‘Arrow’ Recap: Genesis

Last night’s Arrow episode, “Genesis,” opens at a HIVE council meeting. Most of the members who could be there physically aren’t because now that Darhk’s out of prison, they’re regretting not having helped him break out. Of the two who are there, the man insists that he has contingency plans in case Darhk doesn’t forgive them. Of course, he’s wrong. Darhk kills them the minute he realizes Genesis is scheduled to go on as planned. After all, he escaped prison without these people’s help so he doesn’t need them anymore.

Darhk dumps the bodies on opposite edges of the city but Team Arrow recognizes them and realizes Darhk is settling scores. Diggle is eager to go after Darhk because he’s at his weakest moment. But Oliver doesn’t want to fight Darhk until he knows Darhk can be defeated. Constantine found someone who might be able to teach him how to defend against Darhk’s magic. But this person is in Hub City. Oliver doesn’t want his friends to come with because it’s too dangerous, so he gives them the weekend off. Everybody agrees to lay low but stay available.

Diggle meets Lyla in the rig he’s hidden her in for her safety, since Andy has entered both A.R.G.U.S. and their home. Lyla reminds him that Oliver has a point, then sends Diggle on a mission for diapers. But on his way, Diggle gets a notification on his phone. Facial recognition found Andy, so Diggle goes after him and the begin trading shots. Lyla gets the notification too and sends Diggle backup after telling him to stay, but he disobeys her and she’s too late. Diggle is kidnapped by Andy.

Meanwhile, Thea wakes up on her vacation with Alex and is freaked out because he’s not in the bed and there’s a weird clanging sound. But she might just be too used to danger; Alex is just downstairs making breakfast. At the lab, Felicity demands to know why Oliver is so worried. He has seen this magic turn people so dark and because he thinks he might be already there, he’s worried about learning to control it himself. Felicity has already decided she wants to be there before and goes with him to Hub City. She avoids an argument because she’s already reserved a jet and rooms – nice going!

But this is Constantine, so nothing’s ever easy. Oliver has been tasked with playing blackjack at a specific table in Hub City’s premiere underground casino. Felicity is the one who actually plays – she’s apparently excellent. And they keep telling until the person they’re supposed to meet finally reveals herself: Esrin Fortuna (Gabrielle Wright), immortal shaman. In other words, she has influence in the world of good and evil spirits.

Diggle wakes up hanging from the ceiling and is “prepped” for Darhk by Andy, who calls Darhk his savior. This really means Andy is torturing his brother with several different kinds of knives. Diggle finally gives in and clearly can’t take anymore – but he turns out to be just faking. Instead of shooting Andy, he handcuffs him to a pole and races away. He tells Andy he’s only breathing because “one of [them] is still human.”

Thea and Alex are walking down the street, but Thea still can’t relax. She passed out on the ride to the town so she doesn’t remember how she got there. She insists the place seems “too perfect” and that everything sounds like it’s on a loop. Alex says she’s just trying to fight vacation, but I’m with Thea. There are NO people anywhere else in the town at all.

Fortuna takes Oliver and Felicity into a chamber that is apparently a place of nexus between different planes of existence. Star City is one, as was Lian Yu. In it is an idol like Darhk’s, which Fortuna explains is used to channel the power Darhk gains from death. In other words, the more people Darhk kills, the more powerful he can become. If Oliver can channel power from “la luz de alma,” or the light of the soul, he can repel Darhk’s magic. But there’s a catch: if the darkness inside him outweighs the light, he’ll only make Darhk stronger.

So Fortuna decides to “teach” Oliver how to use magic, which is a manipulation of primordial, prelinguistic energies. Oliver can channel power via the tattoo Constantine gave him. But these aren’t really lessons. Fortuna just hits him with waves of Darhk’s magic. Oliver succeeds the first time, but can’t defeat a stronger one. Instead, we get an interesting scene where Oliver is surrounded by black streaks of air and watches himself kill his enemies and his loved ones die.

