Arrow Season 4 Episode 22 – TV Review
It’s the penultimate episode of the season, and Felicity already did a big computer hacking job last episode. Not to mention that she will likely be catatonic from the guilt of killing tens of thousands of people.
So it’s Oliver’s, the Green Arrow’s, time to shine, right?
TL;DR Felicity is the main character and has to do more hacking stuff with her dad (and Afrojack); a basic-ass family soap opera subplot sucks in all of the Smoaks and far too much screentime; Anarky ends up being responsible for killing Ruve and destroying the ark, while Oliver, Diggle, and Thea mostly twiddle their thumbs and hiss at Malcolm; the flashbacks illuminate nothing; Damien turns suicidal, in addition to genocidal.
Nobody likes depressed ham. Boo.
So remember how Felicity dropped a nuke on a town last episode while trying to stop a global nuclear holocaust? Yeah, that’s not important, because it’s time for the Calculator to come in and help her do it again. And this time she’s brought Afrojack for company. And Donna for soap operatics. Damien does his part, though, and recruits another jailbroken prisoner to help: Cooper, Felicity’s hot old boyfriend from her origin episode. An NCIS-level hack-off ensues, and Felicity’s team wins by making Cooper’s computer blow up? Huh? But enough of that, it’s time for Donna to be jealous of Felicity spending time with her dad, admitting she lied to Felicity about how their family broke apart (he didn’t disappear; she did, and she stole Felicity away from Calculator), and somehow claiming the moral high ground to tell Calculator to fuck off forever, despite the fact he just saved the world (again) and had a good time with his daughter for once. Meanwhile, Malcolm captures and drugs Thea following Alex’s death and Anarky’s escape. Oliver and Diggle, having been spared from death by Damien just because, infiltrate the ark in an attempt to find Thea. In her drugged state, she fights them, and they also discover that the families inhabiting the ark aren’t drugged, themselves: they just genuinely want the world to be nuked. Cool. They eventually snap Thea out of it and are forced to team up with Malcolm when Anarky holds Ruve and her daughter hostage and proclaims his intent to destroy the ark. An errant arrow in the battle with Anarky somehow sets off the ark’s volatile power source, Anarky kills Ruve in the confusion and escapes, and Oliver honours Ruve’s dying wish to save her daughter from the ark’s collapse. The Star City Glades are wrecked for real this time when the ark implodes underneath them, and a bitter Damien rejects Malcolm’s advice to abort Genesis, ending the episode by confronting Felicity and co at the loft to use them to get it back online. Oh, and the flashbacks show OSG go mad for power instantaneously, and then Black Boss turns up.
I wonder if Oliver will make it out alive?
Well, it’s another episode of Arrow, and another astonishing low at the hands of Felicity and her relentless conga line of crap.
I mean, we thought Felicity was bad. We were not ready for what would happen when her parents collided.
Why I hate this episode:
How can Arrow justify spending so much of the second-to-last episode of its season on backstory pointless bullshit with Felicity’s parents? Who cares who left who? Donna was barely a supporting character up until this point, and Calculator has no character outside of “hacker.” This would make a little bit more sense if Felicity was the main character, but she’s not.
Or is she? Because season 4 would suggest yes, she is. Which is a problem.
Donna’s alarmingly inconsistent in her philosophy on lying. Just last episode she was saying it wasn’t okay for Quentin to lie to get his job back. And that was a lie that literally wouldn’t hurt anyone. But as it turns out, Donna’s been lying to Felicity for her whole life about how their family fell apart. Whoopsie.
And, the woman who overcame paralysis to literally walk away from her lying boyfriend, is instantly okay with it. Much consistency.
I can’t believe Donna demanded Calculator fuck off for Felicity’s protection. Cunt, he just saved the world. Give the guy a fucking break, for fuck’s sake. And Felicity is a goddamn motherfucking adult. She doesn’t need mummy protecting her feelings. Holy shit, what were the Arrow writers thinking? They couldn’t find any other reason in the world that Calculator might leave the loft?
Afrojack is still yet to make the transition to Mister Terrific. I’ve given up waiting. I hope Damien kills him.
