TV Show Review

TV Review: ARROW: Season 4, Episode 9: Dark Waters [The CW]

Emily Bett Rickards Stephen Amell Arrow Dark Waters

The CW‘s Arrow Dark Waters TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 4, Episode 8: Dark Waters was a dramatic send off for the holidays. Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) finally proposed to Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), but was he too late? Before its tragic end, Arrow‘s mid-season finale allowed every team member to shine.

The scene at the bay was cute and cuddly… at first. John Diggle (David Ramsey) expressed his gratefulness for having his brother alive and with him for Christmas – I mean, the holidays (politically correct terminology was such a huge deal this episode). We even met a mini-Felicity. Then… a drone opened fire on civilians at the bay. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) protected the children while Felicity hacked the drone to shut it down. Crazy how Felicity is attached to high-functioning hardware or software at every stressful moment. I love it.

After the attack, it was Diggle’s moment. He needed to talk to his brother. We have not seen Andy Diggle (Eugene Byrd) for a while and it seems he was still being held in the cell below the lair. (Just going to point out that there is no toilet or sink in sight in that cell. What is going on with that design??) Diggle tried to get Andy to tell what Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) wants with the bay. Andy was a brick wall. He barely cared to look at the photos of his family. Diggle is trying, but it is clear that he is losing patience with Andy.

After the attack at the bay, the team decided to call Damien Darhk out, plastering his photo on the news. It was clear that Darhk’s “Board of Evildoers,” who were in town to observe his progress with Project Genesis, were not pleased. Darhk’s anonymity was one of his more powerful weapons, but losing his anonymity only made him bolder. Darhk immediately attacked Oliver’s holiday party and kidnapped his friends to send Oliver a message. Darhk can be such an evil goofball too, delivering magical gut punches while delivering quips about fine wine. His charm is so completely unsettling.

Darhk may be funny, but his tactics give me the creeps. He snatched Diggle, Felicity and Thea (Willa Holland) from the holiday party, then threw them in a Nazi-inspired gas chamber; it was chilling. Oliver was unusually weakened in this episode. Like losing everyone actually crippled him. He started his crusade alone and he is often effective alone, but this time, in Dark Waters, he was utterly lost, without Felicity, without his team.

Laurel Lance showed up in this episode. Where has she been? Seriously, I almost forgot about her and was not missing her at all.  Finally, we had scenes with what looked like the old, level-headed Laurel. She counseled Oliver to keep calm and trust that his decisions were not the cause of all the misery that has befallen his team and the city, as Oliver tends to think exactly that.

Laurel also had a chance to confront her father about his work with Darhk. (This season, Laurel has been the last to know…um, everything. I mean, she does not know about her own father dating Felicity’s mom). Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) assured Laurel that everything he did was to protect her. Laurel, of course, declares “I decide whether I need protection.” A sentiment that was later echoed by Felicity to Oliver as they discussed his reasons for deciding not to propose to her earlier. Thea also dismissed her own father’s protection, saying she did not need any gifts from him or his help with her bloodlust anymore. The women were powerful in this episode,each in their own way.

Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) really helped this time, instead of making things worse. Merlyn will always show up to help Thea whether she wants his protection or not. I got to say, Barrowman in the Green Arrow costume was awesome!

The flashback sequence did little to reveal even less. We learned earlier that Taiana (Elysia Rotaru) was a dive instructor. We never saw her train Oliver, but suddenly, Oliver was ready to free dive into the ocean in order to retrieve something of value to Reiter that was on the ship – a rolled up piece of paper. Conklin (Ryan Robbins) discovered Oliver with the supposedly dead Taiana. Nothing good will come from that, but still we are no closer to understanding Reiter’s mission on Lian Yu.

Our last moments with Arrow were triumphant and tragic. Oliver proposed in front of a bright Christmas tree, in front of the whole world. Then, Oliver is holding a bleeding, unconscious Felicity in the middle of the street after their limosine is riddled with bullets. Nothing but questions remain.

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About the author


I am a lover of all things film and a published poet with a law degree from Howard University School of Law. As a self-professed couch potato, I can usually be caught watching anything produced by Joss and Jed Whedon. My favorite TV shows include the Buffy & Angel Series, Sons of Anarchy, Oz, and The Shield. My favorite current TV shows are ...TBD. So for now, I am open to everything on TV and even Netflix, which is doing big things. A D.C. native that frequents local and international film festivals, you can catch my film reviews at

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