Arrow and I have a love-hate relationship. Most of the time it’s love where the show is clicking on all cylinders, but sometimes — especially in the middle of a season — it’s hate where there’s a storyline that just angers me to no end.
We’ve officially entered that phase in season four.
Just when I’d thought I’d wished away the baby mama storyline away so much that it would magically disappear, it reared its very, very ugly head as we were once again reminded that this is not going away. It’s only just begun.
In “Code of Silence,” Oliver rightfully began to feel even more guilt for keeping the secret of his son from Felicity. It certainly didn’t help matters once Thea learned the news and actually supported Oliver’s decision to lie — *shouts* OUT OF CHARACTER. But even worse than that, a certain villainous someone made a move that will act as the catalyst for the next episode that has been promised to be an emotionally compromising hour of television.
Arrow has definitely been the best of the DC television shows this season — with The Flash not fully living up to its sensational freshman run — but it goes to show you how one terrible storyline can change things. There are so many questions that come with this plot point: How will everyone react? How will this affect things moving forward? Can this unforgivable storyline eventually be remedied? Hopefully Arrow can redeem itself this season as they move past the baby mama drama and into the heart of the show.
But for now, here’s the rundown…
Lie, Lie, Lie
The Queen family name has and continues to remain synonymous with lies. Dating back to Robert Queen and his lies through Moira through Oliver and now through Thea. This family clearly has a characteristic about it that’s not flattering in the slightest. I think some trust exercises are needed for Oliver and Thea.
To be fair, Thea didn’t lie this entire episode if only because Oliver initiated the lie that led to Thea investigating. But once she learned the truth, it was time to join the family business.
With a huge mayoral debate on the way — and Alex’s mother having surgery at the most inopportune moment — Thea has been left in charge of running Oliver’s campaign, which means she’s tasked with preparing him for the debate and making sure the opposition doesn’t dump something huge on him. You know, like a secret son that no one knows about.
During her digging, Thea confronts Oliver about a check for $1 million addressed to Samantha (aka baby mama) that went uncashed. But Oliver, who’s had a little bit of time within this lie, immediately denies any connection to it.
Later Thea confronts Oliver about going to college with Samantha Clayton — how he was with her when he was with Laurel. Thea looked her up. She moved to Central City and she has a son that’s as old as that check. That god damn check. Thea knew something was bothering him when they were in Central City, and now she knows what. William is Oliver’s son.
Oliver confides in Thea that the only way Oliver could see William was that if he didn’t tell anyone that William was his son, as requested by baby mama. Oliver admits that he thought he was doing okay with keeping the secret, but now he’s feeling guilty. How could he marry Felicity when there’s this huge lie between them? Thea says it’s not a lie (bullshit and hypocritical) she says it’s a promise he’s making to the mother of his child. *rolls eyes*
But Oliver isn’t quick to accept her comfort. You’re damn right it doesn’t make it right, Oliver.
Let’s get a few things straight: No, Thea, it’s not the right thing to do. And no, Oliver, that’s not what you needed to hear. That’s what you wanted to hear.
Let’s have a chat, shall we? This entire scene bothered me — apart from Oliver realizing that he cannot marry Felicity with this lie between them. They’ve never been the kind of people who’ve lied to each other, yet alone about something this big. So that I admit was in character. Everything else was a mess.
The problem here was that Arrow took a character like Thea — who was in the middle of her own parental crisis in season two, mind you, and had her essentially endorsing Oliver lying to Felicity. Thea brought up “doing the right thing” for William. Do I agree that keeping William out of this life is the best thing for him? Yes. But the issue here, that Thea seemed to not be grasping, was that Oliver was lying to Felicity about it. I’m sorry, but this show made Thea out to be a hypocrite with her encouraging Oliver to keep lying about this. I’m sorry, but that’s not how Thea should have reacted. Out of everyone, she should’ve been the one person encouraging Oliver to tell Felicity and be honest about this.
I find it extremely disheartening that Arrow is trying to sell this lie as completely acceptable when its anything but. If you’re going to go through this disgusting storyline in the first place then at least own it. Don’t use characters and make them say things that 1) aren’t true and 2) they’d never say in order to justify what’s clearly an example of why one should not lie.
Quentin and Donna
Now that Quentin had been outed as someone who has been working with the vigilantes, Damien Darhk finally made his move in order to take him out. He orchestrated a false “breaking and entering” claim to lure Quentin to a building, which Darhk then proceeded to have destroyed. Luckily Laurel made her way inside and both were able to make it out alive.
But with understanding that this was Darhk’s attempt to take him out, Quentin began to question whether or not he could continue to be with her when he knows the danger that poses to her. He attempts to lie to Donna — albeit very poorly, think Oliver attempting to lie to Felicity in early season one — telling her that they can’t see each other for a couple of weeks.
But Donna was buying none of it. After going through that experience with her ex-husband — and how he lied to her continuously and repeatedly — Donna has developed a BS detector, and she is not going to be with another man that lies to her. So she calls it quits, as she was entirely justified to do.
