‘Arrow’ has always been that bit “Darhk-er” (Sorry.) than it’s sibling DC show on CW. Although Barry disappearing in ‘The Flash’ was pretty upsetting and downright grim (not to mention shocking) he is not gone, unlike the smaller burg of Havenrock which Felicity substituted for Monument Point. The deaths of a few hundred thousand people will now be Ms. Smoak’s cross to bear, even if she did save millions.
In the Arrow-verse, which has still not been renamed ‘Green Arrow’ to match Oliver Queen’s new mission statement, things have always been that bit more serious and deadly, at least at first. Queen’s vigilante was not too squeamish to exterminate villains with extreme prejudice. He has changed, more resembling the definition of a “good guy” in the olden days of ‘The Lone Ranger’ shooting to wound rather than to kill.
With Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) however, he may have to revert to his old ways.
This episode was surprising in many ways, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) swore angrily at the pompous arse Mr. Dennis, not in his presence but later when she realized he had locked out after only being fired for “45 minutes.” Detective Lance, or former detective, opts to not sign the lie which may keep him off the force for a long time. Merlyn (The splendid John Barrowman) helps Thea Queen and Noah helps Felicity, of course the surprising thing in this is that Ms. Smoak lets him.
Flashbacks to the island are heading to some sort of revelation about the talisman that powers Darhk. If nothing else it reiterates the fact that death makes the user more powerful, although the backstory segments leave us hanging by the end.
Thea’s attempt to escape the underground ark built by Damien and his minions took up part of the storyline. Alex may, or may not be dead, after that shock to the chest although with the warhead diverted he may have a chance at resuscitation via CPR.
Vinnie Jones (who is playing the thuggish Mr. Brick) is becoming a staple on “American” television. He played Richard in the ABC musical comedy ‘Galavant‘ proving that former footballers (soccer players) can act quite well. Brick gets an arrow through his arm and a pretty thorough pasting by Queen rather than a quick death.
Felicity’s interaction with her father Noah Kuttler aka Calculator (played byTom Amandes) was well done as was her outrage at Dennis’ getting her fired by the board of trustees. Ray Palmer may not be best pleased if he ever returns from his ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ mission.
The line of the episode went to Damien Darhk himself with this gem:
“I think you’re gonna need much bigger arrows.”
(Although it would have been slightly better if he had said “You’re going to need a bigger bow…”)
The end of the episode has Felicity (Overwatch) killing hundreds of thousands and her face, with that solitary tear, was heartbreaking. ‘Arrow’ is darker than ‘The Flash,’ at least in terms of body count. This death toll was huge and it will obviously weigh heavily on Felicity after the dust settles.
It will be interesting to see if the newly rejuvenated Barry Allen can, or will, join forces to help his fellow hero defeat Darhk. With the news that ‘Supergirl’ will be joining the CW DC lineup next season, it would be completely awesome if that superhero showed up to lend a hand although wildly illogical.
Fanboy imaginings aside, there is a “surprising” visit from someone who helps in the battle as the finale description states that Oliver gets help from a surprising force…
Season five may have a lot of changes with the possibility of more crossovers, there may still be a crossover in either of the last two episodes of season four, and a few changes in character’s arcs. Felicity has already moved away from the team, and broken up with Oliver, this nuclear cross that she will have to bear, may cause her to withdraw completely.
There are two episodes left in season four of ‘Arrow.’ The show airs Wednesdays on CW.