Sins of the Father (Arrow)

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"Sins of the Father"
Arrow episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 13
Directed by Gordon Verheul
Written by
Produced by
Featured music Blake Neely
Cinematography by Shamus Whiting-Hewlett
Production code 3J5813
Original air date February 10, 2016 (2016-02-10)
Running time 42 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Code of Silence"
List of Arrow episodes

"Sins of the Father" is the 13th episode of the fourth season of the CW series Arrow and 82nd overall. The episode was written by Ben Sokolowski and Keto Shimizu and directed by Gordon Verheul. It was first broadcast on February 10, 2016 in The CW.

The episode revolves about Nyssa offering an elixir named Lotus to Oliver that can reverse the effects of the Lazarus Pit and offers him to heal Thea, in exchange for him killing Malcolm. They convince him to meet with Nyssa to give her the command of the League of Assassins but Malcolm will not give it too easy. Meanwhile, Felicity meets with her father, the Calculator, and listens to why he left, questioning if he is a bad man.

The episode received generally positive reviews, but critics criticized the dull action scenes.



Taiana (Elysia Rotaru) is furious at Oliver (Stephen Amell) now that she knows he killed Vlad. When he shows her the rock with symbols, Taiana takes the stone and asks for Reiter so she can escape. Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola) takes the stone but retains them in the cell, also threatening Taiana to take care of Oliver, otherwise she will die too. He makes her realize that he also lost many loved ones during his time on the island. They begin conspiring to kill Reiter and his men to free the prisoners. Reiter then tells him that they will begin to dig underneath to find what he is looking for.


Nyssa (Katrina Law) tells Oliver she will give him the elixir if he kills Malcolm (John Barrowman). Meanwhile, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) confronts Noah (Tom Amandes), her father for all the activities he made. In order to prove he's telling the truth, he gives her a USB containing some of his crimes.

The team is considering the options about whether or not to kill Malcolm. They finally decide to meet with Malcolm to give the League's ring to Nyssa. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) meets with Nyssa to negotiate another way: Oliver can convince Malcolm to give his power to her in exchange for the elixir. Nyssa agrees but threatens to kill people if Malcolm does not accept.

Oliver asks for a sample of the elixir to prove the value. They put it on Thea (Willa Holland) and some of the scars heal themselves. Felicity talks with her mom (Charlotte Ross) to discuss her dad, seeing that he may not be bad at all but Donna is certain that "bad people don't change". Oliver, Diggle (David Ramsey), Laurel and Malcolm meet with Nyssa to give her the ring. However, during the exchange, Malcolm takes the ring and brings assassins loyal to him to attack them. Nyssa and her fighters escape and Malcolm is stopped by Oliver.

Lance (Paul Blackthorne) calls Oliver and Diggle to inform them about the assassins beginning to attack in the city. The team decides to intercept Nyssa and her group and neutralize her to take her to the hideout. Meanwhile, Felicity takes her father to the labs of Palmer Tech but she is in fact sending him into a "trap". Oliver confronts Malcolm for not following Nyssa's conditions, and Malcolm responds by not letting Nyssa get his power and also reveals that he knows Oliver has a son.

In order to bring peace, Oliver decides to make a sword fight between Nyssa and Malcolm. However, before the fight, Oliver uses ancient rules to switch Nyssa's place for him, as he is still her husband. Oliver defeats Malcolm and, instead of killing him, cuts his hand with the League's ring, knocks him out and gives it to Nyssa. He is finally given the elixir and Nyssa becomes the new Ra's al Ghul. He gives the elixir to Thea and she is finally healed.

Noah meets with Felicity on Palmer Tech, planning on spending time with her. She confronts him for having abandoned her. She makes him admit that the police is looking for her and Lance and the police arrive and arrest him. Seeing that Laurel and Oliver were right about the new role and darkness on her, she brings Malcolm over, takes her ring and throws him on the fire, disbanding the League of Assassins. Malcolm is furious about Oliver's betrayal and threatens him to make him suffer as death would be an act of kindness. At night, Malcolm meets with Darhk (Neal McDonough) to tell him the person Oliver loves the most: William, his son.


