Season 4 of The CW’s Arrow has had its highs and lows. Luckily, the show hit some of its highest highs in midseason finale “Dark Waters” on Dec. 9. Fans must now consider all of the places where Arrow might be going next. Some of those places are more necessary than others. So, here is a look at what absolutely needs to happen next on Arrow after the events of “Dark Waters.”
Felicity needs to live. Felicity Smoak has arguably become the most important person in Oliver Queen’s life, and Oliver Queen has already lost too many important people in his life for Felicity dying to be anything but self-sabotaging overkill on the part of the show. Oliver is meant to be learning how to live in Season 4; killing off the woman with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life would cost him a lot of his progress. Besides, Arrow has made the point on more than one occasion that Team Arrow can survive without pretty much any individual member…except for tech goddess Felicity.
Felicity needs to be okay. Ongoing consequences from the shooting are fine, but irreparable damage would be too far. A loss of a limb or a loss of mobility or a loss of the ability to have children is just too tragic and punitive for a woman whose trauma is coming from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She doesn’t need to enter any pogo stick competitions or run any marathons or announce that she wants a baker’s dozen of kids, but permanently taking the possibilities away from a 26-year old woman five minutes after she agreed to a happily-ever-after with the man she loves is too dark even for Arrow.
Oliver needs to not visit Samantha or William in Central City anytime soon. Quite aside from the fact that Oliver going to see them without telling Felicity about them would be positively despicable, Damien Darhk just tried to assassinate Oliver and has at the very least grievously injured Oliver’s fiancée. Oliver would be terribly selfish if he wanted to be anywhere near his son while in the crosshairs of Damien Darhk, Samantha would be a terrible mother for letting Oliver anywhere near her son, and the writers would be terrible at writing for contriving such a situation unless the stakes were not immediately life-and-death.
The truth about Oliver’s secret kid needs to come out sooner rather than later. Felicity being grievously injured does give Oliver a bit of leeway to wait until she’s somewhat recovered before coming clean, but the lie will only become more unforgivable if he lets it go on for too long.
The first episode after winter hiatus needs to pick up immediately following the assassination attempt, mostly because there needs to be a scene in which a heartbroken Oliver goes home after being kicked out of the hospital for getting in the way, sees a present on his pillow with his name in Felicity’s handwriting on it, and opens it to discover an epically awful Hanukkah sweater.
When Oliver finds out that Damien Darhk has a family, he needs to use that information. Something that has always set Oliver apart from the typical superhero is a willingness to do what is necessary to beat the bad guys, whether it’s stabbing an arrow through his own chest to stab the supervillain or handing a friend over to a madman or choosing a mission to take down an evil league of evil over his relationships. He’ll still kill if he has to, and he’ll clearly still fight dirty if it’ll get him what he wants. His fiancée has been terribly hurt only hours after the three people he loves most were nearly gassed to death. Oliver has no reason to hold back with Damien Darhk. Should he actually do anything to the little girl and her mother? Of course not. But there are plenty of ways for him to make a threat without giving away the bluff.
If the Canary Cry is going to be a part of the series and if poor Katie Cassidy is going to have to do her best impression of an anaconda getting ready to swallow an antelope to activate it, there need to be consistent rules about how it works. As of now, the Canary Cry’s effectiveness depends entirely on what the plot du jour requires of it. Sometimes, glass breaks and everybody has to cover their ears. Other times, bad guys are affected while the good guys are fine. Still other times, literally nothing happens except Laurel looks ridiculous. There need to be rules.
Something needs to happen to get Andy Diggle out of the cage. David Ramsey and Eugene Byrd as John and Andy Diggle are great together; giving them something to do other than chat through the bars of a cage could be fantastic.
Team Arrow needs to take a clue from Damien Darhk and remember that deals struck with nemeses really don’t need to be kept. Yes, Oliver and Co. are the good guys of the story, but is honoring promises really more important than getting rid of bad guys? Not all bad guys are going to be Malcolm Merlyns who are willing to barter with good guys, and pragmatism can save lives.
Oliver needs to start planning annual vacations taking him far away from Star City every December. Nothing good happens to Oliver in Star City in December. If ever there’s a time for him to exile himself to Lian Yu for a couple of weeks, December would be it.
Arrow returns to The CW on Jan. 20, 2016. For more in-depth looks at the midseason finale, check out ‘Arrow’ S04E09: Romance done right in ‘Dark Waters,’ ‘Arrow’ S04E09: What worked in ‘Dark Waters’ and ‘Arrow’ S04E09: What didn’t work in ‘Dark Waters.’