Since Samantha and William were introduced on Arrow, the fan reception has not been positive. Some were outraged that Arrow “whitewashed” Oliver’s illegitimate biracial son, Connor Hawek, from the comics. Other were disappointment that the series was unnecessarily complicating the Felicity/Oliver relationship. There was another contingent who felt that Samantha and William could have been interesting, but were completely mishandled. In other words, none of the reception was good.
In “Taken,” Arrow dealt with all those problems head-on in an episode completely devoted to Samantha, William and Oliver’s lies. The results weren’t perfect, but it was as good a conclusion as fans could hope for a story line that has never been (nor will ever be) wildly popular.
As Felicity and Oliver exit an unsuccessful physical therapy session, Damien Darhk emerges from the shadows. Darhk is a bastard, but he tells Felicity what Oliver should have told her months ago. Oliver has a son and Damien is holding him hostage. (Okay, to be fair, Oliver didn’t know that last bit.) Damien tells Oliver that he must drop out of the mayoral race if he wants to see his son again.
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Everyone regroups at the Arrow cave and Felicity discovers the ridiculous amount of people who knew Oliver’s big secret and none of them are her. Samantha arrives in Star City having been led there by Barry Allen. Oliver lets Samantha in on his secret, the other one that she doesn’t know, he’s the Green Arrow.
Vixen to the Rescue
The team needs to help find William though, so the team looks for extra heroes. Constantine is Hell, literal Hell, which should be a bigger deal, but whatever, so they turn to Vixen. If you’re unfortunate enough to not know who she is or how awesome Vixen is, she is Mari McCabe. She is a superhero who can magically tap into the spirit of any animal. So strength, flight, super-hearing, super-smell … she’s got it all.
With Vixen’s help, the team finds where they believe William is being held. Inside the building though, there is no William to be found, just Damien. Damien, once again, completely destroys and outmatches Oliver. Mari’s magic manages to be moderately more successful against Darhk, but she is also outclassed and Darhk escapes.
In the Arrow Cave, Samantha waits with Felicity. She tries to tell Felicity that Oliver lying to her is all her fault and blah, blah, I don’t care. (Samantha, you’re the worst and no one likes you.) Howeve, Felicity is effected by the speech, in a way that I am not, however.
The Search of the Evil Totem
Everyone comes back from their failed mission and Mari deduces something about Damien Darhk. Darhk’s power must come from a totem since her power comes from a necklace around her neck. Lance confirms this line of thinking by telling Mari and the team about the weird thing he saw in Darhk’s closet. While Mari goes to investigate, Oliver buys them time by dropping out of the race. This happens much to the dismay of his campaign manager Alex, the only Arrow character more useless and annoying than Samantha.
Mari finds the totem but she pulls Oliver aside before they go after it. She tells Oliver that she was raised in foster homes and always wondered who her parents were. So she knows what William is going through and knows that he probably isn’t ready to know everything about his father and tells Oliver that he should just let him go. (It doesn’t make an incredible amount of sense but if it gets William and Samantha out of our lives, I’m cool with it.)
Oliver is going to need a decision soon because Darhk calls soon afterwards. He sets up a meeting with Oliver to handover William. The team worries that it is a trap though and together devise a way to not only get William back, but take Darhk’s power source at the same time.
In flashback land, something actually interesting happens. It’s not worth more than paragraph but it’s still moderately intriguing. Reiter does some weird magic thing and Conklin is resurrected (sort of) with some creepy spirit possessing his body. The zombified Conklin goes after Oliver but stops when he knows the tattoo on his abs that Constantine gave him.
Child Prison Break
The team raids Damien’s house, which I’m fairly sure is a different palatial mansion than before. Mari swoops in (literally) with her powers and steals Darhk’s totem. It’s the definition of anticlimax but it kind of doesn’t matter. Separating Damien from the totem doesn’t do anything.
Mari is forced to smash it while Damien finds Oliver, Thea and Laurel and begins to choke them to death. Of course, Mari finally manages to destroy the totem just at the right dramatic moment and everyone is saved. Oliver gets the satisfaction of punching Darhk repeatedly without his powers and the police arrive to pick up William and arrest Darhk.
Daddies Having Daddy Issues
At the police station, Lance takes Oliver and Thea to the side. Lance tells them that William says Damien didn’t kidnap him. Instead it wasn’t a one-handed man. We obviously know that this means that Malcolm took William and not that William is just really bad at the Princess Bride references. Thea goes to confront Malcolm about the newest horrible thing he has done. Malcolm says it was all for her and them or something. You know, the usual spiel but whatever dude, cool motive, you’re still an evil monster.
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Oliver, meanwhile, makes a decision of his own for his child. He records a video message, explaining the whole truth of William’s situation to him, as well revealing that Oliver is the Green Arrow. Oliver also lets us, the audience, know that William is being taken away and hidden until his eighteenth birthday so he can have a normal childhood.
Felicity rolls into the room and puts her engagement ring on the table, telling Oliver that she can’t do this anymore. She needs a break and she needs to be included in his decision making. Then, Felicity literally gets up and walks out of the room. Curtis’ miracle technology really knows how to make a dramatic entrance AND exit.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW.
(Images courtesy of The CW)