Darhk’s powers are back and he’s decided to take control of Hive’s operations.
After his escape from prison, Darhk returned to Hive and immediately killed all the present leadership. His first order as new Hive leader was to move forward with the Genesis project. It’s finally revealed, during the episode, that Genesis is a plan to exterminate a large portion of the population while sparring a select group of survivors. He plans to use a weapon called “Rubicon” that could control the world’s nuclear weapons.
Oliver has been in contact with Constantine, who gives him a lead on finding a way to fight Darhk’s magic. Being familiar with the nature of the magic, Oliver is concerned that he may be overtaken by darkness. He gives the team the weekend off while he goes to Hub City. Realizing that Oliver’s worried, Felicity insists her way onto the trip and accompanies Oliver. They are sent to meet an immortal shaman named Esrin Fortuna (Gabriella Wright). The short version of her explanation is that Darhk’s power, which thrives on fear and death, can be counteracted by the forces of light and hope. She warns Oliver that trying to counteract Darhk’s powers will only make Darhk stronger if the darkness inside him is greater than the light. This is problematic for Oliver because all he can focus on is all the things that he’s lost and the people that he’s killed. Even though he fails with Fortuna, Felicity reminds Oliver of all the good that he’s done and that there is hope for him.
While they’re out of town Diggle and Thea have their own little adventures. John starts off the episode by going to see Lyla and baby Sarah, but he gets interrupted when he gets a notification that Andy has been sighted. Diggle chases his brother, but ends up running into a trap. He gets captured and tortured by Andy. Diggle is able to escape before his brother hands him over to Darhk and leaves him handcuffed to a pillar, but alive. That turns out to be another manipulation, as the entire thing was a ruse to plant a tracker on Diggle. The real goal of their plan was to capture Lyla, the head of Argus. Diggle escapes with baby Sarah, but Andy gives chase while Darhk extracts the Rubicon control chip out of Lyla’s arm.
Felicity and the Green Arrow arrive just in time to help. Felicity hits the Ghosts with a van while Green Arrow takes on Darhk. Despite earlier suggestions to the contrary, Oliver is able to repel Darhk’s magic when he uses it on him this time. Apparently, Felicity’s pep talk was all he needed. Darhk gets away, but Andy does not. Diggle chases him down and, when Andy continues to threaten his family, Diggle kills him. He also lies to Lyla about why he shot Andy.
It is mentioned that he doesn’t Thea’s “vacation” ends up putting her right in the thick of Darhk’s plans. Alex ends up taking Thea to Hive’s Genesis safe house or their “arc”. It’s an entire facsimile of a community that also acts as a bomb shelter. Thea starts to realize that she’s in some kind of Truman Show and freaks out when she sees that Alex was taking drugs given to him by Ruvé. Just as the rest of the team is realizing the full scope of Darhk’s plan, Thea is realizing that she’s trapped inside the arc.
The Island / Flashback
No real flashbacks in this episode. I suppose that part of the episode was taken over by Oliver’s training with Esrin Fortuna. To be fair, that training did, in fact, involve flashbacks.
- “Don’t talk to me like I’m other people” – Felicity
I know that this is supposed to be cute, but this is the part of the story that really rubs me the wrong way. Felicity is the one who walked out on Oliver, but she’s still using her emotional leverage to bully her way into parts of his life.
The back half of this Arrow season is starting to follow a disturbing trend of trying to handle too many big moving parts of the story too quickly. In this single episode Oliver has, apparently, completed all of the mystical training that he needs despite not really doing anything but failing at the training the one time he tried to repel the dark magic. But, through the magic of Felicity, he’s able to repel Darhk’s magic when it counts. Okay, I get what the show is trying to do, but it harldy feels earned and it feels like it cheapens the threat that Darhk was supposed to present. Don’t get me wrong, I love the excuse to have Oliver and Felicity play out their own little James Bond-style mini adventure, but it felt like that was the real reason for him to have to go see the shaman, not actual training.
Ironically, the other big moment in this episode felt like it was a long time coming. Andy needed to die. I don’t know that Diggle needed to be the one to do it, but that guy’s been nothing but a problem since before he was introduced on screen. In some ways, Diggle being the shooter makes things very tidy because we don’t have to worry about him working through the idea of forgiving a member of the team for killing his brother. At the same time, we’re now going to have to watch him work through forgiving himself for that, on top of being partly responsible for Laurel’s death. It should be an interesting ride for him, assuming that he has time to take it with only a few episodes left in the season.
Now that Darhk’s plan has been revealed, I suspect that it will be the focus of the season’s remaining episodes. IF nothing else, they’re going to have to rescue Speedy from the facility. I’m sure that her running around in a panic isn’t going to be allowed to continue.