TV Review: Arrow (4×15) “Taken”

Just as Arrow is about to go on its vacation after February sweeps week, Damien Darhk is ready to strike back hard after his own holiday, and he wastes no time confronting Oliver Queen about his vicious bribe. He demands the suspension of Oliver’s mayoral campaign in exchange for safely returning his secret son, William. In this timeline, the existence of Oliver’s son is news to Felicity, and is going to incite its own slew of problems.

 Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW

Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW

Souls of the Animal Kingdom!

Considering the last three or four times that Oliver has attempted to take on Darhk have been complete failures, he decides to call upon a new hero named Vixen, who can summon the skills of the animal kingdom by calling upon their spirit through an amulet. She is one that is closely familiar with both he and Barry Allen from her own animated series, having no relevance or any plot to do with either of our core shows here, but the episode allowed for an opportunity for the two mediums of the DC universe to collide in shameless cross-promotion.

When Samantha arrives at Oliver’s office, she’s spiraling emotionally with regret about letting Oliver into her life again, and into Williams. Despite all of his efforts to get her to remain calm, he realizes the only way to get her to have faith in him is to tell her the truth about the fact that he is the Green Arrow and brings her to the lair where the rest of the team is there to support and tackle down finding him step by step.

Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW

Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW

Who Didn’t Know, Oliver?

The taking of William in this episode instigates a lot of character-based discussion for our very large cast, as it shakes the world of a few different characters and their relationships with Oliver, Felicity being the most affected of them all. It’s interesting to see her learning the truth in this version of reality. Where before, when facing Vandal Savage back in December, her reaction seems contrived and a bit selfish considering that Oliver only told her the truth when he knew it for sure. Here, her reaction is the same right down to her lines of dialogue, but her feelings about it are much more validated by the length of time it was kept from her, and the number of people that were revealed to already have known about William’s existence before her, including Barry, Thea and Malcolm Merlyn, the latter being the one that stings the most. Sure, she does everything she can moment to moment throughout the hour for the sake of finding William and consoling Samantha, her real feelings about Oliver’s lie really set in, and the anger towards him flowing through her and the removal of her engagement ring suddenly give her the strength to walk again, and she immediately uses it to walk right out on him.

Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW

Photo: Bettina Strauss/ The CW

Don’t Call Liam Neeson

It’s a shame that the episode ends on such a downer, especially as it builds Oliver’s own internal conflict about the degree to which he feels he ought to be in William’s life, if he even should at all. Diggle, being the show’s newest father advises him the most hopeful angle, giving a pretty touching monologue about the point of being a dad, and the reason he continues to fight the one that he does by Oliver’s side, to make sure he sees his daughter’s face every single day. Vixen, aka Mari McCabe from Detroit, has much more to say about the subject, and gives an abridged, but profound detail of her origin story about growing up in a foster home and not knowing who she is supposed to be and what she can do. Being a part of a family of superheroes is a difficult, and unique business, and while she feels regretful of the fact that she questioned herself and her birth mother when she was young, she realized that what she got in return was a real childhood. Oliver takes this to heart, knowing that the knowledge that his father is not only Oliver Queen, but also the Green Arrow, is a defining moment, and William deserves to grow up like a normal human being after everything he’s gone through, at least until he is old enough.

In the meantime, the efforts of Team Arrow crossed with that of Vixen and the drive to save William finally seem to put an end to Damien Darhk’s reign over Star City, at least for the time being. While Vixen was able to track down the idol that Darhk drew his powerful magic from, and destroy it, I have to wonder why Damien Darhk put it out in a hilariously wide open spot in the middle of his home. Whether he planned on being arrested or not during the events of these episodes, I doubt he really cares judging by the way he treats the mystical object. In fact, assuming he has full control of hive, and a mansion in Star City that only the likes of Bruce Wayne could buy, I can imagine he could purchase several thousand more idols of black magic for the cost of his real estate.



→) Ryder pulls a Julian Glover from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and after tricking Oliver into confronting whatever ghouls lies in the caves of Lian Yu, all to discover Oliver is protected by the runes gifted by constantine, and therefore he’s the respective “penitent man who can pass.”



Rating: (9/10)


Are you a fan of Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl? Check out Ally’s review of this week’s other episode in the DCTV Universe!

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At the end of every week, Evan and Allyson meet up to chat about the weekly happenings on our podcast TYF DC Debrief, available on several platforms! You can join the conversation with us every week on Twitter @EvGriff42 @AllysonAJ and @TYFOfficial

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Boston, Massachusetts: Evan is a 23 year old college graduate with a degree in English and Journalism. He's had a lifelong passion for film, games and reading things. A living movie quotation machine, and obsessively analytical, Evan will always give an honest and fair opinion with an insertion of wit where appropriate. (Who are you kidding? It’s always appropriate.) Additionally, he is an aficionado of the superhero genre, old video games and (yes, subjectively) awesome movies.