In January 2016, it was revealed that the 13th episode for the fourth season would be titled "Sins of the Father" and was to be directed by Gordon Verheul and written by Ben Sokolowski & Keto Shimizu.[1]



The episode was watched by 2.44 million viewers with a 0.9/3 share among adults aged 18 to 49.[2] This was a 2% decrease in viewership from the previous episode, which was seen by 2.48 million viewers and a 0.9/3 in the 18-49 demographics.[3] This means that 0.9 percent of all households with televisions watched the episode, while 3 percent of all households watching television at that time watched it.

Critical reviews

"Sins of the Father" received generally positive reviews from critics. Jesse Schedeen of IGN gave the episode an "okay" 6.7 out of 10 and wrote in his verdict, "This week's Arrow was disappointingly uneven despite the strong thematic story ties and the idea that multiple characters were grappling with change and redemption. Only one of the several action scenes stood out, and the rooftop duel was disappointingly brief and unsatisfying. Luckily, the resolution of this conflict and the major twist that resulted spell good things for the show in the weeks ahead."[4]

The A.V. Club's Alasdair Wilkins gave the episode a "B" grade and wrote, "'Sins Of The Father' is a solid enough episode, though I'll admit it feels like it's missing something. I suspect some of that goes back to the problem that hung over so much of the third season, as Arrow struggled to make all the business with Ra's al Ghul compelling. Nearly a year later, my best explanation for the relative failure of that season is that the show never really got across why the League story mattered. "[5]

Andy Behbakht of TV Overmind gave the episode a 4 star rating out of 5 and wrote "Overall, despite some mixed feelings about it, 'Sins of the Father' was a solid episode in many ways as the intensity worked better once the whole episode had played out and it did set up more things to look forward to. Malcolm became a bit more relevant again, even though he lost the title, the league as well as a hand (want to bet how many episodes it will take before he get some sort of cybernatic hand?), but at least now he has a bigger role to play again. The one thing that still remains irrelevant is those darn flashbacks."[6]

Jonathon Dornbush of EW stated: "When life offers a choice, do you simply accept the options presented to you, or do you, as Oliver attempts to throughout 'Sins of the Father,' discover an alternative that might actually be the best choice to make? On Arrow this week, nearly every major decision either implicitly or explicitly involved fathers. From Malcolm Merlyn to Felicity's returning father to Nyssa's dead dad to Oliver himself, fatherhood looms large over the characters' choices in this episode (which, if the utterance of that word approximately 72 times within the first 15 minutes didn't tip you off, was most certainly the theme of the week)."[7]

Carissa Pavlica from TV Fanatic, gave a 4.0 star rating out of 5.0, stating: "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."[8]

Noel Kirkpatrick of wrote positive about the episode, stating "I think many of you, dear readers, are in agreement with me that Oliver has generally sucked at this sort of thing (i.e., the back of half of last season), and while he didn't suck too much less here, we at least got to see him grapple with the decision-making and what happened when his plans went awry. As a result, it was not only a nice departure from the usual Arrow routine, but it also didn't get bogged down in that whole 'I plotted this off-screen' nonsense that plagued Season 3's storyline. Essentially, while Oliver was still in charge, at least Diggle and Laurel were piping in with opinions, and Oliver was listening to them and weighing his options with their advice. I like it when the show treats Team Arrow as a team, what can I say."[9]


  1. ^ "(#413) "Sins of the Father"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Porter, Rick (February 11, 2016). "Wednesday final ratings: 'American Idol' adjusts up, 'Black-ish' adjusts down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  3. ^ Porter, Rick (February 4, 2016). "Wednesday final ratings: '2 Broke Girls' adjusts up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  4. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (February 10, 2016). "Arrow: "Sins of the Father" Review". IGN. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  5. ^ ""Sins of the Father": Arrow dives back into League of Assassins politics, for better or worse". The A.V. Club.
  6. ^ Behbakht, Andy (February 10, 2016). "Arrow Season 4 Episode 13 Review: "Sins of the Father"". TV Overmind. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  7. ^ ""Sins of the Father": As Malcolm Merlyn, Felicity's father, and other patriarchs cause trouble, the dads of Star City could learn a lesson or two from those in Central City". February 10, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  8. ^ "Arrow Season 4 Episode 13 Review: Sins of the Father". TV Fanatic.
  9. ^ "Arrow "Sins of the Father" Review: Different but Dumb". February 11, 2016. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
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