Arrow Round Table: Permanent Paralysis or Bump in the Road?

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Welcome to the Arrow Season 4 Episode 10 Round Table.

Below, we're discussing Felicity's paralysis, the Darhk family and what the future might hold now that we know Felicity isn't in the grave and not wearing her engagement ring while in the limousine. 

Join TV Fanatics Jay Ruymann, Hank Otero, Meg Bonney, Caralynn Lippo and Carissa Pavlica as they tackle the tough topics. Share your thoughts by dropping them in the comments section!

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Felicity is alive, but paralyzed. What are your initial expectations of the storyline?

Jay: I expect the story to be short, not handled right, and just another obstacle for Oliver and Felicity. The first sign of mistreatment was Felicity crying because she thought Oliver would leave her for her paralysis, not that she'd "never" walk again.

Hank: Didn't she appear to be standing in the preview for the next episode? I agree with Jay, the paralysis storyline is not going to last long. Unless they plan to make Felicity the series' Oracle, but I believe the producers have already shot down that theory. She will be up and about in no time, just watch.

Meg: Eye roll. I wanted them to commit to her death. I liked her character but the stakes never feel that high on this show because we know that nobody is ever really dead.

Caralynn: It was a let down, not in the sense that I wanted Felicity to be dead, but in the sense that (like Meg said) this show doesn't do well with "sticking" the death. The last legitimately shocking death (that stuck) was Moira. Every other death or near-death has felt like a ratings stunt. As far as expectations: she'll walk again, in an unrealistically short amount of time.

Carissa: Gosh. It sounds so daytime soap opera, doesn't it? There's not much primetime about Arrow at all anymore. I'd like to see her be paralyzed and really run with the character. There have been many fantastic characters as such. But I'm sure either Magic or Ray's nano business will have her up and about soon.

What do you think of the Darhk family dynamic so far?

Jay: That family is crazier than the League of Assassins. Combined.

Hank: It was alright, but I'm not too impressed with Darhk to be honest. I miss the Deathstroke days of Arrow Season 2. None of the villains since have worked as well for me.

Meg: I like that he has a secret family. The wife is crazy, but it sort of goes along with that strange "cleansing" ideal that Darhk has. Brainwashed and crazy is sort of his jam.

Caralynn: Oh, Hank, totally! Deathstroke was the #1 villain of the series, hands down, and Season 2 was just peak Arrow all around. I liked the "twist" that Darhk's wife was not only aware of his evil machinations but that she was totally ruthless as well. It sounded almost like she was more into it than he was.

Carissa: I agree that it's interesting she's seemingly more evil than he is. That's a twist. But it's another kinda sorta soap opera villain. The Victor Newman of Arrow. 

In four months, Felicity is not in the grave. She is not wearing her engagement ring. She seems dark and there is little comforting between the one-time couple. Given that new information, answer the following questions:

What will drive Oliver and Felicity apart?

Jay: I think a combination of things will break them up. Her paralysis and how that will change her life, her not wanting to be on Team Arrow anymore, and Oliver's son in Central City. It's just going to be a sh*t show.

Hank: This is why I was never an Olicity fan. Once the two hooked up, it was all downhill. Their relationship was wonderful early on, but the fans wanted them together. Oliver isn't meant to be happy (for long), that would make for a dull show. I think something tragic like losing her mother will drive Felicity away.

Meg: Ollie will pull the "I can't be with you and be the Arrow blah, blah, blah" and they will break up. Or she will find out about his son and how he lied to her or a combo of both.

Caralynn: Hm, I mean, I don't think it will be tension over the danger that Oliver's line of work poses to her life. Because they've already dealt with it and she's definitely firmly stated that she won't be pushed out of his life. The decision to stick around is hers to make and she's made it.

On the other hand, Felicity hasn't experienced repercussions to Oliver's "line of work" hitting someone close to her, someone who is innocent and uninvolved. I think that will drive a wedge between them, so I'm with Hank. Donna Smoak may die because of some Arrow-related violence.

Carissa: I think Felicity might not feel like she has anything left to contribute or she might still be more frightened than she expected to be. Words sound great in theory, in practice it's all different.

Who is in the grave and why do you believe that?

Jay: I think it's either Donna Smoak or Captain Lance. Possibly her mother, because Felicity seemed angrier than Oliver. Possibly Captain Lance because there's not much else to do with him at this point.

