Arrow #4.10: “Blood Debts” Quickshot Recap Arrow #4.10: “Blood Debts” Quickshot Recap
Summary and initial thoughts on the fourth season midseason premiere. Arrow #4.10: “Blood Debts” Quickshot Recap

Written By: Oscar Balderrama & Sarah Tarkoff
Directed By: Jesse Warn
Series Episode: 79
Airdate: January 20, 2016
Guests: Lyla Michaels Diggle ( Audrey Marie Anderson ), Andy Diggle ( Eugene Byrd ), Donna Smoak ( Charlotte Ross ), Lonnie Machin/Anarky ( Alexander Calvert ), Alex Davis ( Parker Young ), Ruvé Darhk ( Janet Kidder )
Flashback Guests: Baron Reiter ( Jimmy Akingbola ), Conklin ( Ryan Robbins ), Taiana ( Elysia Rotaru )
Special Appearance: Damien Darhk ( Neal McDonough )



Open on a revisit to the graveside scene with Barry Allen from the season premiere. This is now four months into the future, which coincides perfectly with the season finale. No guilt, just responsibility “to kill him.” Angst.

Felicity is rushed into surgery following her shooting by the Ghosts. Oliver can only watch helpless as doctors furiously work to stabilize his fiance. He’s never one to stand around, so he begins to spend his time away from the hospital hunting down Ghosts to try to locate Damien Darhk. Unconcerned with ideals, he wastes no time beating the living bejeezus out of the men, but he gets no results. One guy jumps to his death rather than give up the goods.

Act One

Oliver barks at Diggle to talk to Andy because nothing else is working, though Diggle is pretty sure Andy won’t spill anything. Laurel tells them Felicity is going in for yet another surgery, but Oliver ain’t got time for no doctors. At the hospital, everyone crowds around Felicity, wishing her well before guys poke around inside of her … doing doctor things. Donna Smoak wonders where Oliver is and even Felicity tries to cover for him. She assures everyone that she’ll be fine.

Andy gets paid a visit by his big brother, only this time Diggle finally puts the screws to him with Oliver watching on a monitor. It’s apparently fruitless as Oliver turns up at the police precinct to ask Lance to tell him where he meets Darhk. They know it’ll blow Quentin’s cover but Oliver figures it’s the shot they have to take down Darhk once and for all. Lance asks if he’s gone back to his old methods. Oliver assures him it’s just for this one guy, though tell that to the Ghost he tossed into the circuit box and fried in electricity earlier. (The second guy’s swan dive into the power lines is all on him, though.) Green Arrow hits Darhk’s office, but he’s too late; someone beat him to it. Ghosts lie dead on the floor and Darhk is nowhere to be seen. Oliver opens Darhk’s fun cabinet to find an anarchy symbol painted in blood inside.

Act Two

Oliver recognizes the anarchy symbol as one left by Lonnie Machin when he escaped from the ambulance and killed the paramedics a few months ago. Thea wonders why Machin is still targeting Ghosts, and Oliver kindly reminds the audience that Darhk was the one who betrayed Machin to the cops. Oliver digs further into Machin to lead him to Darhk, while Laurel goes to visit her father for any more clues from Darhk’s office.

Diggle returns to Patty Spivot’s place home to see Lyla before going back over to the hospital. She notices his bruised knuckles and John admits to beating his brother for information which he won’t give. Lyla suggests he try another method: approach him as his brother and try to reconnect on that level. At the hospital, Laurel worries for Thea that Machin is back. The younger Queen does blame herself for Machin, hitting her especially hard because she feels she traded her bloodlust (to Darhk’s magic) for Machin’s. In Felicity’s room, Laurel discovers for the first time that Quentin and Donna are a thing. She’s happy for her dad. Quentin gets a text from the crime lab about the blood Machin used to make his symbol.

The blood is from Machin’s foster parents, killed for revenge and to make a point. They get a camera on the parents’ house and see Machin entering. Team Arrow suits up and finds Machin at the house, watching TV and wearing a translucent mask to obscure his burn scars. Anarky was hoping for Ghosts to show up, but he’ll take skewering the heroes just fine. Motion controlled guns open fire on the team and Anarky escapes. Speedy runs after him as the others deal with the guns. He knocks her down but toys with her rather than hurting her because he credits her for what he’s become. Black Canary steps in to take him down, and before he can get his stun baton on her, GA shoots it out of his hand and Spartan drops the hammer on him.

