Warning: major spoilers ahead for the Season 4 midseason premiere of Arrow.
Arrow has finally returned to The CW after six long weeks of hiatus, and the midseason premiere had a lot to do to pay off on some of the cliffhangers from the midseason finale. “Blood Debts” was a bizarre combination of a continuation of all of the action from “Dark Waters” back in December and a Villain of the Week with the reappearance of Lonnie Machin as Anarky. Some parts of the hour worked better than others, and the episode as a whole likely would have been much better if the show hadn’t spoiled the surprise about Felicity’s tragic paralysis, but “Blood Debts” gave a first real look at a character who may be a next great Arrow villain: Damien Darhk’s wife.
That sentence would have been much more impressive if “Blood Debts” had revealed the actual name of the character played by Janet Kidder, but Damien Darhk’s wife made enough of an impression with her Lady MacBeth routine in the back of the limo with her husband and daughter, that it’s hard not to be excited about her potential as one of the bad guys.
“Blood Debts” was not the first glimpse of Damien Darhk’s lady love; she appeared briefly at the end of “Dark Waters” to complete the perfect Darhk family Christmas image to contrast with the image of Felicity riddled with bullets. The character in the midseason premiere got to show her true colors, and the question of whether she was a victim bamboozled into believing Darhk was a good man or a knowing accomplice to his evil was effectively answered. Mrs. Darhk is more than in on the evil with Mr. Darhk, and she may turn out to be one of the most dangerous villains in all of Arrow.
Yes, I’m basing this on about thirty seconds of screentime. Bear with me.
The most dangerous villains of Arrow have always been the smartest villains, and Damien Darhk has always had a touch too much arrogance to be as effective a supervillain as he could be. A villain unencumbered by ego or arrogance would never have let Oliver live as Darhk did in “Blood Debts,” and that Damien Darhk’s wife would have killed him regardless of his heroics indicates that she is better at keeping her eye on the prize. Damien Darhk may still be the most evil villain of Arrow so far, and he’s certainly much scarier than his wife, but she may be able to fly under the radar enough that she can use her wits to enact major damage to the good guys.
In the flash-forwards that we’ve seen so far, Oliver has vowed that he needs to kill “him.” It’s never been explicitly stated that the “him” in question is Damien Darhk, but odds are pretty good that Darhk will be the one in Oliver’s sights. Perhaps Oliver will be so busy focusing on Damien Darhk that the missus will be able to quietly do some real harm of her own.
Damien Darhk’s wife being a true source of darkness in her own right would also play into the juxtaposition of Darhk the villain against Oliver the hero. “Blood Debts” made the point, yet again, that Felicity’s strength and goodness have made Oliver a better person. The second half of Season 4 showing that Damien Darhk’s wife encourages her husband’s evil endeavors to make him all the more dastardly, would add some depth to the ultimate showdown.
Family has been quite a theme in Season 4, and it’s no coincidence that we see Mrs. Darhk for the first time in the episode in which Oliver asks Felicity to become Mrs. Queen. Can it really be a coincidence that Felicity encourages Oliver to stay on the straight and narrow only a few scenes before Damien Darhk’s wife tells him that he should have denied the Green Arrow even a temporary reprieve?
Consistent writing has never been Arrow’s strong point, and there’s every possibility that the juxtaposition that began in “Dark Waters” and came to fruition in “Blood Debts” will never amount to more than narrative symmetry. Still, the foundation for Damien Darhk’s wife to become a villain in her own right is very much there, and we definitely need to keep an eye on her for the rest of Season 4.
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.