Picking up right where last week left off (which begs the question, if all of the final episodes are so closely connected, why did they not have a 2 hour finale this week to wrap up the season and make the whole event seem more cinematic?), we find Oliver and Diggle in the Nexus chamber with a newly supercharged and deadly Damien Darhk, who toys with our heroes now that he is all but invincible. After draining their bodies of oxygen and taunting them, he goes full Saturday Morning cartoon villain and states that he is not going to kill them because he believes their deaths will be so much worse once he regains control of Rubicon and unleashes the nuclear apocalypse across the Earth. (Apparently Darhk is either so stupid or so confident that he does not realize that the only way he is guaranteed success is to kill the members of Team Arrow.)
Meanwhile, Thea is still grieving down in the Darhk Dome over the death of Alex, but she does manage to find her dead lover’s cell phone, which miraculously still has service down in the subterranean city she is trapped in. She sends out a message just as Merlyn and the ghosts recapture her, and tie her to a chair in the kitchen. Her father as always attempts to get her to see his point of view, even pointing out that he liked Alex for her, but she will not listen. So Merlyn earns his father of the year award once more and forces Thea to take some of the yellow pills to ensure her cooperation, especially since he still has Anarchy to deal with.
Felicity meanwhile has returned home with her father, patching him up after his gunshot wound, and she is soon joined by Curtis, who is freaking out over the missile that recently hit Havenrock. He realizes that Felicity’s father is the Noah Kuttler, the famous hacker he read about on the dark webs. With that in mind, he sits down to watch and occasionally help the “two best hackers in the world” as they continue their attempts to shut down Rubicon. Only issue, Felicity gets a message from Thea saying she is in trouble, and Felicity has to head out to report to the rest of the Quiver Crew down in Headquarters.
She arrives and immediately traces Thea’s location to a street in the Glades (of course it is in the Glades), and Oliver and Diggle head out to find Oliver’s sister. However, upon arrival, they see nothing but a sewer grate, which Felicity informs them should not be there. So they head down in the sewer (maybe Stephen Amell was hoping to run into some of his Ninja Turtle friends for back-up?) and lose contact with Felicity, whose military grade comms cannot penetrate into the Darhk Dome (once again, how the hell did Alex’s phone work down there then?). Fortunately, Felicity has her own issues to deal with as Curtis urges her to head home and she returns to find Curtis drinking a beer and trying to relax and drown out the arguments, as Donna had arrived in the apartment and immediately began fighting with Noah. Felicity, aware that they are on a tight deadline, urges her parents to stop fighting, and finally tells Donna that she is working with the Green Arrow, which is why she needs Noah’s help to save the world from nuclear annihilation. Donna is shocked, and clearly will be angry at Felicity later for lying to her, but she relents and lets her former husband and daughter get to work.
Darhk meanwhile, instead of just going and killing Felicity to stop her hacking troublesomeness, recruits her former boyfriend Cooper instead to come hack for him, and Cooper manages to lock Felicity and her dad out of Rubicon while also sending electrical jolts to their workstation. Felicity and Noah manage to send the electricity back at Cooper, which knocks out his console and leaves him unconscious on the floor, and they manage to shut down Rubicon. (though who knows for how long). Meanwhile, Donna is worried as she sees Felicity getting closer to her father as they work together, a worry that is compounded by the fact that Felicity learns her dad did not leave, but was forced out of the picture by Donna who did not want him around to be a bad influence for her daughter.
Oliver and Diggle meanwhile manage to track down Thea, but in her brainwashed state she attacks her brother, and Oliver only escapes when Diggle rushes in to distract her. They flee into the town, with Ruve Adams coming onto the TVs of every home down there to inform inhabitants that the man in green and the man in black are basically terrorists who need to be stopped from destroying their perfect world. Ruve meets with Merlyn, having already relocated down to the dome with her and Darhk’s daughter, and informs Merlyn that he needs to deal with Anarchy, The Green Arrow and Spartan ASAP, as she will not tolerate more failures from him. Oliver and Diggle meanwhile are hiding out in the home of what they think are brainwashed citizens, only to learn the family has not been taking the yellow pills. After 4 years of watching people fail to save the city over and over again, they honestly believe in what Darhk is doing and think his vision for a new world is the best hope they have. The whole thing is unnerving for Oliver who recently has tried to be the beacon of hope for the people of Star City, and he realizes they might have a point in not believing in heroes anymore.
