Arrow #4.12: “Unchained” Quickshot Recap Arrow #4.12: “Unchained” Quickshot Recap
Summary and initial thoughts on episode 12 of the CW hit's fourth season. Arrow #4.12: “Unchained” Quickshot Recap

Written By: Speed Weed & Beth Schwartz
Directed By: Kevin Fair
Series Episode: 81
Airdate: February 3, 2016
Guests: Nyssa al Ghul ( Katrina Law ), Tatsu Yamashiro/Katana ( Rila Fukushima ), Curtis Holt ( Echo Kellum ), Noah Kuttler/The Calculator ( Tom Amandes ), Alex Davis ( Parker Young ), League Member ( Natasha Gayle ), Ruvé Darhk/Ruvé Adams ( Janet Kidder ), Board Member ( Venus Terzo )
Flashback Guests: Shado Fei ( Celina Jade ), Baron Reiter ( Jimmy Akingbola ), Taiana ( Elysia Rotaru )
Special Guests: Roy Harper/Arsenal ( Colton Haynes )



In tourist haven Nanda Parbat, a member of the League brings food to Nyssa in her cell. The former daughter of the Demon wants nothing to do with your earthly pleasures, but the woman insists that she partake of the oversized pepper. Inside is a small knife. Nyssa storms the door as the guard closes it, taking him down with the small weapon. The woman assists as they shred through a few different League guards in the hall and make way to another room. Other members turn on their own, revealing their loyalty to Nyssa. She asks the woman about something called the Lotus, which has been found in Kyushu, Japan. Now assembled, Nyssa and her followers plot to overthrow Malcolm Merlyn from within.

Meanwhiling away in everyone’s favorite terrorist target, Team Arrow chases a thief in black trying to steal tech from Amertek with a far too giddy Felicity, loving her new Overwatch codename, guiding the show. Speedy chases him to a roof edge. And she holds him at arrowpoint, she suddenly gets weak and nearly falls off the roof before Green Arrow grabs her and pulls her unconscious body back to safety. The thief uses the moment to scurry away.

Act One

This week’s episode of Guilt Arrow is filmed before a live studio audience. *canned applause*

The team got Thea back to her place to rest but no one’s buying her exhaustion explanation. Diggle and Laurel wonder if it’s an effect of the Pit, which leaves Oliver scratching his head. But only for an instant before he launches into his favorite pastime, blaming himself for everything. To a person, they call him on it. Guilt Arrow doesn’t have time for things thrown in his face, so what was stolen? Felicity reveals it was a network mapper, something to find vulnerabilities in a digital network. She also shares that the Palmer Tech board has moved up the presentation from her and Curtis Holt on the product that is supposed to save the company to the next few days.

At a dry run for her presentation with Curtis and Mr. Denton, one of the board members, Felicity fumbles around, both in trying to use her wheelchair and in trying to make the speech. The board member tells Felicity in oh so many words that it would be better off for the company image not to have a crippled woman speaking about their path to the future. Felicity tucks tail and agrees to have someone else make the presentation. Elsewhere, Oliver visits Thea, who is being attended to by Malcolm, who doesn’t miss a moment to shove his knowledge of Thea’s condition in her brother’s face. She doesn’t kill the bad people, the bloodlust eats her lifeforce alive. Oliver is baffled how the same thing isn’t happening to Sara Lance. In the wonderful world of on-the-fly rulekeeping, Malcolm tells him that Constantine returning Sara’s soul to her body somehow erased the bloodlust. Considering Thea never actually died, and was thus still “whole,” it’s not really clear why the difference matters. Thea reveals to Oliver her confrontation with Darhk that seemed to curb the bloodlust, so Oliver naturally wants to run to the store to pick up some Damien Darhk to use on her.

Laurel and Diggle call Oliver and tell him the thief just committed another robbery at nearby Cadmus Tech. Thea sends him on his way, and Oliver Queen, mayoral candidate with no sort of identity concealment, runs down the masked thief parkour style. He unmasks the guy and is shocked to see Roy Harper. Roy drops a punch on him and runs off.

Act Two

The team is incredulous that Roy is back in town and is stealing this tech. Laurel asks if Oliver’s sure it’s Roy and not some shape shifter disguised as Roy, then has to take a moment to remind everyone that the craziness of their world now doesn’t exactly preclude the concept. This time Roy took a capacitor bomb. Before Oliver can get further into it, he gets a text from Alex Davis. Popping up upstairs, Alex reveals that someone else has thrown their hat in the ring for the mayorship, a woman named Ruvé Adams, who Oliver instantly recognizes as Damien Darhk’s wife. He passes it off as shock that they now have competition in the race.

