ARROW Season 4×23, “Schism” recap

26 May


Welcome back, Arrowheads, for the season finale! With that underground HIVE complex being destroyed, it looks like Damien Darhk’s plan to rebuild the world after burning it clean with nuclear fire has hit a massive snag. But with his wife dead, he’s down to zero craps about that and seems to just want to lay waste to humanity anyway. His first stop: going to Ollie’s loft, where Felicity, Donna, and Curtis really don’t want to receive this evil gentleman caller…

Paying Debts. So let’s just get this flashback out of the way. Reiter shows up to torment Ollie and the super juiced up Taiana by blowing up a plane full of his escaped slaves. After that soul pick-me-up, Taiana and Reiter fight, and with a some help from Ollie, Reiter takes a permanent dirt nap. Taiana realizes this power is driving her insane, and begs Ollie to kill her, and one quick neck snap later, Ollie grants her wish. He signals Waller and ARGUS to come in to get the remainder of the slaves off the island, and she locks up that evil idol, to clearly be stolen years later by Darhk. She tells him this mission was not to purge the darkness inside him, but to accept it is there, while offering him an opportunity to do some ARGUS-sponsored work as opposed to being a vigilante. Ollie wants to do neither, because he made a promise to see Taiana’s parents. So, Russia visit in season five? Sure.

A Visit From The Devil. Back to where we left off last episode, as Darhk flings Curtis across the loft and starts Force choking Donna to get Felicity to help him restart Rubicon. Team Arrow crashes in to try and stop Darhk, but surprise, he’s still super-juiced up, and nigh impossible to stop. That is, until Thea comes in with Darhk’s daughter, and threatens to kill her if he doesn’t stop. Definitely taking after dear old dad, Thea. He instead covers his escape with her daughter with some HIVE goons, and one other thing in tow: the laptop used to shut down Rubicon. Whoopsie!

The Team brings Curtis to their HQ to heal up, and its there Felicity mentions the laptop has a GPS tracker that has stopped in an office building. The Team heads to it to find Hive HQ deserted and the GPS tracker minus the laptop. Then they see the display screens that show a BIG problem: mainly 15,000 nuclear missiles all launched and heading to cover the entire planet in a few hours! So its no shock that Felicity calls Quentin to get her mom out of the city to shelter while they have time.


Awww, and they still haven’t paid the mortgage on that new HQ!

Doomsday Clock. While Diggle and Lyla make a call to baby Sara from an underground ARGUS bunker, everyone’s trying to figure out where the laptop is. They know that Cooper is probably behind re-activating Rubicon, so they need to find him fast. But first, they have to deal with the HIVE goons who burst into Arrow HQ and start blasting up the place! Malcolm shows up and helps the Team deal with its unwanted guests, and Diggle seems to waver a moment in taking out one of the HIVE men, remembering his execution of Andy. So after that, they still got the problem of the impending apocalypse and riots breaking out all over the city.

Add to this, it seems Darhk and his daughter are back in that magic cave under the mayor’s office, and Lyla decides to send some ARGUS troops to end in. Before you can say, “he’s super duper powered now, so sending those troops would be pointless”, yeah, Darhk kills those troops. Way to give Darhk more souls to power up on, Lyla!

Beacon of Light. Ollie’s becoming less convinced that they can stop this whole thing, and its not until the kinda recovered Curtis tells Ollie about the hope the Green Arrow inspired in him that Ollie is inspired to act. He goes out in civilian gear and starts to rally the chaotic mob to stop their insanity. Meanwhile, there’s one missile within minutes of hitting of the city long before the others do. Felicity and Curtis realize they can divert the missile with some techno-voodoo if they are close enough. They get out to a rooftop to try their theory, and it works. So yay, 1 down and about 15,000 to go!

Fog of War. Even with Lyla sending out the “how-to stop a nuclear missile” that our tech geniuses have made, it won’t stop all of them. Good that Felicity and Curtis have traced that Rubicon signal back to where Cooper is, so Ollie sends everyone to go there to shut that down. Meanwhile, he’s gonna go to the mayor’s office and fight Darhk.


“I’m sorry daddy and mommy couldn’t destroy the world for you, sweetie. Would you like a pony instead?”

While the team is readying to go, Diggle finally tells Lyla the truth about what really happened to Andy. Instead of being aghast, she understands what happened was “fog of war” stuff, which doesn’t let Diggle let himself of the hook for what happened. But hey, she totally understands. Ollie arrives to that cave to bust up daddy Darhk’s talk to his daughter about joining their mommy in the afterlife, and to yes, to kick his ass. How does that go?

