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Review – Arrow – S04 E10 – Blood Debts

The wait is finally over. But after that destruction of feels, was I even ready?

Arrow episode 10, Blood Debts, takes the audience back to the tombstone with a title revealing there are 4 months until somebody dies. And Ollie’s ‘going to kill him’. Cut to current day, and Felicity is undergoing emergency surgery. Oliver is cracking skulls and Diggle is fighting his way back to loving his brother, Andy.  With all Ghost leads coming up empty on the Darhk front, team Arrow turns their attention to a recent crime involving the disturbing Ⱥnarchy. Even after getting him in their custody, Oliver releases him and tracks him to where Darhk is hiding. This leads to the Green Arrow saving Darhk’s family and Darhk offering him respite for the heroics.

On the theory front, we can definitely pull Felicity from the list of possible dead characters. We find her and Oliver in the back of a tinted limo at the very end. But with Diggle’s story being fleshed out more this episode, things are looking bad for him. This episode, especially, has given the audience a greater glimpse into who Andy and Diggle once were.

Alexander Calvert graces our screens once again with his eerie representation of Anarchy. The red jacket is in, but the solid white mask isn’t. A solid white mask may have looked too much like something from a cheapy store, but the creative people from Arrow have given him a milky transparent mask. The mask highlights the burns that lick across his face and creates an intense unease. However, the burns are not as impacting with the mask off. Red scars mark his face, but the intense flames would have caused much more damage than that and possibly even melted his nose and eyelids. The visual prospects of this may have been too intense for the show, but something in between would have been better.

In a much darker turn, which is saying something for Arrow, the writers have Anarchy murdering his foster parents and using their blood to paint his symbol at different crimes. This blood curdling twist is made worse with his fascination with Speedy. I began the episode thinking he might want revenge, but those clever writers have ditched the cliché and filled it with the unhealthy obsession.

The obsession also brings out a new side of Laurel/ Black Canary. Laurel has become a voice of reason in the group and seems to have taken a sisterly, protective role with Thea. Her character has reached the point where she isn’t pushed into every scene, the writers sloppily searching for somewhere to put her. Episode 10, and few earlier ones, have her standing in her own right. She has become a proper addition to the team. I only wish they put more of her legal knowledge into the team. Capturing a villain is only half the journey and to have her fighting in court to sentence Lonnie Machin/ Anarchy, or any other villain, would be very interesting.

Her Canary Cry is still pretty terrible, but that’s on the director and effects team.

Flashbacks have Conklin proving that Oliver is a traitor and gets permission to do what he wants with Oliver. While repaying the whipping Oliver had given Conklin, the camp’s leader (Reiter) notices Oliver’s Chinese character tattoos glowing. These are the very ones Constantine gave him. These flashbacks still feel vague, forced, and (unfortunately) uninteresting. Apart from Ollie, no emotional connection has been created with any of the characters. They have become unwanted interruptions to the major storyline which would be even more impacting without Lian Yu.

Blood Debts is definitely a great reintroduction to Arrow’s Season 4. The tomb stone tease has me eagerly hanging out for the next episode while Anarchy’s escape has me nervous for his return.

Quote of the Episode: What’s Damien Darhk doing in Bali? (Felicity)

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