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Three Questions Answered, Arrow “Genesis” 

Three Questions Answered, Arrow “Genesis”
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

Light and dark. Destruction and new worlds. This episode brought us a lot of contrasts and while it mostly set the scene for what’s to come in the final few episodes of Season 4, it also gave us some answers to long-standing questions about magic, brotherhood and villainous end games. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the questions we did get answered “Genesis.”

How will Oliver beat Darhk?

This is something Oliver and the team has struggled with all season. How can you beat a magical evil mastermind when you’re merely mortal? It’s a whole different playing field and for a brief second when Darhk was without his powers, it seemed like it might be possible. But then he got them back and the balance of power shifted once again. So, if you can’t bring him down to your level, I guess the only other option is to rise up to his, no? Well, apparently that’s what Oliver figured and thanks to his buddy, Constantine, he was able to get in touch with Esrin Fortuna, an immortal shaman who could teach him how to — more or less — use magic of his own to repel Darhk’s. Of course, this required a fancy evening of playing dress up and a spin at the Hub City casino, in which Felicity’s kindness, charm and killer poker skills opened the door for their magic tutorial. I have to admit, while Felicity’s sudden return to the team felt a bit abrupt, I’m willing to overlook it since I know that she and the rest of the team are willing to do whatever it takes to avenge Laurel’s death and take down Darhk. Not to mention, I always love seeing Felicity out in the field and appreciate that she and Oliver are getting back a bit of their normal pre-relationship rhythm.

But back to the magic. After being led to the underground cavern through a magical casino door, Fortuna gave Oliver and Felicity the lowdown on what it would take to stand up to Darhk’s evil forces.

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

Fortuna: Recognize this handsome gent? {Points to idol}

Oliver: Darhk has a similar idol.

Felicity: It gives him his power.

Fortuna: Mm mm, it only channels it. Darhk’s power comes from…

Oliver: Death. The more people he kills, the more powerful he becomes.

Fortuna: Not just a pretty face, this guy.

Felicity: Except Oliver is not just gonna go kill a bunch of people just to be on the same level playing field as Darhk.

Fortuna: All things have their opposites. Darhk draws his power from fear and death. It’s opposite is light and hope. La luz del alma. Light of the soul. If you can channel la luz del alma, you will be able to repel Darhk’s magic.

Oliver: Then that’s what I am here to learn.

Fortuna: I wish it were just that easy. If the darkness inside you outweighs the light, instead of repelling Darhk’s magic, you will end up fueling it. You will only make him more powerful.

And after one quick test run, it was clear that Oliver’s internal darkness far outweighs his light. A mystical trip down memory lane brought him visions of the Dark Archer, Slade Wilson, Rieter, Taiana, Tommy’s death, Laurel’s death, his father’s death and Felicity’s ending of their engagement, just to name a few.  It’s no secret that Oliver carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and that these memories continue to weigh him down. He has always been someone who is quick to blame himself for anything that goes wrong, despite everyone around him telling him to look at all the good and he had no problem continuing to beat himself up after failing to to pass Fortuna’s test.

Felicity: We’ll find someone else to teach you magic. Someone with more patience and less smelly incense.

Oliver: She was right, you know. It’s not about the magic, it’s about me.

Felicity: If she didn’t see anything worthy inside you, she never would’ve dealt with us.

Oliver: She didn’t deal with us, she dealt with you. She didn’t reveal herself until you offered her your chips. That has always been the way with us, Felicity. You are the one who brings the light. You know, I told you that I’ve seen magic that has turned good people dark but all Fortuna did was show me who I really am.

Felicity: Don’t do this. Every time you face a set back, you throw yourself a pity party.

Oliver: It’s not a pity party. It’s acceptance. You said it yourself, no matter what I do, I’m always going to revert back to the person I became on the island.

Felicity: When I said that, I was hurt. I was going through one of the most painful experiences of my life. Oliver, you are not perfect. None of us are. The good news is that all of us can change.

And lo and behold, once again, Felicity was right. Later in the episode, when he came face to face with Darhk while protecting Lyla, Oliver somehow changed. He channeled the light and as a result was able to repel Darhk’s magic. Granted, it was only for a few seconds, but it was enough to de-purple-fy his face and send them both flying across the truck. And as he later told Felicity, all it took was finally hearing what people have been telling him all along to make it happen.

Oliver: Earlier with Darhk, it worked. He tried to use his magic on me and I was able to repel it.

Felicity: That’s incredible, how did you do it?

Oliver: I heard your voice in my head. You were reminding me of all the good things I have in my life. I heard Thea. I heard John. I heard Laurel. Just telling me to keep fighting, to never give up. Just telling me to have hope.

Amazing what the power of positive thinking can do, no?! Now that we know it’s possible, hopefully Oliver can keep channeling all those good moments and build up what is needed to not only repel Darhk but also take him down.

Can Andy be saved?

Like Diggle, I’ve been holding out hope and pulling for a big ol’ YES on this one for a long time, despite repeated evidence to the contrary. Andy was brainwashed! Andy was drugged! He’s still got some humanity in there somewhere! Nope. Nope. And nope. Each week it’s become clearer and clearer that there is no hope left.

