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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: Arrow 4×23 “Schism”

Written by Scott Swartz

Oh God it’s finally over, and you know what I really don’t know why to keep watching the show after what happened tonight.It was not just sloppy, poorly constructed, hell even just plain boring, in the end much like most of Arrow season four and to a lesser extent The Flash season two it didn’t amount to anything. It wasn’t even kind of we were wasting time in order to get to the next major big bad type scenario. This was supposed to be the big bad to top Slade and redeem Arrow after a lackluster third season, but this was just inconsequential. I really don’t want this to be a rant about the shows glory days and how we have devolved into something lesser than what made our show can’t miss TV every week, but this is not the show I loved. it has become something else, something empty and heartless.

So let’s start with the one good thing about this episode Neal McDonough and Damien Darhk who despite what he had to work with turned in a great performance. Although I overall hated the nukes, I mean really hated the nukes, I think Darhk’s overall change of plan to not want to make his daughter live in pain anymore was a solid wrap around for the character. Also, Neal McDonough is able to sell the hell out of the pain and turmoil Damien was going through after losing his bunker and win in one fell swoop. In terms of sheer performance McDonough might have been slightly better than Manu Bennet as Slade, however his arc as a whole was missing that connection to Oliver’s past that we desired. Also, kind of weird that the writers completely forgot Damien was supposed to be a former member of the league until they needed him to do some actual fighting and then it just boiled down to who can punch harder.

The other ok detail about this episode is Oliver is apparently finally mayor if only by default. Once again the writers of this season had a real problem sticking to any sort of cohesive plot line at all and now Oliver is in the role he always should have been. I just wish he hadn’t dropped out in the first place and had fully committed to being the Mayor the city needs. As of right now he is kinda of the next head on a chopping block of mayors and we are kind of left to wonder how the writers will if in anyway actually use Ollie as the mayor in any sort of real plot. I mean they didn’t even really show him originally running for mayor, and now they want to commit to him actually being Mayor. I bet fifty bucks that nothing comes from this in any way shape or form.

As for everything else, it just feels like they are shoring gasoline on a dumpster fire just to see howling it burns. If I had to go down my shit list mean the episode kin of hit all of my notes. We had Felicity literally hack all of the missiles and no one care about the one that actually hit. Oliver big speech really helped to unify the city only to have them engage in an all out brawl with the ghosts later. The ghosts became actually worse than storm troopers as these highly trained military individuals lost to bunch everyday people in an open street fist fight. Oh, and the big showdown between Oliver and Damien boiled down to a short who can punch the other one harder fight. Seriously this is your season finale, show should be going for spectacle and epic grandeur, and in the end we got this. It just felt like it was done by a novice not someone we have come to respect.

The worst offense is what used to be Arrow’s greatest strength, its fight choreography. To say the staging and overall fights were underwhelming is an understatement. To just have our big epic fight boil down to a worse version of The Dark Knight Rises. Like I said the ghosts have no right to lose to your average everyday citizens, especially considering they have guns and training far surpassing the average man. To see Darhk and frankly HIVE be taken down as if they were some common criminal is absolutely heartbreaking. It just makes you wonder who in the hell thought this would be a good way to send out your villain. Even Ra’s managed to get a cooler sendoff than this/

Of course the biggest offense of the episode was that Team Arrow has been split up and now it is down to Oliver and Felicity. I mean I am ok with Diggle leaving to take care of his kid, but he is not doing that he is going back into what is more likely dangerous situation. Thea just up and quits because she wants to try being normal, only there is a violent psychopath with a full on erection waiting for her so probably not the best play. Lance gets fired from the police and wants to run off with Donna, except Ollie is the Mayor so I am pretty sure he can just reinstate him into power. All of these big emotional goodbye lack weight as we know everyone is coming back and there is no way Ollie will be able to continue bing a hero without the support system of Diggle and Lance to keep him grounded. Felicity doesn’t really help to ground Ollie in the same way so her presence is really the most questionable. Like what is she going to add to Oliver’s life other than tech support at this point, just questionable at best.

Look overall season four was a failure. Is there any hope for season five? Probably not, but we will still be there for the time being.

Final Grade D

+Neal McDonough was aces

+Ollie is mayor finally

-Ollie is the mayor of a city with a lot of dead mayors

-All of Team Arrow except Felicity left

-Why does no one seemingly care about nukes if they are not attacking their city

-Horrible fights

-Flashbacks irrelevant

-Underwhelming ending

Extra Thoughts

-Damien sums up this episode the best when he is talking to the formally angry mob. “I would probably be more threatened if you weren’t all tearing each other limb from limb a second ago.

-So, Ollie is mayor now. Is this his way of committing suicide?

-So go check out the Arrow subreddit, they have given up all hope and converted it into a Daredevil subreddit.

-At this point I am thinking Oliver has had a psychotic break like Slade and is just hallucinating Felicity. I mean what other reason is there for her to always be around him like a creepy stalker.

About the author

Scott Swartz