Arrow Finale Recap: A New Hope?

Arrow Season 5 Trailer

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Wednesday’s Arrow finale

It was (almost) the end of the world as we know it on Wednesday’s Season 4 finale of Arrow.

Picking up right where last week left off, Darhk starts tossing Curtis and Donna around like rag dolls, unless Felicity does his bidding. Oliver comes crashing in to the rescue, but is unable to repel Darhk’s magic. (Now that the baddie is powered by tens of thousands of Havenrock souls, Felicity’s hope in Oliver is not enough to help him resist Darhk’s abilities.) More bummer news: Having grabbed Felicity’s laptop with the Rubicon code, Darhk is able to launch 15,000+ missiles, giving the world just two hours before it all goes kablooey.

Dig and Lyla aren’t feeling too good about their prospects as they say their potential last words to baby Sara, while Felicity tasks Lance to drive himself and Donna out of town to the closest bunker. A glimmer of hope arrives when Curtis tells Oliver about how the Green Arrow gave him inspiration, which in turn prompts Oliver (as himself) to deliver a motivational speech to the rioting citizens of Star City, from atop a taxi cab. Meanwhile, Felicity and Curtis are able to hack and reroute the missile descending upon Star City, but there’s still thousands more to go. Can A.R.G.U.S. disseminate the hack code worldwide in time?

With the city now cheering him on, a glowy-eyed Oliver successfully repels Darhk’s magic as a street brawl erupts between the two camps. Eventually getting the upper hand, Oliver is poised to go in for the kill, but Darhk mocks his ability to do so — after all, didn’t he once spare the very man who slaughtered his mother? “You killed tens of thousands of innocents,” Oliver tells the man in his clutches. “With Slade Wilson, I had a choice. This time, I don’t” — and with that said, he drives an arrow into Darhk’s charcoal briquette of a heart.

With Darhk put down and “inverted horizons” exploding the missiles in space (precisely how TV’s other Hive recently died!), the team celebrates their huge win by… splitting up? A permanently jobless Lance and Donna leave town, Thea decides she’s out of the costumed crusader game and Dig, having confessed his not-good kill of Andy to Lyla, needs some time away from the city to get back on track. So he reenlists in the army!

As Oliver processes this disbandment as well as his offing of Darhk, he pays a visit to Laurel’s grave, where he observes,”You were always better than me, that’s what I loved most about you.” Felicity arrives to reassure her conflicted ex, “The same man who killed Damien Darhk in cold blood gave a city its hope back…. What you’re feeling isn’t darkness, it’s a schism. You’re at war with two sides of yourself.” Oliver then gets a call from a councilman, who proceeds to hand the city’s recent motivational speaker and onetime mayoral candidate an “interim appointment” to the office.

After being sworn in, we see Oliver taking in the wreckage of the lair and the abandoned hero costumes. Felicity enters, a bit to his surprise. “You thought I was leaving, too? Not a chance,” she asserts.

Meanwhile, what did the season finale’s flashbacks amount to? Hopefully, a new hope… for Season 5’s flashbacks. A power-hungry Taiana begs Oliver to kill her, so he snaps her neck (after apologizing for doing so, of course). He then radios Waller to get off the island. Will he take the A.R.G.U.S. boss up on the offer to drop in on “hot spots around the globe,” or will he go back to being a vigilante? “Neither,” he says. “I have a promise to keep.” Russia, here we come!

What did you think of the season-ending “Schism”?