Review: Arrow S4E12

Review: Arrow - "Unchained"

By: Dave Clark

After a subpar showing last week, tonight we're thrown right into the mix...sort of. The episode begins in Nanda Parbat where Nyssa escapes from Malcolm Merlyn's prison. She makes her way to Japan where she meets Tatsu aka Katana! Nyssa explains that she's here for a lotus, which happens to be exactly what Tatsu is in charge of protecting. The two being an epic duel of swords until Nyssa explains that she needs the Lotus to help Oliver. Meanwhile, Thea is dying due to the effects of being healed in the Lazarus Pit and the resulting bloodlust. She's ready to die, but Oliver is ready to reach out to Darhk to save her. He finally comes to his senses and realizes that this is not an option. Nyssa then returns to Star City with the lotus and offers to give it to Oliver to save Thea but only if he kills Malcolm first.

In the flashbacks we see Oliver being tortured by Baron Reiter but he and his henchmen are attacked by Shado wearing the green hood. Shado would explain that she's just a vision in Oliver's head due to the severity of the injuries he's suffered during all the torture. Shado explains to him that he needs to get through all of this and go home to his family. He wakes up in the cell with Taiana and he admits to having killed her brother, explaining that he has a darkness inside of him.

Oh...and Darhk's wife revealed that she's running for Mayor of Star City. Lots happened tonight.

While all of that is happening, Roy Harper has returned to a bad guy? He's trying to steal some tech for The Calculator, who we find out is blackmailing Roy. The Calculator wants some tech that could destroy an entire city. The team is able to thwart his plans, with Arsenal suiting up again and taking charge (he's no longer just a sidekick, guys). At the end of the episode, during a presentation at Palmer Tech, Felicity reveals a new source of energy they've developed. In attendance we see The Calculator. He approaches Felicity as she's being congratulated by those in attendance and reveals to us that he's....her FATHER!

What I Liked:

  • Nyssa. Anytime they can get Katrina Law on the show more often is fine by me. I love her appearances.
  • Katana. Her cameo was fantastic. I love her costume and I love Rila Fukushima as Tatsu.
  • Put those two together in an epic duel and I'm sold! Nyssa vs Katana was awesome.
  • Seeing Roy suited up and working with the team again. Nice to see him back with the gang.
  • The reveal of who the Calculator is was fantastic. That was great storytelling and for me, it was unexpected. While I figured out early that Nyssa was after something to save Thea, this was a nice surprise. Can't wait to see how it plays out going forward!

What I Didn't Like:

  • This is a bit contradictory to some of the things I liked about tonight's episode, but there's just too much going on in this episode. We have the Nyssa storyline which crosses over into the Thea storyline. The Curtis Holt storyline which crosses over into the Roy storyline which crosses into the Calculator storyline. Then finally we have the Darhk storyline with his wife entering the Mayoral race. Way too much going on right now.
  • Springing off my last point, we have way too many characters too. We're not giving Holt much screen time and I honestly forgot all about him until he popped back up tonight. I love all of our past characters making cameos, but not at the cost of our current roster of awesome people.