Season 4 was supposed to be the season Arrow did it right, got its shit together, and introduced a truly evil big bad to keep Oliver and the Star City gang fresh in the face of competition from the show's sprightly young cousin, The Flash.
Whether it achieved those objectives is debatable, although I think you'd be hard pressed to make the argument that season 4 wasn't an improvement on season 3, at the very least. Personally, I think it's been an enjoyable ride - but it's not over yet...
The reveal of the episode 20's title, 'Genesis', got me thinking about what we can expect from the final five episodes - because, in truth, we're still totally in the darhk (sorry) about what Damien's endgame is.
With that in mind, check out this reasonably plausible theory regarding what twists Guggenheim and co. might throw at us to jangle our nerves in time for what has to be an epic conclusion to a very solid season...
Damien Darhk's Darwinist Utopia
Whatever HIVE's ultimate objective is, it has to be more complex than mere destruction for destruction's sake.
What if the project - Genesis, if that's what the episode title refers to - involves distributing some kind of virus to which only metahumans are immune? That would take Arrow into darkly dystopian territory.
The idea of eugenics - improving the genetic DNA of the human race - would tie in neatly with the HIVE cornfields (using the crop to spread the virus), but I'll be damned if I know how to squeeze the ancient slate Damien Darhk keeps in his office into this theory.
The idea that the end justifies the means - killing millions, or billions, to ensure the survival of a superior (meta-)human race and create the ultimate utopia - would make Darhk a new kind of villain in the Arrowverse: insane, Darwinist, and truly dangerous on a global scale.
There aren't many clues to be found in the Green Arrow comics regarding Darhk's ultimate endgame: truth is, this is a character who appeared in a total of five editions, and even then has been effectively re-invented for the small screen.
In the pages of Titans, Darhk (who had no powers whatsoever) has frequent, mysterious discussions on his cell phone with presumably powerful figures, and seems to be working toward the elimination of all superheroes - so, if my theory is even half-correct, he's taken a complete u-turn in Arrow. This Darhk is all about the future of the metahuman race.
Of course, this is just a theory, probably a wild one, but it's not impossible that Damien Darhk is working toward his vision of utopia - and, for my money, that would be quite an exciting pay-off.
Arrow season 4 resumes March 23rd on The CW.