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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Last season, the first part ended with Oliver getting stabbed through the chest and seemingly dead. Remembering that, I still side eye the fact he got better so quickly, but whatever. That was in the past. I doubt that Felicity’s recovery is going to be so quick, but they could surprise me. What I do like a lot about this show is that it falls on the usual trope of “hero feels guilty and he’s responsible for the people around him dying” and then pointedly say “no that’s stupid everyone makes their own decisions.” Laurel and Felicity both mention in this episode that the men in their lives have to stop thinking they need to be coddled, because they can choose for themselves what they want. Thea and Malcolm fit under this category too. It’s always seemed a little condescending, that mindset, so I’m glad to see outspoken characters go against it. Iris did the same after she found out about Barry’s identity. Previously on Arrow, we had a crossover with the Flash to set up Legends of Tomorrow. But it’s really about Darhk wanting Oliver to be his puppet Mayor, and Oliver’s obviously running for Mayor, wanting to bring the city into the light as his real persona too. For some reason Darhk wanted this bay that Oliver decided to clean up as a political point. This comes into play now. Also Oliver was thinking about proposing to Felicity, but he hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

Oliver does the very bold thing of going out in public and saying who Darhk is. That made me clap in delight. This is after Darhk attacks a publicity stunt at the bay where children are present, opening fire on them. Needless to say, he’s pissed, and they all talk about what they could do next. While it paints a very open target on all of their backs, they decide as a team to make his identity public. Hahaha, I grinned at the look on his face. This becomes important since we see him with a wife and child later, so maybe they were not allowed to look at the TV, who knows. Darhk attacks Oliver at his holiday party, which he rightfully was like “maybe we shouldn’t have, guys.” But they were all like hope and Christmas and happiness, and it just set them up for this. Thea, Diggle, and Felicity are taken captive by Darhk since killing Oliver isn’t as fun as killing the people he loves. Duh. Oliver tries to beat down every Ghost possible to find Darhk, and eventually Malcolm helps him set up a meeting. Darhk reveals that he has a gas chamber, YES A FREAKING NAZI GAS CHAMBER, and the algae from the bay works with it. Oh my fucking god did they just put their only Jewish character into a gas chamber. YES THEY DID. I wince just thinking about it. Before this Felicity’s mother found the engagement ring, so she knows now that Oliver was going to propose. They talk about it pretty frankly, since his concerns about coming back to this life held him from proposing. And she says she would’ve said yes. Aw.

Arrow -- "Dark Waters" -- Image AR409B_0224bc.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak -- Photo: Diyah Pera/ The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Things are looking pretty bad for Team Arrow, until they get an unexpected rescue. The Lances and Merlyn are there! Merlyn has gone a step more by dressing up as the Green Arrow so Oliver can keep his cover. Laurel does a pretty passionate speech to her father about trusting her to be an adult and not protect her, and I appreciate that, because she’s grown up and she deserves that. I have liked her more this season than ever before. I hope that doesn’t mean they’re going to kill her. I still think it’s Quentin. She uses her Canary Cry to break her friends out of the gas chamber, so everyone lives. They think momentarily that Darhk could be dead, since his lair explodes, but ha ha, no one actually believes that. C’mon. He meets with some of his allies and has like a huge corn field. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean, but it’s not the most intimidating thing to end the villain on. But whatever. I’m sure it matters. Maybe it’s going to spray the evil gas through plants.

Oliver does propose to Felicity in front of everyone, and then of course their limo home gets shot a bunch. He gets them away, but Felicity is shot and badly injured. There has been some speculation that she could be going the Oracle route, which might mean a wheelchair is coming ahead for her. I think that could be an interesting storyline if done right. I loved Barbara Gordon’s growth as Oracle in the comics. I think this proves pretty clearly that Felicity isn’t in the grave. The grave isn’t until months later, we’ve already seen plenty of her screenshots in the episodes in between, and it’s far too obvious now. There’s also an incredibly pointless flashback with a shark. Why are they even doing this. Seriously. Why. It is stupid. It adds nothing to the plot. It’s okay to give up on the flashbacks if you have nothing to say. It’s better than wasting our time with that. Overall this was what I’d expect of a mid-season finale. Doom and gloom. So far this season has been really solid. I like the growth in the characters and in the team. I hope no one reverts, because it’s nice to see so many people moving forward. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

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