Later that night, the Green Arrow pays a visit to Miss Adams as she’s leaving her campaign office. He demands a meeting with her husband for the the next night. At the bunker, Felicity describes to Diggle and Laurel that instead of trying to find out what the tech Roy stole has in common, she took a look at what they make when put together: a “web nuke,” a device that would use an EMP to permanently destroy network systems like the internet, the whole internet, and nothing but the internet. They try to guess how Roy would know anything about making something like this, and Diggle wonders why he hasn’t used it yet. It’s missing a piece, Ms. Smoak shares, a significant power source to run it like … the Curtis Holt miracle “Power Cell” that Palmer Tech is set to reveal to the world. Fuuuuuuddddggggeeee!

Felicity tries to call Curtis at his lab to warn him, but he’s wasting away in Headphonesville while working on the Power Cell. Roy gets his attention by snatching the headphones off, and then trying to grab the Power Cell. FIGHT! Though Curtis’ conditioning is limited to track-and-field events, he mostly holds his own against Roy’s martial arts extravaganza. He’s still knocked around the lab but gets a moment where he can throw one of his orbs, the T-Sphere, at Roy. It misses and Roy is able to throw it back at Curtis knocking him through a glass wall. As Roy picks up the Power Cell, Green Arrow crashes through the window. Black Canary and Spartan also arrive on scene with Overwatch seeing the whole thing on camera. They try to talk Roy down, but he throws the Power Cell out the window, where it is caught by a drone and spirited away. Felicity notices something about Roy’s eye and reveals it on GA’s comms channel only. Spartan and Canary are stunned when GA fires an arrow at Roy, hitting him in the chest.

Act Three

At base, the team puts an unconscious Roy on a table and Felicity reveals a Faraday cage that Cisco Ramon built into the bunker is blocking any transmission signals. Oliver pulls a contact lens from Roy’s eye that served as a video monitor. Oliver gives Roy a counteragent to the tranquilizer used in his arrow, revealing he shot Roy to make it look like he’d been killed to whoever was watching in the lens. Now awake, Roy explains that some guy called “the Calculator” tracked him down in Hub City and threatened to expose to the world that Roy Harper is alive, putting Team Arrow’s mission and Oliver Queen’s campaign in jeopardy. The guy was blackmailed Roy into stealing the tech for him.

In Japan, Nyssa and her new right hand find a shrine they were looking for. Nyssa goes forward alone and finds Tatsu Yamashiro in her Katana get-up in meditation. She’s a member of the Crescent Order and protecting the Lotus. They trade sword blows in a dazzling display of matched ability. Nyssa calls a timeout and says they’d be better off listening to her proposition rather than fighting until one of them got tired and paid the price. To make the offer seem nicer, Nyssa invokes Oliver’s name, which gets Tatsu’s attention.

Back in Star City, Oliver patches up Roy and tries to peddle more of his I’m guilty for what’s happened to you wares on his old protege. Like the others Roy is not down with it and wonders what the rest of the team is harping on him about. Thea, of course, and Roy shows up to see her, much to her surprise. Thea starts coughing and going into shock. Laurel and Malcolm rush in, and the wound from when Ra’s al Ghul stabbing Thea through the chest appears again. It’s momentary and disappears. At the bunker, Felicity has been able to mumbo jumbo her way through the tech in the contact lens to backtrack her way into the Calculator’s system. Suddenly, they’re talking to each other with Sith-like voice modulators and trying to prove who is the biggest — and wittier — smartypants. The villain reveals that he’s not planning to take down the internet but a city. He manages to rebuild his firewall to block Felicity out. Thinking about what he said, she realizes he could use the nuke to take out infrastructure and potentially kill everyone in the city.

Act Four

As Felicity bristles at people using the Calculator name, she attempts to figure out which network node the man is going to hit. A thought dawns on her that Ray Palmer built a device called a battering ram that could help punch through a network firewall to get back into the Calculator’s system and figure out where he’s going to strike. She races off to the lab at Palmer Tech where Curtis is surprised at how energetic she is and how easily she’s using her wheelchair. On a manic high, Felicity rolls through the lab on a hunt for the battering ram before finally finding it. Curtis stops her to tell her that there are two Felicitys: this enthusiastic one, and the stumblin’ bumblin’ one who can’t make a presentation to the board. He insists that she needs to show the board this side of her.

Oliver visits Thea after hearing about her latest spell. He tells her that he arranged a meeting with Darhk and that he might have something to trade Darhk to help his sister. She tells him it’s not his decision, and she won’t let him give something up to Darhk for her. Oliver runs into Malcolm, who tells him knows Oliver is going to meet with Darhk anyway. He tells his former (future?) nemesis that the decision really is up to Thea. He’d just as soon bring someone in for Thea to carve up like a side of roast beef at a buffet, but he’s trying to respect her wishes.

