Every week, Fangirlish writers will be discussing new episodes of Arrow and sharing their thoughts, feelings, and speculation about the hour’s hot topics in a little something we like to call Fangirlish Roundtables.
Today, we’re breaking down episode 4×22 of Arrow, “Lost in the Flood,” where we discuss Damien Darhk’s impending hell, Oliver’s hope, the Smoak family dynamic, and the possibility of a reunion between Oliver and Felicity by season’s end.
What were your overall thoughts on “Lost in the Flood?”
This was definitely one of Arrow’s finest penultimate episodes. You can sense the obvious shift on Arrow – for the better – following that nineteenth episode. It was as if the show realized, hey, we need to get back to what fans fell in love with in the first place: Team Arrow. I liked the dual storylines in this episode as we saw Oliver and Diggle fighting for Thea inside Damien Darhk’s underground community and then saw Felicity back in Star City with Curtis, Donna, and Noah as she attempted to thwart Darhk’s dark actions. Once again this episode blended the things I love about Arrow – action, drama, humor, heart, and high stakes. The penultimate episode really amped up the stakes as we head into Arrow’s final hour of season four.
I thought it was a very good episode. Arrow has been doing a hell of a job the last three episodes, and this season-finale arc is the best the show has been since Season 2. There’s been a lot of action, yes, but there’s also been the character moments we love, the grey moral choices, and more importantly, there hasn’t been one second in either of last three episodes that feels like filler. Arrow is clicking on all cylinders ahead of its season finale, just like it should be.
The penultimate episode of Arrow was a great set up to the angst fest I was promised! Oliver was being a BAMF left and right. (Remember that jump and shoot? Stuff of magic!) Hope is apparent for the future of Olicity. And the Smoak family dynamic is explored for the first time with all the members there. I know Noah is going to die, but I’d love to see what else he can bring to the table.
P.S. Not killing off Anarky was the best decision EVER! He’s the right amount of creepy. Still can’t get over him saying, “That’s my mommy. Isn’t she pretty?” I still want them to run away together, Bonnie and Clyde style!
Damien Darhk left us with one hell of a cliffhanger as he declared that he is going to bring hell to them. What are your thoughts on how Darhk’s motives have changed since losing his family?
While I haven’t been an overt fan of the mystical element this season – given that I’m all for the grounded grittiness that Arrow was known for – Damien Dark has been a solid villain this season as he was everything Ra’s al Ghul was supposed to be. I never really understood exactly why he needed to destroy and rebuild it until I watched him lose his family. Everyone has something that they’re fighting for in their lives. Darhk’s was his family, which he believes he’s lost entirely (his wife died, but his daughter was saved by Team Arrow unbeknownst to Darhk).
In Darhk’s own sick, twisted mind, he was doing this for his family. But watching him lose his family and lose any hope that he’d had, you really see the motive behind Darhk’s actions. Something broke inside of Darhk when he lost his family. There was clever purpose behind rebuilding the world before that, but now Darhk has nothing to live for so he basically wants to destroy the entire world with no hopes of rebuilding. To me that makes even more dangerous.
He’s in “Fuck it” mode at this point; at least that’s how I see it. Before he might have wanted to bring about a proverbial end of days, but he wanted to survive. He wanted his family to make it. Now? He thinks he’s got nothing to lose. There’s nothing more dangerous than a man who thinks he’s got nothing to lose. Well, a man who’s got nothing to lose and has access to nukes. Which is basically what he is.
I think he’s going to go on full-destruction mode, at least until he finds out about his daughter. And then we’ll see what he’s really made of, what he cares most about. I want to say the daughter wins, but I’m not so sure.
Damien has nothing to live for. All of this was to create a better world for his daughter and wife. With them gone, what else is there to do but make the world feel the pain you’re feeling inside? It’s a classic villain spiral of epic evilness…that will crash as soon as he sees his daughter. She will be the one to destroy him.
It’s become clearer and clearer that the key to defeating Damien Darhk will be through hope. What are your thoughts on Oliver embracing hope as a means to defeat Darhk?
That’s key for Oliver ultimately defeating Darhk. Oliver is someone who has experienced unspeakable tragedy in his life. He’s someone who, because of those tragedies, you wouldn’t expect to be the most hopeful guy in the world. Why should he? But he’s the Green Arrow; he’s a hero. To be a hero you need to inspire hope within people. That’s been a struggle for Oliver throughout these four seasons. But when you’re going up against fear and darkness, you need to not only embrace that hope but use it to counter that darkness. Hope trumps fear. Plain and simple. To inspire hope, you need to have hope. And Oliver is at that point.
