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Magic, Science and 4 Possible Game-Changers, Arrow “Taken” 

Magic, Science and 4 Possible Game-Changers, Arrow “Taken”
Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/ The CW
Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW
Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW

Magic totems. Animal channeling. And a ghostly gatekeeper. This episode may have been filled with far-fetched whimsy, but it also brought us some very real story lines. Oliver grappled with the realities of parenthood. Thea was finally forced to see the truth. Darhk lost the upper-hand. And Felicity’s life took a major turn, in more ways than one. Let’s take a closer look at the four potential game-changers in this episode.

Felicity Walked Out On Oliver. Literally.

I loved this scene. So much. I know that sounds awful because it was actually really kind of heartbreaking, but the timing was so perfect and Emily Bett Rickards’ performance was so phenomenal that I was ready to suspend disbelief and just go with it. Not to mention that Felicity’s regained mobility was allegedly attributed to science and in an episode filled with magic, I’m glad science got its moment in the spotlight, too.

Nevertheless, we saw Felicity struggle and fail to walk (thanks to Curtis’ spinal chip) earlier in the episode and honestly, I’m glad she did because walking at physical therapy wouldn’t have had a fraction of the dramatic impact that it did in this final scene. Even after discovering that Oliver had been keeping William a secret from her, despite the fact that a whole boatload of other people knew about it, Felicity was a consummate professional and still focused on the task at hand — saving William. She even teamed up with Samantha to do whatever it took to find him without a sliver of spite. But once William was safe, it was Felicity’s turn to look out for herself.

Felicity: I can’t do this. Your son was in danger and I had to table what I was feeling about everything. But now that I’ve had some space, I realize that I need space.

Oliver: Felicity.

Felicity: I know the position Samantha put you in, I know it was an impossible decision but you were right, you should’ve told me. Marriage is about inclusion. It’s about leaning on your partner when things get complicated. I don’t think that you know how to do that.

Oliver: I’m trying

Felicity: And now you’re sending William away. And I understand why. I do. But once again, you have left me out of the decision. {Foot twitches}

Oliver: Felicity? {Felicity stands and walks out}

While I know that this break-up is more than likely temporary, I still love that Felicity stood up for herself. And I don’t blame her. Yes, Oliver was between a rock and hard place, but he still made the decision not to tell her. And as she pointed out earlier (and I pointed out last week), it really didn’t do them any good. But, ultimately, I think the issue isn’t so much that he didn’t tell her about William, but rather that he doesn’t know how to really truly include someone in his life and lean on them when things get tough…the William situation just happened to highlight that. So I think Felicity did what she had to do, she walked out. And man, what a dramatic walk out it was. Like I said, I can’t imagine this is the end for them, but I like to think that this will open Oliver’s eyes and force him to face his shortcomings, which will ultimately make them stronger in the end. And when that time comes, Felicity will be ready and able to walk down the aisle.

Darhk Loses His Magic

Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW
Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW

Thank goodness. I have been on board with the relatively contained smatterings of magic that Darhk has brought to the show up to this point, but between Constantine and now Vixen and the flashback glowy tattoo, it’s starting to become a bit much. I am totally fine with the far-fetched metahumans on The Flash and the time-traveling on Legends of Tomorrow, but for some reason, it just doesn’t fit with what Arrow has represented to this point. In my opinion, at least. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Vixen and the whole idea of fighting magic with magic, but the blue whispies and animal auras that appeared took things from “realistic magic” to “cheesy magic”. I know, I know, realistic magic is a bit of a paradox, but without the visual effects, it all felt a little more believable. Nevertheless, I’m super interested in seeing where things go with Darhk now that he’s power-free. I have no doubt that he is still a force to be reckoned with, considering his connections and evil-masterminded-ness, but I also look forward to seeing how it’ll play out now that they’re on a more level playing field.

