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Arrow – S4E9 – Dark Waters

Previously on Arrow, ‘Legends of Yesterday’

That midseason finale was a doozy!

The episode opened on a suspiciously positive note, with a successful campaign event to bring people out to clean up the bay (not that Oliver was picking up any rubbish, but I guess being such an inspiration doesn’t leave much time for actual work). This being Star City, they were soon interrupted by a drone attack. (You can tell it’s fiction because the news referred to an attack by white people as terrorism.)

Images: The CW

This prompted Oliver to out Darhk to the media (as a bad guy, not as gay [although he is a snappy dresser]). As a punishment, Darhk crashed Oliver’s stylish Christmas sorry, HOLIDAY party, and snatched up Thea, Felicity, and Diggle (side note: does everyone know that Diggle is Oliver’s BFF, or did Darhk just think he was capturing the bodyguard?). On a positive note, this got Oliver out of the ‘why haven’t you proposed yet’ talk with Felicity, after her mother found the ring and proved incapable of keeping a secret. On a less positive note, Oliver’s efforts to clean up the bay helped Darhk to collect a poisonous algae that he used to create an honest-to-God gas chamber, which he uses on Felicity, Thea, and Diggle after Oliver turns himself in. Luckily for them, season 4 Oliver is a lot more amenable to having people help him, and Laurel, Merlyn, and Lance show up in the knick of time to get them out of there.

They celebrate by having Holiday Party 2.0, which Oliver decides is a perfect time to propose. After about a minute of happiness, the writers realized that really isn’t their style, and Oliver and Felicity were attacked by ghosts on the way home, closing the episode with Felicity bleeding in Oliver’s arms.

Happy holidays from Berlanti and Co!

What are people’s bets on Felicity’s fate? My money is on her survival, because killing her off would be idiotic, but then again, fridging a female character in the pursuit of manpain is really not an unusual occurrence. This could also be (potential spoiler alert?) the long rumored transition of Felicity into Oracle, who in the comics is in a wheelchair (she’s also Barbara Gordon in the comics, but let’s not ruin the speculation fun!) Time will tell.

Good

It’s good to see that Arrow’s second queer couple is also interracial. Plus, Felicity is right, Curtis bagged himself a ‘hottie’.

Laurel and Felicity spending the episode emphasizing to the men in their lives that they can make their own decisions when it comes to putting themselves in dangerous situations was nice, although given how the episode ended, it seems unlikely that the message will stick for Oliver.

Bad

Why do they have Diggle’s brother in such an uncomfortable looking cage? Where does he go to the bathroom?? Also, my soldier brother informs me that they refer to Afghanistan as ‘The Ghan’, not ‘The Stan’.

I find Felicity’s mother incredibly annoying in every scene, although Felicity’s reaction to seeing her and Lance kissing was pretty hilarious.

Look, I’m all for putting an emphasis on Felicity’s Jewish heritage, but to do that and then put her in a gas chamber later in the episode seemed pretty inappropriate.

Oliver got bitten by a SHARK. There is a reason that I ignore the flashbacks.

Merlyn in Oliver’s leathers made me incredibly uncomfortable, which was mostly due to the tightness of the pants, but also a little bit to do with the writer’s constantly writing Merlyn (aka the man who made his daughter murder Sara, and committed mass murder) as heroic.

Quotes of the Week

“Well, you never would have found it if I put it in a desert like straight people do. Have you seen him eat a piece of cake, he doesn’t chew, he inhales.” – Curtis’ husband describing proposing with a seashell

“Yeah, I’m going to hit myself over the head with something heavy so I don’t know.” – Felicity responding to seeing Lance making out with her mother

Arrow S4E9
  • 8/10
    Plot - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Performances - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Dialogue - 8/10
7.7/10

Summary

This was a pretty solid episode – I know, I’m as surprised as you are! The plot was tight and interesting (ignoring the flashbacks of course), and all of the characters were at their best, without being out of character. A good end to a mixed year.

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About Alison Millward (103 Articles)
Alison is a big nerd living in Melbourne, Australia. She is a lover of all things television, particularly anything in the "hot young people in depressing sci-fi situations" genre. When not watching tv, Alison enjoys long walks on the beach, corrupting young minds, and actively avoiding thinking about her future.
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