Later, we got a beautiful scene between mother and daughter where Donna unveiled her feelings about the whole Quentin situation. “I thought I finally found the one man who wouldn’t lie to me,” Donna wept. Felicity tried to reassure her that maybe he had a good reason — that he was trying to protect her.
Donna also revealed that the real reason she’s been going through with all of these big wedding plans — and being “Mom Zilla” — is that she’s living vicariously through Felicity. She said Felicity and Oliver are “one of those couples that everyone believes in” and how they don’t lie to each other, ever — well, about that) — and that he’s going to be the “best daddy ever when that time comes.” But it also reminded Donna that she’s never going to have a love like that. But Felicity assures her mother that she has found that love with Quentin, and that she should put her trust in Quentin. Oh, this is going to come back to haunt Felicity.
I really loved this exchange between the two, and for a second it distracted me from the bigger picture that Oliver is lying to Felicity about something huge. And it’s not to protect her, it’s to protect himself. But Donna spoke truth when she said that Oliver and Felicity are “one of those couples” that everyone believes in.” Because despite this shit storm of a storyline coming up with Oliver’s son and that huge lie to Felicity, I’ll still believe in these two beautiful people. They’ll survive this. They’ll work through it. They’ll always find a way back to each other.
Back to Quentin and Donna, here we had Felicity encouraging Donna and Oliver encouraging Quentin to make things work. Later at Oliver and Felicity’s engagement party, Quentin pulled Donna aside to apologize to her for lying to her. He admitted that he was scared about how she would react to the truth — but he told her the truth. He had been working for H.I.V.E. and Damien Darhk — the people responsible for Felicity’s condition — as a means to protect Laurel, who Darhk had threatened. He did what he did in order to protect Laurel, and he lied to Donna in order to protect her. After seeing things that way, Donna was able to look past the lies and give Quentin another chance.
Curtis’ Engagement Party Surprise
Curtis has been working on a wedding gift for Felicity — which he hid from Felicity with an adorable Felicity screen saver. At Oliver and Felicity’s engagement party, Curtis and his husband arrived for the celebration, where we learned Curtis has been pulling even more extra hours in order to finish Felicity’s wedding gift as soon as possible, after the surprise was ruined.
And, damn, was the surprise a good one.
Curtis gave Felicity a microchip — actually an implantable bio stimulant that will in fact help Felicity walk again just in time for her to walk down the aisle. Felicity’s reaction to the news and to Curtis’ terrific gift was that of pure incredulousness that it legit brought tears to my eyes. Emily Bett Rickards continues to bring the emotion in every scene in such a powerful way.
You guys, this is how Felicity will walk again.
How fitting that the device is powered by Palmer Tech’s power cell — the same power cell that Curtis had created. I’d like to say that I’m incredibly happy that this cure for Felicity’s paralysis isn’t magical but technological; something “terrific.”
H.I.V.E.’s Next Step
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Damien Darhk and H.I.V.E. — remember that little break that he gave the Green Arrow? Well, now we’re nearing the main stretch of the season so it’s time to get back into the thick of the whole trying to destroy the city thing.
The next phase of H.I.V.E.’s plan involved this new Demolition Team that is exactly as it sounds — a team that are experts at demolishing buildings. We first saw the number they did on the building where Quentin and Laurel were investigating, but Team Arrow got up-close-and-personal with them as they unleashed tools as weapons, including a nail gun that looks as terrifying as it sounds. Dear lord.
This demolition team was mainly tasked with destroying the building that the mayoral debate between Oliver Queen and Ruve Darhk. They would destroy the building and rescue Ruve so that she’d appear to be the sole emotion-filled survivor. As if.
Thanks to Curtis’ help, Felicity learned that this building would be their next attack, as well as where these bombs were located. After a tough go-round with this demolition team — that consisted of some pretty incredible stunts courtesy of director James Bamford who brings it every time — Team Arrow was able to disable the bombs, capture this team, and the debate went on as scheduled.
Unfortunately on the debate front things didn’t go according to plan for H.I.V.E.. Oliver Queen easily defeated Ruve “Darhk” Adams. I admit that I was kind of disappointed that the whole truth about William wasn’t revealed in this episode if only because I want to get this stupid storyline over with already.
As for H.I.V.E.’s next step…
Worst Play Date Ever
Well, so much for dodging that baby mama storyline. In the hour’s final scene, Damien Darhk dropped in on his young daughter and delivered a play date who is none other than William, Oliver’s son. Turns out he’ll be spending some time with them for a while, as his mother has asked them to watch over him, which I more than highly doubt.
Well, here we go. We all knew this horrific baby mama drama would resurface. But we have to get it over with eventually so let’s just rip the damn bandaid off. To be honest, I’m really disappointed in how this storyline is being handled. There was so much potential to treat this more as Oliver being a father than Oliver lying about being a father. The whole lying thing was implemented in order to cause a rift between Oliver and Felicity for petty drama that no one wants to see. But now that it’s here, let’s just get this crap over with and get back to what makes this show what we love.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.