Arrow, S4 Ep09 – Dark Waters

Given that this season of Arrow opened with us finding out that one of Ollie’s loved ones would die, it’s no surprise that this year’s mid-season finale would address this fact once again. That being said, the truth still hangs in the air and we won’t know what really happened until Arrow returns with new episodes in January. Until then, here are my thoughts on “Dark Waters”, an episode which shows more than any other episode how much of a sinister force Damien Darhk truly is.

Arrow, S4 Ep09 - Dark Waters (2)

Mayoral candidate Oliver Queen

Watching this episode I had a strong feeling someone would bite the dust this week. As “Dark Waters” progresses the tension continues to mount as our heroes are placed in situations more dangerous than the last. The episode opens up with Damien Darhk using a drone to fire on citizens of Star City during an event organized by Ollie’s campaign. Considering the events that have occurred in our own world in recent months, it was surprising seeing Arrow subtly address similar issues. I’m glad we only hear of the carnage the drone causes and don’t see the injured civilians. The scene is never played up as a fun action scene, but a scene that shows how evil Darhk is.

This scene leads to Ollie, with the support of his team, outing Damien Darhk to every Star City news outlet. Immediately, I knew this couldn’t mean anything good for him and the rest of Team Arrow, especially knowing that someone would die this season. As the episode continues, it delves deep into the relationship between Ollie and Felicity, addressing the fact that Ollie almost proposed to her, but changed his mind after they returned to Star City. With all of these relationship questions up in the air it seemed pretty clear of the writers were trying to make us think.

Eventually, Damien Darhk and his Ghosts kidnap Felicity, Thea, and Diggle from a holiday party hosted by Ollie himself. We get to see Ollie at one of his low points, blaming himself for what has happened and not being able to get any answers from Ghosts, no matter how hard he punches them. Eventually, Ollie gives himself up to Damien in order to find his secret lair where he is holding his friends captive. Damien, being the truly sinister villain he is, has no interest in making any deals with Ollie. He speaks of that Nazis and how they perfected the gas chamber. Considering the reference to Felicity’s Jewish heritage earlier in the episode, I think it would have been in poor taste to see her go out the way Darhk intended.

Fortunately, Black Canary, using her sonic scream to full effect, and Malcolm Merlyn in Ollie’s Green Arrow costume, come in and save the day. Felicity, Thea, and Diggle are freed from Darhk’s gas chamber. As the climax comes to a close and Damien Darhk is seemingly blown up, we get some peaceful scenes involving Ollie continuing his mayoral campaign, lighting a Star City Christmas tree, and officially proposing to Felicity. But that tension still remained, and as they drove away I was reminded of that season two episode involving the death of Moira Queen.

Arrow -- "Dark Waters" -- Image AR409B_0224bc.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak -- Photo: Diyah Pera/ The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Ollie/Felicity shippers be warned

The episode concludes with Ollie and Felicity’s limo being shot up by Damien Darhk’s Ghosts. For the most part Ollie uses his body to shield Felicity from the bullets before deciding to hop into the driver’s seat and get out of there. Sadly, Felicity gets shot in her side and the episode concludes with us not knowing whether she will live or die.

Considering I was waiting for something tragic to happen this entire episode, the fact that Felicity got shot didn’t surprise me at all. That being said I don’t know what is going to happen next. Part of me remains doubtful that the writers of Arrow would kill off Felicity. She is the heart and soul of the series and is one of the founding members of Team Arrow. Arrow also hasn’t spent enough time exploring the relationship between Ollie and Felicity, so I would hope to see more. Maybe I’m just in denial about the whole thing, but I really don’t want to see this character go.

One reason I don’t think Felicity is dead is because the promo for the next episode heavily implies that she is. I would like to think that the promo is just trying to throw us off and Felicity will make it out alive. I’m being very optimistic here, I know. I really dislike having to wait until January to find out what happens.

Overall, “Dark Waters” was very tense and unnerving throughout. It was definitely a solid episode and I enjoyed the relationship moments between Ollie and Felicity very much. Neal McDonough’s take on Damien Darhk continues to be one of this season’s best attributes, as I feel he is becoming a more menacing villain than Deathstroke or last season’s Ra’s al Ghul ever were. As usual the flashback scenes were lame, but at least they didn’t take up too much of our time.

Arrow returns with all-new episodes January 20, 2016. Check out the promo for the next episode entitled “Blood Debts” below and feel free to let us know what you thought of “Dark Waters” in the comments.

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