Light Versus Darhk. Cut to Ollie getting tossed around and outside the mayor’s office by Darhk. While Ollie fails at that, Thea and Malcolm cut down the HIVE goons in the warehouse where Cooper is, and Felicity confronts her ex. Cooper would like to not destroy mankind, except for one thing: he’s been shot by Darhk, and if he doesn’t comply, that bullet will be Force pushed into his heart and kill him. Felicity appeals to their beliefs in “saving the world”, and Cooper complies in relinquishing control of Rubicon, but when Darhk feels that has happened, kills Cooper. Felicity and Curtis only have a few minutes to stop all the missiles, so they decide to not disable them, but make them go into space and explode. It’s not like having 15,000 nuclear warheads explode in space above the Earth will be much of a problem, anyway.

So Darhk is still beating on Ollie when the crowd of random citizens starts announcing their hatred of the bad guy ala Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. I guess somehow this works on weakening Darhk and giving Ollie some light power to wound his enemy, and with Dig, Lyla, and Quentin (dammit, man, you had ONE THING to do!), Ollie’s crowd and Darhk’s HIVE goons rush each other in a big mosh. While Ollie’s buddies help fight the HIVE goons, Ollie fights Darhk and seems to defeat him. Darhk mocks Ollie because based on not killing Slade (the man who killed his mother), Ollie won’t kill him. Ollie replies, “I had a choice then, but with you, I don’t” (which is less awkward than saying, “You know I killed Ra’s al Ghul a year ago, right?”), and delivers some poetic justice by plunging an arrow into Darhk’s heart! “Thanks for the idea when you killed Laurel the same way, douchebag!”, is what Ollie thinks as Darhk dies.



Finding Your Place. So with no fear of the fallout of 15,000 nuclear bombs dropping into the atmosphere and Darhk’s daughter being dropped off at the Orphanage for Children of Genocidal Maniacs, the Team goes back to their messed up HQ. There, Quentin says Internal Affairs has cleared him of his charges (and maybe he has job back?), but he wants to take a vacation with Donna to get things in order. Thea decides after threatening to murder a little girl that she needs a break to reassess her life. And Diggle, he needs some time to himself too. So Ollie goes to Laurel’s grave to backhanded apologize for going off his vow of no murder to totally murder someone. Felicity is there, and reminds him he did what needed to be done, and that maybe to be a hero in the light, is that you have to occasionally do dark things. Before she can tell Ollie about learning last episode where the roots of her trust issues come from, he gets a call from the city council. As he’s the only mayoral candidate of any availability still alive, they want him to be the interim mayor until they have an election. And he accepts.

So we see Quentin and Donna leaving town for some alone time, Thea getting some time with some candles and maybe some Neko Case albums to listen to, Diggle reenlists in the military to deal with his issues, and Ollie gets sworn into being Star City’s mayor. He heads down to the HQ after the ceremony to look around the mess he’ll have to clean up later, and Felicity shows up. Ollie says he thought she’d be gone, and she says “not a chance”. So now what for not-Team Arrow? Will Oliver Queen, Mayor work out with Oliver Queen, Green Arrow? Why isn’t Malcolm Merlyn dead again? Will it be possible for me to care about the season long flashbacks again? I guess we’ll see next season!

–Comic book connections: Oliver Queen as mayor was a plot point in the DCU a while back, and I guess it didn’t last too long, otherwise the Green Arrow comic would have been renamed Oliver Queen, Mayor.

–You want to know how arbitrary the whole nuclear Armageddon plot was? The missiles get blown up in space, and we never see them do that. It was the same issue I had with Havenrock getting blown up, and how it barely hangs over the last two episodes with any weight.

–I’ll definitely miss Damien Darhk and Neal McDonough’s performance, as it was one of the bright spots of the whole season and this episode.

–Supposedly we will learn what Laurel told Ollie before she died next season, which, does anyone want to take a guess what that is? I’m going for “do more salmon ladder exercises”.

–We’re gonna get more Curtis for season five? Okay, so there’s a silver lining in this season.

–“You going home to my momma?”

–“You weak willed dust mite.”

–“I think got hit on the head harder than you believe.”

–“What does a guy have to do to end the world in peace?”

–“When did this become your life?”

–“It’s just us three. Team Arrow. The Original Gangstas.”

That’s it for now, but comment below and expect a season wrap-up in a few weeks. But until the new season in October or so, stay safe out there…

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