Arrow and The Flash took drastically different approaches to their midseason premieres this year; we saw The Flash speeding up after a slow midseason finale, whereas Arrow didn't quite deliver the payoff many of us were expecting.
The Arrow midseason finale left us all wondering if the 'Olicity' duo was destined for tragedy, with Felicity lying limp by the roadside after an encounter with Darhk's men. Fortunately, we did learn that Felicity is alive and well, although permanently wheelchair-bound; meanwhile, Oliver went to his personal not-so-happy place, which mostly involves killing, maiming and brooding. We should call that 'The Arrow Special'!
This is usually where I'd delve into a few quirky DC references included in the latest Arrow episode, but frankly there weren't enough to warrant discussing. So instead let's ponder the many questions which are yet to be answered.
1. What is genesis?
We know that Darhk is planning to wipe the slate clean with "a new beginning" after bringing "the world to its end", but how exactly does he plan on doing this?
Darhk could employ some kind of Merlyn-esque earthquake machine, but that could come off as a little cheap. Anyway, Season 4 of Arrow has worked hard trying to introduce the supernatural as reasonably normal, with Damien Darhk at the core of it all. So presumably his "genesis" will involve some from of magic, and hopefully an explanation as to how and why he has his abilities.
2. Is Oliver going back down an all too familiar path?
In 'Blood Debts' we saw Oliver Queen going back to basics as he took a step back from the happy-go-lucky character introduced this season. For better or worse it looks as though the old-new dark Arrow is here to stay, and he's taking Felicity with him, as shown from the latest graveside chat.
Damn it, who is in that grave? But I'll get to that in a moment.
3. When will Oliver and Darhk have their final showdown?
As much as I enjoyed the latest Arrow episode – and I really did, the showdown between Oliver and Darhk was a little underwhelming. After the display of Oliver's crack interrogation technique: "Where is Damien Darhk", followed by him "accidentally" leading several ghost goons to their death... well, I would have hoped for a more satisfying fight.
Let's talk about Darhk's decision to let Oliver go due to the vigilante saving the life of his family. It was perfectly believable, yet it seemed like a cheap means of postponing their showdown. That, and Oliver just let Darhk go... seriously, Darhk almost killed Felicity!
4. What will happen to Felicity?
Now that I've brought it up, yes – Felicity is alive, although wheelchair-bound. So what does the future have in store for her?
Frankly, I won't be too disappointed to see her occupy a wheelchair. Smoak's role mainly involves sitting behind her commuter and manning the Arrow-cave, meaning a wheelchair shouldn't hinder her role too much. Moreover, it'll give us the opportunity to see some serious character development whilst offering Emily Bett Rickards the chance to stretch her creative muscles.
I'll get right to it, as I know the comments section will be flooded with discussion surrounding whether Felicity is now the DC character, Oracle. Simply, no... at least, according to executive producer, Wendy Mericle, in a very recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
"She is not Oracle. We are going to give her a very fun, cool name in a future episode. It’s going to be fun. We definitely want to give her a codename. It’s been a long time coming, but no, she’s not going to be Oracle."
Perhaps having Felicity adopt Barbara Gordon's Oracle identity would have been treading too far into Batman territory... still, I wonder what Felicity's new code name will be?
5. Who's in the grave?
Surprisingly, this has become the question of the season, with the occasional Arrow episode contributing a little more to the discussion. Who's in the grave, well we know it's not Felicity – then again, it was never going to be Felicity. But still, we've now seen the mystery death prompting Team Arrow's golden girl into a murderous vendetta alongside her soon-to-be husband.
This actually kills my personal prediction that the deceased would be the mother of Oliver's son, as I don't imagine Felicity would be overly concerned. So does this mean we're destined to lose a member of team-Arrow? Perhaps Laurel, Thea, or even detective Lance... it would certainly prompt a personal reaction in both Felicity and Oliver.
(Source: Entertainment Weekly.)