Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 14 - The Sin-Eater

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


When three of his enemies break out of prison together, Green Arrow is quick to move to recapture them. Unfortunately, the Anti-Crime Unit seems to be more interested in bringing Green Arrow in for the murder of Detective Malone. At the same time, Quentin Lance blames himself for the break-out, after learning that Eliza Warner - an ex-cop gone bad - is apparently out for his head due to the recently revealed truth about how he'd once worked with Damien Darhk. And Thea and Felicity work to discover just how Susan Williams found out Oliver Queen is Green Arrow and what her game is...

In the flashbacks, Oliver and Anatoly must escape from Gregor and Kovar's after an ambush is arranged at the hospital where Anatoly is being treated.


The Green Arrow comics of Judd Winick. (Oliver Queen tries to balance being mayor and a vigilante, everyone acts like idiots.)


Even if China White and Cupid weren't their intended target, it's unlikely that the ACU wouldn't move to stop their escape in case they were accomplices of Green Arrow. Or, at the very least, there wouldn't be a perimeter outside to stop Green Arrow from escaping that would catch them.

By the same token, are the ACU (or the rest of the SCPD for that matter) really going to sit on their asses and ignore the escapees while waiting for Green Arrow to show up again?

Even if they did, isn't it remarkably stupid of Cupid, Warner and China White to bet on the cops not taking an interest in them?

Did the cops just gun down an unarmed China White?

The flashback cliff-hanger of Anatoly being held at gunpoint would be a lot more dramatic if we didn't know he's alive five years later.


Paul Blackthorne, as always, is a wonder as Quentin Lance.

Willa Holland, likewise, is fantastic as Thea.

Juliana Harkavy isn't given much to do as Dinah in this episode but she makes every moment she's on-screen count.


The script does try to draw parallels between Oliver, Quentin and Thea all taking blame upon themselves for something that wasn't their fault - i.e. Sin-Eating.


The episode title comes from a custom practiced in some cultures, which Anatoly explains in the flashback. A Sin-Eater is one who lives apart from the other people in a village and - when one of the villagers dies - consumes a ritual meal prepared from food left with the corpse of the deceased in order to eat their sins (which pass into the food) and allow the deceased to pass on free of guilt.

The name Sin-Eater has been used by a number of characters in comics history. The most famous is probably a trio of serial killers - all using the name - who appeared in the pages of Spider-Man and Venom. The name was also used by two different Ghost Rider villains.

Most recently the name was used by an enemy of The Phantom Stranger. This Sin Eater was accidentally created by The Phantom Stranger after he broke and scattered the soul of serial killer Phillip Stark across time and space. The soul fragments reassembled and became the twisted demon known as The Sin Eater.

Curtis' new jacket has white pieces which make it more closely resemble the Mister Terrific costume worn by Michael Holt in the pre-New 52 comics.

Oliver says that Prometheus' mother was from Opal City. In the original DC Comics Universe, Opal City was the hometown of the original Starman, Ted Knight and his two sons David (Starman VI) and Jack (VII).


Curtis and Felicity make a sniffer device, which pulls electronic data from any hard drive or devices close by. It works so effectively it pulls a petabyte (1 quadrillion bytes) of data in one go.

Chǔ Cáng is the Chinese phrase for depository or storage space.

Curtis rebuilds his costume, adding a Kevlar weave into the jacket.

The edgework on the Billy Malone's death-wounds was consistent with the arrows used by Green Arrow, according to a Medical Examiner's report.

Dialogue Triumphs

Oliver: Thanks for coming along. I know that being my body man isn't your job anymore.
John: Sure it is. Just a different suit, that's all.

Susan: Are you The Green Arrow?
Oliver: Yeah.
Susan: (stunned) Really?!
Oliver: No! (smiles and chuckles) I'm sorry. I thought you were doing a joking thing. So I did a joking thing back. Are you not?
Susan: I was working on a different story. And... uh, well some things came up that relate to you...
Oliver: And then you just immediately jumped to the most insane conclusion possible.
Susan: So that's a no? For the record?
Oliver: No. For the record.
Susan: Well, good. Because I think our relationship is complicated enough already just with you being mayor.

Green Arrow: Wild Dog and Mr. Terrific are staking out The Bertinellis. Dinah and Spartan have eyes on the Bratva.
Quentin: You know - you've got to get that new girl a code name.
Green Arrow: Well, when she's ready I was considering Black Canary. You all right with that?
(Quentin seems to consider that.)
Quentin: Well, so long as she does Laurel proud.

Quentin: I think that Warner is my mess to clean up.
Thea: And I'm assuming Oliver said that's not the case?
Quentin: What Oliver doesn't know is that the reason her rehabilitation was short-lived was because she caught my confessing to working with Damien Darhk on TV.
Thea: Oh wow.
Quentin: Yeah.
Thea: That is... an unbelievable load of crap, Quentin.
Quentin: What?
Thea: Liza Warner is a criminal. You didn't make her into one. You've got to stop taking responsibility for other people's sins.
Quentin: You know, I really like how wise you're getting lately?
Thea: That's just because I have committed my own sin today.

