Alrighty guys! Arrow Season 4 Episode 12 had a lot going on!
We met Felicity's dad, Roy returned, Nyssa popped in with an offer out of left field and Curtis might have changed the world!
Our panelists want to talk about all of it. So join TV Fanatics Hank Otero, Meg Bonney, Jay Ruymann, Caralynn Lippo and Carissa Pavlica as they dig in deep...
Felicity's Father is The Calculator. React!
Hank: I thought the guy's introduction was pretty cool, but as Felicity mentioned what a lame code name. Neither Overwatch nor Calculator have that catchy badass comics ring to them. The Arrow writers room needs Cisco's talents stat. I have been waiting to learn the identity of Felicity's dad. He seemed to come out of nowhere. Guess we will have to wait and learn more about him. Is it me, or is the guy not a good fit for Donna? Those flashbacks should prove interesting.
Meg: He is so not how I pictured him! I love that he is a skilled hacker too. I'm really curious to see some of the back story involving him and (hopefully) Goth Felicity.
Jay: It wasn't really shocking. It's interesting that he's a fellow hacker, and clearly a bad guy, so it'll be fun to see that dynamic play between these two characters.
Caralynn: Hank's right, Overwatch and Calculator are both completely awful code names. I feel like I read something about Felicity's father being cast (and possibly mentioning that he was The Calculator) a while back, so I'm not surprised at all. Seemed like they were telegraphing it pretty heavily, what with the "They're both hack-y and quippy!" moments.
Carissa: I agree with Caralynn. I think even if I didn't already know if her dad was coming, they piled it all on a bit thick. There really isn't a need to bash us over the head with information. We can read subtlety. Hopefully there are some nuances to how Felicity lets it sink in going forward.
What did you think of Roy's return?
Hank: It was just okay for me. I didn't particularly like the way Roy was written out, and I am not crazy about him randomly popping up from time to time. I realize Colton Haynes has other acting opportunities, but its messed with the character's arc. That said, it was nice to see Colton on the show again. Wish he'd stick around.
Meg: I wish they'd just keep him. It was the only way Thea was tolerable! Actually, I just wish Colton would come back to any show. I'd take him back on Teen Wolf or Arrow please. He elevated things.
Jay: I love Colton Haynes. He's such a great actor and Roy always breathed fresh air into Arrow and this is no difference. I hope he'll return permanently, I really enjoyed his interactions with Laurel last season and they ended so quickly. I'd love to see more of this Team Arrow.
Caralynn: I missed him! I basically agree with everyone else: his visit was to short and he should just stay. This popping in and out feels a little gimmicky. I think that Roy's presence in the group changes the dynamic for the better. And yes, I'm with Meg. Thea with Roy is a more enjoyable Thea, for some reason. That goodbye scene between the two of them was lovely though.
Carissa: If Legends of Tomorrow stays on the air, he'd be fun to have on the ship during their rotating future legends thing. They get all the fun characters. Maybe that's why Roy is gone. He's too fun for this crowd, what with all the acrobatics and breakdancing and such.
What are your thoughts on "This is my life. It's my choice."? It's been said in various ways by Felicity, Laurel, Felicity, Roy, and Thea. What's going on there?
Hank: It is definitely an overarching theme this season. Folks taking responsibility for their actions allows Ollie to step back and stop playing savior. The guy needs a break. He can't possibly save everyone. It's going to be tough, but this will help him grow.
Meg: I think it will for sure factor into the mystery grave person. I think it will be that persons last words to Ollie. And I completely agree with Hank. The idea is helping the show love away from Oliver all consuming and constant guilt.
Jay: I agree with Meg and Hank. It has to represent something important, and I like Meg's theory that it'll be the last words the person in the grave says. That would be such a twist. I think it's important for establishing these characters as heroes outside of Team Arrow.
Caralynn: Meg's theory sounds right on the money. Oliver's arc this season definitely seems to be about taking a step back and letting people make their own decisions, which was something he was wholly incapable of in the past (particularly last season).
Carissa: You guys are a lot more emotional and tolerable than I am. I hate being hit over the head with something, and hearing that phrase three times in short order was bordering on madness for me. I'd like to think Oliver isn't so thick he needs people to wear sandwich boards with a phrase to get it across to him.
What did you think of Felicity's return to Palmer Tech and Curtis' power cell?
Hank: I absolutely loved Curtis' stuff this week. His power cell is insane. Why can't we have that technology in real life? Anyway back to Felicity, that first run through was a bit too goofy and felt forced. I'm glad she bounced back though, because I really enjoyed her final presentation. Oliver certainly was proud, but so was The Calculator. Do you think he's made the connection between his daughter and the hacker?
Meg: I really like Curtis, and I hope we continue to get more of him. That invention should put Palmer Tech back on top, that's for sure! And if the Calculator really does take out the power, the power cell will have its time to shine!
Jay: Curtis is so great. He's so funny and lively, it's fun to see in such a dark show like Arrow. As for the power cell, it'll be a matter of time before Darhk gets ahold of it and potentially destroys Star City with it.
Caralynn: Honestly, it was a little cliche for my tastes. As soon as Felicity had the bumbling first run through of the presentation, I knew that she would eventually recover, come into her own, and nail the presentation (which is exactly what happened). Obviously, Felicity needed to have some kind of mini-arc where she was doubting herself in the chair and then came to believe in herself again – but I wish they'd done it in a less obvious way.
Carissa: The conference should have been bigger given the reality of what that power cell does. Sorry, Hank, I don't think we're ever moving in the direction of all the clear plastics TV and movies want us to think are the wave of the future. Nice thought though. All in all, Felicity isn't having any issues being paralyzed at all. She's just accepting it and moving on.
Nyssa returned to offer Oliver a cure for Thea in return for killing Malcolm. Why wouldn't she do it herself? Thoughts?
Hank: Malcolm has let his guard down around Oliver. I'm assuming he wouldn't see it coming, while Nyssa swore to take him out. I complained a ton last season that there was too much Malcolm Merlyn, but this year they have used him sparingly. I still don't get his "relationship" with Thea (or Ollie). Is it possible he's the one in the grave? BTW how badass was that fight between Nyssa and Katana?
Meg: That was strange, but I think that if Malcolm knew this flower could heal Thea, he might let it happen. He is oddly devoted to her.
Jay: If Nyssa doesn't kill him, her hands are clean when she returns to the league to take charge. It's also a sign of a great leader to make someone do your bidding. Malcolm is getting repetitive and obnoxious, so I wouldn't mind if it's him in the grave.
Caralynn: Yes, I'm with Jay, that's what I was thinking. Nyssa could get Malcolm out of the way with minimal involvement and step into the leadership role once he's gone. Nyssa making Oliver do it was clearly a little bit contrived, though. The whole thing was very convenient – "Check it out, we've got this magic cure that nobody mentioned before this episode, right at the moment Thea is suddenly starting to die!"
Carissa: I think you saw a lot of what I did in the hour, Caralynn, which was the contrivance. I'm not sure why it played out like that, but it did. Not only were the stories very disjointed, they were a little too in your face to make for a great hour of television. I'd prefer a leader who had no issues taking out the one before her to take his spot on the League.
Why should Nyssa's hands be clean to ascend to the throne? I disagree with Jay about a great leader making others do your bidding. A great leader takes on the most important challenges he or she has himself and delegates the rest.
Find out how the fight with Malcolm goes down on Arrow Season 4 Episode 13, and check out the photos from the installment Our Chbelow!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.