Picking up right where we left off last week, the destruction of Havenrock has supercharged Damien Darhk. He beats the crap out of Oliver and Digg, but leaves them alive so that they can witness Armageddon (classic Bad Guy mistake).
Underground, Merlyn captures Thea while she mourns for Alex, but she’s able to get a quick text off to Felicity before Daddy Dearest forces a yellow pill down her throat. It therefore should have surprised no one when Thea turned against her own rescue party in the form of Oliver and Diggle. The boys end up on the run and hiding out with Nameless Family #2. (By “holding out with,” I kind of mean “holding hostage,” since the Namelesses aren’t exactly hosting of their own free will.)
Eventually, the Thea and the Ghosts (also the name of my new Arrow tribute band) track down the boys. Diggle holds off the minions well enough until Oliver is able to break through Thea’s drug-induced conditioning. The gang gets about 30 seconds of breathing room before Anarky makes an Ark-wide broadcast. He’s taken Ruvé and her daughter hostage and plans to kill one of them in 20 minutes before bringing down the entire Ark in 21. The team heads to Ghost HQ in order to save the Ark while sending Merlyn to evacuate the civilians.
The plan doesn’t exactly work. Merlyn is able to rescue a fair number of folk, but Machin still manages to bring down the whole place after stabbing Ruvé. Oliver attempts to pull her from the rubble, but she begs him to save her daughter instead. Now that the “last safe place on Earth” is destroyed, Darhk is entirely willing to let it all burn.
Meanwhile, back above ground, Felicity, Noah, and Curtis are working tirelessly to find a more permanent solution to the Rubicon problem. Tirelessly, but not exactly constantly, as they find plenty of time to have family drama when Donna discovers that Noah is back in town and working with their daughter.
There’s a new(-ish) player on the board, as well. Darhk recruited Cooper Seldon as his own personal hacker when he broke out of Iron Heights. Cooper uses the Brother Eye virus to infect Felicity’s systems, but Team Hacker is able to turn it back on him, destroying Darhk’s systems, taking out Rubicon, and flinging Cooper across the room.
Donna’s obviously hurt and worried that Felicity seems to be bonding with her absentee father over world-saving, which leads to Felicity having to confess that she’s been working with the Arrow for about three years now. Donna has her own confession, though. Noah didn’t walk out on them. Donna took Felicity and left. She knew that Noah couldn’t leave behind his life of crime and Felicity’s safety was more important to her. Her opinion of Noah hasn’t changed, and once the danger has passed, she tells him to hit the road and never come back.
Curtis sits Felicity down for a quick heart-to-heart, comparing Donna and Noah’s situation (a criminal who she doesn’t think can change and a “slightly overreactive breakup”) to hers and Oliver’s. Before Felicity can really react, though, an extremely threatening and villain-tastic Damien Darhk bursts through the doors of the loft to set up the first scene of the season finale.
Okay, so we’ve taken out the creepy underground suburb, left Star City mayorless (again), and the season’s Big Bad is ready for his last push in the finale. Also, the flashbacks showed us that the idol is evil, because we needed to be hit over the head with that one a few more times. It hadn’t quite sunk in yet. At any rate, it’s season finale time, people!
I don’t think that the writers meant for the theme of the episode to be “Wow, parents suck,” but that was the impression that I was left with. Merlyn drugged Thea (again), Donna lied to Felicity about her father, Darhk is going to let the world burn, whether or not his daughter is in it. Well done, families. I want to say that Darhk is going to be stopped when Team Arrow reveals that his kid is safe and in their custody, but somehow I doubt it. We’ll see.
Episodic nitpick: I didn’t love the way Cooper Seldon was used in this episode. Arrow spent a fair amount of backstory making sure that he had a large amount of emotional weight behind him, but Felicity didn’t really have to deal with him coming back a second time. I get that the story is more solid with an antagonist that we can see in the Rubicon part of the plot, but that was a lot of momentum that petered out very quickly in favor of everything else that was going on.
Anyhoo, brace yourselves! The season finale is next.
Arrow 4.22 Episode Recap and Review
Curtis: “You make so much more sense now!”
Donna: “We can talk about it later, hon. After you save the world.”
Things to Ponder:
- For someone who was all “for my family,” Darhk is awfully cool with letting the world burn before he knows whether or not she’s safe…
- Taking bets now: Who thinks Merlyn is going to get off scot-free yet again?
- Did Oliver invent a lock-picking arrow, or do locks in Ark-town just work differently?