Arrow’s “Unchained” saw a number of familiar faces returning to the show and that is where a lot of the charm for this episode lies. The episode begins as Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) returns to Star City and is stealing tech for an unseen super genius who calls himself the Calculator (Tom Amandes). The Calculator has proof that Roy is still alive and has threatened to release it if ‘The Arrow’ doesn’t cooperate and do as he orders. When Team Arrow tracks the former Arsenal down, they appear to take Roy out, and take him back to their headquarters. Roy tells Oliver that he didn’t come to him or the others because this is his mess and he wants to clean it up on his own. Ollie insists on helping his old protégé, especially since it was his mess Roy was trying to clean up. The Calculator has been keeping tabs on Roy via a very high tech contact lens and Felicity is able to trace his signal and she has a cyber mano-a-mano with the Calculator, who quickly becomes her very own nemesis. Initially, Felicity thinks the Calculator wants the stolen tech (which includes a new power cell that is intended to save Palmer Technologies) to destroy the internet. Instead, she learns he wants to use it to destroy Star City. Meanwhile, Thea is fighting a battle of her own as she succumbs to the effects of Darhk’s powers on her blood lust. As Malcolm explains to Oliver, Darhk blunted the blood lust, but it must be fed still. If the host doesn’t kill, then the host will die. Thea’s condition almost drives Oliver to make a deal with Darhk through his wife, Ruvé (Janet Kidder), who has just thrown her hat into the mayoral race for Star City. While Malcolm is in Star City, Nyssa (Katrina Law) makes good her escape from his dungeon and sets out to recover the Lotus, a weapon that can counter the effects of the Lazarus Pit and which may be able to save Thea. To obtain it, Nyssa must get past the guardian of the Lotus, who is Tatsu Yamashiro, aka Katana (Rila Fukushima). Once Nyssa explains the Lotus is to help Oliver Queen though, that is a non-issue. What could quickly become an issue though is when Nyssa offers the Lotus to Oliver to save Thea in exchange for him killing Malcom Merlyn. All in all, it is the guest stars of “Unchained” that really make this episode fun. It’s especially good to Haynes back in action and the cameo by Fukushima was very nice. As for Laws Nyssa, her return would appear drive the events of the next episode of Arrow. Besides the returning favorites, we also get the first appearance of the Calculator, a character from the comics who was introduced in a series of stories in Detective Comics where he went after various valuables and went up against different members of the Justice League of America. Here he is presented as a worthy foe for Felicity and his online battle with her, especially the smack talk (or would that be Smoak talk since Felicity always puts her own unique spin on everything) is a delight. While it is awesome watching these two cross swords, the pay-off, and this episode’s WTH!? moment, comes after Felicity gives her presentation to the board of Palmer Technologies for the new power cell designed by Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum). She runs into the Calculator in person as she leaves the presentation and we learn this new adversary is her father. Honestly, I did not see that one coming at all and I am eager to see where the producers take this story idea. I’m pretty sure they will make it all add up. Certainly making Felicity’s father into her archenemy won’t be a minus. Unless it helps lead to the division between her and Oliver. Okay, sorry about that. I just had to get those puns out of my system. My apologies if they seemed by the numbers. Speaking of Felicity and Curtis, the two characters have some nice moments in this episode. Felicity’s new disability hinders her game at work, even as she is regaining her confidence as Overwatch. It is Holt that reminds her how much butt she is capable of kicking and encourages her to bring that fierceness to the boardroom. Again, Rickards remains my main reason for tuning in for this show. We get one more special guest appearance in “Unchained” during the flashback scenes to the island. As Oliver is tortured by Baron Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola), he has a vision of Shado (Celina Jade), who comes to him to address the feelings he has for Taiana (Elysia Rotaru) and the guilt he has over killing her brother. Indeed, Oliver’s guilt is addressed in the flashbacks and in the action that takes place in the present day. More than once it is commented that Oliver is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and I can’t help but wonder how much of this will play into the season finale. While the mystery grave isn’t addressed in this episode, all Arrow fans know it is out there, and we’re just waiting to see how much the death of the person who is buried in it will impact the world of Oliver Queen and what kind of fallout it will result in. Somehow, I get the feeling that the Oliver we’re seeing now will seem lighthearted and carefree in comparison to the one that is coming. Until we find out who will end up resting in peace, the fans will keep watching and gathering what clues are presented. As for this episode, it was good and the reveal that the Calculator is Felicity’s old man alone is enough to get this one a 3.5. Arrow 4.12 “Unchained”Dan's Rating3.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.