Oliver needs to fight the darkness inside him and he loses. Fortuna sees this as a sign he can’t fight Darhk, because she can’t possibly teach him anything to change his darkness. She won’t let him try again.

Later, Oliver is depressed because Fortuna was right. He is already dark, and he’s always going to revert back to the person he became on the island. Fortuna didn’t even reveal herself until Felicity, the light, offered her some chips. Felicity reminds Oliver that he’s not perfect but everyone can change.

Thea is still stressed out on vacation, since it’s 8PM and raining but still super-sunny outside. Alex remarks they’re in the North; that’s when Thea suddenly realizes he never told her where she was going. She points out the birds chirping and the dogs are barking like clockwork and proves it. Alex continues to claim she’s being crazy when Thea notices he’s suddenly taking vitamins. She knocks the bottle out of his hand and is shocked to find Darhk’s yellow pills which he uses to control people. Alex says Ruvé gave them to his pills. Freaked out, Thea demands to know if Alex drugged her and runs away.

Diggle returns to a furious Lyla, who thinks her husband is acting not like the man she married but the man she divorced. Diggle agrees to bring Andy to justice the right way. But their peace is short-lived. It turns out that Andy tortured Diggle not to kill him but to plant a tracker in him, so Andy and Darhk both show up outside of the truck.

A.R.G.U.S. is tied up by HIVE members at headquarters, and nobody is answering Diggle. Lyla realizes that Darhk is after her because he already had Diggle. She makes Diggle race away with Sara because “If they use [them] against[her, she] will give them whatever they want.”

So it’s Darhk vs Lyla and Andy vs Diggle – and both are losing until Felicity and Oliver show up. It turns out they did get the message. Oliver is finally able to resist Darhk’s magic with the light and Darhk runs away. Meanwhile, Diggle still doesn’t want to kill Andy…but finally does so when he realizes Andy will never stop hunting his family.

Back at the lab, the team still can’t get in touch with Thea but don’t seem too worried. Oliver tells Felicity his magic worked because he heard her voice in his head reminding him of all the good things he has in his life. Diggle lies to Lyla that he had no choice to kill Lyla, who panickedly realizes that Darhk cut Rubicon out of her arm.

Rubicon turns out to be a ballistic launch override protocol designed to prevent any country, including the US, from firing a nuclear missile. The team realizes that Darhk wants to destroy the world in order to create it, just like God does in Genesis. As Oliver wonders where Darhk’s “ark” is, we find out that’s where Thea is when she tries to run into a field away from guards and hits some kind of wall. It’s a huge biodome underneath the surface of Star City.

Diggle was the true star of this episode, and his struggles were acted brilliantly. It was emotional and devastating to watch his face just after he killed his baby brother, and you can see his struggle even when he tells Lyla he killed Andy by saying he “put him down.” That’s language you use for animals, not human. I am worried how all of this will affect Diggle’s attitude. He couldn’t trust the person he loved. He already said killing his brother wouldn’t make him human – AND he lied to Lyla about how he did it. This can’t end well. I hope Diggle doesn’t become super-broody the way Oliver is.

Other than that, I wasn’t a huge fan of “Genesis.” I did like Lyla’s badass nature and wished she’d played a bigger role. But Thea’s storyline was boring with a way-too-obvious twist. Fortuna was a terrible teacher (who stops after two non-lessons? Why couldn’t they just have Constantine??), and Oliver’s sudden ability to overcome Darhk seemed WAY too easy. I thought the ending was going to be that Felicity would learn how to use magic to control Darhk since she has so much more light in her. Plus, with magic she wouldn’t need any combat skills. I would have enjoyed that ending way more.

On the plus side, this had no flashbacks and I LOVED that. We haven’t heard about Colonel Reiter or Lian Yu in a long time, and I kind of hope they keep it that way. Honestly, those flashbacks are so annoying every week.

