Spoilers for Arrow. Trigger warning for torture, death, gambling, and dark magic.
Genesis is coming. The dreaded word we've heard since the beginning of the season is finally forming into a concept. What is Genesis, and what are Darhk's plans with it? Let's find out!
This is Arrow.
Darhk's super secret
Team Arrow investigates the deaths of two HIVE members (the two Darhk just killed). Oliver is hesitant to move against Darhk until they can counteract his magic. Constantine set Oliver up with someone who can help him combat Darhk's magic. (Good ole Constantine. Can he come back please?) Team Arrow is given time to lay low and relax until Oliver returns from his "magical mystery tour" in Hub City. (Also, what is with the Harry Potter references on the CW shows this week?)
Oliver: "I was finally able to get in touch with Constantine. He put me on to someone who he thinks may be able to teach me how to defend against Darhk's magic."
Thea: "OK. Well, I'm not just saying this because I love Harry Potter, but why are we not all taking those lessons?"
Oliver: "Well, it is easier said than done and apparently quite dangerous."
Diggle visits Lyla in her moving safe house. He tells her about Oliver's quest to learn magic and that he doesn't want to lay low. Lyla wants out of the safe house, but Diggle wants his family safe. (Aww, Diggle, you're so cute.) Felicity finds Oliver in the bunker as he preps to leave. He tells her about Darhk's idol changing people, turning them Darhk. Felicity says she's coming with him--no exceptions.
Diggle is buying diapers when he gets an alert about Andy--he's surfaced in the city. He tracks him down, but it's a trap. Andy tries to take him out. They play a fun game of hide and shoot. Diggle calls Lyla for backup, and she tells him to get out of there, that he's too close. But he doesn't want to lose Andy. Felicity and Oliver visit Hub City's casino, which means they get to wear fancy, gorgeous clothes together again. Felicity sits at a table and joins a game.
Felicity: "Oh, boom! Come to Mama! A-hem, I mean. What?"
Thea wakes up in bed alone. She looks around for Alex, but the house is eerily empty and quiet. When she goes downstairs, he's in the kitchen making breakfast. Felicity wins a few rounds and chats with the other lady at the table, who happens to be the person they're meeting. (I knew it.)
Oliver and Felicity talk to Fortuna, who is a shaman. They follow her out of the casino and into another room--another realm entirely. She knows Darhk, but she doesn't meddle with other immortals. She shows them her idol, which is similar to Darhk's, and explains that the idol isn't the source of the magic but merely what he channels his magic through. Oliver can learn to repel Darhk's magic if the light inside of him is strong enough. If there is too much darkness, it will strengthen Darhk's powers.
Fortuna: "If the darkness inside you outweighs the light, instead of repelling Darhk's magic, you'll end up fueling it. You will only make him more powerful."
Thea and Alex take a walk through the idyllic town. Thea feels the place is almost too perfect. She stops to listen to the world, and she thinks something is off. It's like everything is on a loop. Alex reassures her and suggests she might just be tired and stressed. She really did need a vacation, she agrees. (Okay, but this is super creepy and odd.) After a long time of torture, Andy releases Diggle from his restraints to escort him out. But Diggle takes his opportunity to escape. They fight, but when he points a gun at Andy, he can't pull the trigger.
Diggle: "The only reason why you're still breathing is because one of us is still human."
Fortuna says Constantine's tattoos will be Oliver's "idol" to channel his defense through. She tells him to focus on the light as she thrusts a slice of dark magic toward him. He's able to repel it, but then, she blasts him with a larger dose. Oliver enters a dream-like state where he fights against Darhk. Flashbacks of his darkest moments--Tommy's death, his mother's death, his own death, Laurel's death, Taiana taken over by Reiter, Felicity leaving him--overtake him. He snaps out of the dream, and Fortuna tells him he failed. She says he has too much darkness inside of him and she cannot help him.
Thea and Alex return to the house, but nothing has changed. There's no sunset, and the noises of the neighborhood are on a loop. Alex pops open a bottle to take vitamins, but when Thea knocks them out of his hands, she sees what they really are: the yellow pills Darhk uses to control HIVE agents. Alex says Ruve gave them to him. Thea darts out of the house, terrified.
