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Arrow: 04x23, Schism | Schism
Media Courtesy of CW

Grab your bows, Arrowheads! It’s time for the season finale of Arrow and I, for one, can’t wait to find out what happens. Of course, I’m also sort of dreading the impending break from the Arrowverse but apparently patience is a virtue… or so I’ve been told. In any case, this season has been full of twists and turns and I don’t expect the finale to be any different. On that note, let’s dive on in and see how Team Arrow handles Darhk’s newest nefarious plan!

We open exactly where we left off, with Darhk propositioning Felicity to help him. When Curtis tries to stop him, Darhk throws him against a wall and he’s knocked unconscious. Using Donna as bait, Darhk attempts to force Felicity to help. Oliver and Dig burst in, armed and ready, and Darhk releases Donna, calling for his own soldiers. When Oliver rushes Darhk, he uses his newfound powers to suck out Oliver’s life force. Thankfully, Thea comes in with Darhk’s daughter and offers a trade. Darhk releases Oliver in exchange for his daughter. Once Darhk is gone, the team rushes to help Curtis, noticing at the same time the Darhk took the anti-Rubicon device.

In a flashback, Oliver and Taiana confront Reiter. Reiter uses his powers to bring down the plane of escaping captives, giving both himself and Taiana more power. Back in the Arrow Cave, Felicity works on tracking her laptop to find Cooper and the Rubicon device. She tracks him to an abandoned warehouse, where they discover H.I.V.E. headquarters. To make matters worse, it seems that Cooper has launched all the world’s nukes and the team has two hours to stop them or the world goes kaboom.

Lyla contacts A.R.G.U.S. while Felicity tries to stop the nukes. She discovers that a missile is headed towards Star City, shortening their time from two hours to about 45 minutes. Back on the island, Taiana and Reiter spar, with Taiana coming out on top and absorbing Reiter’s power. After the fight, Oliver worries that Taiana is unstable.

Back in the present, Felicity asks Lance to take her mother to a safe-house and Dig and Lyla say goodbye to their daughter. Oliver tells Lyla not to send any agents to City Hall like she plans, knowing that Darhk will decimate them and become more powerful. Lyla tells him that it’s her call. Down in the Nexus Chamber, the A.R.G.U.S. agents engage with Darhk and are, predictably, slaughtered.

Felicity manages to break through H.I.V.E.’s firewall right before a team of H.I.V.E. soldiers ambushes the Arrow Cave. During the fire fight, Dig hesitates, thinking about shooting Andy. Malcolm comes in and helps with the fight. With all the soldiers down, the team surveys the damage to the bunker.

In another flashback, Reiter’s power proves to be too much for Taiana and she turns on Oliver. Eventually she regains control of herself but can still feel the pull of the dark magic inside of her. She tells Oliver that the only way to stop her is to kill her.

Back in Star City, the team, along with the rest of the city, feels hopeless in the face of impending doom. Oliver tells Felicity not to give up hope, but she points out that he seems to have lost hope too. He tells her that he’s been wondering if his coming back caused all the bad that has happened—including Laurel’s death. Felicity tells him not to blame himself for that.

Curtis wakes up and tells Oliver that it was the Green Arrow that reminded him that Star City was worth saving. He urges Oliver to give the city the same hope now. Oliver goes out into the mob-like streets and encourages the citizens not to give up hope, in an awe-inspiring speech. He tells them that they’re survivors and that if they unite, they’ll survive this too.

Schism

CW

The nuke descends upon Star City and Curtis and Felicity realize that, with it in close proximity, they can try to disarm it. Felicity confuses the nuke’s GPS system, and the nuke changes course, leaving the city intact. Back in the Arrow Cave, Felicity works to stop the remaining nukes, sending the team to confront Cooper in an abandoned warehouse. At the same time, Oliver heads to City Hall to confront Darhk.

Back on the island, Taiana begs Oliver to kill her before she becomes worse than Reiter. She tells him not to forget his promise before he snaps her neck. Unfortunately, a few captives see this act and aren’t too thrilled with Oliver. In the present, Dig finally tells Lyla that he didn’t kill Andy in self-defense. She tells him that he did what he had to do.

At City Hall, Oliver enters a losing battle with Darhk. Before Darhk can do too much damage, however, the citizens of Star City descend upon the streets to defend him, demanding that Darhk leave their town. Darhk asks Oliver how he plans to stop him, and he tells him that he won’t be alone. When Darhk tries to use his magic against him, Oliver uses the hope from the citizens to block his attack. Now working with an even playing field, he and Darhk begin to spar.  

Meanwhile, Felicity and Curtis (guarded by Thea and Malcolm) infiltrate Cooper’s factory. They find Cooper, wounded but still hacking for Darhk. Cooper tells Felicity that if he stops, Darhk will know and that he’ll kill him. Felicity reminds him that they used to want to save the world and urges him to be the man she fell in love with. Cooper stops hacking and Darhk senses it, killing him. Felicity apologizes but continues trying to stop the missiles. Curtis comes in and tells Felicity that if she inverts the missiles, they can make them explode in space.

On the streets, Oliver, along with a mob of armed civilians, enters an all-out brawl against Darhk and his soldiers. Oliver is wounded but Lance, Dig and Lyla show up to help. Oliver tells them to take down Darhk’s Ghosts, leaving Darhk to him. Oliver finally has Darhk’s life in his hands and Darhk—being the douche of the century—takes this opportunity to taunt him, telling him that he doesn’t have what it takes to kill him, just like he didn’t kill Slade. Oliver tells him that with Slade he had a choice, and that this time he doesn’t, before stabbing him through the heart. (Yaaasss!)

Schism

CW

Back in the Arrow Cave, Lance tells the team that he and Donna are leaving town, thanking Oliver for getting justice for Laurel. Thea follows by dropping the bomb that she’s leaving too before she loses too much of herself to the darkness. Finally it’s down to the original Team Arrow (or, as Felicity so eloquently puts it, the Original Gangsters).

Of course, Dig takes this opportunity to pile on even more suckage by stating that he’s leaving too, at least temporarily. In the final flashback, Oliver explains what happened to the captives and tells them about another way off the island. As he buries Taiana with the rest of his loved ones, Agent Waller shows up to take the captives home. A.R.G.U.S. takes the idol and returns Oliver’s bow and arrow. Waller offers Oliver a job but Oliver states that he has a promise to keep.

Back in Star City, Oliver visits Laurel’s grave and apologizes for killing Darhk. Felicity shows up to check on him and they discuss Thea and Dig leaving. Oliver wonders if they were infected by his darkness but Felicity tells him that it’s not that black and white. She tells him that he’s at war with the two sides of himself—the dark and the light.

Oliver gets a call from the City Council and they offer him the job as interim Mayor. Of course, Oliver takes the job and is sworn in. We see the rest of Team Arrow, all heading their separate ways, with Dig returning to the military. Down in the Arrow Cave, Felicity and Oliver realize that they’re on their own and we end with them standing solemnly in the bunker—alone but together.

Well… that was actually an incredibly satisfying season finale. Finally, punk-ass Damien Darhk is dead and Oliver is the mayor! Pretty awesome stuff. Also, it looks like our time on the island may be almost over, as it seems we’ve just about reached the point when Oliver returns to Star(ling) City. I, for one, won’t really miss the island flashbacks. Then again, who knows what’ll happen! It was bittersweet to see our band of vigilantes going their separate ways, but after everything they’ve been through, it was probably more than necessary. Hopefully, when we return, they’ll be stronger than ever!

And that just about wraps things up! Until next season, Arrowheads. Keep your bows at the ready, and fire off with your theories for next season in the comments!

 
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