Arrow "Unchained" (REVIEW)

Written By Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)

This week on Arrow we get a nice surprise. Roy has come back and unlike Tarpit in this week's Flash he seems to fit better into the plot. That plot revolves around the poorly named The Calculator. He has blackmailed Roy into stealing some of Palmer's tech in order to access public utilities computers and shut off and or blow up various stations, killing thousands of people. His remote base of operations happens to house a large server room that is allowing him the extra fire power he needs to hack into the system. It becomes a battle of the tech savvy as Felicity and The Calculator match wits in taking the other down. Felicity to stop him and he to stop her from stopping him. However the only way he will truly be able to do this is if the servers stay in tact. Something Team Arrow, and Roy plan to shut down in case Felicity is unsuccessful. However it looks as though The Calculator has hired some goons off of “the dark web” to help hack in/protect the system so that everything goes according to plan. Team Arrow managed to take them all down while Felicity tries to work her mojo on her end. It a virtual battle of fisticuffs that ends in her defeat, but Team Arrow has one more trick up their sleeve. As a last measure they brought along explosives to remotely detonate, however Felicity is locked out completely so they will have to manually detonate instead. Roy volunteers to do it and the rest of the team runs to safety. Roy blows it up and in a awesome fireball ziplines to the team. Pretty kick butt return for Roy but that isn't all he is there for.

Thea, after months of her bloodlust subsiding, fainted while on a mission and seems to have fallen ill. It appears as though not fufilling her bloodlust, while not physically pushing her to violence has now made her sick and is slowly dying. Malcolm arrives to try and help her but his way of helping is to have someone killed, something Thea is opposed to. Oliver then takes it upon himself to try and help her. Since Darhk has been able to partially cure her, he wants to try and make some kind of a trade to finish the job. He finds a pretty quick way to get in touch. Dahrk's wife is now running for mayor against Oliver and the two meet face to face where he asks to meet Darhk. He then goes back to Thea and tells her his plan to save her. Ever the stubborn one, she refuses his help as well because it's simply too dangerous. Ollie ever with the best intentions never seems to come to a good conclusion. You have to feel for the guy, he just wants to keep his friends safe and everyone wants him to stay out of it. The only person left to help is Roy, and rather than come up with some plan simply consoles her and the two share some final goodbyes before he goes back into hiding. It's here she gets extremely sick and they have to take her to the hospital.

Felicity, in addition to fighting crime, is coming to grips with her situation and become more confident as a wheelchair disabled person. She gives a disastrous trial run speech to one of the board members about a new battery technology Palmer Tech, more specifically Curtis, has created and he suggests that they get someone more confident, and not in a wheelchair to give the presentation. At first she is discouraged, until she gets in her hacking zone later on to try and take down The Calculator. Curtis sees her whipping around the lab looking for things with the Felicity confidence she used to exude and tells her that she can do the presentation herself because she just proved that she is the same old Felicity that could knock those presentations out of the park. She takes the information to heart and delivers in typical Felicity fashion a great speech. Nice to have you back Ms.Smoak! After the speech she is greeted by an unlikely guest, The Calculator but she doesn't greet him as such, she simply calls him “dad”. I love Felicity, she is the coolest character on Arrow by a long shot for me and it's awesome to see her have an interesting character arch, one that they seem to have done a better job of handling compared to last week. 

On the island we got to see Oliver being interrogated for more answers about what he knows about the maps and the tattoo on his stomach. He then has a hallucination that Shadow has come back and saved him and tries to guide the way to his survival. When he awakes he spills the beans that he was the one that killed Taiana's husband and that he is sorry and now they must fight to get off the island and back to their families. Another so-so island scene. I've never been a huge fan of the island stuff and this season is no different, I kinda wish they didn't do these anymore, it hurts rather than helps. 

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Lastly, Nyssa, currently imprisioned in Nada Parbat by Malcolm has gotten a few of her more loyal supporters to bust her out. She comes face to face with Katana and the two engage a sword fight. She gets loose and is on a quest for the lotus flower that has healing powers. Something that while Thea is in the hospital, she appears with and offers to Oliver if he kills Malcolm Merlin in return. I honestly forgot about Nyssa but it'll be interesting how she fits into the current dynamic and how Ollie plans to resolve all of this. Instead of making a deal with Darhk, he has to make it with Nyssa for Malcolm's death, something I'm sure Thea would also be against but possibly not Oliver as the potentially lesser of two evils.

A pretty solid episode of Arrow this week. Felicity got a lot of growth, Oliver is the same old fretting Ollie and Roy makes a decent return to the team. This is the one downside of TV shows airing weekly, things keep building but we don't get to see what's next until later and Arrow didn't have enough of a cliffhanger to really make me curse waiting a week just annoyed that I have to. That said, I enjoyed the episode for the most part and hopefully there will be some more interesting developments to come.