Act Three

Team Arrow takes Machin to the warehouse district (natch) to get him to talk about where Darhk is. Thea and Laurel question the validity of this plan, but Oliver wants to handle things old school for a while. A strike across the face with the bow does nothing to shake Machin. He already enjoys his world of pain and there’s nothing new Green Arrow can bring to his table for supper. Thea interrupts, quietly telling Oliver she just got a text from Donna saying Felicity is out of surgery and things aren’t good. She insists Oliver go to the hospital.

Diggle visits Andy again and apologizes from beating him. He tries to connect with his brother on a personal, recalling their past, how John tried to get his brother out of a life of dealing drugs by pushing him to enlist in the military. What Andy saw in Afghanistan, he says, was far worse and he works for Darhk because he wants to change the world from such horrors. Andy says his brother is ashamed of him but John insists he still loves and cares for him and wants to see him do the right thing. He pleads for Andy’s help for Felicity’s sake. Andy says Darhk mentioned going to Stonehaven in the autumn … and that their now even in being ashamed of one another.

Machin tries to seduce Thea into hurting him, and she presses an arrowhead to his throat, drawing blood. She’s stopped only by the cops arriving on the scene. At the hospital, Oliver finds Donna, who tells him that the damage to Felicity’s spine is permanent. In disbelief, Oliver says they’ll find another doctor to take a look at her, but Donna stresses that this was “the doctor,” a preeminent specialist from Central City who says nothing can be done. With that gutpunch, Oliver takes another to the man region when he sees on the news that it was Laurel who led the cops to arrest Machin.

Green Arrow stops the police van transporting Machin. The maniac still refuses to give up any insight into where Darhk is. Oliver trains an arrow on him but uses it to break his handcuffs. Now freed, Oliver turns Machin loose on Darhk, telling him to make sure he kills the man.

Act Four

Back at base, Laurel confronts Oliver about freeing Machin. He said he had to after she screwed up and led the cops to him. She’s more concerned about the public safety than his personal vendetta, which he insists isn’t personal. But this is: she can’t believe he put a psychotic killer back on the streets, and Oliver promptly throws in her face that she did the same with Sara. And again, he says everyone can hit the exits if they don’t agree with what he’s doing. Diggle tags in for Laurel and tells him what Andy shared. The lead went nowhere, which Oliver takes as justification for what he’s doing. Diggle assures his friend he has his back but that he should be careful he doesn’t give up everything he’s worked hard to become for vengeance.

Thea runs into Alex Davis at Queen campaign headquarters. She calls quits on their thing because she can’t get a handle on this “anger management” thing she’s going through. He plays nice guy and says that he’s there for her and open to their thing whenever she feels ready to get back on the horse. She goes back to base and runs into the wall of tension. Learning that Machin is free, she also worries about people getting hurt. Oliver placed a tracker on Machin so they could keep tabs on him, but Diggle discovers that the tracker’s signal has been lost. Oliver’s at a loss; he doesn’t know what to do. They all insist that he needs to go be with Felicity while they work through the problem.

Oliver sees Felicity and she’s very understanding about him not being there til now. He wanted to take Darhk down before seeing her, but no dice. Knowing him like she does, she asks if he’s gone off the rails. He doesn’t deny it, and he ponders if he’d just done his old “Hood” thing and just taken Darhk out then no one would be in danger. She reiterates the point that it’s no good if he loses his humanity in the process. She’s also wondered if he hadn’t been there because he’d given up on her because she’s broken goods now. He puts her engagement ring back on her finger and assures her that would never be the case.

As Felicity sleeps, Laurel visits Oliver in the hospital room. She tells him the followed up on Diggle’s Stonehaven lead again, matching it to a residential address where Machin’s tracker signal was lost. They assume it’s Damien Darhk’s house. The team is going and Laurel thought Oliver would want to be there. At the house, Machin has Darhk’s wife and daughter tied up. He pulls out a blow torch.

