Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) has upped the ante and taken Oliver Queen’s son, William (Jack Moore), hostage and demands Oliver drop out of the Star City mayoral race. With his son’s life on the line, Ollie has to come clean with his team that he is a father and he also tells William’ mother, Samantha (Anna Hopkins), that he is the Green Arrow. Realizing nothing else they have thrown at Darhk has any effect, Oliver decides to fight magic with magic. His old associate Constantine is out since he is in Hell (literally), so the Green Arrow calls in Mari McCabe, aka Vixen (Megalyn Echikunwoke), the superheroine with the magic necklace that gives her the power to channel the spirit of any animal. Because of her powers, she is also able to track William, who is being held in Star City. With Vixen in the mix, Team Arrow is able to throw Darhk for a loop, but they fail in the first attempt to take him down. Also, since Darhk is now aware of Vixen, he is able to block her ability to find William again. Meanwhile, as the team plans their next move, the news of Ollie being a dad is hitting everyone in different ways. Diggle gets why he chose to get to know his child, even if it meant having to keep that information from Felicity; Laurel is stinging a little from the knowledge that Samantha was yet another woman that Ollie slept with when they were together and Felicity is hurt and angry that her fiancé kept this part of his life from her (more on that later). When the time comes to make a second move on Darhk, Mari theorizes that he could have a totem, a source for his magic, much like her necklace. She figures if they can get to it and disconnect Darhk from it, they can take him down. When the team locates Darhk, they take the fight to him again. This time, Vixen gets the totem and starts working to destroy it as the Green Arrow, Speedy and Black Canary move in on Darhk himself. When the totem is finally destroyed, and Darhk loses his juice, Oliver is able to take him down once and for all. By the end of the episode, after a heart-to-heart with Vixen, who knows what it was like to grow up protected from the dangers her parents faced, Oliver makes the tough call to protect his son from his world and asks Samantha to take the boy as far away as possible and away from him. As the episode ends, Felicity finally has it out with Oliver and decides she also needs some space and time away from him. As fate would have it, Curtis Holt’s implant kicks in just in time for Felicity to walk again and right out of Oliver’s life. “Taken” is one of the better episodes of Arrow this season. There’s lots of action and the narrative advances by leaps and bounds. Green Arrow needs to team-up with more DC superheroes because they seem to bring out the best in him and this show. Speaking of said team-up, I loved the animated Vixen shorts from last year and it is great to see Echikonewoke bring the character to life here (and I dug the comment about her and Green Arrow having had an ‘animated adventure’ previously). I’ve heard several rumors regarding Vixen. There has been talk that she could be added to the Legends of Tomorrow cast next season and also that she could be headed to a spin-off series of her own. Whatever happens, I just hope they use her somewhere. This character kicks ass. As much as I love Echikonewoke as Vixen, I think I dislike McDonough just as much as Darhk in this episode. It isn’t the actor, who has been really good at times this season. At fault is the way the writers handle him. Sometimes he is written as a real threat and then other times he is written like a jackhole with some fancy tricks. This time, the writers brought the jackhole. But then, that is probably why I enjoyed this tool finally getting the smack down he deserved. Speaking of tools and smack downs, I get the feeling that at some point this season Malcolm Merlyn is going to be pulling Oliver Queen’s foot out of his ass for helping Darhk kidnap William. By the end of this episode, it would appear that Thea has washed her hands of him. One nice thing about “Taken” is that it addresses what means to be a father and what that role entails. Malcolm for sure is the shining example of how NOT to be a father and we also get to see Diggle and Captain Lance as examples of how to do it right. As for Ollie, he is still getting on the job training. While it is sad he has to severe ties with his son, for now, he recognizes it has to be done for the greater good. I have a hunch that this relationship isn’t over yet and that is a good thing. Much like the occasional team-up, seeing Oliver as a father has given Arrow a shot in the arm this season. When it is all said and done, I can’t find too much to complain about this episode. I am beginning to wonder why anyone on Team Arrow even bothers wearing a mask though. First Samantha gets let in on Ollie and everyone else’s secret identities and then Mari meets the rest of Team Arrow out of costume. I swear, the Arrow Cave will be on the Star City tour before too long. At the end of the day, I give this one 4 Stars. Arrow 4.15 “Taken”Dan's Rating4.0Overall 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.