Sadly, much like last nights episode of Flash, tonight’s Arrow was very conflicting for me. Which is sad, because it featured a truly strong performance from David Ramsey as Diggle, who was easily the star of the episode. But, the other stories just fell flat.
Let’s start with the strong stuff. John’s numerous battles with Andy throughout “Genesis” were really compelling. John still wanted to save his brother, but with every confrontation, it reinforced just how brainwashed Andy was, and how he couldn’t be saved. I really dug the tracker plant twist, as I honestly didn’t see it coming. It lead to an epic action scene and some dire consequences.
On a side note, it was great to see Lyla again, and showing why she is truly the best thing in John’s life aside from his daughter. Lyla is blunt, but honest, and she expects John to be the same. So when he tried to get Andy despite her please not to, you know she’s going to be angry!
All that being said, while John killing Andy was not only done beautiful, as you had to wonder whether it truly was intentional, him lying to Lyla about how he killed him made me scratch my head. He even said the line, “I had to put him down”. Not, “I accidentally killed him”, or something like that. This is an Oliver move, and we all know how those work out.
Darhk was once again a blast, from his “reappearance” in Hive, to his dispatching of all who got in his way, and stopping a semi with one hand. This is what makes him such a fun villain, that and his one-liners.
Then there’s Oliver, who apparently talked with John Constantine (off-screen…) and found out someone who could help him resist Darhk’s magic. A great idea…that failed in execution. While I don’t fault CW and DC for having a “shaman” appear, and act appropriately, this was clearly a knockoff of Madame Xanadu…without her being even close to Madame Xanadu. The accent, her being an immortal, all that was missing was the Tarot cards.
Anyway, the whole “light vs. dark” was actually a good tie-in to the flashbacks (which weren’t here this week) and theme of Oliver’s darkness. Even he knew he was more-or-less screwed cause of what he was inside. Seeing him fail to start was actually really good. As it would’ve been nice to try and fight that throughout the last few episodes…but he didn’t. One confrontation with Darhk he had found the light because “he heard voices” of his friends. What? That was very quick, and cheap. There should’ve been more buildup.
Finally, there’s Thea, who definitely had the oddest story, as she went on vacation with Alex, only to discover that something was very wrong. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure how this would play out, and to find it was a biodome under Star City was pretty cool. But…certain other aspects just didn’t work to buildup to that conclusion. The moment Thea realized something was wrong, you knew she had to be in a town controlled by Darhk, the only twist left was the biodome.
In the end, “Genesis” did do a good job setting up the endgame with the literal Genesis project. But, other aspects just didn’t jive with the story overall. This has been a rare bump in the really consistent season of Arrow.