Arrow: Dark Waters review S4, Ep.9

You can only cry wolf but so many times before no one believes you and after so many near death-experiences, literal deaths and resurrections, it’s kinda hard to take the Arrow mid-season cliffhanger seriously.

I’ve repeatedly said bringing Sara back to life was a bad idea. Not only did it negate the one consistently great storyline from last season, but it meant the basic rules of a successful action series didn’t apply since dead didn’t necessarily mean dead anymore.

arrow-dark-waters-review-diggle-thea-darhk-felicityIn comic books death doesn’t matter, but a show needs some measure of credibility so sequences like Darhk’s gas chamber and the final scene have more meaning. So I’m not buying for a second that Felicity was killed off.

For the longtime good of the show, Felicity probably should die since her death would affect more characters. I just don’t see the showrunners pulling the trigger on the most meaningful death since Moira got killed in Season 2. They couldn’t even keep Andy dead!

It was bad enough last year when Ra’s al Ghul effectively killed both Oliver and Thea, the latter requiring a dip in the Lazarus Pit to come back to life, but there’s no chance they ditch Olicity now that Oliver and Felicity are engaged. BTW, I was so annoyed with Donna for showing Felicity the engagement ring. It’s supposed to be a surprise!

This allowed Felicity several scenes to dance around knowing Oliver planned to propose and his reluctance made sense seeing as how Darhk isn’t the kind of villain to not immediately go after Oliver’s fiance.

Eventually, she got through to Oliver that fighting through tough times be it finances, jobs or homicidal lunatics threatening to conquer the city are just a normal part of a marriage. The lady has a point.

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I am intrigued at the possibility of Arrow borrowing another page from the Batman universe and having this shooting paralyze Felicity so she has to become the show’s version of Oracle.

arrow-dark-waters-review-donna-quentin-lanceMy issues with the shaky portrayal of life and death matters on the show aside, this was a pretty solid mid-season finale.

Oliver outed Damien Darhk as the man responsible for the chaos in Star City. It didn’t seem a great plan and Darhk immediately went on the warpath pulling a Joker from The Dark Knight in crashing Oliver’s Christmas party. Neal McDonough has been so good this season he can even make a Heath Ledger homage work. My only problem is he’s so darned charismatic, I’m finding myself rooting against Team Arrow just so McDonough can keep stealing the scenes every episode.

Darhk nabbed Thea, Diggle and Felicity forcing Oliver to go lone wolf to find HIVE’s new base. It’s felt like a long time since Oliver was on his own with no sidekicks/partners or tech support and I really enjoyed that segment. Laurel finding out Lance’s former deal with Darhk and current undercover status with Oliver kept her nice and occupied.

arrow-dark-waters-review-damian-darhkMerlyn had to come bail Oliver out again, first with a device to lure Darhk out and secondly to play Green Arrow to help spring the others with Laurel. The segment with Lance and Merlyn bickering over father/daughter drama was excellent. I’ll kindly take more of those two interacting in the second half of the season please. And the rest of Team Arrow learning about Lance and Donna made for some great lighthearted segments.

Some recappers hate the Canary Cry, but its use has continually been a high point for me in Black Canary fight scenes.

arrow-dark-waters-recap-oliver-felicityDiggle trying to get any insight from Andy keeps falling flat. I appreciate the effort to give Diggle something to do, but if Andy is just going to sneer and pout, there’s not enough going on to make it worth caring about.

Darhk and HIVE’s ultimate goal somehow involves algae and a lot of corn apparently. It was hazy and unclear, but I’m sure that will get touched on later.

The island flashbacks this year haven’t interested me. We’ve been giving so little to care about Oliver’s mission that the stakes feel low and unimportant save that one instance he ran into Constantine. After finding a map and a nasty run-in with a shark, Oliver emerges from his quickie Deep Sea Diving 101 course to find Conklin and some of the mercs waiting on him.

Of course the big moment is Darhk siccing his troops to pull a Sonny Corleone on Oliver and Felicity just moments after she accepts his proposal. Will she survive? Of course, but the real fun will be in seeing the ramifications of this attack and how it affects Oliver going forward in his battle against Darhk.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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