ARROW Season 4 Winter Finale [Review]

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ARROW Season 4, Episode 9 “Dark Waters”/ Directed by JOHN BEHRING / Written by WENDY MERICLE & BEN SOKOWLSKI/ Starring STEPHEN AMELL, EMILY BETT RICKARDS, KATIE CASSIDY, DAVID RAMSEY, WILLA HOLLAND and PAUL BLACKTHORNE/ Produced by DC ENTERTAINMENT, WARNER BROS TELEVISION, BERLANTI PRODUCTIONS & BONANZA PRODUCTIONS

Arrow finally reaches its mid-season finale with an episode entitled, “Dark Waters.” This episode raises the stakes for Team Arrow as well as for many other players in the show. It answers a few questions and opens up many other mysteries. Overall, there are many positives and a few negatives about this episode so let’s get started.

The Stakes

“Dark Waters” raises the stakes for many of the characters in the show – both heroes and villains. Oliver (Stephan Amell) tires of fighting in the shadows, revealing Damian Darhk’s (Neal McDonough) identity to the world. This leads to reprisals, including the kidnapping of those whom Oliver loves most. Darhk is the first Arrow villain who doesn’t care about defeating Green Arrow in combat. Instead, Darhk fights Oliver by striking at those who are weakest.

The ending of “Dark Waters” also reveals that Damian has a wife and young girl and lives in a nice house. His family is a possible reason for his dealings with the supernatural world, and if so, then a weakness in Darhk’s armor may also have been revealed.

New Mysteries

This episode also shows us flashback Oliver’s hunt for a magical artifact hidden on the island, however, just what the artifact is and what it does remains to be seen. Another mystery is the group who Damian Darhk appears to be working for. Even with all his power he seems subservient to them and they frequently chastise him for delays.

Lastly, “Dark Waters” gives us a partial explanation for ‘Genesis.’ Darhk escorts his bosses into a huge underground area with corn growing inside, and the group remarks, “It looks so real,” to which Damian replies that the air is breathable. Just what Genesis is may not be fully revealed for many more episodes, but this is the first time we’ve seen its fruits. It’s also refreshing to see a plot that for once is not about destroying the city.

Death In The Family

arrow season 4 dark waters review

“Dark Waters” ends with a startling cliffhanger in where Oliver and Felicity’s (Emily Bett Rickards) limo is machine gunned by a group of ghosts, and the scene is made all the more haunting by being accompanied by a calm rendition of “Holy Night.” Oliver manages to get them out of harm’s way, but the episode closes with him holding the (seemingly) lifeless body of Felicity. Fans will remember a scene in the premiere that showed Oliver kneeling at a grave with an unknown name on it. The stone had a date six months in the future, and we are not near that date yet, so it’s probably safe to assume Felicity is not dead and only wounded.

Also, it is good to remember that The CW does have a large number of women viewers – many of whom love Felicity. It would be foolish for The CW to kill her off at this time seeing as she is the shows only romantic sub plot. It is always possible that with Arrow strongly implying a major player will die they are feeding viewers with false clues. (Not so unlike what NCIS did before the death of a popular agent.)

Weekly Laurel Rant

Again we have more ridiculousness from Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), and one of the issues I have a problem with is her fighting style. In the start she was sloppy and her fighting style reflected that. Yet here we are almost two seasons later and her style is just as sloppy as before. The fight choreography needs to be upgraded. I understand she is a street-level fighter, but then her fighting needs to reflect a style that is street-based. We can lose the lunging and awkward swinging with her baton.

Rating 5

Arrow will return with “Blood Debts” January 20th @ 8pm on The CW.

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