(Oliver is standing at his office window behind his desk, looking out on the city. Thea enters)
Thea: You asked to see me?
Oliver: (looking out the window) Did you know that Susan got fired today?
Thea: ... I didn't know she was going to get fired.
Oliver: (turning around) You should have come to me with this.
Thea: Listen, Ollie. I just wanted to discredit her-
Oliver: Thea! You should have come to me with this!
Thea: (coolly angry) And then what? We would have the same conversation we are having right now. I would have told you that she was going to out you as The Green Arrow...
Oliver: She wouldn't do that to me!
Thea: And then you would say that.
(Oliver sighs in annoyance.)
Thea: Look, Ollie. The only reason I didn't tell you was because I was trying to keep your hands clean. I know you care about her, so -
Oliver: (quietly) I do care about her. I also care that you destroyed her reputation. She's going to have a tough time finding a decent job. She's certainly not going to find a job in journalism.(suddenly shouting) You just blew up her life!
Thea: Honestly, I didn't mean for it to go this far...
Oliver: Yes, you did. You knew exactly what you were doing. And that's the part that I don't understand. Who does that to a person?

Quentin:What, you're just giving up now?
Oliver: Prometheus isn't giving me a choice.
Quentin: Neither did Slade Wilson. Or Damien Darhk. But with those guys you didn't just pick up your football and go home.
Oliver: This is different.
Quentin: How?
Oliver: Because what's happening now - it's not something that Prometheus did. It's something I did.
Quentin: You're talking about Malone, right? That was Prometheus.
Oliver: I fired the arrows.
Quentin: (pauses) Listen, earlier Thea was talking to me about not taking on other people's sins. What happened with Malone? That's on Prometheus. Not you.
Oliver: Well Quentin, that advice would mean a little bit more if it wasn't coming from Thea right now.
Quentin: Well, I don't know what that means. But I do know that if you're letting Prometheus, ACU or anyone else keep you from stopping Warner and her buddies, then justice isn't being served.

Quentin: So... Oliver tells me that you're the new Black Canary.
Dinah: Um. Not yet. I'm not ready to take your daughter's place. Sir.
Quentin: Laurel didn't want someone to take her place. She wanted someone to carry on in her place.

Thea: I'm really sorry, Ollie.  I know I screwed up but-
Oliver: - but you didn't make a mistake. You made a choice. And you reminded me of someone.
Thea: Who?
Oliver: Mom.
(Thea looks taken aback by this as Oliver moves to a chair.)
Oliver: She would have done something like this. Well... she would have done exactly this. She was a wonderful mother. But I think we both know that she didn't always make the best choices. Whatever's going to happen with Susan is... whatever's going to happen. Right now... right now, I'm really worried about my baby sister.


Justin Claybourne's mistress is named Amanda Westfield. She claims that she has not seen her son since Justin Claybourne's funeral. She does not confirm or deny that her son is Prometheus but does refuse to give Oliver Queen his name.

Carrie Cutter (a.k.a. Cupid) last appeared in 416.

Liza Warner last appeared in 404.

Chien Na Wei (a.k.a. China White) last appeared, in the modern day, in 202. She appeared in the flashback scenes of several Season 3 episodes.

Dinah is sworn in as an SCPD cop.

The three escapees kill several of China White's former associates in the local Triad.

Felicity hacks Susan Williams' computer. Williams' password is 1234. She discovers all of Susan Williams' information that Oliver Queen is Green Arrow, but doesn't delete it since the information can just be retrieved again from whatever source she originally got it from.

Reference is made to Tobias' Church's deal with Amertek in 502 and the money he made off of it. This is what the escapees are searching for.

Liza Warner claims the reason she escaped was because she saw Quentin's testimony from the trial in 416 and decided that she might as well be selfish and look out for number one from now on.

The ACU discovers the cause of Billy Malone's death and that Green Arrow was meant to look responsible. This evidence turns out to be a second medical examiner's report, which determines the cause of death to have been arrows with edge work consistent with those used by The Green Arrow.

The letter with the ME report was postmarked from Opal City.

Amanda Westfield was originally from Opal City.

Susan Williams is fired from her reporter job after an anonymous tip is sent to her producers about how she's been plagiarizing stories for over two years. Evidence confirming this is found on her laptop.

Susan tells Oliver that she recognized his chest tattoo as that of a Bratva captain, had photos of him with Bratva members in Russia when he was supposedly shipwrecked and photos of a man who looks like Green Arrow in Russia at the same time. Of course having been totally discredited as a reporter, she can't go public with any of it.

Felicity admits to hacking Susan Williams computer and putting some files on it at based on Thea's instructions.

Thea tells Oliver that she did what she did because she felt Susan Williams was about to out him as The Green Arrow.

Oliver tells Captain Pike that DA Chase covered up the cause of Billy Malone's death, that Green Arrow was manipulated into killing Malone and that he knows this because he is in contact with The Green Arrow.

Felicity gives Dinah Laurel's old mask to wear into the field.

Rene is superstitious about disturbing a cemetery at night.

Captain Pike elects to move on the escapees rather than bring down Green Arrow and the other vigilantes. China White is apparently shot by the police. Cupid and Eliza Warner are taken alive.

The episode ends with Oliver and DA Chase watching a news report on information making it to the press on how the Mayor's office ordered a cover-up of Billy Malone's death.


 A suburban house somewhere in Illinois.

The Winick Factor

It's a toss-up who is stupider in this episode - the cops who let a trio of escapees go in an effort to bring down the local superhero or the trio of escapees who gamble on the cops not being interested in them because they're after the local superhero. Hell, Oliver even points out how illogical it is to believe that Green Arrow has gone bad to the ACU Captain. And when Ollie is talking sense in an episode...

The Bottom Line

A typical mid-season filler episode, made tolerable only by some excellent performances and a script that cleverly parallels the shared hubris of three of the main cast. The villains of the week are wasted (which I never thought I'd say about Cupid of all people) as the main thrust of the episode is rightly on the continuing torment Prometheus is inflicting on Team Arrow and how everyone is being forced into darker and darker places in their support of Oliver Queen.

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