Arrow: 4.10 Blood Debts
When we left Arrow before Christmas, Damien Darhk had exacted his revenge on Oliver Queen as a bloody shootout left Felicity dying in Oliver's arms. Blood Debts picked up straight after this dramatic cliff-hanger as Felicity was rushed into hospital and Oliver donned his Green Arrow suit to hunt Darhk down.
We also returned to the graveyard from the season opener several times as the season mystery of who was in that grave heated up. The obvious choice was Felicity - given the impact her death would have not just on Oliver but a visiting Barry Allen - but it was too obvious so I was intrigued with the ending that showed her visibly angry in the limousine, demanding Oliver take [Darhk?] out.
Did anyone else notice the lack of engagement ring and body language between Oliver and Felicity too? She might have survived the shooting and ended up unable to walk anymore but they still seemed close by the episode's end so something hugely tragic must be about to happen in the next four-month period to tear them apart.
Overall, things didn't progress too much this week, the mid-season opener more concerned with rearranging the pieces after that cliffhanger. Diggle continued to interrogate his brother Andy, Oliver worked his way through Darhk's army of ghosts and in the past, Oliver's deceit was uncovered as Conklin 'outed' him to Baron Reiter. Earlier this season the arrival of John Constantine introduced a supernatural element to the Island and this week, as Oliver faced the same lashing Conklin endured, the tattoos on his body began to glow. What does this mean? Reiter had a very strong reaction to what happened so I am intrigued to see where this storyline goes. It's not as strong as the season two island-based plot but it is still arguably more interesting than last year's dour Hong-Kong based affair.
The other big return this week was Anarky, last seen working for Darhk and set on fire by a bloodlust-fuelled Thea. We saw the consequences of those actions come back to bite her this week, though I have to admit, the immolation aside, I completely forgot he was in the season previously. Still, he made a more memorable threat this time round, toying with Thea's emotions and seeking revenge against Darhk himself. Oliver saving Darhk's family from Anarky certainly brought him some time at the episode's end, but as that flashforward showed, things are likely to get a lot worse.
Blood Debts was a solid mid-season opener that made better use of Anarky and teased the 'who's in the grave?' storyline further. My money was always on Thea and that hasn't changed yet, though Laurel or her father are also strong candidates. It was interesting to see a more vulnerable side to Darhk too as his family came under threat, though I am sure he will be back to his scene-stealing villainous ways soon enough!