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

And yet, even after his actions resulted in Laurel’s death last week and he threatened Diggle’s family this week, Diggle still couldn’t pull the trigger the first two times he was given the chance. And I can’t blame him. Andy is his family and unlike Oliver, Diggle holds that hope and lightness inside of him at all costs. But like everyone, Diggle also has a breaking point. And after much poking and prodding, Andy finally hit it.

Andy: Bet you regret not pulling that trigger first time around. What are you gonna do, John? It isn’t over.

Diggle: You haven’t been paying attention, Andy.

Andy: Darhk got out. I got out. I’ll get out again. That mobile safe house you got looked really homey. Bet it’ll get cramped once Sarah gets older.

Diggle: Shut up.

Andy: She’s gotta go to school eventually. And Lyla, well, you can’t watch her 24/7.

Diggle: Shut your mouth, Andy, shut your damn mouth.

Andy: You’re the one who’s obviously not paying attention because this is war.

Diggle: And women, children, they’re expendable in your war?

Andy: Genesis is coming, John. Lyla and Sarah won’t be the only women and children who die. Tell me, how does it feel knowing that you have no problem pulling the trigger to protect a whole bunch of Afghanis that you never knew but don’t have the guts to do what’s necessary to protect your own wife and child?

{Diggle shoots Andy}

I’m not going to lie, this shocked me a little bit. But I think it shocked Diggle, too. Shooting Andy was not something he planned or a conscious choice, but rather a trigger reaction to Andy’s intense antagonizing. You could see the pain in Diggle’s eyes after he realized what he’d done. But what I loved is that you could also see the acceptance. For so long, he didn’t want to acknowledge that this was the only way things could end, but in that moment, he finally recognized it. Like he said to Oliver, Andy was never going to back off and his family would never be safe as long as Andy was alive. I’m interested to see how this affects Diggle moving forward. Will it alleviate his guilt for playing a part in Laurel’s death or will it only add more guilt because he couldn’t save his brother?

Another thing I found interesting was that he told Lyla that Andy reached for his gun and he didn’t have a choice but to shoot him. Call me crazy, but I didn’t see Andy reach for his gun at all. I do agree he didn’t have a choice, but the fact that he lied to Lyla about it (or potentially is lying to himself to appease his guilt?) is a bit questionable. That being said, Andy was a bad guy. A really bad guy. He was justifying killing women, children and even his own brother in the name of a lunatic who he compared to Jesus. Once someone has gone that far off the deep end, it’s hard to believe they will ever come back.

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

And as much as I do wish someone else had pulled the trigger, I don’t think that would’ve been any better for Diggle. Like it or not, this was the way things had to end for Andy. And hopefully, now without the personal attachment and sense of responsibility, Diggle can move forward and take down HIVE with the sole purpose of protecting the city.

What is Genesis?

Finally. after weeks of corn fields and talks of “new worlds,” we learned what Genesis really is. Well, sort of.  Thanks to Thea’s weekend getaway with Alex, we saw a Stepford-esque town where the sun always shines and the birds always chirp. Except the sun isn’t really the sun and the birds are “chirping” on a loop. But when you’re hopped up on “vitamins,” apparently you don’t notice, which is what I’m assuming Darhk is banking on as he makes this self-sustaining underground bunker the world’s new epicenter. Thanks to the Rubicon codes that he sliced out of Lyla’s arm, Darhk now has what he needs to control and launch nuclear missiles that will destroy earth and all of humanity. And, apparently, once the world has been flattened, he can rebuild it in whatever way he sees fit, which can’t be anything good. Genesis is Darhk’s new beginning…no never matter that he has to destroy everyone and everything to get it.

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

Ironically, this is much the same logic and plan that Malcolm Merlyn had for Starling City in Season 1. He was very much of the belief that to fix the city, you had to raze everything and build from the ground up. And now, Darhk is doing just that but on a much, much bigger scale. I have to admit, I was kind of impressed that Thea was able to pick up on all the quirks in this idyllic vacation town…sure, everything did seem strangely perfect, but when you’re on vacation, isn’t that kind of what you want? That being said, I still can’t decide if Alex is aware of what’s going on (I mean, he did have to get her there, right?) or his “vitamins” have turned him in to a mindless drone. Nevertheless, I am interested to see how Thea retaliates against being stuck in the bunker and eventually how she manages to get out (I imagine Merlyn will have to have something to do with it since he’s clearly the one who wanted her there and “protected” in the first place).

So, a few questions answered but many more posed in this episode and with only three episodes left this season, I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out.

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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1 Comment

  1. Teri

    I noticed Diggle mentioning that Andy went for his gun too. As far as I recall, Andy was down and Diggle had the upper hand in the situation. And I totally agree about the shock on Diggle’s face when he shot Andy.

    Side note for me, I like that Constantine gets a mention now and then. I hope that Matt Ryan is able to make an appearance again in the future. I was one of the few who liked the Constantine series, so I’m glad he’s a small part/around somewhere in the Arrow world.

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