We Can Survive This
Now that Damien’s wife has been killed and his Genesis plan has now quite literally gone up in flames, he has now decided that he’s going to destroy the world just because. With that in mind he shows up at Felicity’s apartment to take her hostage and force her to get Rubicon up and running again (why that’s so crazy, it just might work!). Of course, the rest of Team Arrow comes to the rescue and Thea gets Damien to back off by threatening to kill his daughter. While this does get Damien to flee with his offspring, the bad news is that Curtis has been severely injured. Even worse, Damien was also able to steal Felicity’s laptop, which can be used to restart Rubicon.
At Arrow HQ, Felicity works on trying to stop Rubicon once again while the rest of the team operate on Curtis (because hospitals are for suckers I guess). Felicity’s efforts don’t get off to a very good start when Cooper uses Rubicon to launch over 15,000 missiles, leaving the team with about two hours to keep the world from blowing up and about 45 minutes before Star City itself is nuked.
The team get themselves ready for the worst case scenario. Felicity instructs Captain Lance to take her mother someplace safe and Lyla arranges for her, Diggle and Sara to at least be together in case they can’t stop the threat. Meanwhile, Lyla sends some A.R.G.U.S. red shirts over to City Hall to try to stop Damien, despite Oliver’s protests about what an insanely stupid idea that is. Unsurprisingly, they’re all slaughtered off screen in about five seconds.
To make matters worse, some Ghosts start attacking Arrow HQ. The team is able to fight them off but Lyla notices Diggle hesitating to kill one of them and correctly assumes it has something to do with Andy. He finally confesses that he actually gunned Andy down in cold blood and Lyla being the more pragmatic of the two is completely understanding. Sadly, this doesn’t help in easing Diggle’s conscience.
Meanwhile, Oliver isn’t feeling any better and watching the citizens of Star City riot in the streets seems to take away whatever fight he had left in him. Curtis, who seems to be making a nice recovery, takes the time to give him a little pep talk. He freely admits that no sane person would live in Star City and that he was actually about to leave town with his husband a few months ago. Then the night before they were going to start packing, the Green Arrow showed up and gave him hope again.
Oliver then decides to try to talk some sense into the rioters and goes on top of a cab to give an impromptu speech (which is conveniently being filmed by a news camera so the city can watch it live). He tells them that he understands why they’re afraid but reminds them that the city has been able to survive the likes of Malcolm Merlyn, Deathstroke and Ra’s al Ghul and they can survive this too. The speech proves inspiring enough to calm the city and to also prompt Captain Lance to stay and help Team Arrow. It also helps that Felicity is able to stop the nuke aimed at Star City to the delight of it’s citizens.
While Felicity was able to stop one missile, the team realizes they need to find Cooper and shut down Rubicon at it’s source to stop the others. Oliver sends Felicity, Curtis, Thea and Merlyn to deal with Cooper and has Diggle work crowd control while he goes to confront Damien at City Hall.
Felicity is able to find Cooper fairly easily and is able to talk him into helping her shut down Rubicon even easier. Damien uses his Jedi mind tricks to kill Cooper immediately afterward but hey it’s the thought that counts. Felicity and Curtis then hack into Rubicon and program the missiles to explode in space. I get the feeling Neil deGrasse Tyson would call bull crap on this somehow.
Meanwhile, Damien takes his fight with Oliver to the streets and as usual is wiping the floor with him. Then all of a sudden some people start throwing garbage at Damien in defense of the Green Arrow and if this reminds you of Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie, I’m right there with you. This display gives Oliver enough hope to counteract Damien’s powers and level the playing field. At this point, it turns into a bit of a free-for-all with Team Arrow and the people of Star City fighting against Damien and what’s left of the Ghosts. Oliver is eventually able to defeat Damien and fatally stabs him with an arrow, thereby finally avenging Laurel.
In the aftermath, the team’s victory is bittersweet. Diggle, Thea, and Captain Lance all take the time to realize how much their darkness has been plaguing them this season and they all decide that it would be best to leave town for a while and Oliver having been in the same position last year, completely understands and wishes them the best. I think Diggle might have also re-enlisted in the Army but I honestly can’t tell. Sadly, the one person that I actually want to leave, Felicity, decides to stick around. So in a not so subtle role reversal, the people that left at the end of season 3 are now the only Team Arrow members still in Star City at the end of season 4.
Things aren’t all bad though since shortly afterward Oliver gets a call from the city council. After watching his speech earlier, they decided that they would like to appoint him as the interim mayor which Oliver is all too happy to accept. The city council chairman also notes that Oliver should have no problem getting elected in the general election in August since he was almost elected as a write-in candidate just a couple of months ago even before his speech. Oliver is then officially sworn in as mayor.
The last flashback of the season opens with Reiter shooting Oliver in the leg. He then sees his escape plane flying away so he decides to use his magic to blow it up to give him more power. While this gives Taiana more power as well, Reiter says the power will soon drive her mad.
Regardless, Taiana is able to kill Reiter without much difficulty but it isn’t long before she starts turning on Oliver. Her anger at Oliver for killing Vlad boils over and she almost kills him. Oliver is able to talk her down but she realizes that Reiter was right and that it’s only a matter of time before the power becomes too much for her and she becomes just as big of a monster of Reiter. With that in mind she begs Oliver to kill her and he reluctantly agrees.
Oliver then finally decides to get a hold of Waller to rescue the remaining workers. Waller then has the idol sealed away and commends Oliver on a job well done, though he is naturally in no mood to celebrate. Rather than go home or continue to work for Waller, Oliver decides to go to Russia and fulfill his promise to Taiana.
I certainly wouldn’t call this finale the worst thing ever, especially after enduring some truly awful episodes in the back half of the season (which will probably once again make me grade this episode on a curve) but man was this underwhelming. At this point it didn’t even feel like the characters cared all that much so why should we be expected to?
One of the big problems is that for the most part, Damien was already defeated going in. The whole point of his plan was already ruined so his entire motivation after that was to just be evil. Even the Supergirl finale waited until the actual finale to pull this crap. Writers, if your bad guys evil plan reminds people of Non’s plan, you’re doing it wrong. There’s not much more I can say about this episode since unlike several episodes that made me angry, with this one I just didn’t care.
This season started out with so much promise, so what the hell happened? My personal theory is they ran out of interesting things for Damien to do early, which is why the season probably peaked at the winter finale. From that point on, it went downhill and once Olicity split up, the season was driven off a cliff. After that happened, their breakup was almost all anybody on the show could talk about. It even got to the point that Laurel’s death scene which should’ve been an emotional moment for the characters and the audience, is made about Olicity making a major character’s death almost an insulting afterthought.
While Damien was a much needed improvement over Ra’s al Ghul as a villain, there was only so much Neal McDonough could do with the material he was given, which was progressively less and less as the season went on. As I said before they quickly ran out of interesting stuff for him to do and once he killed Laurel, it was impossible to ignore that Damien reaches Dr. Evil levels of stupidity in terms of not killing the rest of Team Arrow despite his countless chances to do so.
I had hoped things would improve from season 3 but if anything season 4 was actually worse. For the most part I would say I was unimpressed with season 3 but in season 4, I would say that I was annoyed. Annoyed at all the horribly written relationship drama, annoyed at the bad pacing and most of all annoyed at all the wasted potential.