Episode Title: Dark Waters
Original Airdate: 12-9-15
It’s too bad the Arrow showrunners have run the this character has shockingly gotten killed otherwise the mid-season finale would really have been a great cliffhanger.
But since everyone from Oliver, Thea, Roy, Lance, Sara, Ray and even Andy have seemingly stared death in the face and in some cases, literally come back to life after being killed (still oddly no news on the fate/fourth life of Wildcat), forgive me if I don’t get too choked up over the prospect of Felicity being gunned down in the final scene.
That really should have far more impact, but fool me once, etc. etc.
So while Felicity’s fate is no great mystery, there was plenty to take in from an otherwise solid winter break episode.
After HIVE wrecked Oliver’s community service bay restoration efforts, Oliver outs Damian Darhk as the big bad boss of the Ghosts. Felicity stopping the HIVE drone using her iPad was only slightly more believable than Wells and Jay’s giant portal magnet the other night on The Flash. Oliver’s plan seemed a highly questionable strategy since Darhk has well seemed several steps ahead of him and Team Arrow has yet to come up with a way to prevent Darhk’s fancy arrow catching and Shao Khan life essence stealing powers.
Darhk didn’t waste any time striking back borrowing a page from The Dark Knight in crashing Oliver’s holiday party. It was just as well since Donna found the ring Oliver planned to propose to Felicity with and Felicity was predictably freaking out.
Hoping to hit Oliver where it hurt most, Darhk kidnaps Diggle, Thea and Felicity. This allowed for a far too brief moment of Green Arrow reverting to his Arrow style of vigilantism and actually being on his own for a change with no backup.
The scene with Lance and Merlyn discussing father/daughter issues was pretty funny and I’ll immediately need more scenes with them interacting going forward. Laurel learned of Lance’s initial “deal” with Darhk and subsequent infiltration into HIVE with Oliver and thankfully didn’t make a big deal out of it. Since Laurel did get kinda crazy in resurrecting Sara she kinda owed Quentin some slack.
Neal McDonough again was crazy entertaining. He’s such an upfront villain that could care less who knows he’s the bad guy. It’s a nice departure from most of Arrow’s foes. With Oliver agreeing to trade himself in for the others, Darhk decided making Oliver watch him kill Team Arrow in a gas chamber would be far more amusing. It would make no sense other than a oh crap moment, but Darhk killing off Thea, Diggle and Felicity in one swoop instantly would have made him unquestionably the baddest bad guy ever.
Instead, Laurel uses her Canary Cry to shatter the chamber and Merlyn, posing as Green Arrow, battles Darhk. He didn’t fare much better than Oliver did, but thanks to an assist from Oliver, they both got away and Darhk’s lair No. 19 is destroyed.
Diggle’s subplot with Andy continues to go nowhere as Andy is full of sneering and pouting. I’m hoping more develops with these interactions as they seem very redundant at this point. Ditto for the island flashbacks. This week, Oliver travels back to the Amazo sub and recovers a map of some sort and escapes a badly-CGI rendered shark. Fortunately there was no jumping involved. Upon arriving back on dry land, Oliver finds Conklin waiting on him now having proof that he’s a spy. I’d love to care about this, but it just hasn’t been all that compelling just yet.
HIVE’s end game apparently involves corn or large fields. Darhk was showing off his work aided by some material found in the algae there. It sounded all sorts of mysterious and strangely agricultural, but I’m willing to let it play out.
Now for that final scene. Oliver and his supporters light a Christmas tree at the bay and he proposes to Felicity, now convinced they can handle any circumstance just in time for HIVE to do a drive-by that leaves Felicity bloodied up. Continuing the Batman references, I’d be fine if the showrunners decide to paralyze Felicity and fully make her the Team Arrow version of Oracle.
Rating: 8 out of 10
What that final moment lacked for in suspense was made up for yet another terrific encounter with Darhk. The fallout of this last act should provide some serious repercussions going forward.