Arrow Season 4 Episode 23 Review: Schism

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Was that supposed to be exciting?

The "surprising force" that was to take down Damien Darhk on Arrow Season 4 Episode 23, turned out not to be that surprising at all. I have to wonder if Neil McDonough is going to regret his stint on Arrow the way Alec Guiness regretted his role on Star Wars.

But we'll get to that later.

How many times was hope said this hour? Maybe 15,434 times, just like the number of nuclear missiles set loose on the world when Darhk was able to regain control of the Rubicon. 

It's amazing how he did that. Just like magic.

I guess I'm confused by it all, because I thought Felicity and her dad took down Rubicon on Arrow Season 4 Episode 22, especially after all the death that transpired on Arrow Season 4 Episode 21. You'd have thought it would have been a priority considering that Darhk hadn't been defeated yet. 

But those missiles were awfully slow moving, weren't they? Maybe they were just trying to keep pace with the episode. Halfway through, the only thing that kept going through my mind was when is this going to end?

The urgency of the situation was lacking. We're talking the end of the world here, and all we got were conversations about hope and inspirational pep talks. At least we didn't have any Donna drama this time. So that's a plus. Unfortunately, we had to endure another hour of the gratingly optimistic and giddy, no matter how dire the situation, Felicity.

Will she ever stop? Apparently not, because while the rest of Team Arrow decided to go their separate ways when it was all over, Felicity made sure to let Oliver know she wasn't going anywhere.

Despite all that, I do have to give Felicity props for taking down one of the ghosts when they attacked the bunker. It's good to know she's willing to get her hands dirty when it matters.

And it was sort of amusing watching her whack that guy with the Billy club while she was all dressed up in heels. She certainly is the epitome of perfection, isn't she?

The action this hour was really, really good, even if some of it was kind of hokey. I especially enjoyed the Damien Darhk and his soldiers versus Arrow and the people of Star City mega fight. It reminded me of the final fight scene between Bane and Batman in The Dark Knight Rises.

But for as good as that scene was, it was also hokey. Did that crowd of people really think just by standing there, yelling at Darhk to leave, that he'd go away? And when he worked his magic on them, was he already losing power? Because a real big bad would have just killed them all.

Wouldn't that have been the logical thing for him to do considering he was trying to nuke the world anyway?

As awesome and fun as Neil McDonough has been, it's disappointing that he wasn't given more. I still don't get exactly why he wanted to destroy the world. What happened to him that he just wanted to trash it all ? I feel cheated somehow. And I think Darhk was cheated, as well, at the end.

For the end all be all of evil, he certainly crumbled pretty quickly. What a waste that the deaths of all those tens of thousands of people couldn't help Darhk hold off Green Arrow and his power of hope at the end. I also wasn't thrilled with the look of fear on his face right before that first hand-to-hand combat with Green Arrow.

But, if Darhk lost all his magic to Green Arrow, then how was it that he was able to feel Cooper stop working on Rubicon? And kill him in the process? Perhaps it was just another way to highlight Felicity and her amazing powers of persuasion. At least Curtis got in on the action and provided a solution to stop the nukes.

I guess I was supposed to feel something when Oliver finally killed Darhk, but I didn't. It wasn't anywhere near a "wow" moment. More like ho hum, even with Darhk's taunting.

The flashbacks didn't add anything to the main action of the story. They were as pointless as they've been all along. It was nice seeing Amanda Waller again, but it gets pretty tiring hearing everyone trying to prop up Oliver over and over. Maybe now that he's the interim mayor, he can get over the "poor me" attitude.

And maybe now that it appears the island story is over, the flashbacks will take a long, long vacation back to nowhere and never return.

So, what's going to happen now that everyone, except for Felicity, has left Team Arrow? It's hard to believe that Diggle is actually leaving his family to go back into the Army. That's a pretty crummy thing for him to do, but it fits with everyone turning over a new leaf. 

What kind of mayor will Oliver be? Is Thea really gone for good? Will Olicity return? 

Other Thoughts:

  • Does Felicity have a special tracking device on Oliver because it seems kind of odd that she is always showing up wherever Oliver is. Is she stalking him?
  • What was the point of Malcolm this hour? When is he going to go away?
  • Did anyone else think Oliver was sort of deflated when Felicity was the one who saved the day as he was giving his inspirational speech to the people of Star City? She sort of ruined the moment.
  • So, what's going to happen to Darhk's daughter? 

What did you think about the season finale? Did it meet your expectations, or was it a dud? Will you be back for Arrow Season 5? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

If you missed any of the fun, you can watch Arrow online, right here via TV Fanatic.

Schism Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.5 / 5.0 (219 Votes)

Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Arrow Season 4 Episode 23 Quotes

Felicity: Well his daughter still lives in this world. He must know that.
Oliver: He knows. He just doesn't care. He's lost all hope.
Diggle: Yeah, just like all of us.

I'm now powered by the deaths of tens of thousands of souls. There's nothing you can do to stop me.

Damien Darhk