Review: ‘Arrow’ Gets ‘Lost in the Flood’ of Felicity’s Family, Drops Major Season 5 Clue
Warning – FULL SPOILERS for Tonight’s “Lost in the Flood”:
Last week’s Arrow quite literally dropped a major bomb, and if you thought such a grave event might set the tone for “Lost in the Flood” and beyond … you were pretty far off. Picking up where “Monument Point” left off, it made for a pretty powerful and ominous image to pick up with Oliver and Diggle awed by Darhk’s new supercharged magic, but rather than answer that immediate threat, Darhk goes the Bond route and vows to grant his enemies a more elaborate death later, before walking off. Essentially, to hang out in H.I.V.E. headquarters for the week. Maybe he read a magazine!
Minutes later, Curtis seemed to serve as harbinger of such a tonal shift; his lighter, non-diegetic musical cue a distinct clash with the mood moments before, as Felicity took in reports of the 10,000 strong death toll owing partly to her efforts last week. Noah makes a strong point, that Rubicon’s delay precipitates plenty further work to be done than wallowing in grief, but “Lost in the Flood” never really takes that message to heart. What should seem like urgent events end up repeatedly sidelined by the Felicity family reunion and its inherent bickering.
On the one hand, it’s nice to have Felicity in focus without a questionable paralysis story or some despair over Oliver, but given the urgency of everything going on around them, I have no idea why Arrow thought its penultimate Season 4 hour the best time for minor revelations of Noah’s years-earlier exit, or the return of Felicity’s hacker ex-boyfriend nemesis. We’ve all seen TV and movies reaching some ridiculous heights of technobabble and visual panache to punch up computer drama, and there’s a certain pleasantry at work with Curtis, Felicity and her father all working in concert. Just not one that ever feels at home in Arrow (exploding consoles are best left to Star Trek, guys).
Clashing tones needn’t always be a bad thing, and on the other side, Oliver and Diggle’s daylight trek through Darhk’s suburban Ark proved reasonably striking. There’s certainly a visual metaphor at work in Oliver’s efforts no longer taking place in the shadow, and I liked the parallel of Oliver looking in on exactly the kind of life he’d shared with Felicity at the start of Season 4; a Darhk perversion of his own plan to begin anew. Still, “Lost in the Flood” never really found a clear enough focus in those scenes, to jump between finding Thea, to fighting Thea, to tabling rivalries in favor of Lonnie Machin’s anarchic endgame, and finally the stock escape from an exploding compound.
Not to mention, somewhere in there Oliver experiences another moment of existential despair, that one of the “ark” families didn’t need mind-control drugs to flee a city Oliver had failed to provide any real hope for. It’s the same kind of question Season 3 never quite found an answer for, which side of Oliver’s identity could truly step into the light, and hopefully next week’s finale brings a more specific resolution. I’d guess (and the preview seemed to back this up) that we’re moving to a place of Oliver outing his identity once and for all, but it definitely feels like we’ve rung this bell before.
If nothing else, killing off Ruve Darhk definitely put Damien into final showdown mode, while the ever shrug-worthy flashbacks seemed to drop yet another clue toward Russia, and potentially a Season 5 big bad in the name “Kovar,” just as Season 3 had name-dropped Darhk in the final episodes. Either way, those are some lacking stakes to enter the finale with; perhaps a worldwide nuclear apocalypse simply reached too far.
After all, I’m pretty sure you should call Barry for something that dire; it’s his world too. Heck, I bet even Zoom would probably want to keep Earth-1 unburnt.
AND ANOTHER THING …
- Oh boy, was that Alex body double noticeably not Parker Young.
- #FelicitysWeirdCoat strikes again!
- Thea got over her mind-control pill with a pep talk, so way to f$%k it up, Dig.
- Curtis couldn’t perhaps text that the “emergency” was just her parents bickering?
- Come on, how does Donna not at least know Felicity works with the Green Arrow after the whole robot bees thing?
- The Brother Eye was still on the screen, so what exactly where Felicity, Noah and Curtis typing at?
- How many times is Arrow going to reuse that Dark Knight Joker video bit? Was Darhk even aware of anything happening down there?
Arrow Season 4 will conclude May 25 with Season 4 finale “Schism,” airing at 8:00 P.M. on The CW.
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