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ARROW Midseason Finale Recap: “Dark Waters”

Attention Arrow fans: spoilers ahead!

Arrow giveth, and Arrow promptly taketh away.

Tonight’s fall finale of The CW’s DC Comics drama finally gave Olicity fans what they’ve been begging for ever since Felicity was introduced on the show, only to then devastate the fandom in the final shot of the episode. We’re talking real devastation, people. And it had nothing to do with the secret son Oliver is still hiding from Felicity. Yikes. Let’s get into recapping all that went down in “Dark Waters!”

The hour began with the Star City Bay cleanup initiative going much better than anyone expected, until a drone started shooting up the charity event. No one died, but dozens were injured and Team Arrow knew that HIVE was behind it. Oliver believed Damien Dahrk wants the Bay for a reason, and he told Diggle to interrogate his brother, who’s still being kept in Team Arrow’s cage, to find out why. But Andy was still not talking, even though Dahrk’s brainwashing had long since faded.


At Oliver and Felicity’s apartment, Mama Smoak was deep into organizing Jewish decorations for Oliver’s campaign holiday party (to make sure Felicity’s faith was also represented, of course) when she found Oliver’s stashed engagement ring. And just like that, the Olicity proposal cat is out of the bag! Felicity was just as excited as her mom, and she cannot act natural in front of Oliver after learning the big secret. It’s as hilarious as it sounds.

Back at Star City Bay, Oliver finally faced the media to comment on the attack. Since Team Arrow was fully outgunned and outmanned by HIVE, Diggle and the rest of the team convinced Oliver to tell the truth and bring Damien Dahrk into the light of day. Oliver revealed to the press that Dahrk is the leader of the ghosts, aka HIVE, plaguing Star City, and named him the man behind the attack. And in one press conference, Oliver managed to do something to Dahrk that has never happened in his entire, long existence: make him famous. And Dahrk is not happy.

After throwing Dahrk’s name to the public, Oliver worried that he put a target on all of Team Arrow’s backs, and even wanted to cancel his campaign holiday party. Everyone convinced him to keep living his life as an example to the rest of the city, showing that he’s not afraid of Dahrk. They can all take care of themselves, although Oliver will always take responsibility for anything bad that happens. That’s just his way!


Malcolm, however, was afraid of Darhk since he rightly knows there is so much about Dahrk’s powers that they don’t know. Ever since Dahrk tried to use his powers on Thea to kill her, her bloodlust has disappeared. She’s not worried, but Malcolm definitely is. He doesn’t know what it means, and made his “minions” look into it, but they didn’t find anything. That’s not a good sign.

At the campaign holiday party, Felicity almost slipped up in calling herself “practically engaged” to Oliver while meeting Curtis’ husband. She is not handling keeping this secret well, is she? Something Curtis and his husband say tipped her off that Oliver already tried to propose to her in a soufflé back in the season premiere, and when she tried to find her mom to tell her that, Felicity found Mama Smoak in the arms of Papa Lance. Ooh la la! Love is in the air!

When Felicity confronted Oliver about finding the ring and knowing that he was going to propose three months ago, their very, very important conversation was rudely interrupted by Dahrk’s ghosts shooting up the party. They have no manners! Dahrk then told Oliver there was going to be a price for not pledging his allegiance to HIVE, and kidnapped all the people Oliver cared about, aka Diggle, Thea, and Felicity.

That sent Oliver off on a rampage, and he took out every ghost he could find in Star City trying to get information on where Dahrk took his people. But not even the ghosts knew where they were being kept.


While manning the tip line for info on Dahrk’s whereabouts, Laurel came across a something that finally clued her in to her dad’s shady relationship with HIVE. He came clean to her when she confronted him, and she learned that Oliver knew about Lance’s alliance with Dahrk. To say she was pissed is an understatement.

But their fight was interrupted (so much interrupting this week!) in the Arrow lair when Malcolm showed up, and to say Lance was surprised to see him alive is also an understatement. But he managed to get a ghost’s encrypted phone and Oliver decided to turn himself in to Dahrk in exchange for his people. It’s such an Oliver thing to do.

At HIVE headquarters, Damien met with a group of sinister looking businessmen and women, since they were there to check in on his progress with something called “Genesis.” He cut the meeting short when Oliver contacted him, and he brought Oliver to HIVE. He revealed his plan: to use a toxic, fatal gas made from the algae in Star City Bay to “reset” humanity. Dahrk then took Oliver to see Felicity one last time, and they finally finished their talk from the holiday party about their relationship. And Felicity said the words that made all Olicity fans rejoice: if Oliver had proposed to her, she would have said yes. Yes!

But then Dahrk put Felicity in the gas chamber with Thea and Diggle and turned on the gas, despite Oliver making a deal with him. Thank goodness Malcolm (dressed in Green Arrow’s costume) and Laurel tracked Oliver’s location and arrived just in time to save them all. They used Laurel’s Canary Cry to break the glass and save Team Arrow, and Malcolm almost died by Dahrk’s hand until Oliver saved him. And then Lance showed up with more police to help take out the ghosts. Everyone’s here to help!


Dahrk and Oliver then had an intense hand-to-hand fight, Dahrk clearly with the upper hand. Malcolm then returned the favor and saved Oliver and blew up the HIVE compound, but Dahrk uttered a spell right before the explosion, saving his life. Who knew Malcolm could be such a good team player?

Back with his sinister group of business associates, Dahrk took them to an underground lab where there were fields and fields of corn growing in synthetic air created from the Star City Bay algae, and said that they’re now in phase four of their plan. What are they planning? Whatever it is, it can’t be good.

Keeping Star City’s spirits up, Oliver and the rest of his team lit the city’s Christmas tree in front of the press. And Oliver decided that was the right moment to pop the question: Olicity is officially engaged, y’all! But their happiness was extremely short lived, since ghosts cornered their limo on the way home and shot it up. This scene was juxtaposed with scenes of Dahrk returning to a home with a young girl and woman–his own family? Did we know Dahrk had a family of his own? And just when Oliver thought he escaped safely, he realized Felicity had been badly shot. No! They can’t kill Felicity after she got engaged to Oliver, right?!

In the flashback storyline this week, Oliver and his extremely attractive captive Taiana kept on following the map Oliver stole from Baron Reiter, and it led Oliver to swim out to the shipwrecked ship just off the island. He found something hidden there, and then was attacked by a shark while swimming back to shore. And then, to make matters worse, Conklin and his cronies found the injured Oliver and Taiana on the shore. Uh oh.

While promos for the next episode of Arrow (which doesn’t return until the new year) make it seem like Felicity isn’t going to survive her gunshot wound, do you think the show would really put Felicity in the grave seen in the season premiere? Hit the comments section below to weigh in with your thoughts!

Images: The CW

Arrow returns Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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