Arrow “Genesis” Review (Season 4, Episode 20)

Damien Darhk’s dastardly plan finally makes some sense. It seems like it’s The Undertaking all over again, but with the twist of harvesting the supernatural power in Starling City. Because apparently Starling City is some sort of supernatural nexus or something, and that’s why Darhk chose it in the first place. That’s actually interesting, but why is this coming so late in the season? My primary source of frustration this season has been how little time has been dedicated to Damien Darhk and his plan. There was quite a bit of build-up to Darhk, but I’ve been kind of underwhelmed. Neal McDonough is doing a great job. The problem is that Darhk’s overall story hasn’t been given the kind of attention it requires to get me more invested in the outcome. I don’t want him to destroy Starling City and I want him to pay for kidnapping Oliver’s son and killing Laurel. But beyond that, I haven’t had enough time or information to get invested in him or Genesis. The whole Genesis project has just been an abstract idea for most of the season, and given the plan’s complexity, I would really rather have spent more time this season revealing Darhk’s endgame in stages.

While Darhk was putting the last parts of his plan in place in Starling City, Oliver and Felicity were visiting a shaman in an effort to help Oliver find a way to combat Darhk’s power. The shaman wasn’t exactly much help though since obviously trying something once and giving up is the way to go about teaching someone how to combat magic. The only thing the shaman did was tell Oliver something most people already know. For every ying there is a yang. The way to combat Darhk’s darkness is with light. The problem for Oliver is that he’s always felt that he doesn’t have any light left in him. That’s actually been his struggle for most of this season. He doesn’t feel like he can be the hero Starling City needs because he’s too tainted, and every hit that he and the team have taken from Darhk has reinforced Oliver’s belief. However, as has been the case pretty much since the beginning of the series, Felicity helped Oliver find what he needed within himself to get the job done. He was able to repel Darhk’s power for the first time, but I don’t know whether that’s actually a good thing. Oliver said that he watched the power of the totem corrupt a good person, and I’m thinking it has to be his friend from the island. She flashed through Oliver’s visiion when he was with the shaman, and she had yellow eyes. Just like Oliver had yellow eyes when he repelled Darhk’s magic. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.

Then there’s Diggle. As much as I’m sure it hurt Dig to have to kill Andy, some folks just need killing and Andy was one of them. Dig kept looking to save a brother who 1) didn’t want to be saved and 2) no longer existed. The brother that Diggle knew died years ago, and holding on to what he wanted Andy to be instead of seeing Andy for what he was caused a whole lot of pain. Well, that and Dig making more bad choices. I’m wondering just how many times Diggle is going to have to rush into a situation half cocked before he realizes that he only creates more problems by doing so. I understand he was angry with Andy and afraid of what Andy might do to his family. That makes perfect sense, but the truth is, Lila and Sara wouldn’t have been put in jeopardy and Darhk wouldn’t have Rubicon if Dig had only listened. Lila told him to stop. She told him he was compromised and he needed to step back. Dig knew it, agreed with her, and yet he still charged in. Did he not think it was odd that Andy all of a sudden showed up on his tracker after having just vanished after helping Darhk escape from prison? How many more people are going to have to be hurt or killed before Dig will actually listen? I get that Dig is messed up with guilt over Laurel’s death and fear of what Andy could’ve done to his family. That’s reasonable. But that doesn’t make what he did in this episode any less dumb and shortsighted.

This episode was ok. Like I said, Darhk’s plan actually sounds interesting. But there are a lot of different moving parts and this reveal is too rushed. I don’t know whether this is supposed to factor more heavily in next season and that’s why we haven’t been privy to a lot of the details. I can’t say I’m shocked that Thea looks like she’s going to be one of the few spared from whatever fate befalls Starling City. Her kidnapping has Malcolm Merlyn written all over it. Based on the previews for the upcoming episode, we’re going to find out more about that. so what did y’all think of this week’s Arrow?