Review: ‘Arrow’ S04E09 – ‘Dark Waters’

By December 10, 2015

On the winter finale of Arrow, we learned that the CW really needs to work on its underwater CGI, corn is apparently the new future and you should always make sure there’s a body. Let’s take a closer look at ‘Dark Waters,’ shall we?

The episode opens with our hero and his friends at the bay hosting a clean-up event. The tranquility of the event is shattered when a drone attacks. While Felicity is able to disable it, a lot of people are injured. Oliver and team decide to take the fight to Darhk and Ollie holds a press conference and outs the super villain. Needless to say, this does not go over well with Darhk and he crashes Oliver’s holiday party in grand fashion. He uses his powers to knock Oliver unconscious and then absconds with Thea, Diggle and Felicity. Oliver, Malcolm and Lance come up with a plan to get them back using Oliver as bait. He’ll offer to sacrifice himself if Darhk lets the hostages go, they’ll track him and come in to save everyone.

Oliver goes in and finds out that HIVE is testing some sort of algae that they harvested in the bay on human volunteers and it’s killing them. Oliver insists that Darhk let his family and friends go, but Darhk reneges on the deal, citing semantics. He then places the three hostages in the gas chamber. Merlyn, dressed as Green Arrow, and Black Canary bust in and take out Darhk’s men. Merlyn and Darhk then have a smack down and Meryln gets his ass handed to him. Just as Darhk is going in for the kill, Oliver tackles him. They pin him to the ground with an arrow and blow up the building.

With Darhk presumed dead, although unless you see a body it didn’t really happen, Oliver and team head to the tree lighting ceremony in the city. Oliver then proposes to Felicity, who earlier in the episode confronted Ollie about not proposing, after she and her mom found the ring. Felicity, of course, says yes and as the two drive away, we cut to a couple of scenes with Darhk (see, no body means not dead!), where he shows his minions an underground field of corn (?) and then goes home to spend the holidays with who, we can only assume, are his wife and daughter. We then cut back to the limo that Felicity and Oliver are in and see that it is quickly surrounded by ghosts, who open fire. Oliver manages to get them to safety, but when he pulls Felicity out of the car, she has been shot and is bleeding and unconscious.

In other news through the episode, Felicity’s mom and Captain Lance are seen getting cozy, much to Felicity’s surprise. Diggle continues to hold Andy hostage and Andy refuses to give up any information on HIVE. In the useless flashbacks, which were thankfully short and to the point this week, Oliver swims back to the sunken ship to retrieve maps of the island before being captured by Reiter’s men.

Okay, so this was a fantastic episode. Unlike the ho-hum winter finale for The Flash, this episode had the perfect amount of action, intrigue and continued the actual season arc. Neal McDonough is fantastic as Darhk, bringing the perfect amount of smarmy coldness to the villain. I would probably consider him the best Arrow villain so far, in fact. Great casting job on this one.

While I doubt that the dead person alluded to at the beginning of the season is actually Felicity, I think the showrunners have done a great job of leaving it ambiguous. Whoever it is, they have to mean enough to Oliver to elicit tears, so my money’s on Captain Lance. Although the show has shown in the past that it’s not afraid to kill off important characters (RIP Tommy!), I don’t think this is the case here. Anyway, people who die recently have a tendency to not stay dead, so I’m not all that worried.

Overall, this was a fantastic way to end the first half of the season. It left enough open to want the next episode now. Unfortunately, we have a while to wait before we find out what happens. That’s what makes it so perfect.

Arrow airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.

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Erin Parisien
Erin is a writer, a comic-book geek, a movie nerd and a pop culture junkie... all long before it was cool! She's the senior Editor and a writer over at and can always be found behind a keyboard, because it's all about the words. Follow her @erin_the_novel over on twitter.