Friday, March 04, 2016

Arrow S04 E09: Dark Waters

This is this year's holiday episode of "Arrow," and we open on Oliver Queen hosting a clean up of the bay from all the pollution that's been dumped into it. This is the bay that resident villain Damien Darhk was so worried about.

Seeing a daytime scene on this show is a bit of an oddity, and just feels wrong. Not to worry, the tone at least turns more familiar as H.I.V.E. drones open fire on the eco-activists. The whole pollution angle is a bit nostalgic for old school comic readers in light of the classic Green Lantern/Green Arrow comics of yesteryear with those heroes' social activism.

In retaliation, following suit with the opening of this episode, Oliver brings the man behind this merciless attack to light. He issues a public challenge on television, revealing that Damien Darhk and H.I.V.E. have been behind the 'ghosts' and all the recent chaos and attacks on the city. Darhk did not expect this kind of assault, and notably his H.I.V.E. partners aren't pleased either.

When Darhk goes on a rampage, my question is why the hell isn't Laurel in costume? At least Laurel confronts her father about working for the enemy amidst all the holiday party/engagement ring nonsense. It's about time. Laurel's kind of been the forgotten character on the show for quite some time and it shouldn't be that way. Black Canary is an equal to Green Arrow, not a sidekick or a subordinate.

The rest of the episode is hot mess, a placeholder until you get to the last minute hellish stinger ending. There's a gas chamber death trap with a designer poison called 'the bloom,' Quentin and Felicity's mom hooking up, and a return visit to the Amazo on Flashback Island. We even get John Barrowman as Green Arrow, but that's well worth seeing.

The holiday party finally happens and then another tree lighting, the latter at which Oliver proposes to Felicity. On the drive home, the two are attacked by ghosts, and Felicity is shot apparently dead. Is it she who's in the grave? If there was any suspense at all, it's diffused by coming attractions. She's not gone, yet. Either way, what a crappy way to leave us for the holiday...

For my other reviews of the entire "Arrow" series, click here. And if you'd like to discuss this episode and anything else in the Arrowverse, please join the Arrow Discussion Group on Facebook.

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