Arrow, S4 Ep12 – Unchained

This week’s episode of Arrow pits Ollie and his team against a new villain who refers to himself as The Calculator (Tom Amandes), a sinister computer hacker with skills comparable to Felicity’s. When The Calculator aims to blackmail Roy for his own means, Team Arrow must take him and his goons on, but unfortunately that’s not all they have to worry about. Thea begins to become sick after not indulging in her blood lust for so long, to the point that she may die.


Felicity acclimates to her recent handicap

The episode begins with us seeing Nyssa al Ghul locked away in one of Malcolm Merlyn’s prison cells. After successfully breaking out she goes on a mission to find something we won’t be privy to the details of until the very last scene. For the most part her subplot doesn’t seem related to the overall plot of “Unchained”, but the connection is revealed later on. Her mission brings her face to face with Tatsu Yamashiro, a.k.a. Katana (Rila Fukushima). It was real pleasure seeing Katana on screen again, returning in her comic-book-accurate attire.

With the upcoming release of Suicide Squad in theaters, which features a cinematic version of the character, it’s likely this is the last time we will be seeing Katana on the small screen. Fortunately, she isn’t just killed off like Amanda Waller in last week’s episode. Her and Nyssa briefly battle it out in a well choreographed and entertaining fight scene. When they realize that neither one of them can outmatch the other, they both cease their battle and Nyssa tells her the real reason she has come see her.

The real meat of “Unchained” focuses on a plot involving The Calculator. Coltan Haynes returns as Roy Harper, a.k.a. Arsenal, who is blackmailed and mind controlled into stealing tech for The Calculator. Ollie and his team are eventually able to bring him in safely and work with him to take down The Calculator. Much of this plot sees Felicity, a.k.a. Overwatch, attempt to outwit and out-hack The Calculator, leading to the team’s eventual success.

Felicity’s challenges overcoming The Calculator mirror her challenges at Palmer Tech, where she has difficulty being the company’s CEO while acclimating to her recent handicap. Despite the board’s request for her to not deliver a speech highlighting one of Palmer Tech’s latest inventions, she does so anyway, rising up to the challenge and leading a very successful press conference. It’s good to see Felicity continue to remain strong willed and determined, especially after how much she struggled last week.

It was fortunate and convenient Roy showed up in Star City when he did. With Thea’s condition continuing to worsen this might be the last time the two will see each other, and their reunion was bittersweet and heartwarming. Thea’s subplot also leads us to rethink a certain element about the upcoming death we are expected to see this season. The flash forward scenes featuring Ollie staring at someone’s grave and vowing revenge against Damien Darhk may not be all they seem to be. For one, he may not be referring to Damien Darhk at all.

One of this week’s major plot twists was the fact that Nyssa has something called the Lotus elixir, which she retrieved from Katana and that is able to cure Thea. She offeres the elixir to Ollie under one condition: that he must kill Malcolm Merlyn. With the possibility of Thea dying and Malcolm Merlyn now being shifted into Ollie’s cross hairs, it could be Merlyn Ollie is referring to when he’s looking at that grave and maybe Thea is the one buried beneath. It would definitely be a surprising and satisfying twist, finding out that Damien Darhk is the least of Ollie’s worries and that he must finally take down Malcolm Merlyn, especially if Merlyn could have done something more to help Thea.



The other big twist in “Unchained” is the fact that The Calculator is revealed to be Felicity’s father. We first see him during the Palmer Tech press conference as nothing more than a possible investor watching Felicity’s speech. It’s soon revealed afterwards that he is her father and even Felicity is shocked to see him. The use of Felicity’s father could lead us learning a bit more about Felicity’s back story, and I’m interesting in seeing how Felicity reacts and overcomes her father when she finds out the truth that he is The Calculator.

Overall, “Unchained” was very satisfying, one of the series’ more satisfying episodes since it came back from winter break. The flashback scenes were uninteresting as usual, but did contain some development due to the fact that Ollie revealed that he killed the brother of the woman whose name escapes me at the moment. The main plot of “Unchained” was fun, had decent action, and a satisfying twist, while Thea’s arc was very compelling and leads to some surprising new developments involving Merlyn.

Next week’s episode will pit Ollie against Malcolm Merlyn as it seems he’s agreed to Nyssa al Ghul’s deal. Check out The CW’s official promo for “Sins of the Father” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Unchained” in the comments.

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