TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 20 "Genesis"

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 20: "Genesis"

Synopsis: As Oliver and Felicity look for a magical solution to defeat Darhk, a vengeance-driven Diggle gets a lead on Andy's whereabouts and heads off to confront his brother. Meanwhile, Alex takes Thea on a vacation that quickly turns into a nightmare.

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Review: The last two episodes of Arrow have felt reinvigorated and fresher than anything this season to date and I realized what it was tonight: no flashbacks. With the Lian Yu plot seemingly wrapped up for the season, the contemporary narrative has been able to focus on Damien Darhk's master plan and how Team Arrow plans to combat it. Tonight's episode in particular could have felt like a throwaway episode had it been weighed down with flashback sequences but instead, the three concurrent storylines work to establish a sense of tension that has been lacking for the past eighteen hours. Hopefully the showrunners take a hint and keep the show formatted this way and save the flashbacks for standalone episodes or eliminate them completely.

In the aftermath of Laurel's death, Team Arrow decide to take a long weekend to clear their heads. Thea decides to take a vacation with Alex while Oliver and Felicity track down a friend of John Constantine's who can help them learn light magic to combat Damien Darhk's powers. That leaves John Diggle to stew in his animosity towards his brother Andy and his role in the Hive plan. Darhk himself takes out some opposition at Hive and returns to his seat at the head of the evil organization, ready to execute the Genesis plan. Diggle visits Layla in her mobile ARGUS base but on the way back with diapers for baby Sara, he locates Andy and tracks his brother to an abandoned building. They have a shootout, but after ignoring Layla's pleas to stand down, Andy captures Diggle and takes him hostage for Darhk.

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At the same time as Diggle is dealing with Diggle issues, Oliver and Felicity are on the lookout for the mysterious shaman. In a Hub City casino, Oliver and Felicity play blackjack alongside a charming woman who soon reveals herself to be Estin Fortuna, the immortal shaman they have been looking for. Whisking them away to a chamber outside of reality, she explains that light magic can be channeled to repel Damien Darhk's magic but only if the light and hope in a person outweighs their darkness. Harnessing the tattoo Constantine gave Oliver, Fortuna spars with him. At first, Oliver is able to repel the magic but the next wave overcomes him. Fortuna says his darkness is too great and he cannot stop Darhk. Dejected, Oliver and Felicity almost give up hope. At this point, I almost expected Felicity to be the one who would gain powers but that would put her in too much danger.

Back in Star City, a bleeding and injured Diggle manages to break free from Andy and heads back to his wife. But, it turns out that this was all a part of Darhk's plan. Following a tracking device on Diggle, Andy and Hive attack the mobile transport. Diggle gets away with baby Sara whom he is able to hand off to Felicity who arrives in the nick of time. While Andy and Diggle fight, Oliver stops Darhk from hurting Layla who has something in her forearm that the villain wants. Oliver shoots an arrow into Darhk, injuring him. Darhk them turns and uses his magic, but Oliver is able to repel it. Darhk disappears an Oliver heads to meet Diggle. Andy taunts Diggle for what feels like the hundredth time this season, but his threats have reached maximum saturation and John shoots and kills his brother. Oliver arrives, shocked, but they understand that what was done had to be done. It is a tough scene but one that comes too late and following too many times that Diggle let his brother off the hook.

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When Layla awakens, Diggle explains that Sara is safe, but she soon realizes the subdermal implant in her arm is gone. She explains that the implant was actually ARGUS' Rubicon. This device held the codes for all the nuclear weapons on Earth as a safeguard which means that now Damien Darhk can reprogram it to actually detonate the weapons and eradicate all life on Earth. The team connects Genesis with the Bible story of the great flood and question what Darhk's ark could be. That is where Thea's subplot comes in. On her vacation with Alex, Thea realizes their idyllic retreat is a little too perfect. Thea soon discovers all of the sound in the town they are in is fake and that Alex is taking the mind control pills Darhk gives to his men. Trying to escape, Thea is blocked by an invisible fence. We then see that this town is actually housed within a bubble deep below Star City.

This was a very enjoyable episode of Arrow that had very little costumed action but still managed to wrap up the lingering Diggle storyline while advancing the Genesis endgame quite a bit. I am still not entirely sure how things will wrap up for everyone, but the fact that Oliver is being given magical powers means this series is reaching a point of no return. Once Oliver battles Damien Darhk using magic, the grounded in reality concept that Arrow started with four years ago will be completely out the window. While that is not a bad thing, it could swing next season in the opposite direction and give us something too closely in line with what they are already doing on The Flash. Either way, I like that this hour finally gave us a solid, multi-focused story that had zero flashbacks. Hopefully the final three episodes can do the same thing and somewhat redeem this lackluster season.

Final Verdict:

Next on ARROW: "Monument Point" airs May 11th - When Team Arrow learns what Damien Darhk's next move is, Felicity realizes she needs to ask her father, Noah Kuttler, for help. Noah and Oliver have a heart to heart talk that leaves Oliver rattled.

Source: JoBlo.com



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