Felicity is able to crack Calculator’s system to figure out he’s installing web nuke at the Flint Hill data farm. Diggle and Laurel roll out and Felicity texts Oliver. He’s onsite to meet with Darhk as Green Arrow when he gets the message. At the data farm, Calculator’s hired thugs tap in. As Calculator tries to do his thing, Felicity installs a worm on his system. Spartan and Black Canary take out some of the thugs, joined by Roy in his old Arsenal outfit. As the heroes contend with the mercenaries, Felicity and Calculator square off. The mercs get a jump on Team Arrow when Green Arrow suddenly arrives and evens things up.

The web nuke is hardwired and needs to be physically destroyed. Felicity has to jam the detonation sequence to prevent Calculator from setting it off, so the team has to set off an explosion on their own. To set the charge, someone has to stay behind to shoot the C-4. Roy volunteers, against everyone’s objection at first, but he says it’s his responsibility. He slings an arrow at the explosive, setting it off and runs. The building erupts, but Roy manages to zip his way down a powerline to safety.

Act Five & Tag

Back at base, the team thanks Roy for their help. He says he can’t stay because the Calculator knows who he is and it could put them in danger. Felicity installed a virus to wipe any evidence of Roy’s identity from Calculator’s system, but the man knows who Roy is.

Felicity makes the presentation of the Power Cell to the Palmer Tech board with Oliver in attendance. She reveals that the battery is 100% recyclable and has enough capacity to power their presentation and the operation of the Palmer Tech building at that moment. All in the size of a cellphone battery. Everyone’s impressed, including a guy who leans over to share just how awesome Felicity is with Oliver. Unbeknownst to the guy who, at one time, actually owned this building they are in, that man is the Calculator.

Roy stops in to see Thea to say goodbye. He says he thought about staying for her but she insists that he get on with his life and have a good one. They say their byes and tell each other they love one another. At Palmer Tech, Oliver leaves to go see Thea, while Felicity turns to see the Calculator, who she recognizes as — DUN DUN DUHHHNNN — her father. At Laurel and Thea’s, Oliver runs into Malcolm in the hall asking about Damien Darhk. Oliver says that he left the decision up to Thea and thanks Malcolm for his help. Laurel rushes out to tell them that Thea is in trouble.

Oliver has taken Thea to the hospital where she’s slipped into a coma and things are one the far wrong side of looking good. Nyssa arrives with a proposition for Oliver: She has the Lotus, a mystical formula that can cure the effects of the Lazarus Pit. She’ll give it to Oliver if he helps her do one thing, kill Malcolm Merlyn.




In the jail facility, Reiter has Oliver chained up and is shocking him Lethal Weapon style, trying to get him to reveal what mystical things he knows and why he went to get the maps from the Amazo. He refuses to say anything and Taiana pleads for his life. Reiter orders the man to take her away. As he goes in for another round, the sound of arrows fills the air, taking out guards. Reiter turns and takes an arrow to the chest, falling to the ground dead. Oliver looks up to a high vantage point and sees someone with a bow and in Yao Fei’s hood. She pulls back the hood to reveal its Shado.

She helps Oliver out of the chains and he wonders if she is Mei. She says she’s Shado, which Oliver can’t believe because he, well, buried her, and she agrees with him. She tells him he’s hallucinating, having a vision because of his injuries. She’s there to tell him to forgive himself his sins and go back home to his family. He tells her he can’t, that he can’t go home like he is now. She shares that the only way to get past it is to go through his darkness, to let it go. Oliver doesn’t know how, and like before, Shado will show him how.

In meditation, Shado reveals that he feels guilty for all the lives he’s taken, including Taiana’s brother. Shado refers to her as his love, which Oliver says isn’t the case. But he’s been lying to the woman and it’s eating him up. He needs to reveal the truth to her to help start his path toward working through his darkness and letting it go. She gives him a stone with markings covering it, but when he opens his eyes, Shado is gone.

Oliver wakes to reality, recovering from a fever. Taiana has tended to him. Oliver tells her that he lied about Conklin killing her brother. He offers that no reasons will be a good excuse for her, but that he was the one who killed him. He would like to earn her forgiveness to help him get past the darkness. Yeah, that might be a little while before that happens, seeing as how it’s easy to just forgive someone for killing your sibling. As she breaks down, Oliver opens his hand to find the stone is a real object.

Three Quick Thoughts

On first viewing of the episode, it felt like all of the acting was every shade of horrible. On rewatch, the episode flowed together much, much better. Not quite sure what issue was.

The Shado hallucination, which we saw back in Season 2, is back.

Felicity’s use of the wheelchair during her presentation is kind of overly fidgety.

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