Diggle returns to the moving safe house. Lyla is angry that he didn't listen. He apologizes, but he can't shake the problem with his brother. Oliver and Felicity return to the casino. Felicity says they'll find someone else to help him, but Oliver isn't so sure. He says the light has always been Felicity, not himself.
Darhk meets with Andy and releases him from the handcuffs Diggle put him in. Andy placed a tracker on Diggle, and the whole thing was a set-up to find Diggle's family. At the safe house, Lyla patches up Diggle when an alarm goes off. HIVE attacks the truck. They fight back, but they have no backup. Darhk stops the truck with his magic. Diggle grabs a gun and says he'll distract them, but Lyla realizes Darhk isn't after Diggle; he's after her. She tells Diggle to leave and keep Sara safe, otherwise Darhk will use them to get to her.
When Darhk opens the back of the truck, Diggle races out on a motorcycle. HIVE agents chase Diggle while Darhk deals with Lyla. The HIVE agents pin Diggle in an alley when Felicity rams a van into them. Diggle hands Sara to Felicity. While she gets away, Diggle chases after Andy. Darhk has Lyla restrained when Oliver arrives and shoots Darhk with an arrow. (Finally!) It doesn't kill him, but it stops him from hurting Lyla further. Darhk grabs Oliver and places a hand over his heart. He tries to suck Olive'rs life force, but it doesn't work. Oliver blocks his magic, and Darhk flees.
Diggle catches up with Andy and pulls a gun on him. Andy runs his mouth, which enrages Diggle. He says Genesis is coming, and he taunts Diggle about his family until Diggle shoots him. (Whoa...) Oliver finds Diggle crouching next to Andy's body. He tells him Lyla is alive and with Felicity. Diggle says Andy was never going to stop and his family would never be safe.
Oliver: "I heard your voice in my head, and you were reminding me of all the good things that I have in my life. I heard Thea, I heard John, I heard Laurel.... Just telling me to keep fighting and to never give up, just telling me to have hope."
At the Arrow bunker, Felicity finds Oliver. He tells her about repelling Darhk. He says she helped him--it was her voice in his head reminding him of the good in his life, telling him to keep trying and to bring hope to the world. (Okay, I'm just so glad Felicity is acting like herself again.) Diggle finds Lyla and reassures her that Sara is safe with Felicity's mom. Then he tells her about Andy. (Poor Diggle. This is so sad.) Lyla comforts him. (I love her. I love them together. It's just beautiful.) But then Lyla realizes Darhk took something from her arm--Rubicon.
Rubicon is an override protocol to keep someone from firing a nuclear missile. But it can be corrupted, which would give the user access to the nuclear stockpile. Team Arrow realizes that Darhk wants to destroy the world and then rebuild it, just like the story in The Bible of the Flood. (A story found in the book of Genesis.) Rubicon is Darhk's Flood. But what is his ark?
Thea runs through the idyllic town, trying to find an escape. When two HIVE agents approach, she turns to run the other way, but she smacks into an invisible wall. She hits the wall, but she can't break through. She's inside a dome underneath Star City. Darhk's ark.
Concluding ThoughtsThis episode was ripe with action and a lot of information. Between the creepy idyllic town and the dark magic, Arrow seems to have veered off into a different genre of superhero shows. However, I think this just shows how complex and developed superhero comics can be. Sometimes the world isn't so simple as fighting bad guys in dark alleyways. There's always something more--meta-humans, magic-wielders, and world-dominating plots. (More and more, I see Arrow and Daredevil becoming a similar genre for superhero shows. You think it's just going to be a guy fighting crime in the dark streets of a big city when there's much more to the city and the world. Magic and monsters are still part of these shows.)
I'm so glad Felicity is back to her normal self. I don't think I could handle Laurel being gone and Felicity being not-Felicity. I feel so bad for Diggle. Why are all the sidekicks of the main character having brother trouble this week? It's so sad. I adore Lyla and who she is as a character. She's strong and smart, and wow, this episode was great because of her. I like seeing her and Diggle work on their marriage and see what's truly important: family. Thea being trapped in that dome is freaking creepy. I want to like Alex, but more and more, he keeps bugging me. Of course, Thea can't have a normal relationship.
I honestly don't know how Team Arrow is going to stop Darhk. Sure, Oliver has found a way that his magic won't hurt him, but what about all the rest of the stuff in the way? The last few episodes of this season are set up to be one wild ride.
What did you think of "Genesis"?