The Smoak family stuff is embarrassing enough, but the actual plot rivals it with Anarky, a barely-developed minor villain, being the one who takes down HIVE and the ark. What the actual fuck, Arrow?
HIVE built the ark’s power source to be so unstable that an arrow piercing it would send it into self-destruct?
Ruve’s death is treated as tragic. Why?
Ruve’s impassioned plea to save her daughter is absolutely unearned. I was half hoping Oliver, Diggle, or Thea would just bash the little angel’s head in to be sure she wouldn’t grow up to be like her parents. Actually, I’m disappointed Anarky didn’t get a few swift kicks in on her.
Malcolm recycles the “drug Thea and make her try to kill a loved one” routine from season 3. Lazy.
A nuke hitting an American town should have sent the world into utter, batshit crazy pandemonium. But all we see of it is a single news anchor calmly reporting the possible death toll. I’d say I hope next episode covers at least some of the world’s reactions to it, but I know it won’t.
Alex is dead, it seems. But Arrow didn’t want to pay for his actor for another episode, so a stand-in with an obviously different hairstyle takes his place. It’s so obvious that I’d like to think it means something untoward is going on. But, again, I don’t have faith that Arrow is that clever, anymore.
Damien is such a fucking idiot. He doesn’t kill Oliver and Diggle in the nexus chamber because he’d rather they live to see the nuclear holocaust. And then he doesn’t just go down into the ark himself, what with his tens of thousands of souls-aided power up, to deal with Anarky. He lets Malcolm and the goon squad do it, and it fails predictably. What the fuck?
The hacking stuff is par for the course stupid for a network television show, but blowing up Cooper’s computer via hacking so he flies across the room and is knocked out is a new, stinky level of shame.
Donna, again on the “lies are bad” train, chucks a psych that she was left in the dark when Felicity is forced to reveal that she’s a part of the Super Friends. Given that we already saw how thankfully mature Thea’s reaction was, it’s unbelievable that Arrow would revert to this kind of melodramatic bullshit.
The ark dwellers aren’t brainwashed and crazy, after all. One family explains to Oliver and Diggle that they want the world to be murdered because life was hard for them in Star City and the heroes never delivered on any of their promises to make things better. Personally, I think moving is a more rational solution than nuclear omnicide, but logic isn’t a feature of Arrow, you know.
Worse, Oliver actually takes this little exchange to heart and moans to Diggle later that he feels guilty because Damien Darhk gives these people more hope than he does and he’s a failure or something. I keep saying it, but what the actual fuck, Arrow?
So the ark control room isn’t in the ark? Because it’s in tact after the implosion. Or does HIVE have another Star City tech base?
Oh, and after the day is won, Felicity and Afrojack debrief by smirkily gossiping about her parents’ break-up. And then Afrojack compares their relationship to hers and Oliver’s. In that Oliver lies all the time and is a supervillain, and Felicity is a perfect princess whose lies are okay because she says so.
But it’s not all bad:
At least we got rid of one Smoak. Two to go. Maybe Damien will help us with that?
Anarky, like last episode, comes out on top. He’s the only one who gets anything important done.
Cooper’s actor is, like, really pretty.
Despite all the computer bullshit, I thought Felicity’s team’s plan to overload Rubicon with intentionally wrong access requests was cute.
Felicity’s disinterest in feeling guilty about the nuke last episode doesn’t feel like a slap in the face because she knows she has to get back to work to stop any more nukes. So that’s fair.
The flashbacks are short and to the point. OSG gets hopped up on power and ends up killing a wounded slave to steal energy to get stronger. Which should serve her well in her boss battle with Black Boss next episode. I wonder how the idol decides which of them will receive its magic, though?
Diggle compares the ark to Mount Weather. Which as it turns out is a real place, and is not a confirmation that The 100 and Arrow share the same universe. So calm down. It was only a CW in-joke.
Oliver and Diggle get a cool run ‘n gun and parkour action scene while fleeing goons in the ark.
Oh, and this is how I feel heading into what I’m sure will be a stellar season finale: