Arrow: Genesis Review

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

The previous two episodes were emotionally heavy as Team Arrow lost one of their own. “Genesis” returned Arrow to Damian Dahrk’s endgame storyline and Diggle’s struggle with his brother.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

“Canary Cry” focused heavily on Laurel and her legacy. Intermingled throughout the episode, there were signs of Diggle blaming himself for Laurel’s death. However, “Genesis” dove head first into Diggle’s guilt and dangerous family situation. In short, Diggle stole the episode with a strong performance from David Ramsey.

Andy’s storyline, dating back to the beginning of the series, finally concluded. After trying to rehabilitate Andy, which ultimately failed, Diggle killed his brother in “Genesis.” It was heartbreaking to watch a Diggle, a man who loved his brother and has tried to save him many times. It was clear no matter how much Diggle loved Andy, he was never going to stop pursuing John and his family. He left John no choice. The writers handled this quite well. Instead of making the death one of revenge for Laurel, it was one of necessity. Necessity of keeping Lyla and baby Sara safe. I can’t see how Diggle can mentally come back from this, at least not this season.

Up until this episode, the audience has heard about HIVE’s Genesis plan a couple times but practically nothing has been revealed about that plan. “Genesis” introduced the audience to Dahrk’s endgame. Instead of just outright explaining Genesis to the audience, we got to experience it through Thea. It all started innocently enough as she went on a vacation with her boyfriend Alex. But the longer she was on “vacation,” the more she realized something was wrong. At one point I was actively hoping for an Inception type of storyline, but alas, she is stuck in a fake dome city under Star City. (Never thought I would ever type that sentence in my life.) This episode demonstrated how smart Thea actually is. Her intelligence is rarely on display. We know from her running Verdant that she is quite smart, however I don’t remember the last time she was allowed to flex her intelligence level. The more screen time the series gives Thea, the better off an episode is.

This episode was truly a choose-your-own-adventure type of hour as Oliver and Felicity had their own adventure this week. Thanks to Constantine, who I wish would have popped up during the episode, the two went out to find a shaman to teach Oliver magic. It was clever to have flashes of everything that has made Oliver dark. Through this point we have seen it all but to have it all flash before the audience, and Oliver, at once was powerful. Once again, they reference Tommy dying. Thanks Arrow, that’s not helping me miss him less.

Hey, look at that! No flashbacks. This definitely contributed to the high quality of the episode. Whenever the series breaks away to the flashbacks the episode loses momentum. That’s the last thing an action show, especially a superhero action show, needs. It has been reported that Arrow has a five-year plan for the flashbacks. Next season will be the series fifth, so hopefully the series will finish the flashbacks on a high note.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


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