How do you start to review an episode this great?
Christmas is coming and no matter how dire things are, Oliver’s mayoral team is determined to celebrate it. However, the king of darkness quickly ruins the party and kidnaps Thea, Diggle, and Felicity. After chasing countless suicidal Ghosts to their deaths, Oliver Queen is forced to accept help from Merlyn. Oliver hands himself over to Darhk and is about to witness his friends deaths in a gas chamber when the Black Canary and Green Arrow arrive. Yes, the Green Arrow and Oliver were in the same room at once. The team escape and it is revealed that Merlyn had donned the green leather. But it isn’t over yet. Oliver finally decides to propose to Felicity just before the unthinkable happens.
Dammit! Arrow writers, you have destroyed me.
Darhk’s magic is shown to further extents in this episode. In the episode’s first act, Oliver outs Dahk and shares his photo with the media. Upon seeing this, Darhk explodes the TV in front of some high ranking H.I.V.E. members. At first, the destruction of the television threw me as there was no movement from Darhk to conjure up magic. The guy was just super angry. However, the explosion was very cool. He also throws Oliver Queen through the window of his mayoral office. The sequence was dealt with very well and, with the amount of glass under Amell, makes me wonder if he cut himself. The only disappointment with Darhk’s powers is when he disarms two security guards at Ollie’s party. Darhk flicks both of his hand at the same time but the guards’ pistols are pulled consecutively from their hands. Not having this movement synchronised broke the illusion of magic. Would it have been that hard to shoot it again?
One thing that is also interesting to note, is that with all his power (physical and mystical) Darhk doesn’t know that Ollie is the Green Arrow. After Ollie calls Darhk directly and they meet, Darhk’s reaction no way points to him knowing. He seems only amused that Ollie is that resourceful.
Now, let’s talk about Laurel. Her part wasn’t as big as her other teammates this episode, but her presence was fantastic. Her character didn’t berate Captain Lance continuously when she found out about him working with Darhk. Her Canary Cry actually demolished a gas chamber and I’m starting to like the cat like stance she takes before every scream.
As with every episode that Felicity is kidnapped in, Donna Smoak is once again in town. Which makes sense; her daughter and boyfriend are in Star City. Yes, Donna dropped the ‘B’ word when Felicity caught her and Lance being all googly and lovey. Felicity’s reaction was gold but not the funniest in the episode. In decorating Ollie and Felicity’s loft for Christmas, Donna finds the ring and lets out an almighty scream that would put Laurel to shame. The discovery leads to wonderfully awkward moments from Felicity at the Christmas party, but also a very honest and strengthening conversation for Ollicity.
Not only do we get to see Curtis Holt’s hubby, but also Darhk’s family. In the episode’s climactic scene Dahk is strangely absent, but we see him instead sneaking into a wealthy house to find a woman and her child decorating a tree. It’s eerily odd to see Darhk warmly embrace who I assume to be his daughter. But it also makes me wonder if Oliver will use this against him. It is a very evil move to use a family against someone, but when you watch this episode you’ll understand.
Finally, the flashbacks have Oliver revisiting Deathstroke’s sunken ship in search for maps. I have previously congratulated Arrow’s choice to shorten the flash back scenes, however this episode seems to be missing a chunk. At the end of one flash back, Oliver is swimming to the shore when a shark appears behind him. When the flashbacks returned, he was struggling onto the beach with bite marks on his stomach. The complete absence of any struggle in the water, apart from the bite, hollowed the flashback. The writers obviously needed to create some tension in the flashback which gives reason to the shark but without the fight no tension was created. The money put toward making the shark could have been put more wisely to Darhk’s powers.
For a midseason finale, this episode was perfect. Darhk may not be my favourite villain, but he certainly became something very evil this episode. And it seems the writers are creating even more notable quotes. So, Merry Christmas! Here’s a special Quotes of the Episode.
Quote(s) of the Episode:
You love having minions. (Thea)
I’m going to hit myself over the head with something very heavy so I don’t know either. (Felicity)
Excellent. You’ve got your bondage outfit on. (Merlyn)