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It’s All About Taking Responsibility, Arrow “Dark Waters” 

It’s All About Taking Responsibility, Arrow “Dark Waters”
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/ The CW

Umm, did we just find out who’s in the grave?! With all of Arrow‘s fake-outs and red herrings, it feels a little too obvious, but then again, if you want a big, meaningful death, this could be it. Obviously, I’m talking about the Felicity post-engagement limo bloodbath. It was bad. Real bad. And honestly, I didn’t see it coming. How could they leave us more than a month while Felicity’s life hangs in the balance?!

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/ The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/ The CW

I clearly don’t have an answer to that, but if I know Oliver (and I like to think that I do), I can bet he’s going to beat himself up pretty badly over it. In this episode, there were plenty of mentions of “old Oliver” and how he use to constantly shoulder the blame for everything that happened to everyone else. I want to believe that Season 4 Oliver has evolved and is less self-punishing than Seasons 1, 2 & 3 Oliver, but I also have trouble believing that he’s let go of that entirely. Nevertheless, this episode took a pretty heavy-handed stance on the issue of character’s taking responsibility for their own decisions and actions and I can only hope that will help ease the guilt moving forward.

First on the “I do what I want” docket is Diggle’s brother, Andy. As much as Diggle has obviously wanted to believe that Andy has turned into a bad, bad man because of Darhk’s mystical brain-washing, Andy made it clear that his decisions are his own.

Diggle: Just so you know, your good friend Damien Darhk attacked a bay this morning, hurt a whole lot of  people. Those neural blockers he used on you are no longer in your system so chemically speaking, Andy, you’re no longer his bitch.

Andrew: I’m not anyone’s bitch and I’m not yours.

Obviously, the whole drug-smuggling thing came about before Andy “died,” which doesn’t exactly point to him being a stand-up guy to begin with. Granted, we don’t know when HIVE got to him or what they are potentially holding over him (although he did allude to them being the ones who faked his death), but regardless, he seems adamant to own up to his responsibility in this dark turn of events, no matter how much Diggle wants to give his brother a pass. Do brainwashed people know they’re brainwashed? My guess is no, but that doesn’t always excuse them of all their actions either. And as much as I’d like to believe for Diggle’s sake that Andy really is a good guy who was forced to do bad things, that’s appearing more and more not to be the case.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/ The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/ The CW

Next, on to a bigger type of responsibility and the main focus of the episode, newly-engaged and potentially (although I truly doubt it) dead Felicity. First and foremost, I love that she found out that Oliver was going to propose, but even more, I love that in true Felicity-style, she totally called him out on it and put him in his place when he expressed doubt. At the holiday party, before she was kidnapped, she mentioned that moving back to Star City didn’t change anything for her and that she was the one who chose this life. But it was post-kidnapping, while in the cage, that she made it clear she is in charge of her life and Oliver’s guilt is misplaced.

Felicity: Don’t tell me you traded your life for ours, because that would be extremely old Oliver.

Oliver: I had to turn myself in, it was the only way to know where you were being held.

Felicity: One little problem. Two, if you think Darhk is gonna keep up his end of the bargain. But what happens when the cavalry shows up and the Green Arrow is not present. Darhk is evil, not stupid.

Oliver: I have that handled. Felicity, it had to be this way.

Felicity: Why? Because you think we’re in this situation because of your decisions? I really to hate to be the one to break this to you Oliver, but you are not the boss of me.  And I am the one who decides whether I need anyone’s protection. At the Christmas party from hell, you said you were gonna propose but you didn’t because you weren’t sure our relationship was gonna survive this kinda of life.

Oliver; It was a holiday party. And I had more to say but we were attacked.

Felicity: And here we are, fighting our way through the danger instead of running away from it. Isn’t that the whole point of marriage? To get through the hard times because we are together, not in spite of it?

Oliver: Yea.

Felicity: Just so you know, if you had asked me, I would’ve said yes.