Hank: Those are my two picks as well, Jay. From Oliver's reaction in that original scene, it's doubtful the dead person is someone like Thea or Felicity. If it's Donna, they have their reason for Felicity to distance herself from Ollie and Team Arrow. Lance has been betraying Darhk for a while now, and the guy is no fool. He will probably make an example of Lance by offing him.

Meg: I say Thea. Barry would be there because he knew her and was going to support Ollie. He apologizes to Ollie for being late which seems like it's a person close to Oliver.

Caralynn: Before this week, I was positive it was Detective Lance. It still may very well be him (particularly after Oliver convinced him to give up Darhk's location, which was a super risky move). Now, I'm leaning towards it being Mama Smoak.

Felicity was just DESTROYED and furious in that limo flash-forward. I think losing her mother would do that to her. Also, Oliver standing over the grave was way too composed. If it was Thea (or Diggle, or probably even Laurel) he'd be a straight-up mess.

Carissa: I really have no idea. Since I hear the writers are still not firm on their end, I find it harder and harder to guess. I think it's a cop out to make parents expendable, however, and think it should be one of the main, youthful characters for it to really have an impact on the story.

Who is the son of a bitch Felicity wants Oliver to kill and what is your theory?

Jay: At this point, I can't see it being anyone other than Darhk or Merlyn. Mostly because there's no other villains to blame it on, at this point.

Hank: It's got to be Darhk, right? Merlyn hasn't been around too much (that's not a complaint mind you) or threatened Team Arrow. Yeah, I'm going with Damien Darhk... Final answer

Meg: I vote Merlyn but it would be super fun if it were someone we wouldn't expect, like Roy! I think he's coming back this season.

Caralynn: I actually think it could be anybody but Darhk. The fact that the son of a bitch is called "son of a bitch" and hasn't been named so far in any of the flash forwards indicates, to me, that it's not the prime suspect (Darhk). I love Meg's idea of it being an unexpected rando return. Maybe it's a villain crossing over from The Flash, though? That could explain Barry's presence at the grave, if the deceased isn't someone that Barry was particularly close with (like Donna Smoak).

Carissa: I think it's going to be Malcolm. Ever since he took Vandal Savage's ashes, his future hasn't looked so bright. It's also a good reason Thea could be in the grave. Malcom just insinuated himself into everything Oliver, Oliver trusted him. Felicity never trusted him. That would really get her.

Other thoughts on the midseason premiere?

Jay: I really enjoy Laurel and her newfound "leadership" on the team. She seems to be more of the moral compass now, rather than Diggle or Felicity, and she's truly after justice for the villains. Someone always needs to yell at Oliver for being an idiot. Also, it was really nice to see some sisterly scenes between Laurel and Thea, and see Laurel protecting Thea.

Hank: Jay, funny you mention Laurel because my favorite scenes of hers were actually in Legends of Tomorrow with Sara. The character has definitely come a long way. I wasn't thrilled with this midseason premiere. More of the same really. The island flashbacks continue to annoy the hell out of me, so damn pointless. Still, it's always fun for me to see characters crossover between Arrow, The Flash and now Legends. At the moment, DC's expanding TV universe is much more exciting than any one series.

Meg: I am really over all of Thea's scenes. I want less of her and more of Laurel. I love her this season and she is quickly becoming my favorite character. I also really like Darhk and want to see more of his creepy plan.

Caralynn: I feel like the odd man out here because, while I think Laurel has great potential, she still feels really underused. I think I'd like her if she had ANYTHING to do at all. The flashbacks are SO BAD. I didn't think it was possible for flashbacks to be worse than the Hong Kong ones, but dear lord, these are unbearably boring.

Carissa: I'll jump in on the flashbacks. They need to end. I guess the point of these were to show how the jail came into play? I've really stopped paying attention to them, because the more I try and come up with squat, the more angry I get at their pointlessness.

Arrow Season 4 Episode 11 airs on Wednesday, January 27 at 8/7c. Get a look now!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Arrow Season 4 Episode 10 Quotes

Machin is about ten different kinds of deranged. Why would you believe anything he has to say?

Laurel

Laurel: Hey, how you doing?
Felicity: I have never been more ready to have a bunch of guys poking around inside of me. Doctors. Doctors.