I think this ties into everything that he’s gone through this season – before his only source of hope was external. He needed others to believe in him so he could maybe, perhaps, try to believe in himself. Now Oliver is finding his hope within, and that makes him stronger. It also makes him the one others can turn to when they’re having their own issues with hope.
Oliver Queen wanted to be a hero for his city, and he wanted to be a hero in the light. But he is both the Green Arrow and Oliver Queen, and now that he can accept that both sides needed, that both sides deserve good things, then maybe he can be the light the city truly needs.
It’s cheesy. I understand that emotions have power. Fear and doubt can be used as weapons to enact change. Hope is Oliver’s winning move. But it doesn’t seem to be enough to destroy Damien at all. IT MAKES NO SENSE! Arrow has lost it’s way and isn’t the same dark noir that I enjoyed in the beginning. The introduction of magic and metas have taken away from the show and how they solve things at the end of the day. I have no idea what’s coming for the end of this season. Nope.
This episode featured a not-so-friendly Smoak family reunion. What were your thoughts on the Smoak family dynamic, including Donna’s decision to move her and a young Felicity away from Noah?
The Smoak family dynamic was one of my favorite things about this episode. While Arrow is known for gritty darkness, it’s always managed to blend levity and realism within that darkness through relationships. People sometimes forget that superhero shows aren’t just about the action; they’re about the human aspects that make this world believable. But there was just magic that happened when Curtis entered Felicity’s loft and the Smoak family drama ensued. Amidst a nuclear attack there was a casual levity instilled with the usual family drama we’re all accustomed to. And there was something very natural about that.
One of the things really garnering attention is Donna’s decision to lie about Felicity’s father being the one to actively leave them. Here’s the thing, Donna’s intent was not malicious. She had her daughter’s best interest at heart. She was trying to protect her daughter from a situation that she deemed dangerous. What was she supposed to do? Wait around for something bad to happen before actually acting? I don’t appreciate some people painting Noah as the victim, because he’s not. If he truly wanted to be a part of Felicity’s life, then he could’ve. He’s one of the best hacks in the world. You’re trying to tell me he couldn’t find her and try to be a part of her life? But the beauty of this storyline – from both ends – is that is shows us that no one is perfect. People make mistakes, sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong ones. But it’s ridiculous to expect perfection.
The reunion was as awkward and complicated as I expected it to be, and that was good, that was believable. People don’t get over things like this. Donna, in particular, touched my heart, because she did what she thought was best, and though that might come off as hypocritical, considering all she’s been saying, Noah isn’t exactly a saint. He could have found them if he wanted to. He could have forced himself into Felicity’s life, at least. He just chose to easy way out.
Of course, none of this means Donna did the right thing. She shouldn’t have made decisions for someone else. But sometimes we do what we think is best under the circumstances. Felicity seemed to understand.
The Smoak family dynamic was the most interesting part of this episode. There’s still so much unresolved anger and hurt feelings there, with a hint of abandonment. And watching Donna Smoak lay a verbal smackdown on a man who thinks she’s just a blonde airhead, was a glorious thing to see.
Donna might’ve taken Felicity away from Noah, but he left them first. He chose something more important than his family and Donna could see it. So instead of hoping and praying she did something about it. She gave her daughter the best chance. Was it okay to lie to her? No. Did she do it with the best intentions? Yes. Donna wanted her daughter to succeed and SHE DID!
As for Noah…smh. He had a right to be angry that Donna took his daughter until you sit down and look at the facts. He picked something over them. And when he realized that they were gone, he could’ve found them! Hell he probably found them amazingly fast. But did he try to fix his family? No. He felt relief that he didn’t have to have that burden anymore because it wasn’t the life he wanted, the one he aspired to. What makes it even worse is that he saw Donna and Felicity struggling to support themselves. But did he fix himself up and try? No. He was a coward who couldn’t even find a method to help his family from the sidelines.
Curtis was quite wise in this episode, including the moment when he opened Felicity’s eyes to what she has been doing when it comes to the men in her life – how she doesn’t believe her father can change, the same reason she broke things off with Oliver. Do you think this is leading us to an Oliver and Felicity reunion by season’s end?
