Hope Saves The Day In Arrow
No, literally. That was the secret weapon. Hope.
Oliver Queen wanted to fight the darkness and run for mayor so he could do some good for his city. But things got complicated and he ended up fighting an evil magician named Damien Darhk who killed Oliver's ex-girlfriend. Darhk is trying to destroy the world with nuclear fire, and he's already destroyed one city. Also there was a flashback plot that has been spinning its wheels for a while now. It's like whoever was in charge of that unit thought the season was ten episodes shorter so there's been a lot of stretching.
We Were Having A Moment Here
Situation: Damien has barged into Felicity's home and is threatening to torture her mother to death if he doesn't get the Rubicon codes to launch all the world's nuclear missiles.
What makes it awkward? When Oliver and Diggle jump in and shoot at Darhk, they are reminded of his magical powers that render their signature weapons useless.
How is order restored? Thea threatens to kill Damien's daughter. In front of him. It's not the most heroic action ever, but it gets him to smoke-bomb his way out of the scene.
That Quote"When did this become your life?"- Donna Smoak, who's not used to this kind of thing -
I Am Not A Crackpot
Dear Mister President, If Your Team Members Are Constantly Being Injured, Your Team Should Include A Doctor. I Am Not A Crackpot!
The confrontation at the Smoak home had two bad results. First, Damien got away with Felicity's laptop, which could allow him to re-access Rubicon. And that's bad because it could mean another episode with a lot of hacking. The second bad result is that Curtis is injured with, according to Diggle, internal bleeding.
And, look. I'm willing to accept the way these guys occasionally have to stitch up bullet wounds. But internal bleeding seems like something that requires an actual medical degree to deal with. And the way these people get flung around, this can't be the first time this would happen. So while it might be fun to have a team that's composed solely of people with signature weapons or hacking skillz, I'd like to propose that Oliver find a doctor to hang out in the Arrowlair. Either that, or don't bring people here. Just take them to that one hospital room that's always open. A real military unit probably has trained medics. So should this one. I am not a crackpot.
R.I.P. Most Of The Flashback Slaves
Good news: many of Baron Reiter's prisoners made it to the plane and they're now flying away from the island. Bad news: Reiter is powered up by all the death that's been happening, so he has the power to make the plane explode. Which he does. So everybody that was on the plane is now dead. This is very sad, in theory. However, since we don't know how many people were on it, how many people survived, or the names of any of them, it's pretty abstract.
Raise The Stakes
Alert Type: Imminent Apocalypse Alert.
Issue: Damien Darhk has seized control of Rubicon and launched 15,434 nuclear missiles, which is supposed to be all of them in the world.
Complicating Factors: They're all going to impact in two hours, except for the one pointed at Star City, which is going to hit in 45 minutes. Try not to think about what a coincidence it is that every single nuclear missile in the world is aimed at something exactly two hours away.
Resolution: Team Arrow is going to concentrate on the missile that's pointed directly at them, because if that kills them, they won't be around to deal with the rest of the problem.
Spoiler: They're probably not going to kill literally every person on Earth.
R.I.P. The Flashback Villain
These flashbacks are still going on. Baron Reiter has plenty of magical power, but Taiana has his idol, and it's pouring power into her. And after a magical duel that mostly consists of the two characters grimacing at each other, she manages to kill him. So...he's dead. If you care.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Damien Darhk genuinely loves his daughter. However, his love doesn't mean that he isn't keeping her in the creepy cave while he prepares to rain nuclear fire down on the world. So it's kind of a complicated relationship. He also doesn't mind murdering ARGUS agents in front of her, apparently. Even if this kid somehow survives, she's going to be pretty messed up.
Unwanted Visitors, Again
Alert Type: Ninja Alert.
Issue: Damien's Ghosts are suddenly inside the Arrowlair, and they're attacking everyone.
Complicating Factors: It's a huge mess. Oliver has to sneak across the room to get his bow, but then he shoots two guys at once. Diggle has a crisis where he can't shoot one guy because he's thinking of Andy, but Lyla takes care of it for him. Thea gets in trouble, but Malcolm shows up out of nowhere to save her. Even Felicity gets to whop someone with a night stick. It's a great big mess. Maybe in addition to the team doctor, they could get some kind of maid service in here.
Resolution: All the ghosts are dead. Or maybe unconscious, if you're very generous.
Spoiler: This fight meant basically nothing other than that someone didn't think there were enough fight scenes.
That Quote"Someone's gotta provide a little optimism."- Curtis Holt, trying to turn things around with a motivational speech about hope -
Can't We All Just Get Along?
Who called the meeting? Oliver Queen, Concerned Citizen.
What's it about? People are rioting, because what else are you supposed to do when you're 45 minutes away from dying? There's no point in looting. You'd get that couch home and have maybe five minutes to enjoy it before the explosion.
How'd it go? Oliver climbs on top of a cab and calls for quiet. Somehow, he gets it. Then he delivers an impassioned speech about how we've got to have hope. It's a pretty good speech, albeit not quite as good as the one Curtis gave to Oliver in the Arrowlair. It's probably worth mentioning at this point that the reason Oliver's no longer able to counter Damien's dark magic is that he's only been able to draw upon Felicity's hope, and that's no longer enough. So now more people are feeling hopeful. And a convenient news camera is broadcasting Oliver's speech to the whole city.
