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Recap / Arrow S 4 E 15 Taken

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Darhk ups the ante by kidnapping William, so Oliver calls in a friend from Detroit to help out.

  • All Is Well That Ends Well: Averted; the need to rescue William only sidelines the conflict between Felicity and Oliver, and she breaks off their engagement at the end of the episode.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: According to Mari, almost all the magically empowered foes that she has faced derived their power from one talisman or another, in a similar manner to her own totem. Sure enough, the source of Darhk's dark magic is revealed to be an idol.
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  • Artistic License – Biology: As soon as Felicity realizes she can walk again, she stands up from her wheelchair and walks out with no issue. As people who have broken legs or even had their leg fall asleep can say, that is highly unlikely, and at the least some limping would occur after sitting for weeks.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Because even after getting arrested, Darhk still got what he wanted: Oliver is resigning from his mayoral campaign, Felicity breaks off her engagement with him and he won't be seeing his son any time soon.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Oliver is forced to quit his mayoral campaign and has his wedding called off, but he successfully saves his son, finally decides on how he will handle his parenthood, and FINALLY manages to land a major victory against Darhk by taking away his magic and having him arrested.
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  • Blank White Eyes: Ghost-Conklin.
  • Boring, but Practical: Vixen looks like she's going to face down with Darhk again...only to leap clean over his head, grab his totem and run off with it. Darhk is actually rather flummoxed.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Darhk's magic powers disappear after Mari destroys his power source, and the Green Arrow is easily able to trounce him in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Callback: Oliver mentions Darhk abducting John, Thea and Felicity back during Christmas and feared that history was repeating itself.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Upon finding out he had her nephew kidnapped, Thea gives Malcolm a vicious - but thoroughly well-deserved one in this episode.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • After Felicity finds out about William, her resulting argument with Ollie is nearly identical to the one in Legends of Yesterday's erased timeline (with the bonus of appearing rather more reasonable given how long Oliver had been sitting on the secret this time).
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    • Constantine is named dropped to help fight against Darhk, only for Ollie to reply that he's in Hell, literally.
    • Barry Allen is also named dropped as he's the CSI responsible for bringing Samantha all the way from Central City to Star City. Though, he isn't asked for help for some reason.
    • Oliver and Laurel's turbulent past is brought up, with Samantha even apologizing to Laurel for sleeping with Oliver.
    • Oliver intervening to save Mari is reminiscent of his and Ray's moment during the Legends of Tomorrow pilot.
    • A picture of Sara Lance is shown towards the end.
  • Continuity Snarl: Mari appears to have not met up with the Arrow or Flash teams again since her own show, yet she somehow knows Laurel, who didn't appear in it. According to Word of God, Laurel and Mari will meet in Season 2 of Vixen'', which takes place before this episode.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The tattoo bestowed by Constantine has helped Oliver disperse the mystical apparition of Conklin.
  • Crossover: With Vixen.
  • Death Glare: Laurel gives a subtle one to Oliver when she finds out that Oliver got Samantha pregnant while still in a relationship with Laurel.
  • Dramatic Irony
    • In the previous episode, Felicity said that sometimes people keep secrets for good reasons. This episode she learns about William and gets upset about Ollie keeping it a secret from her for good reason.
    • Felicity also said she would like to walk again in time to walk down the aisle at her wedding, though she knows that is wishful thinking. She's able to walk again right after calling the wedding off, so the only walking she does is out the door.
  • Easily Forgiven: Laurel doesn't hold a grudge against Samantha for having an affair with Oliver behind her back all those years ago. Oliver on the other hand...
  • Evil Is Petty: Damien Darhk is responsible for Felicity being in a wheelchair after shooting up the car she and Oliver were riding in.
    Darhk: Sorry about the limo. Love the wheelchair. Might I suggest motorized?"
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Even though it's been years since they were engaged, the news that Oliver had a son while cheating on her still hits Laurel hard.
  • Foil:
    • Oliver gives up the mayoral race to save William, in the episode where Thea is shown Calling the Old Man Out over Malcolm being willing to let her die to hold onto his power.
