Monday, May 09, 2016

Arrow S04 E20: Genesis

In the aftermath of the funeral that started this season and Oliver's vow to kill Damien Darhk, the villain returns to H.I.V.E. and promptly kills his former associates, longtime Arrow foe Milo Armitage among them. The plan Darhk and H.I.V.E. have been readying for far too long, Genesis, is now in motion.

Apparently Oliver has been in touch with John Constantine (I wonder what the cell charges are like from literal Hell) and he referred him to a 'magic tutor' in Hub City. Notably Hub City IL is the home of superheroes the Question and at one time, the Blue Beetle. The showrunners are fond of Blue Beetle, so much so that when they couldn't use the character for whatever reason they turned the Atom into a version of him. Let's face it, Ray Palmer is more Blue Beetle than Atom.

Anyway, with Oliver training in magic, the rest of the team take some downtime as well. Felicity insists on going with Oliver, Diggle goes on the hunt for his brother, and Thea has a weekend away with Alex Davis. All the while, Darhk is prepping Genesis, nice time for a vacay, guys...

John tracks his brother Andy down only to be involved in a shootout and eventually captured. While torturing John it becomes quite clear that Andy's not just a jerk and a liar, he's completely insane. Darhk is his savior and H.I.V.E. is his family. Yeah, Andy's gone bye-bye. If A.R.G.U.S. hadn't intervened, John would be a meatbag. Nothing was as it seems as usual, this was all a ploy for Darhk to get to Lyla and Sara... although it begs the question, why didn't John just take Andy into custody when he the chance?

Alex Davis takes Thea away to a place that seems too perfect. It's almost as if she's been hypnotized or dreaming. Yep, did we all forget that Davis works for Mayor Ruve Adams now? He's kidnapped Thea to a domed biosphere, where she'll be safe from/for Genesis, but more on that later.

Oliver and Felicity visit an underground casino where they end up playing cards with an exotic woman named Esrin Fortuna, another refuge from the Batman mythos. Mama Fortuna was the female Fagan to the Alleytown Kids, until the Black Mask put her out of business. Catwoman as a young girl was one of her kids. I didn't know that Fortuna knew anything about magic, at least not in the comics, that I know of.

This obsession with Batman has long ago gotten old. If the showrunners wanted to do Batman, why do they start a show about Green Arrow? And it's not that Green Arrow doesn't have history, he has lots of it, obscure, but lots, and all of it just waiting to be updated with new spins. Rather than yet another recycled Bat-villain, how about giving us new contemporary versions of Bull's Eye, Professor Merlin, the Rainbow Archer, Greenface, Skylark, even Red Dart, or, ahem, Dr. Davis?

Fortuna, another immortal, explains that Darhk's power is channeled through the idol, and it is fueled by fear and death. Oliver needs to equally channel light and hope or he'll just be making Darhk stronger. Oh boy, Oliver is going to need more than a lesson or two, he's going to need therapy! After two attempts to teach, Fortuna gives up, saying Oliver can't be taught - the darkness in him outweighs the light.

Nevertheless Oliver and Felicity show up just in time to save Lyla from Darhk. Again with the logistics. In the comics Star City is in California by most accounts with Hub City in Illinois... how long is that trip? At least it's not on another continent like Nanda Parbat. Green Arrow manages to repel Darhk's magic, but not before he steals Rubicon from Lyla.

Meanwhile John finally grows a pair and shoots Andy, something we viewers have wanted to do forever. The bad part is he lies to Lyla about it. Some men never learn. I guess they're headed back to divorce court sooner than later.

Now for, and finally, Darhk's master plan... Rubicon was the Maguffin from the Shadowspire episode, and it's a failsafe for all of the world's nuclear missiles, which of course can be manipulated to launch all those missiles. Yes, someone was dumb enough to build such a thing. Genesis has Darhk burning the Earth and starting over. And it looks as if Thea is a prisoner inside his hive...

The world is at stake. Who wants to take bets that Oliver never thinks to ask Arsenal or Vixen or the Flash or even Constantine for help? What's the point of a shared universe if you don't make use of it?

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