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Warning: major spoilers ahead for Episode 20 of Season 4 of Arrow.
Season 4 of Arrow has had its highs and lows as Oliver and Co. have tried to deal with the very serious military threat of H.I.V.E. as well as the magic of Damien Darhk. Now, magic and might are combining in a very big way as the final pieces of Darhk’s master plan fell into place. Thanks to some seriously shady hocus pocus from the big bad, Darhk managed to steal something called “Rubicon” from ARGUS protection. As it turns out, Rubicon is a ballistic override launch code that can be used to control every nuclear weapon from every arsenal in the world. Cue the orchestra.
Given that the episode was called “Genesis” and ended on the reveal that Darhk has built a secret bubble protected from the outside world, we can bet that he didn’t go after Rubicon for the sake of keeping the peace. Unless he's stopped very soon, Damien Darhk will destroy all of civilization in order to start anew.
All in all, “Genesis” was not a great episode for Team Arrow and Co. Digg had to kill his brother to protect Lyla and their daughter, Lyla had the subdermal implant containing Rubicon magically ripped out of her arm, Thea was drugged and held captive within Darhk’s dome, Oliver had to sit through a greatest hits montage of his worst memories, and Felicity wore a dress that she absolutely could not have run in. Even though Oliver finally latched onto his lightness enough to repel Darhk’s darkness, “Genesis” should be counted as a loss for the good guys.
That said, “Genesis” was indeed a solid episode. Damien Darhk has been a great villain for most of the season, but his evil plan really needed to be kicked into gear. The only reason that he hasn’t destroyed Team Arrow is because Arrow had to delay the big showdown until the finale arc, so Darhk was going to lose his credibility as the worst of the worst if he didn’t pull out all the stops as the end of Season 4 approached. I’d say that obtaining the plans to nuke the world after secretly building a bomb shelter bubble in which he and his allies could survive the nuclear apocalypse certainly helps his bad guy cred. His master plan has ginormous potential for destruction, and it’s exactly what Arrow needed to raise the stakes for the last few episodes of Season 4.
The big question now is of what Team Arrow could possibly do to stop Darhk from using Rubicon to destroy the world. It’ll take more than Oliver’s magical ab tattoo and a quiver full of arrows to prevent a nuclear apocalypse, and the good guys are at a disadvantage with Thea held captive. Oliver has proven in the past that he tends to lose his perspective when Thea is in mortal danger, and her absence combined with Laurel’s death means that the Team Arrow fighting unit is at half capacity. Oliver and Digg are certainly stronger and more capable than Thea, but they’ve also gotten used to having a larger group in the field.
Hopefully, Oliver’s crash course in magic and the resolution of Diggle’s plot with his brother means that the final episodes of Season 4 will be focused solely on taking down Damien Darhk before his master plan to destroy the world comes to fruition. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m guessing that it won’t be too long now before Felicity starts wearing pants and thus signals that the end is nigh for another season of Arrow.
Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Check out our summer TV premiere schedule to see what shows you’ll be able to catch once Season 4 comes to an end.