Arrow Season 4 Episode 13 Review: Sins of the Father

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Oliver should have killed that son of a bitch.

There were certainly some surprises on Arrow Season 4 Episode 13, but unless we're being fooled, it seems as though we have been given a pretty good indication of where the remainder of the season is heading.

We might know who is in the grave and who is responsible for putting them there.

And if anybody asks my opinion, I'd say Felicity Smoak has a helluva lot more courage than Oliver Queen.

Felicity proved how incredibly strong she is by giving her father a chance to enter her life. 

She had waited 18 years for him to return. She spent her life thinking she wasn't good enough to love and that his leaving was a result of something she did to push him away. Of course she hoped he would be a man she could love when he returned.

As it turned out, she had gotten a lot from Noah. They were a lot alike. He even offered up proof of his incredible hacktivism for her approval. But her mother's words stuck with her as well. 

People don't change. Even if you want them to.


She allowed him the opportunity to walk in, make his pitch and have unfettered access to Palmer Technologies. She also set a test for him, one he failed miserably.

While Felicity could have taken the chance to try to turn him around, make him into the man she wanted him to be, given him more rope with which to hang himself, instead she called the police and turned him in.

Was anybody else incredibly impressed by that move? It had to hurt her so much to do it, but watching someone cling to an impossible dream, much like her fiance does year after year, obviously isn't her thing. 

And that's probably why Oliver and Felicity are not together by the time they're sitting at the cemetery. Oliver has had ample opportunity to talk about William and his feelings about William with Felicity. That he hasn't done it will hurt her more than he will ever imagine. It's almost impossible to think he can't see the waving red flags.

But then again, he's just given Malcolm Merlyn another pass.

In his unending desire to grab at his own past, to get another moment with Robert Queen, Oliver continues to equate Malcolm and Thea with himself and his father. They are not the same. 

Since he can't separate the evil, vindictive son of a bitch Malcolm Merlyn from the less than perfect man who was Robert Queen, Oliver has allowed Malcolm to try to destroy Starling City, to use his sister to kill one of his best friends and to take over the League of Assassins to complete his tour of megalomania. 

At the beginning of "Sins of the Father," Oliver was arguing with Nyssa over small points about Ra's al Ghul and Malcolm Merlyn, as if either of them were prizes. Thankfully, somewhere in the middle he came to his senses, admitting he hated the man after Malcolm refused to give up the ring to save Thea's life.

You've been in denial, Oliver. Holding onto hope with both hands that you don't have to give into that hate. Use that hate to do what needs to be done. But Oliver, this needs to be done. You have to kill Malcolm Merlyn.


We knew there had to be a reason Nyssa kept talking about being Oliver's wife, because we'd seen her since their marriage with nary a whisper of their connection. Suddenly she couldn't shut up about it. Have some faith, Arrow writers. One mention was all that was needed to remind faithful viewers who had forgotten.

Using that trump card to fight in her stead could have ended everything. Period. End of. Instead Oliver let Malcolm live, even after Malcolm let out he knew about William.

That should have been Oliver's final warning. Instead, he spared Malcolm for some false sense of family values that Thea may someday have a normal relationship with the whackadoodle.

That's great, because it will most likely mean Oliver is instead relieved of his own relationship with William. 

Without a hand and vowing revenge, what else was Malcolm going to do but join forces with Damien Darhk? The very first thing he did was track down the tow-headed baddie and share the archer's secret.

While Felicity could have wanted the son of a bitch Damien dead, it's Malcolm. It's always been Malcolm. We've always known there was no place for Malcom to really end up other than in our Arrow quotes section and at the bottom of a six-foot hole covered in dirt.

He's too witty for his own damn good, and when he gets nasty and snarls, he looks more like Tom Cruise than ever. (Seriously, did anyone else see the comparison pic of them? When he was angry by Thea's bedside and later with Damien...Cruise was fighting to make an appearance.)

Why nobody at the grave? Because nobody knows about William. Barry does, and Felicity will soon learn thanks to Damien and Malcolm. Whether they share it with the others routinely as personal as it is will be seen. 

And I really think it will be William and not the child's mother. It's unlikely that Oliver is destined to become a father. It's pretty obvious he's not ready to assume that responsibility, nor is the show ready to incorporate one.

William's death will have devastating consequences beyond anything else and would tie into what is begun with the title, "Sins of the Father."

Taking Malcolm's hand was like stoking the fire. Instead of one big bad in Star City, now there are two. One has all of the personal history the other has been seeking and can make connections to bring things to a head very quick.

Outside of waiting for all of that fallout, Nyssa put an end to the League of Assassins, which is something I had at one time expected might be one of the things she and her hubby could do together as a result of their union. Well, it's done!

Good job, although surprising to think that there is no longer a LoA in the Arrowverse. Weird, right? 

Also, Oliver wants to push the wedding up. Do you think that means things are going to move faster with the William reveal? I hope Oliver has enough integrity that he will talk to her about his son before allowing her to walk down the aisle and into his arms. 

What did you think of the hour? Did Oliver just make a huge mistake allowing Malcolm Merlyn to continue breathing? Share all your thoughts in the comments, and remember that you can always watch Arrow online right here via TV Fanatic!

You can get a look at Arrow Season 4 Episode 14, "Code of Silence," below!

Sins of the Father Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (128 Votes)

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.

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Arrow Season 4 Episode 13 Quotes

Nyssa: I'm glad you've finally seen reason.
Malcolm: The only thing I've seen is your quick and speedy death.

People don't change. Even if you want them to.