Liked this? Check out last week’s recap!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Image Courtesy of Diyah Pera/The CW

Last night’s Arrow episode, “Genesis,” opens at a HIVE council meeting. Most of the members who could be there physically aren’t because now that Darhk’s out of prison, they’re regretting not having helped him break out. Of the two who are there, the man insists that he has contingency plans in case Darhk doesn’t forgive them. Of course, he’s wrong. Darhk kills them the minute he realizes Genesis is scheduled to go on as planned. After all, he escaped prison without these people’s help so he doesn’t need them anymore.

Darhk dumps the bodies on opposite edges of the city but Team Arrow recognizes them and realizes Darhk is settling scores. Diggle is eager to go after Darhk because he’s at his weakest moment. But Oliver doesn’t want to fight Darhk until he knows Darhk can be defeated. Constantine found someone who might be able to teach him how to defend against Darhk’s magic. But this person is in Hub City. Oliver doesn’t want his friends to come with because it’s too dangerous, so he gives them the weekend off. Everybody agrees to lay low but stay available.

Diggle meets Lyla in the rig he’s hidden her in for her safety, since Andy has entered both A.R.G.U.S. and their home. Lyla reminds him that Oliver has a point, then sends Diggle on a mission for diapers. But on his way, Diggle gets a notification on his phone. Facial recognition found Andy, so Diggle goes after him and the begin trading shots. Lyla gets the notification too and sends Diggle backup after telling him to stay, but he disobeys her and she’s too late. Diggle is kidnapped by Andy.

Meanwhile, Thea wakes up on her vacation with Alex and is freaked out because he’s not in the bed and there’s a weird clanging sound. But she might just be too used to danger; Alex is just downstairs making breakfast. At the lab, Felicity demands to know why Oliver is so worried. He has seen this magic turn people so dark and because he thinks he might be already there, he’s worried about learning to control it himself. Felicity has already decided she wants to be there before and goes with him to Hub City. She avoids an argument because she’s already reserved a jet and rooms – nice going!

But this is Constantine, so nothing’s ever easy. Oliver has been tasked with playing blackjack at a specific table in Hub City’s premiere underground casino. Felicity is the one who actually plays – she’s apparently excellent. And they keep telling until the person they’re supposed to meet finally reveals herself: Esrin Fortuna (Gabrielle Wright), immortal shaman. In other words, she has influence in the world of good and evil spirits.

Diggle wakes up hanging from the ceiling and is “prepped” for Darhk by Andy, who calls Darhk his savior. This really means Andy is torturing his brother with several different kinds of knives. Diggle finally gives in and clearly can’t take anymore – but he turns out to be just faking. Instead of shooting Andy, he handcuffs him to a pole and races away. He tells Andy he’s only breathing because “one of [them] is still human.”

Thea and Alex are walking down the street, but Thea still can’t relax. She passed out on the ride to the town so she doesn’t remember how she got there. She insists the place seems “too perfect” and that everything sounds like it’s on a loop. Alex says she’s just trying to fight vacation, but I’m with Thea. There are NO people anywhere else in the town at all.

Fortuna takes Oliver and Felicity into a chamber that is apparently a place of nexus between different planes of existence. Star City is one, as was Lian Yu. In it is an idol like Darhk’s, which Fortuna explains is used to channel the power Darhk gains from death. In other words, the more people Darhk kills, the more powerful he can become. If Oliver can channel power from “la luz de alma,” or the light of the soul, he can repel Darhk’s magic. But there’s a catch: if the darkness inside him outweighs the light, he’ll only make Darhk stronger.

So Fortuna decides to “teach” Oliver how to use magic, which is a manipulation of primordial, prelinguistic energies. Oliver can channel power via the tattoo Constantine gave him. But these aren’t really lessons. Fortuna just hits him with waves of Darhk’s magic. Oliver succeeds the first time, but can’t defeat a stronger one. Instead, we get an interesting scene where Oliver is surrounded by black streaks of air and watches himself kill his enemies and his loved ones die.