 And that’s always been Oliver’s problem, figuring out how to be both Oliver — regular guy — and Oliver — vigilante-crime-fighter. Of course, with a big proposition like marriage, I’m not surprised this identity crisis reared its ugly head again. But I love that Felicity acknowledges this and turns it into a totally appropriate analogy. Yes, their day-to-day life may be more difficult and dangerous than most but regardless if they’re fighting bad guys or something much more mundane, the point is they are together and stronger because of it. And let’s be honest, Felicity is no shrinking violet. She knows what she’s doing, what’s she gotten into and like she said, she is making the choice to be there. That being said, I doubt think this will totally alleviate Oliver’s guilt (nor should it, I think feeling that way to a degree is totally normal), but, hopefully, it won’t handicap him and hinder his ability to do what needs to be done, as it has in the past.

Oliver is lucky to have Felicity. And he knows it. I’m glad he finally got to propose, even if it was in front of a crowd of people, rather than at home in a soufflé.

Oliver: There is someone I am particularly grateful for. Someone who has stood beside me when times were darkest. She is the one who lights my way. Felicity Smoak, would you make me the happiest man on the face of the earth?

I’m much more of a soufflé girl, but this was still sweet. Which is why I should’ve seen the tragedy coming. Normally, I’m good at foreseeing these things. Like really, really good. I can usually tell you a character is going to die at the end of an episode within the first five minutes of that episode. But not this time. Which I’m hoping is a sign that Felicity doesn’t die. I mean, she can’t, right? Either way, that final brutal scene, lulled with peaceful Christmas music in the background, was exceptionally well done.

But I will admit, Felicity’s bullet-wounded fall from the car wasn’t the only thing that shocked me. The fact that Darhk is not entirely, well…dark…is another thing I definitely didn’t see coming. Especially as he creepily lurked into the house in what looked like a predator-stalking-his-prey type way…but nope, daddy was just on his way home to light the Christmas tree! The man we know is not in any way a family man…or, at least, he didn’t seem like it, which makes me think that there’s definitely something more to his story. That being said, this reveal also shows that like Oliver with Felicity and Thea and Diggle, Darhk seemingly has loved ones and thus potentially a weak spot. Will Oliver use this to his advantage? I doubt it. But still, with this parallel portrayed as it was, it’s hard not to imagine there isn’t something more brewing.

Arrow returns Wednesday, January 20 at 8/7c on The CW.

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  1. MByerly

    Felicity’s tech wizardry can be replaced by the new character, Curtis Holt, but it would be really, really stupid to kill Felicity who brings so much light and humor into the show. She’s also the emotional glue that holds this group together.

    Her loss would damage the show immeasurably, and I’d hate for that to happen.

    If she is supposed to be in that grave, I’m hoping that Oliver is hiding her somewhere to protect her from Darhk.

    1. Tina Charles

      I really don’t think it’s Felicity in that grave. They’re making it seem like it is, but I am kind of scared to find out who it is. I hope it’s monumental, but I don’t want it to be Felicity or Diggle. Those two are OFF limits (for me). haha

      1. MByerly

        The character that would be the least missed, as far as character and plot dynamics, would be Thea. The only thing she brings to the plot table these days are her anger and her scary Daddy Dearest.

        1. Tina Charles

          I would actually really miss Thea. I love the Oliver and Thea relationship a lot. I don’t think this would happen because she’s Black Canary and even though I like her more now than I have before, I really would rather lose Laurel.

          1. MByerly

            Isn’t Laure the Black Canary?

            Any of these characters would be missed by fans, some more than others, but Thea would be the least missed in terms of character and plot dynamics at this point.

  2. Kiba Inu

    Darhk made a big mistake kidnapping Thea, Malcolm’s daughter. If the new Ras al Ghul finds out about HIS family, I think all hell will break loose- Not to mention Oliver’s reaction to this attack. If the Arrow and Malcolm team-up, I mean REALLY work together, I’ll actually feel sorry for Damien. On another note: Felicity. We all know the Lazarus Pit was sabotaged by Nyssa, but I can’t help but wonder if that’s the reason Malcolm scraped up Vandal Savage’s ashes- To restore the Pit. Now, he won’t test it on himself. He’s insane, not stupid, but there’s no harm in letting Felicity be the guinea pig, is there? Hell, going that route might just finally make her an interesting character…

    1. Cortney Persiani

      Ooh, Vandal’s ashes as the Lazarus Pit re-activator, I love it!

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