*Spoiler Alert Kiddos*
When we last left our intrepid band of Star City Heroes they had exposed Damien Darhk and Hive into the light taking away their greatest weapon, anonymity. As a result Oliver and Felicity were attacked by the “Ghosts” and Felicity paid the price. Wednesday night the fate of Felicity, from the midseason finale, was finally revealed and we saw the return of Lonnie Machin, Darhk’s anarchist group who was brushed aside, in episode 4.2 “The Candidate. As can be imagined, having Felicity in the hospital sent Oliver into a season 1 type scorched earth policy towards the “Ghosts” in an effort to find Darhk. After Oliver exposed Darhk, Darhk then went to ground making it near impossible for Team Arrow to locate him.
We finally get to see Felicity out of her first surgery, seemingly stable, and being prepped for her next one to repair the nerve damage she has sustained. Seeing his friend lying in the hospital sent Diggle into a rage where decided to have another conversation with his brother about Darhk, using his fists. Running out of time and options Oliver goes to Captain Lance to figure out where Darhk might be hiding. Captain Lance and Darhk had several clandestine meetings in a secure location and Oliver figures burning the captain’s bridge with Darhk was their only hope. This leads Oliver to the Hive hideout with several dead “Ghosts” and the Anarchy symbol painted in blood on the wall. Oliver recognizes this system as Lonnie Machin/Anarky’s calling card and figures he is still out for revenge on Darhk. Unfortunately, Team Arrow is not only several steps behind Darhk but a step or two behind Machin as well. Hoping to Machin will lead the team to Darhk, Oliver sets his sights on finding Machin.
After some much needed advice from his wife, Diggle tries a new approach to treatment with his brother, killing him with kindness and not his fists. Lyla explains Diggle needs to stop treating his brother like a traitor and start to forgive Andy for his past crimes. At the same time Thea and Laurel stop by the hospital to see Felicity when she gets out of surgery, exposing Captain Lance’s relationship with Felicity’s mother. We learn Machin used the blood of his foster parents to paint the anarchy symbol and they capture him in his foster parent’s old house. The Team brings him to an abandon warehouse for interrogation and, after Oliver leaves, he is delivered to the police.
After his pep talk by his wife, Diggle decides to speak to brother one last time hoping to use love and family to win him over. After pleading with Andy for help, not for the city but for Felicity, he finally gives up Darhk’s home at Stonehaven. At the same time, Oliver goes to hospital only to find out Felicity will never walk again, basically becoming Arrow’s version of Oracle.
Upon hearing Machin is in police custody Oliver, being desperate decides to break Machin out. Machin comes out of the van looking confused until Oliver explains he wants Machin to find Darhk and put an end to all of this. Unfortunately, the tracker placed on Machin stops working but luckily the Intel Andy gave Diggle was enough to find Darhk’s new safe haven. Speaking with Machin about their encounter several months back placed Thea in to a crisis of faith and she starts to push Alex Davis, Oliver’s campaign manager who she had gotten close to, away. At this point Oliver finally goes to see Felicity in the hospital which helps put her at ease about this whole situation. Her main fear was Oliver was not interested in being with her “for worse” since they were not married.
Thanks to some words of encouragement from Felicity, Oliver’s conscience takes back over and the Team goes after Machin, just in enough time to save Darhk’s family. Upon seeing Oliver at his house, Darhk attacks Oliver. Oliver reveals he was there to save Darhk’s family and so Darhk gives Oliver a several week reprieve to spend with his love ones. In the ensuing chaos Machin is able to escape and is in the wind again.
After the battle Darhk moves his family to the Fairmount hotel until they find a new home. In the limo they discuss their plans for a new beginning and project Genesis. Darhk explains he plans on keeping his promise to his wife once they “bring this world to its end.” The show ends with the same, familiar grave site we have seen before as the Flash shows up to meet Oliver. This time we get a little more as Oliver gets into the limo we see Felicity sitting there telling Oliver he needs to kill Darhk.
*Flashback to the Island* Looking for a way to crucify Oliver, Conklin found him shortly after his trip to retrieve the maps from the sunken ship. Oliver, weakened from punching a shark in the neck, and Taiana, the woman Oliver saved from Reiter and Conklin, are then taken back to camp to be exposed to Reiter. Oliver is getting whipped until Reiter gets closer to Oliver with the orb he recovered with Constantine. This makes the symbols on Oliver’s stomach start to glow and Reiter forces Conklin to stop. Oliver takes this moment to relieve Conklin of his sidearm and place it under his chin. Oliver threatens to kill himself unless Taiana’s safety is guaranteed. Conklin places Oliver and Taiana in the Chinese prison on the island explaining Conklin is not done with them and he will be back for them.
This might be the most interesting episode we have seen this season thus far. Time and time again Oliver has tried to move passed the vigilantism we saw in season 1 to become a more sophisticated superhero. This season he has taken it a step further by running for mayor Star City not just wanting to fight crime “from the shadows.” He has been trying to do the right thing and feels like he constantly losing, with Felicity getting hurt being the final straw. We get to see the fire of vengeance in Oliver’s eyes again. We get to see wrath. This is not surprising and for many people, I would imagine, having a loved one hurt by a senseless act of violence could send them into a whirlwind of vengeance. Unfortunately, for most of us we do not possess the Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson in Take) like skills to make this happen but Oliver does. In the end, this is a must see episode for Arrow fans. We get to see Oliver’s and Diggle’s struggle over Felicity’s hospitalization and the desire to be better men. We learn what Darhk is planning, project Genesis, and get the realization this is going to be bigger than just Star City. While we are left with more questions than answers, as we usually are at this point in the show, but we are getting more. If this episode is any indication of how the rest of the season is going to go we are in for a wild ride.