Arrow: S:04 E:23

Episode Title: Schism

Original Airdate: 05-25-16

While I’m not going to be so dramatic to proclaim I’m giving up on Arrow, this season’s finale didn’t exactly leave me especially optimistic for Season 5.

Darhk threatened Donna Smoak to force Felicity into giving up access to Rubicon, the nuke controlling program. It made no sense for Team Felicity not to immediately destroy it anyway as it was clearly a ridiculously ill-advised program. Team Arrow arrived and saved Donna, but not before Darhk seized control of the nukes again.

I hated the Rubicon plotline as it rendered Arrow a spectator. There was nothing Arrow could do at that point other than hope his Hacker Tech team could whip up some device to stop a nuclear fallout. Not too shockingly, Felicity and Curtis crank up a gadget to send the Star City nuke…somewhere? The nukes were set to super slow speed, which is baffling since there were over 15,000. Wouldn’t at least 10 have reached their target? And if Darhk really just wanted to kill everyone why bother launching the nukes and just set them off in the silos?

It’s incredibly lame that the vigilante show is more about computer hack magic than punching and beating down bad guys especially since Felicity can shrug off nuking an innocent town and never bringing it back up. Everything rolls off of her.

While riots broke out in Star City — the natural response to the end of the world is to stock up on milk and get a new flatscreen TV — Oliver hops on a car and almost immediately quells the riot. That entire sequence was silly as one dude atop a car isn’t going to shut down a riot.

Ready for one final showdown with Darhk, Arrow finds the citizens of Star City are behind him. I wish the season devoted more time to this idea that Green Arrow was trying to be the light in a dark and broken city, but making that a major plot point now felt forced.

HIVE bothering to fight hand to hand with the Star City folks was silly because last I checked they were all still packing machine guns. Sure, that works if you want to just do a Dark Knight Rises homage, but logically it made no sense. Bullets beat fists every time.

And there didn’t seem to be any way the hope rising in Star City would be enough to overcome a powered-up Darhk. Empowered by Star City’s hope, Oliver is able to take down Darhk and kill him. What an inglorious end for Darhk, arguably the one character that was handled correctly all season.

The island flashbacks wrapped up as unspectacular as they’ve been all season. Taiana and Reiter battled over control over the totem. Oliver took advantage of Reiter’s distraction to kill him and mercy-killed Taiana so she wouldn’t have to keep battling the darkness.

Arrow - Beyond Redemption - OIiver Queen

With the battle over, Team Arrow did the same thing Oliver did to them last year. Diggle returned to the military, Thea needed to rediscover herself and Lance just wanted to get away from Star City with both his daughters gone. Having Felicity be the only Team Arrow member to stay behind seemed like further pandering to the Olicity shippers. There was little reason that she was the loyal one when everyone else’s faith was shaken. It’s just one more area was Felicity has to be portrayed as the awesome one when Season 5 could have started off interesting with Arrow trying to reunite his team.

Now, Oliver is appointed mayor and with Felicity by his side has to devise a new way to keep his city safe. Arrow is going to need some major fixes to get back on track come Season 5. With possible repercussions from The Flash season finale a lot of those can easily be addressed as Arrow needs a magic eraser more than any other CW DC property.

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