Review: ‘Arrow’ S04E10 – ‘Blood Debts’

By January 21, 2016

On this week’s episode of Arrow, we learned that Diggle is done playing, Thea is more a liability than anything else and the flashbacks just need to stop. Let’s take a closer look at ‘Blood Debts,’ shall we?

It seems that the Green Arrow’s aversion to killing has come to an end, as he is determined to kill Damien Darhk for almost killing Felicity. Yes, that’s right. Contrary to what the mid-season finale implied, Ms. Smoak is not dead (is anyone really surprised?) but is in fact actually paralyzed. (The showrunners have stated that she will not in fact be Oracle, which is kind of disappointing, but I get not wanting to delve too deeply into Batman lore). The Ghosts are no help in locating Darhk, as they all manage to kill themselves instead of giving up any information. While John decides to beat on his brother Andy until he talks, Oliver gets Captain Lance to give up his meeting location with Darhk. When Oliver gets there, there’s no sign of Darhk but it seems that Lonny Machin has reappeared and been busy. He’s after Darhk as well and is the key to finding his location. They manage to capture Machin, who is a raving lunatic, but just as Oliver is about to beat the information out of him, he gets called away. Laurel uses the distraction to call in the police and have Anarchy taken into custody. Oliver is pissed and frees Anarchy, deciding to let him do the dirty work and kill Darhk, while team Arrow tracks him. Surprise, surprise, he manages to drop the tracker and the team is back to square one. Or are they?

After Diggle has a talk with Lila about his relationship with Andy, he decides to take her advice and talk to him like a brother. Andy gives up a clue to a possible whereabouts for his boss. This leads the team to Darhk’s house, where they save his family from Anarchy. As Machin makes his escape, Thea follows him and manages to capture him again. Her inability to kill him, because she refuses to give in to her bloodlust, means that he manages to escape once again. Darhk and the Green Arrow come face to face and Oliver admits to saving Darhk’s family. Darhk gives Ollie a little speech about already proving they’re no match for his power before giving him a reprieve. Darhk will give the Green Arrow two weeks to cherish his loved ones before their feud stars up once again. How very sweet of him! Did I mention that I love Neal McDonough?

As the episode comes to a close, Felicity tells Oliver that until Darhk is neutralized, they have work to do, Diggle tries to make amends with his brother and Damien Darhk’s wife is just as psycho as he is. She scolds Damien for not killing the Green Arrow when he had the chance back at their house and not only seems on board with the whole Genesis thing, but also seems to be the reason behind it. Turns out Damien promised her a clean slate and nothing else will do.

I refuse to talk about the flashback sequences, because at this point, I don’t really care. They no longer make any sense and don’t really seem to be leading anywhere relevant. It’s honestly time that they came to an end and the story remained focused on the here and now. I will, however, speak briefly about the flash-forward thing they’ve got going on this year. We all knew it most likely wasn’t Felicity in the grave and those suspicions were correct as we see Oliver get in a limo and lo and behold, there’s Felicity. She states that Oliver has to kill him, and we’re all assuming it’s Damien Darhk she’s talking about. But what if she’s not? Hmmm….

Okay, so this was a pretty good episode, although much like The Flash last night, it wasn’t amazing like I was hoping and expecting it to be. The mid-season finale was a great episode, and instead of coming in back with a roar, it was really a bit like a whimper. I’m not a fan of this cat and mouse game that they seem to have going on with Darhk and Oliver. I mean, either fight it out to the death or just forget it. At least I can take some solace in the fact that they’re at least not going with the villain of the week approach, at least for now. I’m sure that will change soon. Probably next week, in fact. But that’s okay, because the overall story arc is interesting enough to keep me invested.

I liked the personal interactions that happened this week, especially the one between John and Andy. While I’m not sure that Andy is completely redeemable at this point, it’s nice to see John at least trying to reach the brother that he remembers and loves. The little bits between Ollie and Felicity were nice, and I especially like the dichotomy of Felicity’s attitude by the end of the episode. Telling Oliver in the present that he can’t lose himself in his revenge and then insisting that he kill whoever (at this point I’m not necessarily convinced it’s Darhk she’s talking about) killed whoever it is in the grave in the future… whew, I think I might need a diagram to figure all of this out! Just kidding! Unlike the flashbacks, this flash-forward thing is very intriguing. I still think it’s either Captain Lance or possibly Felicity’s mom who gets killed at the end of the season. I can’t see the powers that be killing off a major player, although I will admit that I’d be okay if either Thea or Laurel didn’t make it. But that’s just a personal preference on my part.

Overall, this episode was fine, although I was hoping for more. This season has really picked up when compared to the last one, and I was hoping for a little more oomph for the mid-season premiere. Hopefully the rest of the season picks up and matches the first half. And please, no more flashbacks. That has played itself out and is adding absolutely nothing to the narrative. Do you think if we complain enough, the showrunners will get the hint? Let’s hope so.

Make sure to check back for updates—right here on Geek Nation.

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Erin Parisien
Erin is a writer, a comic-book geek, a movie nerd and a pop culture junkie... all long before it was cool! She's the senior Editor and a writer over at and can always be found behind a keyboard, because it's all about the words. Follow her @erin_the_novel over on twitter.