rails.
Oliver: Well... I just... I can't help but think that... the reason that Darhk is winning is that I haven't been willing to go far enough. And that... if I had, maybe you wouldn't be in here right now. I don't know what the point of what I'm doing as Green Arrow is if I can't protect the people that are closest to me.
Felicity: Well, what's the point of doing it if you lose yourself in the process?
Oliver: Yeah.
Felicity: There's something else we need to talk about.  The doctors... they say that I'm, uh...
Oliver: I know.
My point being is we didn't really exchange any vows, so the whole "For better or worse" thing really doesn't apply here.
Oliver: What are you talking about?
Felicity: And maybe the real reason you haven't been here is because...
(Ollie shakes his head, reaches into his pocket, and pulls out Felicity's engagement ring)
The nurse... she took this off of you in the E.R. How dare she...
(Oliver slips the ring onto Felicity's finger and squeezes her hand)
Oliver: For better or worse.
Felicity: Okay.

Darkh: Where's my family?!
Green Arrow: I saved them.
(There is a long pause as Darkh just stares at Green Arrow)
Darkh: I want to clear about something. I have shown you repeatedly that you cannot beat me. You saved my family? So I'll give you a few weeks to spend with yours. Enjoy your time. What's left of it.


The episode opens with a repeat of the ending scene from 401, where Barry Allen meets Oliver by a grave side. The captions note that this scene occurs four months from now.

Taiana is confirmed to be Ukrainian.

Quentin Lance met with Damien Darhk on the 30th floor of an office building at 832 6th Street.

Lonnie Machin - last seen in 402 - returns.

Thea reveals that Darhk's life-sucking attack stopped her bloodlust to Laurel.

Laurel discovers that her father is dating Felicity's mom.

Laurel refers to the HIVE Ghosts scrambled DNA, which Team Arrow discovered in 403.

Lonnie Machin's foster parents are identified as Crystal and Michael Olguin. It is his blood he used to paint the anarchy symbols at HIVE headquarters.

Andy Diggle was apparently a drug-dealer before he joined the military and he only joined after John insisted in an effort to make his younger brother go straight.

Felicity is permanently paralyzed as a result of her injuries, according to the specialist who came in from Central City to perform surgery on her spine.

The magical tattoo that John Constantine put on Oliver in the flashback scenes in 405 flashes red when Oliver is being whipped. This causes Baron Reiter to order Oliver spared and agree to allow him and Taiana to live, albeit imprisoned, if Oliver helps him with finding what he's searching for on Lian Yu.

Damian Darhk's family lives in a place called Stonehaven.

Anarky escapes into the woods after his confrontation with Speedy.

Andy Diggle eventually gives John some information regarding Darhk. At the episode's end, the two play cards like when they were younger.

Thea reestablishes her romance with Ollie's campaign manager.

Damian Darhk's wife's name is Ruve.

Damian Darkh's wife has a fake ID and denies any connection to him when the police are called on their home. She is aware of his role in HIVE and their ultimate goals as well as whatever Genesis is.

Darhk buys out a hotel called The Fairmount for the month for his family to hide in.

The episode ends with another flash forward to four months from now and concludes with Oliver entering a car where Felicity is in the backseat and she cooling informs Oliver that he has to kill someone. This shows that whoever is in the grave, it is not Felicity.

The Fridge Factor

Felicity is paralyzed in order to give Oliver a more personal reason for hunting down Darhk.

The Winick Factor

It's hard to say what's stupider - Laurel's calling Thea by her real name in front of a villain (not that he notices - see Goofs) or Laurel's sudden decision to stand on ceremony and take Anarky into custody despite him being their best chance at hunting down Darhk because Oliver is indulging in a vendetta. It's not just stupid - it's hypocritical in the extreme given everything Laurel has done in the name of personal vendettas. And Ollie and Diggle both rightly call her on her bullshit given everything Laurel pulled regarding Sara.

The Bottom Line

Much ado about nothing. Anarky is as lame as ever and his efforts to get Thea to give in to her bloodlust are as pointless as they are nonsensical and nothing comes of them in any case. There's some minor progress between Diggle and his brother but most of that occurs off-camera. The Lian Yu sequences seem even more pointless than ever. Really, the only thing that saves it are the performances of Stephen Amell, David Ramsey and Emily Bett Rickards and all the magically little scenes between Ollie and Felicity.  I can't believe I'm saying this, but Olicity is the best thing about this episode.

Also - for everyone who told me I was wrong and Feliicty was sure to die?

Told you so. ;)

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