Arrow: Schism Review

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

Arrow’s fourth season was a mix of good and bad with an excellent new Big Bad in Damien Darhk and horrible flashbacks. “Schism” was just an okay end to Arrow’s latest season.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

“Schism” is the perfect title for the episode and to represent Oliver himself. Throughout the series run, Oliver has had this darkness within him and as of this season, he has tried to fight that darkness with hope. In this particular episode, the writers hit hard on the different sides of Oliver Queen. However, this beat has been played far too often. The speech he gives to the crowd of people was inspiring and worthy of the mayoral office. I’m excited for the Mayor Queen storyline. It’s been a long time coming and hopefully the series can pull off the political side. During his run for mayor, they did an admirable job. It breeds optimism for the fifth season.

Plot wise, the legion of array missiles fell flat. They’ve had this threat looming over the city, and the world, for two episodes. All the writers did to save the world was to have Felicity and Curtis spew some techno babble, and repeat said techno babble to Lyla so she could have ARGUS fix it. Eh. No. Maybe instead of having the world in danger from a nuclear apocalypse, they could have lessened the scale to the city or the state. We never saw the outcome of the rest of the world outside of Star City, so why even include the global scale?

At the end of the episode, there were no large revelations or big twists. A season finale doesn’t necessarily need one. Instead, the end disbanded Team Arrow. What’s somewhat annoying about this is that the audience knows they will all be back in one way or another. I do think all these characters need to take a step back, take a break, and recharge. Diggle has lost himself in a big way, so he definitely needs to take some time to take a vacation, not re-enlist in the military.

Damien Darhk met his supposed end. I mean, the guy has magic, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up showing up again. I understand the need for Oliver to take a different approach to Darhk. He’s a deranged lunatic that is willing to kill the world just so his daughter wouldn’t have to grow up without a mother. Yeah, he’s certifiable. The only way to really stop him is to kill him, not just imprison him with Slade. They even tried to put him in prison earlier in the season, but that ended tragically for Laurel. He demonstrated that a prison couldn’t hold him. So, even though Oliver went back on his promise to Tommy, he thoroughly considered his actions beforehand.

I’m quite optimistic about the Russian mafia flashbacks. And hey, they let Amanda Waller come back for a couple minutes. How generous of DC/WB, especially with Suicide Squad movie opening in August. Hopefully the fifth season is the last season with flashbacks. For the past two years, the flashbacks have fallen flat and become a waste of the series’ precious screen time. The main problem is that flashback Oliver closely resembles present Oliver. There is no glaring difference between the two Olivers. Hopefully the Russian flashbacks go over-the-top to show Oliver as a deadly killer.

Until next season, don’t fail your city.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


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