Arrow: “Code of Silence” Season 4 Episode 14 Review

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At this point, a lot of Arrow episodes are starting to look the same. The show has settled into a consistent groove in season four that, while certainly entertaining, isn’t nearly as fresh or exciting as it was in its heyday. But, with some decent enough plot movements and some of the show’s best-ever fight choreography, “Code of Silence” is still a worthwhile episode of television.

This episode does a nice job expanding H.I.V.E. and their reach in Star City. The best villains on this show have always found ways to engrain themselves in the city before striking. It’s what made Malcolm’s successful undertaking and Deathstroke’s political siege turned actual siege so much fun to watch. Damien Darhk and his allies are going down a similar path, which is refreshing after last year’s frequent visits to Nanda Parbat to see anything regarding the main villain. Darhk now has his wife running against Oliver for mayor and Malcolm whispering the vigilante’s secrets in his ear. He’s also got a new team of villains to take down Quentin, the Demolition Team, a group of HGTV-themed villains capable of bringing a building down on someone without being seen.

While the individual team members got virtually no development, it was great fun to have Team Arrow squaring off against a team of supervillains instead of H.I.V.E.’s militia. But no matter who the arrows were fired at, the action crackled this week like it rarely does in this show. That opening fight was phenomenal, but even better was the very intense sequence where Laurel and her father escape the collapsing building. The final fight was a lot of fun too, especially with Diggle briefly wielding that sledgehammer.

Meanwhile, the Quentin/Donna romance finally got some light shed on it this week. This cooky couple has been a joy to watch since they started, but it was interesting to show how far its gone. Quentin seems truly happy with her, to the point where his life in danger means she can’t be a part of it, even if it’s just briefly. The secrets bring back memories of Donna’s last husband, forcing her to run away. It was actually kind of cool to have these two older characters looking on Oliver and Felicity as an example of the love they want to share, which ultimately brought them back together in the end. This also tied in nicely with the fight against the Demolition Team.

So even when Arrow starts to get repetitive, it finds ways to improve its own formula. “Code of Silence” could have been another villain of the week episode, but some very well constructed action scenes and a cooky but emotional subplot elevated it to a little more. Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

  • Maybe it’s just because they were the focus this week, but Donna and Quentin both have pretty big targets on their back right now for that big death happening later this season.
  • Well Arrow, I’m conflicted. Should Felicity be able to walk again so soon? It’s been, what, five episodes? It was a great moment, and Stephen Amell did tremendous work with this scene. But it feels a little too easy if it ends up working.
  • As awkward as it was to have so much buildup to the debate only for it to happen offscreen, I’m not sure I would have wanted to see a show like Arrow actually write a political debate. These writers are pretty good at what they do, but unless the House of Cards or Veep writers want to stop by for an episode, keep the superhero swashbuckling in the front and the politics in the back.
  • Darhk already has Oliver’s son. This sh*t just got real.

By Matt Dougherty


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