Four Color Television - Arrow Season 4 Recap
Felicity and Oliver have found themselves a Stepford town where the lights shine bright and nothing bad ever happens, and they’ve gotten down to the business of being a couple, Diggle got himself a cool new helmet, and Thea is a bloodthirsty psychopath running around under the name Red Arrow… you guessed it: it’s time to drag Oliver back to the Arrow Cave for Season Four.
Season Four Seriously we are back on Lian Yu Plot:
Amanda Waller forced Oliver to return to Lian Yu to infiltrate a drug cartel on the island, but Oliver got a hell of a lot more than he bargained for. Working with the cartel he was told he had to kill a woman, but refused and hid her elsewhere on the island. He was then accused of being a spy, and then he had an encounter with a prisoner of the cartel named John Constantine* (yes THAT John Constantine) who escaped his imprisonment and took Oliver to a secret passage where he told Ollie that Lian Yu is some sort of mystical convergence . Constantine leaves, but Oliver now has to come to grips with the fact there is some mystical boogedy boogedy stuff going on with this cartel. The woman he saved earlier, named Taiana became embroiled in Baron Reiter’s quest for the “ultimate power” which as it turns out is an idol that will give him magical abilities. Taiana and Oliver manage to escape the cartel around the time that Reiter gets his idol, which it turns out possesses him and tries to possess Taiana. Oliver kills Reiter but Taiana is already possessed, and she begs Oliver to kill her before she becomes evil. Oliver does as she asks. With Reiter and his henchmen dead, Amanda Waller and her A.R.G.U.S. team arrive to mop up after Ollie. Oliver rejects Waller’s attempt to recruit him into A.R.G.U.S. and leaves for Russia to find the man who killed Taiana’s brother Vlad.
Season Four Star City Plot:
Starling City has renamed itself Star City because Starling City has a pretty bad reputation after three straight years of cataclysmic destruction. The Arrowless Team Arrow finds the city under siege by a gang known as “the ghosts” because any member who is captured commits suicide. Thea and Laurel feel they are out of their element so they need Oliver to come back, even though Diggle doesn’t want to include Ollie. The only problem is that everyone saw The Arrow die, Oliver decides the way around this is to return as The Green Arrow, a copycat vigilante who is “honoring” the fallen hero he once was. It turns out that the ghosts were in fact agents of H.I.V.E working for Damien Darhk* (Neal McDonough) a near immortal mystic who was also trained by the League of Assassins. Darhk’s plan began with an assassination attempt on the life of mayoral candidate, and Queen family friend, Jessica Danforth who drops out of the race because of the pressure and the threat to her life and her daughters. Oliver decides to run for mayor in her place, initially as an investigative tool to discover Darhk’s plan. While crossing over with The Flash in Central City, Oliver discovers he has an illegitimate son from before he was stranded on the island, a child who Damien uses as a pawn to try to successfully convince Oliver to drop out of the mayoral race –which he does. The stress over the sudden illegitimate son William and Oliver’s choice not to include Felicity in any discussion of the boy leads to the end of the Queen/Smoak engagement. A more overt attack on Team Arrow by Damien Darhk leaves Felicity paralyzed, though one of her employees at Palmer Tech tests an experimental Deus Ex Nothing Bad Happens that restores the use of her legs. It is finally revealed that Damien’s wife is the candidate who was running opposite Oliver for Mayor. Any attempt to stop Darhk was always disastrous for Team Arrow because of Darhk’s magical powers, which Oliver deduced came from idols just like the one he discovered on Lian Yu. Darhk’s wife became Mayor which enabled her to help forward her husband’s evil scheme to end the world, and also the non vigilante career of Laurel Lance whom Mayor Darhk made District Attorney. Team Arrow gets the upper hand and manages to put Damian Darhk in Iron Heights, but his escape and the fight that ensues results in the death of Laurel Lance In a fitting contrast between Oliver’s grief and Damien’s – Mayor Darhk dies in a building collapse and Darhk became unhinged: rushing to release his global destruction plan on the world. Darhk had built a safe habitat below Star City, and had taken control of an A.R.G.U.S array that gave him the ability to override the command codes of every nuclear device on the planet, which he then launched. Felicity managed to hack his command program and shut down all of the nukes, all that is but one. She could not prevent it from firing, and she could not reprogram it to land in an unpopulated area, all she could do was choose between two coordinates. She chose the town of Havenrock, the less populated of the two potential targets. Oliver discovered the key to defeating Darhk and his magic, and this is the magic of light, of hope. Oliver gathered a group of Star City residents and inspired them to believe they would survive and they faced Dahrk and his H.I.V.E soldiers. Hope won out, and Oliver killed Darhk. Thea and Diggle quit the team, and in an emergency session the city council votes to hold an emergency election which results in Oliver Queen becoming Mayor of Star City*.
Season Four is a very strange but very entertaining season, and the use of magic feels like an odd choice for the season tonally.
What works about Season Four? Neal McDonough. Damien Darhk is fantastically fun as the villain, his snark and charm are a welcome change of pace from the snarling and gravelly villains of the previous two seasons. His plot to end the world is absolutely insane, and that actually works for the storytelling. The appearance by Matt Ryan as John Constantine is stellar, and still gives fans of his NBC Constantine series hope that the CW might one day do something with the character.
What doesn’t work about Season Four? The season opens with a flash forward to a funeral, and the slow march to find out who is in that coffin is a terribly long slough. When it turns out to be Laurel Lance, many fans are more relieved than upset. Diggle and Oliver fighting for the first half of the season is terribly handled, as is the sudden return to life of Diggle’s long believed dead brother Andy.
Next Week: Time Travel Shenanigans that AREN’T BARRY’S FAULT! Legends Season 2
In Two Weeks: You will pay for your sins Mr. Queen. Arrow Season 5
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