It's the beginning of the end for Team Arrow. At least as far as this season goes.
Arrow Season 4 Episode 20 starts the march towards the ultimate showdown between Damien Darhk and Team Arrow. Death and fear versus light and hope. But first, the playing field needed to be cleaned up a little.
I might be stepping onto a mine field here, but maybe Laurel's murder wasn't pointless after all. Maybe, in order to defeat the bad guys, one of the good guys had to go.
Sure, it's unfortunate she was the one, and we can talk for hours about how she was an underused character, how it wasn't fair, and blah, blah, blah into eternity. But, what if the reason she died was so she could serve a greater purpose?
Maybe Laurel's legacy wasn't to inspire a fake Black Canary. Maybe her legacy, if Team Arrow is successful, will be that she saved the world. Because, if you think about it, Team Arrow wouldn't be at the point they were this hour if Laurel hadn't died in the first place.
Laurel certainly was the impetus to send Diggle off like a crazy man when his tracker caught the scent of Andy. Who'd have thought that a simple diaper run would end with a major shootout between two brothers? Too bad the rest of the team wasn't around to help out, but we'll get to what they were doing a bit later.
Besides, if the rest of the team was around, things wouldn't have turned out the way they did. At least Diggle had Lyla, who also got the alert about Andy, but by the time she called to let her hubby know, Diggle was already engaged.
For a guy who claims to be concerned for his family, he certainly is willing to take a lot of risks. It's not that I expected him to wait for Lyla's back up team, but at least he could have slowed down a little bit and straightened out his head before he went in guns blazing. Did he really think Andy was all alone?
Still, the tension between the two was pretty intense, and I liked how that string was pulled throughout the hour.
Even if Diggle's logic didn't make any sense (like leaving Andy chained to a pole), his conflicting emotions made lots of sense. Part of him wanted to murder his brother, but the other part wanted to save him and find the good that used to be there.
No matter what kind of rotten Andy is, Diggle still sees him as his little brother. There's a bond there that's hard to break, even if his brother has gone off the deep end by comparing Darhk to Jesus Christ.
Diggle: Damien Darhk is no one's savior. He's a liar and a monster.
Andy: The Romans said the same thing about Jesus.
Darhk is a manipulative freak, because I thought for sure he was going to force choke "wittle" Andy when he found him chained to the pole. I wasn't expecting him to congratulate Andy for a job well done. But, then it all made sense, though by the time Diggle figured it out it was too late. His "act now, think later" mentality put his family in great danger.
And it was the threat to his family that ultimately spelled the end for Andy Diggle.
I loved when Andy taunted him about not pulling the trigger when he had the chance earlier, because he was spot on. Sometimes the corrupt can't be reformed. And maybe Andy knew that. Maybe deep down he wanted his brother to kill him, because maybe that was the only way he was ever going to be freed of the chains that bound him to Darhk.
Maybe Diggle knew that too, because he didn't hesitate once Andy said this:
Tell me. How's it feel knowing you have no problem pulling the trigger to protect a bunch of Afghans you never knew, but you don't have the guts to do what's necessary to protect your wife and child?Andy
I'm glad Andy is gone. He paid for his actions. And while the guilt of putting him down might eat at Diggle for a while (especially the part where he lied to Lyla about how it went down), he knows he did the right thing. Andy was a sick dog, and the world is better off without him.
While the Diggle drama was playing out, Oliver and Felicity took their special magic to find another kind of magic that might help them fight Darhk. Oliver had been in contact with Constantine who told him to visit a fancy schmancy casino in Hub City to meet up with a shaman who might be able to help.
Oliver was going to go alone, but Felicity being Felicity, just sort of pushed her way in. What else was she going to do?
As it turns out, Felicity played an important part in Oliver's magical mojo. Had she not been with him, he never would have been able to find the light and hope inside him.
It was a little disappointing that Esrin Fortuna was quick to give up on Oliver. This was the first time he had ever done anything like this, so how could she expect he would perfect it the first time around?
But Oliver is a quick study and the magic must be natural, because he was able to delve deep and repel Darhk in the mobile safe house just as it seemed like it was the end for the Green Arrow. I liked how his eyes shone bright when he connected with the good within.
Felicity didn't seem surprised when Oliver told her what happened. I don't think she had any doubts Oliver would find a way.
I heard your voice in my head. You were reminding me of all the good things I have in my life.Oliver
Thea, meanwhile, was locked away in a Wayward Pines sort of bubble, all thanks to Alex, who just wanted to whisk her away for a special "stress be gone" vacay. Turns out the underground bubble is Darhk's ark to rebuild the world after he destroys it.
It's unclear whether Alex is privy to Darhk's plans, but I get the feeling he's just a pawn influenced by Darkh's special vitamins.
Team Arrow doesn't know anything about Thea or the bubble yet. They've only just figured out what Darhk's "Genesis" plan is after Lyla realized Darhk stole the "rubicon" embedded under her skin during the attack on the mobile safe house.
As Lyla explained to the team, the rubicon gives Darhk control of the world's nuclear arsenal. Darhk has everything he needs to proceed with his evil plan. How will Team Arrow stop him? I can't wait to find out.
- Darhk using the magic to turn the bullet around on Milo was pretty cool. Gruesome, yes, but cool nonetheless.
- Felicity is a master blackjack player. Is there anything she can't do?
- How far is Star City from Hub City, because Olicity sure got back rather fast to help Diggle and fam out.
- No flashbacks this hour! Yay! That flashback montage in Fortuna's chamber doesn't count.
- Diggle: "Andy told me that Genesis is coming." Felicity: "Don't think so. Phil Collins said they'd never tour again." Nice way to infuse humor into a dire situation.
- Does Felicity have an off button? 24/7 positoovity can get annoying.
- When Damien Darhk is done with Arrow, can he head over to Gotham? I think Professor Strange would have a lot of fun with DD.
What did you think about "Genesis?" Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you missed any of the "magic," you can watch Arrow online right here via TV Fanatic.
Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.