Oliver Says Goodbye To William

Again, thank goodness. Don’t get me wrong, I know Oliver was trying to do what he perceived as the “right” thing as a father by being a part of William’s life, but this is what should’ve happened long ago. If Oliver REALLY wanted to selflessly protect him, sending him away and not interacting with him would’ve been the obvious choice. He can’t be the protective father that Diggle suggested simply because his situation is so different. He doesn’t live with William. He wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about William. And he couldn’t even tell William he was his father. Honestly, keeping him super close would’ve just been weird. And while I complained a little about Vixen’s magic above, I did like her as a character and that she was brought into the fold not only for her magic but also the insight that she gave Oliver regarding letting William go.

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/ The CW
Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/ The CW

Vixen: We’re gonna get William back, Oliver. But when we do, maybe you should consider that letting him go is not such a bad thing.

Oliver: What do you mean?

Vixen: ….I never knew my real parents. I grew up in a foster home and my whole life I wondered ‘who am I? Where did I come from? Why don’t my real parents want me?’

Oliver: A boy should know who his father is.

Vixen: He should and he will, but knowing what William is going through right now, I realized that I wasn’t ready for the answers. Learning about my heritage, my powers, the evil my mother fled our homeland to protect me from, no child should have to carry that burden. Look around you, Oliver. The best gift you can give him is his childhood. Keep him as far away from your world for as long as possible. I can’t imagine a greater sacrifice. Isn’t that what parenthood is?

Again, I think from the beginning this was the obvious choice and I’m glad that Oliver finally came around to it. He may have to let William go, but he hardly sees him as is and knowing how he takes on the weight of the world when something happens to his loved ones, I think keeping William far away and safe is not only better for William but also for Oliver. But this wasn’t the only paternal issue that came up this week….

Merlyn Foreshadows A Bigger Battle

Yep, the cat’s out of the bag. Merlyn was the one who kidnapped William and gave him to Darhk. And while Thea should’ve known this from his evasive non-answer, it took William’s confirmation of the “one-handed man” to convince her. And she was pissed. Understandably. I mean, it is Merlyn so I’ve learned not to put anything past him, but Thea still tries to see the good in him and let him off the hook (even though he just agreed to let her die to keep him power). Until now. Apparently kidnapping her previously-unknown nephew was crossing the line.

Thea: I know it was you. You took him. Out of spite.

Merlyn: For us. You have to believe me, I did it for us.

Thea: You purposely put him in danger. You know what, I’m not doing this anymore. This song and dance where you come over to my apartment and you whisper your lies. It is over.

Merlyn: Thea, I did it to protect us.

Thea: Shut up. How could you possibly think there was an “us” to protect? You know, sometimes I lay awake at night and I wonder what Robert would think of our relationship. He raised me. He loved me. I threw all of that away the moment I became your daughter.

Merlyn: Yes, yes, you did. And it was your choice.

Thea: And I wish I never did.

Merlyn: Don’t you dare ever speak to me like that. You would be dead ten times over if not for me. I taught you how to fight. How to be strong. I turned you from a delicate spoiled brat in to a warrior. And all I’ve ever gotten from you in return is your venomous spit.

Thea: For a very good reason.

Merlyn: You have no idea what you are up against. You are incapable of seeing the bigger picture. But I can. And I would rather you hate me and be alive than love me and be dead.

Okay, so Merlyn isn’t going to be winning the Father Of The Year award anytime soon, but this last line was kind of sweet and fatherly. In a twisted Merlyn way. I have to say, I also love how hot-headed and charged up he got in this scene. We’ve seen him act this way towards others, but rarely towards Thea. And let’s be honest, he’s not wrong. He has saved her life numerous times and she was pretty annoying before she turned badass. But my concern is more what’s to come. What was he protecting them from? I mean, my guess is Darhk and HIVE, but now that Darhk is without his magic, is that threat still in play? And does the creepy ghost-guarded flashback cavern have anything to do with it? I guess we’ll have to wait until March to find out.

Arrow returns with new episodes Wednesday, March 23 on The CW.


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