An explosive prelude to the fourth season finale. Family drama included.
WARNING: SPOILERS are in this review. I mean, sh*t, it’s the second to the last episode we’re talkin’ about here. There’s pretty much no way to review this thing without spoilers.
Alrighty, so this week’s Arrow episode was another fast paced, action-packed thrill ride with a lot of developments and setups for the season finale which will air next week. Damien Darhk seems unstoppable at this point, and it looks like Project Genesis might just end the entire world. Obviously, Team Arrow isn’t going to let that happen, and this episode laid down the groundwork on just how hard it’s going to be for our heroes to end this conflict.
This episode managed to make the situation under the dome, excuse me, under Darhk’s ark a lot more interesting. In fact, it was the better half of the episode. For the past two weeks, Thea has been trapped in the ark, which is meant to shield Damien Darhk’s loyal (brainwashed) followers, who believe he is their savior, from the nukes he plans on dropping on the earth. Up until this episode, the results in the ark have been mixed, however, this week it was the main setting for all the action to go down. Elsewhere, we get some hacker action as Felicity, Noah, and Curtis work together to gain control over Rubicon to block H.I.V.E. from launching more nuclear warheads in a subplot that was, well, not entirely well executed.
We get some major excitement and suspense as we see the Green Arrow and Spartan find a way into the H.I.V.E. ark to rescue Thea, who was just given a not-so-happy pill by her bad daddy, Malcolm Merlyn. Oliver and Diggle split up to search various houses for Thea, and when Ollie walks into one house with a family inside, we get a pretty interesting realization on how the people in this ark truly believe they are there for a purpose. They are there because the world is beyond saving. It probably helps that Ruvé Adams is televising herself and addressing the people like it’s “1984”. When Ollie does finds Thea, she’s fully drugged up and tries to kill him, as Diggle shoots it out with ghost agents. Ollie is somehow able to snap his sister out of her evil trance by talking her down with very little effort… Huh. Would have thought there’d be more conflict there. Oh, well. Adding Lonnie Machin to the mix last week was an underwhelming and underdeveloped mess. However, this week, although he didn’t come out of hiding until the second half of the episode, he was a lot more menacing and entertaining as he held Dahrk’s wife and child captive in the ark’s command center and threatened to kill them and destroy the town if Dahrk didn’t show himself. Oliver, Thea, and Diggle have an awesome fight with Lonnie but when Oliver tries to shoot Lonnie with an arrow, he misses, and hits the main power source. This causes a lot of fun explosions to look at as the city begins to crumble. The town is evacuated but Ruvé dies. Well, it doesn’t help that Lonnie had stabbed her in the heart with one of Oliver’ arrows prior to the power source being hit.
So while all that fun stuff was happening, making this episode feel epic and worthwhile, it was a different story with a much more different tone over on Felicity’s side. It was serviceable to see the- three hackers try to neutralize the threat on a technical level while stationed at Oliver’s home, even though it seemed laughably exaggerated, especially since they were facing off with Cooper, Felicity’s ex from college, working on Darhk’s side. However, the subplot was filled with so much pointless family drama and some really bad and forced humor. There were a few chuckles here and there, but the most head shaking gag came when Felicity’s mom, Donna thought her daughter was pregnant and cheered when she announced she had some news. Then we get the real reason why Donna and Noah broke up. Felicity was under the impression that her father had abandoned her when she was seven years-old. When Donna sees her daughter and criminal ex-husband working together, possibly repairing their broken relationship a little bit, she takes it upon herself to constantly interrupt Noah from helping save the world, to argue with him about the past. The bickering with these two was really annoying. Then, she takes Felicity off to the side, at the worst possible time, and admits she was the one who kicked Noah out because she didn’t think he’d ever change. Basically, she lied to Felicity about the circumstances in which her father disappeared from their lives. Later, when she tells Noah to leave after they finished up securing Rubicon instead of him sticking around and maybe try to right his wrongs with his daughter, who’s now an adult and not some misguided child, that’s when I began to think maybe Donna was the villain of this subplot, haha. Anyway, this was not a good subplot in many ways. It didn’t completely ruin the momentum of the episode, but it brought down the quality. The redeeming factor is Damien Darhk is pissed his wife was killed, and is now seeking revenge. His first step was crashing Oliver’s pad while Felicity, Curtis, and Donna are still there. So now we’ll have a hostage situation when the finale starts. Things could get bloody.
Then there’s the damn stretched out flashback. Oh, man. We see Oliver and Taiana gunning down Reiter’s men, while she holds on to the idol as its power consumes her. When she is shot multiple times, that’s when Oliver knows she’s been hijacked by the idol’s power. She tries to execute someone to gain more power to kill Reiter. So this provides a little insight on how Oliver knows that death provides Damien Darhk with power. Anyway, she snaps the guy’s neck, she gets charged with power, Reiter appears, and I think: “Cool, let’s see what this new power of hers can do. Then, the flashback ends for this episode… (Screams with anger)… Thankfully, there was actual violence shown in these flashback clips, but dammit, they could have concluded this story if they dedicated just two more minutes for this flashback. But of course, we have to wait until the finale to see what will probably be something underwhelming and will unnecessarily set up the plot for a new flashback. (Deep sigh) Can we please do away with flashbacks before the end of this series?
When it comes to Arrow or just about any action-adventure show, the second to the last episode is always exciting and filled with amazing moments that get you excited and anxious for the finale. Director Glen Winter, who’s worked on pretty much every DC Comics TV shows dating back to Smallville, made sure “Lost in the Flood” was no exception in terms of action and setup. The drawback is that the tone was kind of all over the place in this episode. While it’s cool that it was suspenseful, adventurous and fun, I couldn’t help but think it was a little too lighthearted considering last week we saw a nuclear missile explode over a small town, killing thousands of people. That’s why I had a problem with the forced humor of Felicity’s subplot. I’m also wondering what steps the team will take to stop Darhk, given that his power has been amplified. Could have used a little bit more Damien Darhk as well. He’s only got one more episode in this series because I doubt he’ll be returning for future seasons. He’s too dangerous to be left alive, and everyone on the team wants him dead. Therefore, I’m hoping he’ll have a whole lot more screen time in the finale to make up the past few episodes.
All will obviously be revealed and concluded next week. I just hope we come to a satisfying conclusion. Either way, as a fan, I’m excited and I eagerly await to see how things play out.