Act Five

Team Arrow approaches the house, which was bought through dummy corporations and Diggle was able to use Felicity’s system to dig through and find. Anarchy symbols abound. Inside, Green Arrow takes out the blow torch. He and Speedy fight Anarky as Canary and Spartan free Darhk’s family. Anarky gets free and Speedy goes after him. She cable arrows him to a tree, and holds him at arrowpoint. He taunts her again about hurting him, and she unleashes. The arrow misses on purpose, but Machin uses the moment to free himself and attack Speedy. He knocks her down and has the opportunity to hurt or kill her, but he walks away.

Oliver finds Damien Darhk outside and attacks him. They trade blow for blow before Darhk pushes GA away and magically uses two of the archer’s arrows against him. He demands to know where his family is. GA states that he saved them, almost a kind of dig against the man. Darhk acknowledges the save and says he’ll give Oliver a few weeks before he kills him and his team as reward.

The Tag

At the bunker, Oliver asks if Darhk’s family got into police protection. Diggle says they told the cops they weren’t related to Darhk and had fake IDs to prove it. Oliver makes sure Thea’s okay and then goes to see Felicity. Diggle visits Andy once more. He’s brought a deck of cards for them to play. Thea invites Alex over to her place to thank him for allowing her to see that’s she’s stronger than she thought. And while Oliver tries to get slick and comforting by offering to take Felicity to Bali, she pushes him to get back to work on taking Darhk down so that they can get on with their lives.

Darhk rides with his family in a limo. He’s set up a place for them to go to be safe while he takes care of business. His wife, Ruvé, is disappointed, though, that he didn’t kill the Green Arrow when he had the chance. He protests that it would’ve been bad form given that the vigilante just rescued his family. She’s fully in on Project Genesis and wants to see it go off without a hitch. He assures her that it will.

Back to the future, Oliver walks from the grave to a waiting car. Climbing in the back, Felicity is sitting there, alive and in tears. He asks if she’s okay, she turns the question back on him. He solemnly replies no. Angry, Felicity declares that Oliver has to “kill the son of a bitch.”



Conklin marches Taiana and the sharkbit Oliver back to camp, crowing about having finally caught his frenemy red-handed. In camp, Conklin presents his prisoners to Reiter, showing his boss the survey maps Oliver recovered from the Amazo. Oliver tries to feebly pass it off as getting them for Reiter, but the Baron isn’t buying it. Reiter offers for Conklin to kill him, but he has another idea. Turn about’s fair play, as Conklin now whips Oliver in front of everyone.

As Conklin tears away at Oliver’s back, the Chinese protection tattoo that John Constantine transferred to Oliver’s abdomen begins to glow. Reiter sees it and orders Conklin to stop. Miraculously, Reiter pulls from nowhere the big globe gem that was atop the staff Constantine stole away and Oliver gave him. He just keeps that in one of his many pockets just in case. It glows as well. Conklin is unconcerned with Reiter’s hocus pocus and demands to do with Oliver what he wants as he was promised. Oliver uses the moment to grab Reiter’s handgun. With a bunch of guns trained on him and nowhere to go, Oliver holds the gun to his own throat.

Conklin says his bluffing. Oliver offers Reiter a deal: Taiana lives and is unharmed, and he will help Reiter find whatever it is he’s looking for. Reiter agrees, much to Conklin’s annoyance. Reiter reminds the soldier he’s just as expendable so keep his yap shut. Conklin takes Oliver and Taiana to a prison structure that the Chinese built on the island, but this is a building we haven’t seen before. They are put in a cell and Conklin promises that when Reiter is done with Oliver, it’s go time between them. Taiana tends to Oliver’s wounds and thanks him for saving her life again.

Three Quick Thoughts

Everyone pull out your Death Bingo cards and check off Felicity’s box. That should appease quite a few people.

Can we please start getting some idea of what Project Genesis and what Damien Darhk’s goal are? The threat seems completely innocuous at this point, supported more by the formula of the show than anything they’ve given us storywise.

Some great character moments with Oliver and Laurel standing up to each other, the support between Diggle and Lyla, and John and Andy reconnecting.

Matt Tucker Editor/Senior Writer/Reviewer

Matt Tucker is a stage and film actor, writer, Seattleite, comics nerd, sports fan, and aspiring person. Someday, he’ll be a real boy. He's an editor and senior writer for KSiteTV network (GreenArrowTV, DaredevilTV) and the sports blogs Sonics Rising and Cascadia Sports Network. Follow him on Twitter at @MattBCTucker or @TuckerOnSports