Thea finds them and attacks Oliver as Merlyn attacks Diggle, but Oliver manages to help Thea throw off the effects of the drug and she joins him in trapping Merlyn and saving John. However, at that point, the Dome TV Station turns on once more and we see Anarchy in the main control room threatening to kill Ruve and her daughter if Darhk does not give himself up and also threatening to blow up the dome. Oliver recruits Merlyn to help (by gunpoint), ordering his old enemy to lead an evacuation of the dome while he, Thea, and Diggle go to face Anarchy. They arrive in the control room, announcing their presence with an arrow to Anarchy’s leg, and a battle ensues. Anarchy warns them that the dome is constructed of Dwarf star alloy (thank you ATOM for this awful technology) which will blow up if struck. Still, they fight, Anarchy stabs Ruve with the arrow he was shot with, and another stray arrow sets off a chain reaction that begins to destroy the dome. Anarchy escapes, Thea and Diggle rescue Darhk’s daughter and escape, and Ruve, in her dying breaths, makes Oliver promise to protect her daughter. The team plus the little girl escape the dome just in time to see it become a gaping crater in the middle of the Glades (if it is adjacent to the crater from the Undertaking they might have the makings of some tourism landmarks for people coming to Star City: Check out the remnants of our super villain attacks!)
Merlyn makes it out with as many evacuees as possible and returns to Darhk, who is pissed that Rubicon no longer works, and now he has lost his ark. But most distressing to him is the news that Merlyn is not sure if his daughter or wife made it out alive, which drives Darhk into a rage where he no longer cares about rebuilding the world, he just wants to see it burn.
In tonight’s island flashbacks, the totem’s power is clearly corrupting Taiana as she and Oliver flee through the forest, and she is enjoying the power, wanting to kill more men to enhance her abilities, claiming she wants to go back to Russia and free it from the imperial state it is in (or some nonsense similar to that). Oliver fights with her to stop killing people and let go of the power, but she is not having it, and Oliver tells her to continue she will have to kill him, which does make her hesitate. In that moment, Reiter catches up to them, claiming he is more than willing to kill Oliver, and the flashbacks end in a standoff with Oliver between Taiana and Reiter, with the woman still holding the totem.
In the episode close, Donna sends Noah away, claiming that if he loves his daughter he will leave and not hurt her anymore, claiming that Felicity is strong enough to get over losing him again. Curtis comments to Felicity about the parallels between her parent’s relationship and her relationship with Oliver, as both fell apart because Felicity and Donna refused to believe their partner could truly change, and did not give them a chance to prove themselves. Almost immediately after Noah leaves, Darhk arrives at the apartment, demanding that Felicity reactivate Rubicon and help him start the end of the world.
-I’m thinking that Oliver Queen might publicity come out as the Green Arrow at the end of the season, for a couple of reasons. #1, it would inspire and give hope to the people of Star City to have a hero out of the shadows who is protecting them. #2, it will clear Roy’s name and allow the man to have his life back in Star City if he wants to it (and if the actor wants to come back to the show)
– If Darhk knew where Felicity was the whole time, why did not he just send people to kill her, or just take out her computers?
– I think the show made sure to write in the bit about Merlyn being responsible for Laurel’s death so they could justify Diggle killing the villain in the season finale. I think it will be Darhk Vs Oliver, Merlyn Vs Diggle, and Anarchy Vs Thea in the end.
– They better put Darhk’s daughter somewhere safe, because Anarchy is still on the loose, and I bet he will go after the young Darhk girl once again in the finale.
I really enjoyed that these past few episodes (with Laurel dead and Thea kidnapped) have basically been the original Team working together again just like in Seasons 1 and 2, and they all still work pretty well together, even with all of their character changes (Diggle being a little unhinged, Felicity still having some bitterness toward Oliver, Oliver actually seeming a bit wiser). I cannot believe we have to wait another week to see how it all turns out, but I am looking forward to seeing how they figure out Darhk’s weakness and take him down, as he definitely needs to be destroyed. I just hope its not a schmaltzy ending where he sees the error of his way once he knows his daughter is alive or something cutesy like that. See you back here next week for the finale!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.