    • Malcolm telling Thea he would rather she hate him and live than love him and die, is immediately followed by Oliver making a Video Will for his son to tell him why he sent him away, accompanied by a montage of Quentin Lance and John Diggle sharing loving moments with their daughters.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The flash-forward at the end of "Blood Debts" showed that Felicity was not wearing her engagement ring, and Word of God says this was intentional. Sure enough, the engagement is broken off in tonight's episode.
  • Gate Guardian: Some kind of mystical ghost-thing that looks like a zombie-Conklin blocks access to the cave Reiter was trying to enter.
  • Give Him a Normal Life: Vixen advises Oliver to do this for William.
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • Vixen, obviously. Oliver even goes to her city to fetch her.
    • Samantha reveals that Barry Allen was the one who sent her to Oliver.
  • Idiot Ball: For some reason Darhk and Malcolm decided it would be a good idea if Malcolm—the man who's conspicuously missing a hand— to be the one to kidnap William. To be fair, he succeeds, but William is able to remember that his kidnapper only one had one hand.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: While riding on the back of a motorbike driven by the Black Canary, Speedy is able to bend over backwards and Pop the Tires of a pursuing motorbike with an arrow.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Samantha learns that Oliver is the Green Arrow.
    • The rest of Team Arrow finds out about Samantha and William.
    • Team Arrow ultimately learns that it was Malcolm who abducted William.
  • It's a Long Story: Said word-per-word by Mari when Samantha questions how magic will help find William.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Malcom states that he made Thea from a delicate spoiled teenager to a proud warrior.
    • Felicity's issue is not that Oliver lied to her, but that his unwillingness to share the truth is a consistent character flaw.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Lampshaded by Felicity when Oliver is faced with Alex's response to him pulling out of the mayoral race. He just wants an explanation why all their hard work has gone to waste, but Oliver can't give him one.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Oliver describes his previous encounter with Vixen as "animated." Bonus points for Stephen Amell looking like he's struggling to not crack up.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: As part of the plan to track down where Darhk is keeping William, Mari has to sniff a Flash action figure. Mari makes everyone promise to never let Barry know about this.
  • Manly Tears: Oliver is barely keeping it together when making a video message for William.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Laurel, Felicity and Samantha are together in the Arrow Bunker.
  • Mood Whiplash: Oliver and Felicity share a particularly tender and tear-worthy moment after the biochip doesn't immediately restore her ability to walk. Then in walks Darhk.
  • Mook Horror Show: Mari is introduced by means of a group of armed gunmen running in panic as they are picked off one by one from offscreen.
  • Moral Myopia: When Thea is Calling the Old Man Out, Malcolm loses his temper over her lack of gratitude for making her 'strong'. Thea had in fact expressed her gratitude over this at the end of last season. Malcolm fails to see how it's his own actions that have poisoned his daughter against him.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When Oliver is explaining who Mari is to the rest of the team, he says he and Barry had met her in an animated encounter.
    • Thea does some flexible moves while shooting arrows, just like her comic counterpart Mia Dearden occasionally does.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Samantha realizes she's caused problems between Felicity and Oliver by unfairly making Oliver stay silent about William.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: By staying quiet about his son William, whether it was an extorted promise to Samantha or not, came back to bite Oliver big.
    • He had to drop out of the mayoral race.
    • He had to send William and his mother away.
    • Most of all, even though she knew that Oliver was in a tough spot with this secret, Felicity decided to call off the wedding.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Laurel and Mari apparently have met off-screen (Laurel appears in Season 2 of Vixen, which takes place before this episode).
    • John Constantine is literally in Hell. Oliver isn't explaining why.
    • Damien Darhk has encountered a previous wielder of Vixen's totem, but he doesn't go into details (he encounters the past Vixen in Season Two of Legends of Tomorrow).
  • Not Helping Your Case: After explaining to Felicity that he only kept William a secret because Samantha insisted he tell no-one else, Oliver then has to reveal that Thea, Barry Allen, and Malcolm Merlyn are all in on the secret too.
