Was Arrow Season 4: Episode 20 a success? Check out our review of "Genesis" below! And warning, this review does contain spoilers for the episode
Episode 20 of Arrow was a mixed bag of an episode, one that delved into some extremely interesting ideas while at the same time being a bit heavy handed with others. A huge theme this season has been the darkness versus the light, with Damien Darhk representing the darkness (we wonder why), and Oliver trying to find the light within himself to conquer the darkness that has grown inside him the past few seasons. While we all love a battle between good and evil, the metaphors have become so heavy handed that it's not even a subtle theme anymore (not that it was ever very subtle in the first place), and the idea that the key to beating Darhk is to just think happy thoughts is a little bit silly. And let's not forget that Ollie learned how to do that in about two minutes (and he didn't even succeed against a weaker form of Darhk's magic). It's all too convenient, and the writers are taking too many shortcuts.
One of the stronger points of the episode was Thea's weekend excursion with Alex, that was a lot creepier than it first seemed. It wasn't an idyllic holiday location after all, but instead 'Damien's Ark' that would protect them from the ramifications of Genesis when Darhk destroys the world with nuclear warheads (you know, the classic villain stuff). The idea that time was on loop had us intrigued, and was a clever way of hinting that not all was quite right. After all, despite her protestations to the contrary, it was clear that Thea was stressed after Laurel's death and her paranoia could have stemmed from that, but once we saw Alex taking the pills that Darhk used to keep his ghosts in line, we knew something was up. We're curious as to why Ravay would ever allow Alex to take Thea to the one place she'd be safe from Genesis, though we suppose it keeps her out the way and stops her from interfering with Darhk's grand plan.
The main storyline this week though focused on the Diggle brothers, and it quickly became clear that reconciliation was out of the window. While Ollie concerns himself with the battle between light and darkness, Diggle embraced the morally grey area, as he's forced to kill or be killed by his brother. While Team Arrow has changed from its killing ways in Season 1 generally speaking, Diggle's actions here highlight that sometimes against some enemies there is no choice, and the only way to put an end to their evil plans is to put an end to them. David Ramsey has spoken about how Laurel's death is taking its toll on Diggle in Arrow Season 4, but hopefully Andy's death will bring some closure to him.
Despite Damien Darhk being one of the best villains Arrow has seen (second only to Deathstroke), this season has been one of the weakest. While we're dubious about how many shortcuts the show is taking, Thea's storyline is left in a very exciting place at the end of Episode 20, and if the remaining episodes of Arrow can consistently reach and maintain that quality, we might be in for an impressive finale. For regular updates on Arrow, click the green subscribe button below. And if you haven't already, check out the plot synopsis for Arrow Season 4: Episode 21! What did you think of the episode?