TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 22 "Lost in the Flood"
Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.
Episode 22: "Lost in the Flood"
Synopsis: Following the shocking events in the previous episode, Oliver and Diggle race to rescue Thea, while Felicity, Curtis and Noah join together to stop Darhk.
Review: The big finale of Arrow's fourth season comes next week which means this is the traditional penultimate episode that shares a title with a Bruce Springsteen song. This hour, called "Lost in the Flood", finally sees Damien Darhk's Genesis plan foiled and the end game for our heroes and villains set for next week. But, was there really anything substantial in this episode that hypes things up the way that the shocking ending of this weeks's The Flash? Unfortunately not unless you consider the partial destruction of Star City to be substantial. Instead we get a little more background on Felicity's father and the death of a few more characters. All in a day's work for Team Arrow.
Splitting the squad up to tackle different parts of their mission, this episode finds Oliver and Diggle showing down with a re-energized Damien Darhk thanks to the bomb dropping on Havenrock last week. Darhk escapes a crumbling chamber which helps Arrow and Spartan find their way to his underground city which we learn is named Tabat Noah. Intended to be the new birthplace of mankind after the devastation of the Earth, the underground city is populated by mindwashed minions. Last we saw this town, Thea was mourning her head boyfriend and psycho bad guy Lonnie Machin had survived and was looking for Darhk himself. Anticipating Green Arrow's arrival, Malcolm Merlyn uses mind control on Thea to have her take down her brother. Alas, it doesn't quite work and Thea teams up with her sibling to try and escape. The underground city scenes are notably mostly because this may be the only time we have seen Green Arrow in full daylight.
Meanwhile on the surface, Donna Smoak learns her ex-husband is helping their daughter. The former couple continue squabbling like they are still married which affords some comic relief from Curtis who comes to help the hackers take permanent control of Rubicon. Darhk calls in a friend from Iron Heights Prison, Cooper Seldon. Seldon was Felicity's former boyfriend who tried to kill her last season. This affords a chance for Felicity to team with her father to out-hack Cooper. A glimmer of hope appears on Donna Smoak's face but she is smarter than that and knows that Noah will never be the man that can be a father figure to their daughter. She does tolerate his presence when Felicity reveals that she has been working to help Green Arrow for the last three years. Donna doesn't seem phased by the news but she also doesn't quite put together that Oliver is Green Arrow.
The biggest problem with this week's episode is summed up nicely by a line early in the episode from Quentin Lance when he says "the city is under attack? It must be May". It is a pretty funny meta-reference but one that sums up the formulaic issues this series has been plagued by for a couple of years now. What does help this episode out of the generic bad guy plot is that it doesn't go off without a hitch. Lonnie Machin, living up to his Anarky moniker, is just enough of a monkey wrench to throw Darhk's plan off course. In this case, the villain of the week model actually served to hinder the bad guy rather than the hero which sets up all sorts of bad news for the finale. You see, Machin's efforts end up being the cause of Genesis to fail and only decimate a small portion of Star City but at the same time results in the death of Ruve Darhk.
Green Arrow, Thea, and Diggle manage to escape with Darhk's daughter in hand which helps send the villain over the edge. Now without the safety of his ark, Damien Darhk has nothing left to lose and plans the destruction of everything and everyone. With Malcolm Merlyn in the wind, Darhk heads to Oliver's penthouse where he finds Felicity, Donna Smoak, and Curtis as hostages for what will come next. This episode also saw the return of the Lian Yu flashbacks. With Oliver and Taiana still running through the woods, they are confronted by Baron Reiter who wants his magical idol back. But, now that Taiana is feeling the influence and power of the mystical statue, there is going to be a three-way showdown. I am going to go ahead and guess that Oliver will be the only survivor. You see, these flashbacks have no gravity to them as we already know what is going to happen.
Overall, this was a mediocre build-up to the finale. What should have set the stage for the big events to end the season instead came off as a bit of a limp effort. I was expecting the nuclear destruction caused by Felicity diverting a missile last week to have more of an emotional impact but it was brushed off pretty quickly at the start of this hour. It also felt like Damien Darhk's master plan was way too easily circumvented by our heroes after months of seemingly not having any way to combat the HIVE resources or their leader's superior magic. How, or if, any of the lingering subplots this season will tie into the finale remain to be seen. Will Noah have a part to play in stopping Damien Darhk? Will the flashbacks even matter or are they just filler time? Will Oliver and Felicity get back together? Do we even care? It is getting harder and harder to really care about this show when it doesn't even care itself. This season was billed as a partial reset for the series but has been feeling like more of the same. Hopefully the finale helps right that path.
Next on ARROW: "Schism" airs May 25th - Oliver teams up with a surprising force in an attempt to stopDamien Darhk and his magic once and for all.