  • Nothing Good Ever Happens In A Parking Garage: When Oliver and Felicity go down to a dimly-lit parking garage from the well-lit physiotherapy room, it's not surprise something bad will happen. Sure enough Darhk steps out of the dark to announce he has Oliver's son hostage.
  • Not Hyperbole: When Oliver mentions that Constantine can't help them deal with Darhk's magic because he is in Hell, he has to specify that he is being literal.
  • No Sympathy: Turns out Thea has been told that Daddy is missing a hand, but as she's also been told that Malcolm was willing to let her die to hold onto his power, she only responds that he's lucky not to lose his head as well. Discovering that he was involved in William's kidnapping despite his denials is the final straw and she insists he stop his manipulative façade of being a loving father altogether.
  • Old Shame: Invoked. Even though over a decade has passed, and it only happened the one time, Samantha still feels deeply guilty about the fact that she slept with Oliver knowing he was with Laurel at the time.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: The Conklin-ghost Gate Guardian intends on killing everyone present in order to prevent access to the cave. The tattoo Constantine gave Oliver makes it consider Oliver worth of passing and it disappears.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Mari has a clear affection for them.
    Gunman: Why don't you come out and fight like a man!
    Vixen: How about I kick your ass like a woman?
  • Reality Ensues: Huh Oliver, turns out your fiancée isn't too happy about you hiding your secret son from her.
  • Really Gets Around: This was such an integral part of Oliver's personality before Lian Yu that upon finding out about William, Quentin says the only thing that's surprising is that Oliver doesn't have even more illegitimate children running around.
  • The Reveal: Darhk's magic is fueled by an idol. No idol no magic.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Damien Darhk shows up after Oliver is consoling Felicity in a parking lot.
  • Secondary Character Title: It refers to William. Doubles as Verbed Title.
  • Shout-Out: The title of the episode is likely a reference to the film series of the same name, which has a similar premise to this episode and also featured Laurel's actress.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Thea has had enough of Malcolm's bullshit and gives him a piece of her mind once she discovers that Malcolm abducted William.
  • Super Window Jump: The Green Arrow bursting in on Darhk, who has no problem throwing him out the same window shortly after.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Oliver rescues his son but can't unmask himself to William, but at least he has the satisfaction of seeing his son ask for a Green Arrow figurine to replace his Flash one. Samantha agrees that the Green Arrow is pretty amazing.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Thea confronts Malcolm over his kidnapping William, he responds that he's the man who taught her how to fight and how she's incapable of seeing the bigger picture and how he would rather have her hate him and be alive, than love him and be dead.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Oliver ends his mayoral campaign due to Darhk threatening his son.
    • Mari smashes the idol that fuels Darhk's magic leading to his arrest.
    • Felicity ends her engagement with Oliver because of his refusal to tell her about William.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Felicity calls out Oliver over lying to her about William. Even after both Oliver and Samantha explain the situation, she still calls off the engagement with him, saying that he doesn't know how to lean on another person and that she needs space.
    • When Samantha apologizes for sleeping with Oliver over a decade ago, Laurel responds by saying that she holds Oliver responsible.
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: Oliver tells Damien Darhk that he does not know who he is messing with. Darhk actually agrees given that Oliver has withstood all his efforts thus far, but tells him that "the messing stops today."
  • You're Not My Father: Implied when Thea brings up how ashamed she feels when imaging what Robert would think of her decision to let Malcolm into her life.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Team Arrow track down where Darhk is holding William only to find he's been moved to another location shortly before. The failed attempt only causes Darhk to demand that Oliver resign at once instead of waiting for the scheduled press conference on Friday.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Given Darhk's attempt to kill the last hostages he has, Team Arrow have no intention of waiting to see if he keeps his word this time. Even though Oliver has withdrawn from the political race and Darhk has set up a meeting to return William, they launch an assault to rescue William and take down Darhk once-and-for-all with Samantha's full approval.

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