Review: Arrow, “Taken”

Progressive/Nerd/Parent Review

Well this is very, very, very awkward.

Arrow Season 4, Episode 15 “Taken” (spoilers)

Bechdel-Wallace Score: 2/3 – A couple extra strong, important women joined this week’s adventure and they had some scenes together. Unfortunately their dialogue with each other was always focused on a man.

Shukla Score: 2/3 – Megalyn Echikunwoke guest starred as Vixen and stole the show a couple of times. And of course Diggle was on hand, but he had a smaller supporting role than usual. Anyway, they only sort of spoke to each other – and only as part of a larger group – so I awarded the episode the first point whole, and the second points each a half, for a total of two points.

Russo Score: 2.5/3 – The first scene in the episode featured Paul, Curtis’ husband, helping Felicity try to walk again (using the spinal chip thing Curtis gave her at the end of the previous episode). Paul’s sexuality was identified in the natural course of conversation and he was not a caricature or just a bit of gay flavoring for the episode, but it is also debatable how significant his presence was, so I docked a half-point.

Kittehs: 🙀🙀🙀🙀😿/5 – OMG!  It was an amazing first act. Almost immediately, Darhk outs Queen as a father to Felicity. Then Laurel and Diggle found out. Then Felicity found out how many people other than her already knew. Then Laurel found out that the child was conceived while Oliver was cheating on her years ago. Then Oliver had to watch as William’s beloved Flash action figure became the key to finding him. The hits and lulz just kept on coming! And then there was a lot of great action and dialogue for the rest of the episode. The final moments were very emotional. It would have taken all the kittehs to pull me away from this one.

Low points: Conklin came back for a moment and I actually had to wonder if he might be returning, so that was rough for me. Oliver running for mayor of Star City has been such an afterthought since his campaign started, and this episode seemingly ended it. Maybe I follow real politics too much, but it seems like the show has treated the mayoral campaign as a less-than-part-time job when it would actually be consuming Oliver’s entire life. I find it hard to suspend disbelief. Speaking of that problem, how the hell does magical Damien Darhk not have the ability to recognize the Green Arrow as Oliver? Come on now.

Highlights: Conklin disappeared into the air, so that was nice for me. Really, it is a long list of highlights for this episode. I suppose, beyond how much I enjoyed watching the Oliver’s past turn into a five character dramatic pile up, for sure the next best thing was Vixen. I imagine her powers are challenging to pull of in a live action show and they did a great job. She was also badass and funny – including being funny about being badass! I am still hoping she gets added to the Legends cast ASAP. Oh, and the episode title being “Taken” was funny to me, especially after seeing Deadpool.

Dad edits: I usually don’t watch this show with my kid, but I might make an exception for this episode. There was less gun violence than usual, the fights were not as harsh as usual, and Oliver’s ode to fathering at the end is something I would love to see again, this time with my son sitting in my lap. Especially because it makes me look like a better dad than the Green Arrow (which I am, for sure).

Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8/7c

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