TV - Arrow Season 4, Episode 9

Arrow 4 9

Steve Taylor-Bryant dives into the mid-season finale of Arrow but did he encounter some Dark (or should that be Darhk) Water?...

Laurel Lance: Are you sure that Darhk didn't make it out of the explosion?

Felicity Smoak: Have you seen any horror movies? These guys don't stay dead. Especially if you can't find the body.

After last week's horrendous crossover episode my hopes were not entirely crushed for an epic mid season finale but I'll admit I found it hard to sit and watch with the same enthusiasm I had before the timey-wimey nonsense of last week. Luckily it didn't take but a few minutes for Arrow to get back in the groove it had been in for most of the season and what followed was an episode that raised yet more questions, threw some curveballs and used some GM crop growing in its plot which was a first for me.

So, first to the questions raised and my personal thoughts. Why bring back Diggle's long dead brother if you aren't going to use him for anything? This has been the strangest part of Arrow for me. We went from "Andy's alive" straight into nonsense episode and still haven't seen Diggle's real emotions on the subject handled. This week there was more Andy, albeit still caged up, but his refusal to help anyone and insistence that he doesn't know what Darhk is up to seems to me a wasted opportunity to heavily involve a character much talked about but not seen until recently. Eugene Byrd who plays Andy is a great actor and I'm sure could carry off any storyline you throw at him so maybe there is more to come. We can only hope.

Malcolm was back yet again, this time impersonating Green Arrow in a ruse to stop Darhk. Despite the fact that it didn't work, it was an interesting premise that opened up more excitable questions. Does Oliver now owe Merlyn and how will he want to collect that debt? And why didn't the writers take the opportunity to reintroduce Roy as the faux Green Arrow? I've wanted Arsenal back since he left, if I'm honest and, even though Oliver has quite the team now, it seems to lack that character that Roy would bring. Another missed opportunity or a clever piece of writing that will pay off next year? See? More questions!

Darhk. Oh Damian Darhk I'm so in love with you as a baddy! Egotistical, nasty, power hungry like all those who have come before but he has this normalcy about him. I know that sounds strange given his powers but take away the magic and you have quite the funny and charming rotter sadly lacking from television in recent years. The "not getting Oliver onside" thing so going after his loved ones is not about magic, it's just good old fashioned revenge and torture. Lovely. However, what's the deal with the corn? I kind of get needing the Star City Bay left alone to grow whatever it is Darhk is using to turn into gas for his chambers but growing corn underground?

Then there's the burning question. Is it Felicity in THAT grave? Wounded in the gun attack on the limo, would the writers have the guts to kill her off? Whilst I adore the character of Felicity and so wouldn't want harm to come to her it would be an incredibly shocking and brilliant move from the writers! No one seems to stay dead in Arrow for long, certainly not a main cast member, and maybe it's time for Oliver to actually feel true loss again? Darken him back up a little? It won't be Felicity, she will be, at least physically okay, but what if?

The episode had some stunning set pieces and as a viewer I was appreciative of the whole thing, as a fan I was left in awe at all the possibilities going forward, as a reviewer I used the ? key more than maybe I should be allowed. Didn't I?

Image - The CW