Anyway, About This Nuke
Although that scene of Oliver talking to a bunch of extras was inspiring, there's this nuclear missile in the sky that's threatening to ruin everyone's day. But then! Felicity and Curtis decide to use something called a "line of sight attack," which, long story short, works! So they saved Star City from a nuclear missile, and if that's not worth a "Hell, Yeah," then what is? I mean, sure, there are still 15,433 missiles out there, but still. One thing at a time.
R.I.P. That One Lady
Quick, back to the flashbacks. Taiana has just killed Baron Reiter, and now she's worried that the idol will control her. So she begs Oliver to kill her. So he does. It's very sad. Or as sad as it can be, considering that I had to look up how to spell her name every single week. And then the guys who weren't on that plane show up, and they're not at all happy about Oliver killing their pal. Oh, Flashback Oliver. Will you ever win?
Who called the meeting? John Diggle.
What's it about? He's decided to admit to Lyla that when he killed Andy, it wasn't in self-defense.
How'd it go? Lyla doesn't care. The way she figures it, Andy was a bad guy and they're at war. There are over fifteen thousand nukes in the air, and we're going to quibble over one murder? John's still feeling all mixed up and terrible about it, though.
That Quote"Fifteen minutes until the end of the world, and you want to spend them with me. I am touched."- Damien Darhk, getting ready for the end of the season, although probably not the world -
Plot Lightning Round
The Final Showdown
Okay. It's on. Damien Darhk vs. Oliver Queen. Which, to be fair, is a fight that we've seen several times already, but this time we're running out of time in the season finale. So the stakes are very high. Although Damien points out that there are still those 15,433 nuclear missiles in the air, so even if Oliver finds a way to beat him up, he'll still have problems. And as things stand, Oliver is helpless to avoid being flung around by Damien's telekinesis.
And then the citizens of Star City show up to shout about how they're full of hope and optimism, which gives Oliver the power to resist the magic. Which means his arrows no longer explode when he shoots them at Damien. But I don't think he was expecting that, because he only scratches Damien's face.
So now it's on for real. But Damien is still a former member of the League of Assassins, so Oliver can't just punch him in the face and declare himself the winner.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
We Used To Be Something
Felicity has located Cooper Selden in an abandoned office. He's her college boyfriend, remember? The anarchist and jerk? At the moment, he's hacking Rubicon to keep all those missiles on target. He doesn't feel great about destroying the world, but Damien has threatened to use his telekinesis to slowly move a bullet around inside him to torture him to death. Felicity is very disappointed with him, and she talks him into remembering his principles long enough to quit with the nukes. Then Damien does kill him, but Felicity gets to take over the computer.
That Quote"Mr. Selden, you weak-willed dust mite."- Damien Darhk, learning that he should screen his minions a little better -
Plot Lightning Round
It's Getting Pretty Exciting, Huh?
Oliver's got backup: Diggle, Lyla, and Quentin. But Damien's got more Ghosts. But Oliver also has the entire population of Star City. Or at least, the ones in this scene, which could be a few hundred. So it's a big mob-on-mob squabble. A mobble, if you will.
At the abandoned office, there's a bit more hacking. Felicity is trying to disable all the warheads, but that's taking too long. So Curtis suggest "inverting the horizon," which apparently is a simple procedure that makes all the missiles think the sky is the ground and then they all just fly away into space. So Earth is saved! Also, I think the entire world just lost its nuclear arsenal, which seems like it might have repercussions of some kind.
Although there's fighting all over, the important part is Damien and Oliver. And they're just punching each other in the face over and over again. Punch! Punch! Punch! And so forth. Punch! They both seem pretty tired.
R.I.P. The Real Bad Guy
Finally, Damiens taunt Oliver about how he doesn't kill anymore. He didn't even want to kill Slade Wilson or Malcolm Merlyn. Unfortunately for Damien, Oliver's no-kill policy doesn't extend to insane magicians who have actively tried to exterminate humanity. So Oliver grabs an arrow and stabs Damien pretty good. Damien's dead. Bye, Neal McDonough! You were a lot of fun. I hope Damien's daughter has someone to take care of her now.
Wrap It Up
That's about it for the plot, so it's time to meet in the Arrowlair to see how everyone's doing. And the answer is: not great! Quentin's suspension from the force has turned in to him not being a cop at all anymore. And, frankly, without Laurel or Sara around, he doesn't have much of a connection to the team. There's only so far you can get with "Dating Felicity's mom." So he and Donna Smoak are going to leave town for a while, to make us wonder if they'll be back for next season. Thea is also checking out, because she wants to decompress. And because she's not crazy about that scene where she had to threaten Damien's daughter with an arrow. Diggle? Also leaving. Felicity and Oliver are the only ones staying. Probably Curtis is, too.
In the flashbacks, Oliver talks his way out of being killed as retribution for killing Taiana, then he calls Amanda Waller to come deal with things for him. She's happy about how things worked out, because Reiter's operation is definitely broken up. Then she asks him whether he's like to be an international spy or a masked vigilante, but it looks like he's going to Russia to visit Taiana's family. Which means we might have more flashbacks next season. Unfortunately.
Oliver is appointed interim mayor, because Ruvé has vanished, and getting 48% of the vote as a write-in candidate is nothing to sneeze at. Then there's a sequence where Oliver and Felicity commiserate in the Arrowlair while looking at the costume mannequins, but it's not that interesting.
Next season, we find out who's coming back! And we'll learn how Oliver's done as mayor! My guess is: not well!