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Welcome to Arrow Squad! If you’re just finding us for the first time, we’re glad to meet you! Come introduce yourself on our Facebook group and find fellow Arrow fans who will commiserate and celebrate with you. If you’re a long time listener, you know we love you. This week, Podcast Overlord, The Shadow, and myself (Miss Ice) are discussing Arrow Season 4 Episode 9 “Dark Waters”. This episode originally aired on December 9, 2015 and is the winter finale with one heckuva cliffhanger.
Before I get into some random thoughts on the episode, let’s take a look back at the three seasons prior to this one and remember the winter finales.
Season 1: Episode 9 “Year’s End” (December 12, 2012) – The Hood faces off with the Dark Archer, who is revealed as Malcolm Merlyn. Oliver believes the real threat to the city is the author of the list his father gave him.
Season 2: Episode 9 “Three Ghosts” (December 11, 2013) – Suffering from hallucinations from the life-saving rat poison Barry used on him, Oliver is visited by three ghosts from his past as he tries to save Roy from Cyrus Gold. Barry leaves a mask for Oliver and returns to Central City, where he is struck by lightning from the particle accelerator explosion.
Season 3: Episode 9 “The Climb” (December 10, 2014) – Oliver battles Ra’s al Ghul on a mountain top and loses, falling down a mountainside after getting stabbed through the chest by the sword of Ra’s.
In this season’s episode 9, appropriately entitled “Dark Waters”, Oliver faces off against Damien Darhk when his friends and family are taken from the holiday party at campaign headquarters. Recruiting Malcolm and Laurel to aid him in the infiltration of HIVE’s alleged headquarters,
Oliver manages to rescue his friends and get the upper hand. But Darhk retaliates and his ghosts decorate the limo Oliver and Felicity are riding in after a proposal gone well, and the fate of one Felicity Smoak hangs in the balance.
Of the four seasons thus far, this winter finale surpasses them all in my mind. It was a genuine cliffhanger, one in which we do not know the outcome of the final, lingering question. Will Felicity survive?
With an episode title like Dark Waters, we knew there had to be a potential for a murky outcome. The concept of dark waters is no joke. My family has a cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota and even though there’s nothing in that water that could literally kill me, being in the water after dark is really freaky. It’s like swimming in black water.
But beyond the tragic events of the episode’s conclusion, this episode outlined just how much Star City has come to resemble dark waters. Since returning from retirement, Oliver has been held accountable by his friends to fight Damien Darhk in the light. This episode was just another extension of that, and trying to help all of Star City come out from the darkness and murkiness of oppression by the ghosts by finally putting a name and face to the leader of that organization trying to wipe out the people of Star City.
We don’t spend a lot of time talking about the flashbacks in this podcast, but I do want to outline a couple aspects to the short sequences we got. First, Oliver brings Taiana back to the half-sunken ship where Oliver and Sara once injected Slade with Mirakuru. He needs diving instructions to retrieve a set of maps from inside. He believes that what he can obtain will help force Conklin and Reiter to pay for what they’ve done.
Second, Oliver is attacked by a shark. A shark! Ok, so TVGuide.com released an article a couple years ago with an overview of Oliver’s scars. The article claims that the teeth marks were identified as wounds inflicted by an Australian Secret Intelligence Service Agent in Season 1 Episode 5 “Damaged”. Without rewatching the episode I can’t say for certain, but I sure don’t remember that happening… I guess that’s a good enough excuse to rewatch!
But most importantly, by the end of this episode, Conklin knows that Oliver did not kill Taiana. Whatever happens next, it does not bode well for Oliver. Oliver said something to Diggle about how several weeks in a cage can change a man’s perspective, “he should know” (he, meaning Oliver), so either that’s referring to time he’s already spent on the ship behind bars, or we might see him locked up again on the island.
Personally, I enjoy the flashbacks. They don’t carry a story like they did in the earlier seasons, but I like getting a little bit here and there about Oliver’s past. In the years he was missing, Oliver learned a lot really quickly, and now he’s hit a point where he can utilize those skills. Everyone in the world believes him to be dead, so his affiliations are loose.
Lend a Helping Hand
One of our own, the Scarlet Cougar (aka Karen), my co-host on the Maid of Steel podcast, needs our help. Karen has chronic health problems that have put she and her husband into a financial crunch. If you have the means, we are asking, with her permission of course, for you to contribute to the Lindsay’s GoFundMe campaign. Arrow Squad will be contributing funds we’ve received through our Patreon campaign, and each host is contributing as well. Whatever you are capable of giving, or find in your capacity to give, please consider!
See You in 2016!
We’ll be back when Arrow returns at the end of January! Until then, stay in touch through Facebook and Twitter, where there will be many fans commiserating and consoling one another as we await news of Felicity’s Fate.