Oliver needs to fight the darkness inside him and he loses. Fortuna sees this as a sign he can’t fight Darhk, because she can’t possibly teach him anything to change his darkness. She won’t let him try again.

Later, Oliver is depressed because Fortuna was right. He is already dark, and he’s always going to revert back to the person he became on the island. Fortuna didn’t even reveal herself until Felicity, the light, offered her some chips. Felicity reminds Oliver that he’s not perfect but everyone can change.

Thea is still stressed out on vacation, since it’s 8PM and raining but still super-sunny outside. Alex remarks they’re in the North; that’s when Thea suddenly realizes he never told her where she was going. She points out the birds chirping and the dogs are barking like clockwork and proves it. Alex continues to claim she’s being crazy when Thea notices he’s suddenly taking vitamins. She knocks the bottle out of his hand and is shocked to find Darhk’s yellow pills which he uses to control people. Alex says Ruvé gave them to his pills. Freaked out, Thea demands to know if Alex drugged her and runs away.

Diggle returns to a furious Lyla, who thinks her husband is acting not like the man she married but the man she divorced. Diggle agrees to bring Andy to justice the right way. But their peace is short-lived. It turns out that Andy tortured Diggle not to kill him but to plant a tracker in him, so Andy and Darhk both show up outside of the truck.

A.R.G.U.S. is tied up by HIVE members at headquarters, and nobody is answering Diggle. Lyla realizes that Darhk is after her because he already had Diggle. She makes Diggle race away with Sara because “If they use [them] against[her, she] will give them whatever they want.”

So it’s Darhk vs Lyla and Andy vs Diggle – and both are losing until Felicity and Oliver show up. It turns out they did get the message. Oliver is finally able to resist Darhk’s magic with the light and Darhk runs away. Meanwhile, Diggle still doesn’t want to kill Andy…but finally does so when he realizes Andy will never stop hunting his family.

Back at the lab, the team still can’t get in touch with Thea but don’t seem too worried. Oliver tells Felicity his magic worked because he heard her voice in his head reminding him of all the good things he has in his life. Diggle lies to Lyla that he had no choice to kill Lyla, who panickedly realizes that Darhk cut Rubicon out of her arm.

Rubicon turns out to be a ballistic launch override protocol designed to prevent any country, including the US, from firing a nuclear missile. The team realizes that Darhk wants to destroy the world in order to create it, just like God does in Genesis. As Oliver wonders where Darhk’s “ark” is, we find out that’s where Thea is when she tries to run into a field away from guards and hits some kind of wall. It’s a huge biodome underneath the surface of Star City.

Diggle was the true star of this episode, and his struggles were acted brilliantly. It was emotional and devastating to watch his face just after he killed his baby brother, and you can see his struggle even when he tells Lyla he killed Andy by saying he “put him down.” That’s language you use for animals, not human. I am worried how all of this will affect Diggle’s attitude. He couldn’t trust the person he loved. He already said killing his brother wouldn’t make him human – AND he lied to Lyla about how he did it. This can’t end well. I hope Diggle doesn’t become super-broody the way Oliver is.

Other than that, I wasn’t a huge fan of “Genesis.” I did like Lyla’s badass nature and wished she’d played a bigger role. But Thea’s storyline was boring with a way-too-obvious twist. Fortuna was a terrible teacher (who stops after two non-lessons? Why couldn’t they just have Constantine??), and Oliver’s sudden ability to overcome Darhk seemed WAY too easy. I thought the ending was going to be that Felicity would learn how to use magic to control Darhk since she has so much more light in her. Plus, with magic she wouldn’t need any combat skills. I would have enjoyed that ending way more.

On the plus side, this had no flashbacks and I LOVED that. We haven’t heard about Colonel Reiter or Lian Yu in a long time, and I kind of hope they keep it that way. Honestly, those flashbacks are so annoying every week.

Liked this? Check out last week’s recap!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Image Courtesy of Diyah Pera/The CW

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