Arrow Season 4 Episode 20 – TV Review
But don’t worry. Felicity makes sure to thrust her malignantly tumorous self into the episode at every given chance.
It’s her duty.
TL;DR Oliver learns how to use magic in about five seconds; Felicity is somehow integral to it; Damien goes after Lyla, through Diggle, to get some ARGUS tech; he succeeds; but Diggle does get to kill Andy; Thea is abducted by a brainwashed Alex; Genesis is the most cookie cutter bad guy plan ever; the absence of flashbacks is a fucking revelation.
What are the odds that Arrow will learn from this and finally be done with them? Nil? Yeah.
We’re fast approaching our final boss battle with Damien, so we need a quick and easy way for Oliver to get around his magical powers. Cue a hot tip from Constantine (offscreen, of course) for Oliver to meet up with an immortal magician for some tutoring. Felicity insists on tagging along, despite the big Off Limits sign still hanging over her crotch. Oliver can only overcome Damien’s dark/fear magic with light/hope magic, but he’s too icky on the inside, and the tutor can’t help him. Meanwhile, Diggle is caught by Andy when he recklessly goes after him. He’s tortured and then, oddly, released, but it turns out to have been all a ruse so Andy could track Diggle to Lyla. Damien joins Andy in attacking their safe house truck, and Lyla insists Diggle take baby Sara to safety. Andy gives chase, and is entirely unrepentant for all the evil acts he’s committed, so Diggle executes him. Cool. Oliver rushes in just in time to save Lyla’s life, and is miraculously able to harness light magic because he thinks of Felicity. Fucking really? But Damien gets away with what he came for: a chip hidden in Lyla’s arm that has a nuclear launch program in it. Uh, oh. And Thea goes on a holiday with Alex. But when she realises she fell asleep on the way there, and that Alex has been given those HIVE mind control pills by Ruve, she discovers she’s inside an Umbrella Corporation-esque bio dome bunker. Because HIVE’s Genesis plan is to nuke the world and then rebuild.
So the field of corn was to make popcorn while watching the world burn?
I’m glad that Diggle has the ability to break through being just Black Driver.
Because otherwise this endless fellatio of Felicity by the writers wouldn’t have any breaks in it.
She even shows up to help Diggle during the fight with Andy and his goons.
I’d like to say I’m not shocked by it, anymore. I would like to.
Why I hate this episode:
Felicity even helps in the fight. Yes, by hitting some goons with a van. But Felicity is tech support. Not a field agent. And where the hell is Afrojack? If they need a new set of boots on the ground now that they’re short a Canary, call Mister Terrific. Duh.
Felicity’s insistence on accompanying Oliver to meet the magic tutor is grating, but given that the show is obligated to give her something to do every episode, I can at least understand it. But she ensures her presence is made intolerable when she sits down at a blackjack table (the rendezvous is in a casino) and turns out to be an ace blackjack player/card counter. Because of course she is. I’d call her a Mary Sue, but I just made fun of Max Landis for that, so.
And even though Esrin Fortuna, immortal magician and trusted contact of Constantine, tells Oliver he’s too dark within to use light magic, it’s Felicity’s angelic voice inside his head that gives him the ability to cancel out Damien “This was supposed to be the one thing I was good at and Oliver masters it in one episode?” Darhk. Yeah, Oliver tries to backpedal by saying he heard the other Super Friends’ voices, too, but Felicity is the headliner. I think I’m going to have to accept that all the Felicity shilling is already in the can for this season. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to tolerate it continuing into the next. I’m tired.
HIVE’s plan to nuke the world and build anew is disgustingly underwritten, even for Arrow Season 4 standards. I’m genuinely appalled.
Damien makes a big show of murdering a couple of HIVE executives who were ballsy enough to meet him (after they abandoned him to prison). But then he doesn’t bother killing the cowards on video chat who stayed away. Despite having earlier shown he can very easily do that. Does he still need them or something?
I had a poke around Google and Esrin Fortuna apparently isn’t an existing DC character. Doesn’t DC have any second or third tier magic characters they could have slipped in there? What the hell?
Oh, and Arrow is borrowing from the Resident Evil film series playbook of underground super bunkers. That didn’t work out so well for PLL, either.
But it’s not all bad:
This season of Arrow still isn’t as bad as this season of PLL. So that’s something, right?
Diggle carries the episode while Oliver is ground further into the dirt under Felicity’s heel. He brings his subplot with Andy to its conclusion with a powerful scene of brother-on-brother violence. Andy is proudly insistent that he feels no remorse for his villainy, and he’s convinced Diggle will never pull the trigger on him. It’s refreshing to have a bad guy without any clouds of moral ambiguity hovering around them. Damien would fit that, too, I suppose.
Diggle does pull the trigger, though, when Andy gets a bit too mouthy. It’s just what we needed.
Rubicon, the nuclear launch program, is a callback to the episode with Shadowspire. It’s what they were after, too. The program was designed to hijack military nuclear launches and stop them, but Lyla admits it could be reverse engineered to initiate them, instead. Cool.
When Oliver taps into the light magic to use against Damien, he gets glowing orange eyes. During his failed tutoring from Fortuna, Oliver has a memory flash of OSG with glowing orange eyes. His depressed recollections about how he only saw dark magic do bad things on Lian Yu means OSG’s tale probably doesn’t end happily.
The absence of flashbacks was a big plus for the episode. For once, I didn’t feel constantly stopped in my tracks while trying to get involved in Star City’s crises. Let’s hope the season finishes up with OSG and Black Boss, and then that’s it for them.
The reveal of Lyla’s safe house being a safe truck was cute.
Oh, and did Ruve/Damien have Alex abduct Thea to use against Oliver, or is she on HIVE’s ark list?