Well, this episode of Arrow should have been called “The Cat Is Out of the Bag,” not “Taken.” By the end of the hour, there were literally zero secrets left to uncover on this show. Everyone’s dirty laundry is now out in the open, and Team Arrow will never be the same. Let’s recap it all!
Do you think Damien Dahrk was ready to move the plot of season four forward or what? Not only does Felicity now know about William, Oliver’s secret son from Central City, but so does the rest of Team Arrow after Damien kidnapped William to blackmail Oliver into dropping out of the mayoral race. The delight Damien took in revealing Oliver’s big secret right in front of Felicity was something to behold. Actually, the delight Damien took in goading Felicity about her new wheelchair was just pure evil. This dude is the worst.
Once Team Arrow knew about William, it was time for William’s mother Samantha to learn about Oliver’s secret superhero identity. Cue her wide-eyed walk through the Arrow Lair, leading to some pretty awkward encounters between with Laurel and Felicity. Oliver’s three women, all in one room! Awwww. How extremely awful.
But to be honest, Laurel showed off a pretty mature reaction to meeting the woman Oliver cheated on her with, especially after learning that the two had borne a child. But no matter how easygoing and friendly and forgiving she seemed to be with Samantha in the Arrow lair, she vented later to her dad about how much it still stings to hear about it so many years later. What a truly human reaction! On the same token, Felicity absolutely broke my heart with how hurt she was by Oliver’s lies and secrets. Imagine still having to work to help find your fiancé’s secret son, with his mother, after only just learning about it that night! Talk about tough. But Felicity, like Laurel, was strong as hell, and tabled all her own emotions and issues to help get the job done and find William.
After Damien proved for the fiftieth time that Team Arrow is no match for him, Oliver had the brilliant idea to fight magic with magic. And that led to a surprise Constantine shout out! (Yessssss.) Apparently, Oliver’s old friend is in hell right now. As in, literally—in “uppercase H” hell. So in his absence, Oliver’s got another idea: call on Mari McCabe, a hero from Detroit named Vixen who can harness the power of animals. “Mari and I had an animated encounter last summer,” was Ollie’s super accurate explanation of their connection.
While Mari’s powers were badass, to say the least, they unfortunately weren’t enough to go up against Dahrk. So she had a thought: seeing as she had gained her powers from a necklace totem, what if Dahrk got his powers from a totem too? Lo and behold, Lance had seen Dahrk in front of a cabinet holding some kind of idol in the past, so he drew it for Mari while Oliver gave in to Dahrk’s demands and announced that he was dropping out of the mayoral race during a press conference. Thea’s boyfriend Alex was more than a little peeved that Oliver couldn’t even give him a reason as to why he just gave up when he was so far ahead in the polls, but Oliver could only offer up an “I’m sorry” and a handshake. Is he really done with politics for good?
After Mari did some research, she figured out Dahrk’s totem needs to be used on a supernatural “lay line,” and with that information, Felicity was able to pinpoint where he’s holed up with it. Team Arrow (+ Vixen) attacked, and Mari awesomely stole Dahrk’s totem right out from under him. And he. Was. Shocked. “Well … that happened.”
While Team Arrow tried to save William from Dahrk, it was clear that just separating Dahrk from his totem wasn’t enough to cut him off from magic. So Mari called upon all the strongest animals she could think of and smashed the totem, rendering Dahrk’s immediately powerless and no longer a threat. For such a terrifying dude, that solution was shockingly easy! And seeing the Green Arrow save him made William change his mind about his Flash action figure: “I want a Green Arrow action figure.” Is that some fatherly pride I spy in Oliver’s eyes? Why yes, it is!
Back at the SCPD, William told Quentin that a man missing a hand was the one to take him. Thea was close to believing Malcolm’s lies earlier when he denied any connection to the kidnapping. Armed with the truth, she tried to cut off all ties with Malcolm, but he definitely wasn’t having it. Something tells me Malcolm isn’t done with Team Arrow and his daughter just yet. That anger and rage on his face was truly a sight to behold.
As for William, Felicity seemed to be coming around to the idea of him after Samantha explained to her that she made Oliver keep it all a secret, even from his fiancé. But then, Mari gave Oliver some advice to keep William away to preserve his childhood. Even though Oliver wanted to keep William closer to him after talking with Diggle about parenthood, he realized his life as the Green Arrow was too much and too dangerous for William … right now. So he recorded a heartbreaking message for William for him to watch on his 18 birthday, explaining that his life as the Green Arrow was the reason he and Samantha agreed to keep William away from Oliver all these years. Samantha then moved far away with her son, and agreed to not tell Oliver where they would be.
That wasn’t the only heartbreak Oliver had to suffer. Just as he finished recording his goodbye to William, Felicity rolled in and broke off their engagement. It wasn’t the existence of William that made her want to end things, it was the fact that Oliver didn’t see the need to tell her the truth when they’re supposed to be partners. He didn’t even talk with Felicity about his new agreement to send William away. They aren’t partners—not in Oliver’s eyes. And so she’s done.
Of course, that’s exactly when Curtis’ implantable chip in Felicity’s spine started working, allowing her to walk again. So instead of walking down the aisle towards Oliver on their wedding day, she walked out of their apartment, away from him. Talk about poetry. (But don’t get me started on how that was way too convenient for Felicity to be perfectly healed all of a sudden. We all know I wanted her to stay in the chair for far longer than a few episodes.)
And this week, the island flashback storyline finally went somewhere! Baron Reiter’s men finished digging through the wall of the prison on Lian Yu, but a ghostly, monstrous version of the dead Conklin appeared and wouldn’t let anyone pass through the opening. Reiter evacuated the cells and locked Oliver and Taiana in with the ghost Conklin, knowing that Oliver’s glowing tattoos would save him. Just as he suspected, the ghost saw the tattoos and vanished, allowing Oliver to peek through the hole and see a large cave. What could possibly be hidden down there?
What did you think of “Taken,” Arrow fans? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Images: The CW
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.