Ladies and gentleman, it is time to begin the final phase of Genesis on Arrow. After a season of guessing and theorizing and hypothesizing about what Damien Dahrk was planning for Star City, we finally found out exactly what his evil plan is. It’s basically what Malcolm Merlyn wanted to do in season one with the Glades, but this time, on a global scale. Dahrk wants to destroy the world, in order to build a new one. Fun times! Let’s recap the madness, shall we?
The hour began with Dahrk taking back control of HIVE, no surprise there. But the bigger surprise came when Oliver told Team Arrow that he found a lead on a possible magical way to counteract Dahrk’s own magic referred to him by Constantine. That lead would take him to Hub City for a few days while Thea took a weekend off with Alex, because let’s be real, girl deserved a vacation with her hot boyfriend. And Oliver didn’t want Diggle to go after Andy or Dahrk until he knew how to protect everyone, and since Andy had been inside ARGUS and Diggle and Lyla’s home, that meant they were locked in a safehouse with baby Sara until that happened. Of course, Diggle couldn’t just let Andy get away with betraying him, especially since he’s still blaming himself for Laurel’s death, so he found where his brother was hiding out and attacked without backup… which didn’t seem like it wouldn’t end badly. After trading gunfire back and forth, Andy knocked Diggle out. He woke up, hogtied to the ceiling, while Andy told him that Dahrk was on his way. Yikes. I don’t want to say I told you so, but … yeah, you get the idea.
Diggle was shocked that Andy could be so cavalier about betraying his own brother, and that shock turned to pain when Andy started literally torturing him. Diggle asked how he could just turn his back on his family—his wife and son—but Andy just told him that HIVE was his family. That’s just sad.
Eventually, Diggle managed to escape Andy, but it turned out Dahrk and Andy had planned his release all along so Andy could plant a tracker on Diggle, who led him right to Lyla and Sara. HIVE attacked the Diggle family when they were en route to safety in an armored truck, but it couldn’t keep out Dahrk’s magic. Lyla realized that Darhk wasn’t after Diggle; he was after her, and so she made Diggle leave with Sara … but without her.
Meanwhile, while Oliver wanted to go alone to meet this magic tutor, not knowing how dark the journey would get, Felicity wouldn’t take no for an answer and joined him. Road trip time! But this isn’t any old road trip … Oliver and Felicity had to get dressed to the nines and show up to a private casino with special instructions on which seat to sit in while gambling. But it turned out their magic tutor wasn’t a guy like they thought … it was a female shaman, Esrin Fortuna.
After playing the two of them in black jack, Esrin took them to a back room of the casino … except this room was actually a chamber, and it was on a completely new plane of existence. Whoa. Esrin told them it was a place of nexus, just like Lian Yu and Star City, which is why Baron Reiter and Damien Dahrk were attracted to both of those places. She also showed them her own magic totem, just like Dahrk’s, and explained that it didn’t give powers, it only helped channel them. Oliver and Felicity also got their crash course in magic, since Esrin explained that since Dahrk’s powers came from fear and death, if they could channel power of hope and light, they’d be able to repel the darkness. But if the darkness in Oliver outweighs the power of the light, instead of repelling Dahrk’s magic, he would only end up fueling it and it would only make Dahrk more powerful. And obviously, nobody wants that.
Finally, it was time for a training montage! Oliver tried his hardest to use the light inside of him to repel the darkness that Esrin threw at him, and in doing so, he was forced to relive all his memories of losing loved ones like Tommy, Moira, his father and Laurel, even Felicity when she gave him his ring back. He also had to fight all his old nemeses like Baron Reiter, R’as al Ghul and Deathstroke. What a nostalgic montage! After Esrin realized how much darkness there was in Oliver, she told him there was nothing she could do for him. It drowned out the light and would never be enough to defeat Dahrk. Later, back in the casino, Oliver told Felicity that she was always the one to inspire light in him, and without her, he would just revert back to the man he was on the island. But she was confident that he could change for the better, and he didn’t need her to do that.
But their magic trip was cut short by Diggle’s SOS messages, and so they suited up to save him. Felicity got baby Sara to safety while Oliver saved Lyla from Dahrk and Diggle went after Andy. When Oliver and Dahrk faced off, it looked pretty grim for a moment … until Oliver managed to find the light inside himself and actually repel Dahrk’s magic! That certainly freaked Dahrk out, who took off immediately. Later, Oliver told Felicity that he heard her voice, along with Diggle’s, Thea’s and even Laurel’s, telling him to have hope and never give up, and that’s how he was able to defeat Dahrk.
Diggle didn’t fare so well, though. After he had Andy at gunpoint, Andy antagonized him about hunting down and killing his family until he pulled the trigger, killing his own brother. He lied to Lyla about the circumstances of Andy’s death later, telling her that Andy had reached for his gun and it was self defense. But any analysis of Andy’s death had to wait when Lyla realized Dahrk stole something from her forearm: Rubicon. After Amanda Waller’s death, Lyla had it moved into a chip and put it inside her own arm, but it turns out that wasn’t the safest place for it. Oops? With Rubicon, Dahrk now had control of the world’s supply of nuclear warheads. Dahrk’s “Genesis” plan is to destroy the world so he can rebuild it in his own vision. Like God’s flood with Noah’s ark, except less biblical and more terrifying.
Meanwhile, Thea’s weekend away with Alex seemed like paradise at the beginning, but she couldn’t stop acting paranoid. She thought it all seemed too perfect, and even the nature sounds seemed like they were on a loop. Alex thought she was just unable to relax, but Thea couldn’t let go of that feeling that something was off. She couldn’t even remember Alex telling her where he was taking her, or the drive up to wherever they were. And when she saw Alex eating his “vitamins” that Ruvé Adams gave him, she recognized them as the pills that Dahrk gives HIVE members to comply with his orders, and immediately realized Alex had drugged her. She ran outside of their cabin, only to realize she was trapped inside a dome … Dahrk’s Ark, the only safe place from Genesis, deep below Star City. Clearly, Malcolm is getting his wish to keep Thea safe from Dahrk’s Genesis plan!
What did you think of “Genesis,” Arrow fans? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Images: The CW