Curtis is a smart man. And not just in a pure intelligence stance. Curtis is observant, and he’s caring, which made him the right person to help open Felicity’s eyes to what she’s been doing with the men in her life. Curtis pointed out that just as Felicity was always expecting her father to revert back to the criminal he is was reminiscent of the reason she ended things with Oliver. Here’s the thing, Felicity was in the right for ending things with Oliver because she needed to do what was best for her, which included needing Oliver to be willing to involve her in his life. But Felicity has always been someone who is open to change. She expects the best in people; she knows they are capable of change. Hell, she told Oliver a few episodes ago. I definitely believe that Curtis pointing this out will definitely help Felicity realize that she needs to live in the present and don’t let the past dictate her feelings too much. I definitely see Oliver and Felicity being reunited by season’s end in a way that will be expanded on come season five.
I’m not 100% sure, but I’d say so. I think it’s important that the show is taking time to establish that yes, Oliver did wrong, and yes, Felicity was right to take her time if she needed it, but her reactions are, of course, conditioned by her history. She doesn’t believe Oliver can/will change, and that’s not really a reflection of what she thinks about Oliver, but what she thinks about the world at large. It all comes down to her father.
Now, forced to confront the fact that the story of her parents might not be the one she thought it was, and forced to see both of them with new eyes, Felicity might just be in the right headspace to give Oliver another chance at changing. She loves him, she knows he loves her. And she’ll probably regret it forever if she gives up on him.
You hit it right on the head! Speaking with Curtis will give Felicity some a new look at her situation with Oliver. It might also give her a new outlook on her father and what it means to change. Things are continuously changing around Felicity as of this moment. She now has an opportunity to start fresh or hold onto the pain of the past. I think she’s definitely going to choose the former. (Before angst punches us in the face of course. It’s a season finale guys. Resolution and happiness invites pain.)
We can never talk about Bad Father of the Year Malcolm Merlyn enough as this episode he drugged his daughter to ensure her compliance. Just let it all out.
While I absolutely love John Barrowman as an actor and a person, I absolutely loathe Malcolm Merlyn with every fiber of my being. So kudos, Barrowman. Malcolm is someone who swears his love by Thea, but he has no idea what it means to show that love. In his own, twisted way, drugging his daughter and placing her within this compound to protect her from the nuclear disaster that Darhk had planned was Malcolm’s way of protecting his daughter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to give Malcolm the benefit of the doubt when it comes to putting Thea in this underground community. But Malcolm always manages to take things too far, as evidenced when he drugged his daughter and then forced her to fight her brother because it was convenient to deal with getting rid of the threat, as well as Malcolm getting some sick, twisted kick out of it. Malcolm needs some kind of comeuppance, though I doubt death would ever be in the cards.
Oh, God, Malcolm. Why is he even here? I don’t get it. I mean, we all love John Barrowman, but the lengths this show has gone not to kill Malcolm become more absurd by the second. No one likes him. No one thinks he’s got anyone’s best interest at heart. And yet he’s still around because the actor is awesome. I’m sorry, but no. Kill him. Introduce his evil twin. Something. Just ….I can’t with Malcolm anymore. I really can’t.
Especially because he keeps trying to play everything he does as caring for Thea, and nope. He only cares for himself. Thea is an extension of that, and that’s why he treats her with no regard to what she wants. He cares, yes, but only in that she is his daughter, and therefore she must survive. He doesn’t really care about her well-being, and he would never put her before himself. He’s proven that countless times. So, honestly, it’s time for him to go. Enough is enough.
It’s absolutely idiotic to believe that this man is worth redeeming or left to his own devices. Has everyone forgot about season one? Has everyone forgot that he learned about Oliver’s kid and caused that trouble? HAS EVERYONE FORGOTTEN THAT HE FORCED HER TO KILL SARA?!
I need to see one valid reason why we should keep this man. And it can’t be, because we love John Barrowman. We all love him. He’s a cupcake with a killer smile. But Malcolm…he’s got to go. Thea Queen is the only connection left that would stop Oliver from killing him. Now that he’s betrayed her (again) cut those family ties! KILL HIMMMMMM!
Then John Barrowman can go to Doctor Who and that fandom can explode. Sounds like a happy ending to all!
What are your thoughts on “Lost in the Flood?” Sound off in the comments to keep the discussion going!
Join us for another Arrow roundtable next Tuesday. Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.