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Recap / Arrow S 4 E 20 Genesis

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As Darhk begins making preparations to begin Genesis, Oliver looks for a way to counteract Darhk's magic while John hunts Andy. Meanwhile Alex takes Thea on a much needed vacation.


  • Absentee Actor: Everybody from the flashbacks is missing once again.
  • Actually, I Am Him: Oliver and Felicity go to a casino and play poker, hoping to draw the attention of a magic-user known to frequent the place. She turns out to be the player Felicity casually offered some of her blackjack chips to.
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  • Alas, Poor Villain: Andy's death is quite devastating for John, because evil or not, this was still his brother (and a victim of brainwashing, no less).
  • Amicable Exes: As Felicity puts it, just because she and Oliver aren't together anymore doesn't mean he'll have to fight alone.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Darhk gloats to Oliver how he will have fun killing every last of his friends.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Andy's final words to Diggle before getting shot in the chest.
    Andy: Tell me, how does it feel knowing that you have no problem pulling the trigger to protect a bunch of Afghanis that you never knew, but you don't have the guts to do what's necessary to protect your own wife and child?
  • Artificial Limb: Malcom is seen wearing one.
  • Asshole Victim: Considering everything Andy had done at this point and the fact that he and HIVE were planning on hurting John's family it's doubtful that anyone shed any tears when he finally got gunned down.
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  • Annoying Arrows: In his rescue of Lyla, Oliver harpoons Darhk with a tether arrow and yanks him down hard. Darhk's only reaction is to get a bit miffed and yank the arrow out of his back like it was just an annoyance.
  • Bait-and-Switch: John takes off on a motorcycle, leading Darhk and Andy to think he's trying to draw them away from Lyla and Sara, and Darhk is gloating about not falling for it as he plans to kill Sara. Then he discovers John had escaped with Sara.
  • Batman Gambit: Andy and Darhk pull one off in order to locate Lyla and the Rubicon chip, betting that John would not wait for backup before going after Andy and that he would be able to successfully escape after being captured.
  • Beehive Barrier: The walls of "the ark" are made of hexagons, which fits in with HIVE's "bee" theme.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Alex, thanks to taking Hive's yellow pills.
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  • Brief Accent Imitation: Oliver quoting John Constantine's instructions to him somehow has to involve this.
    "He just said 'Pitch game. First base, mate. See if yer worthy.' "
  • Car Fu: Felicity saves John and baby Sara by slamming into Andy and the other ghosts with the team van.
  • Character Death: Andy Diggle, who provokes his brother into killing him by threatening his family.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Andy does this to John, including shanking him in the abdomen with a long screwdriver.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Star City is identified as a nexus of evil.
    • After the Car Fu above, Felicity notes that it's been a while since she's done that.
    • Oliver's visions when surrounded by darkness has him being attacked by Deathstroke and reliving the memory of his mother's murder, father's suicide, and Laurel's stabbing.
    • Fortuna tells Oliver that he doesn't need a totem as the tattoo that John Constantine put on him acts as a channel for magic power.
  • Damsel in Distress: Thea is trapped in Hive's dome, per Merlyn's request.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Andy is quite shocked that his brother actually killed him.
  • Doom Magnet: Star City is a nexus of evil just like Lian Yu is.
  • Expy: Esrin Fortuna is one for Doctor Fate.
  • Glowing Eyes: Oliver gets these when he's able to counter Darhk's life drain. Looking at his eyes, Darhk realizes that sticking around would be futile.
  • Idiot Ball: Felicity makes some not-so-subtle gloating remarks to Oliver about her ability to count cards while she's right there at the blackjack table, though fortunately no one catches her.
  • Irony: In order to stop Darhk, Oliver needs to channel his light. However, he's primarily motivated to kill Darhk to avenge Laurel and thus break his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule, thus from a narrative standpoint "going down a path of darkness".
  • It Is Beyond Saving:
    • John has to kill Andy since he's never going to change or backdown.
    • Hive apparently thinks this of the entire world, and believe that the option to Nuke 'em is the only way to truly rebuild society.
  • Magical Incantation: Averted. Felicity questions why there aren't any "lessons" when Fortuna was teaching Oliver magic. Fortuna tells her that magic is the way to channel primordial energies and is pre-literate (so no words in the magic of the Arrowverse).
  • Magic Knight: What Oliver hopes he can be in order to stand up to Darhk. His lesson under Fortuna was a failure though, but he did learn the one bit of magic that he really needed.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: John's initial reaction after he shot Andy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Lyla had Rubicon embedded into her arm to protect it after ARGUS HQ was compromised; unfortunately Darhk knew where it was.
  • Noodle Incident: Constantine owes Fortuna money for some reason.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Thea when she sees Alex taking Hive's yellow pills.
    • Darhk has one when Oliver manages to overcome his magic.
    • Lyla when she sees the gash on her arm.
  • Old Master: Averted with Esrin Fortuna. She appears to be a young woman with a hobby for playing blackjack.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: To withstand Darhk's magic, a person needs to tap into their light and goodness. Unfortunately Oliver is full of darkness and Fortuna ends his magic lessons as Darhk would be able to take that and grow even stronger.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Andy spends the entire episode kicking John around from mocking Laurel's death to threatening Lyla and Sara, however long it takes. It makes John shooting him when he's helpless entirely understandable.
  • Plot Hole: Esrin Fortuna mentions that there is no Magical Incantation in the Arrowverse due to the fact that the mystical energy manipulations of magic being pre-literate. This would be all well and good, but John Constantine and other sorcerers on his show use explicitly verbal components to their spell casting, which was highlighted in "Haunted".
  • Power Corrupts: Oliver cites this as why he hadn't tried learning magic earlier when facing Darhk. He says he's seen good people get corrupted by magic, so it looks like Taiana probably didn't come to a good end.
  • Power Tattoo: Oliver doesn't need to use totems to use his counterspell, the tattoo that John Constantine put on him acts as a totem.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Thea is quite right to be tense during her "vacation" with Alex.
    • Nixon is very worried what Darhk will do to her and Armitage since they betrayed him. He kills them both.
  • The Reveal:
    • We find out what Rubicon is, a security program to lockout access to every nuclear missile, that unfortunately can be reprogrammed to allow access to every nuclear missile.
    • We finally find out what Hive's goals are. They want to nuke the entire planet so they can rebuild it in their image. The artificial environment they were working on is their "ark" so to speak to survive the blast.
  • Save the World: In light of The Reveal about Darhk's plans, this is what Team Arrow's mission now becomes.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: After Oliver manages to neutralise Darhk's magic the latter decides to get the hell out of dodge while he can.
  • Serial Escalation: Previous seasons had the Big Bad try to either conquer or destroy the city (sometimes both), whereas here the Big Bad wants to destroy the entire world.
  • Spotting the Thread: Thea feels vaguely uncomfortable in the suburb, but it's when she finally identifies a looped pattern of supposedly natural sounds that she realizes something is very wrong.
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: Andy goads John into killing him twice in the episode, though in the first case he knows that John won't do it. In the second instance, however, John actually goes through with it after enough provoking and having his family threatened.
  • That Man Is Dead: Andy says that his old self, the loving husband and father, no longer exists.
  • The Dog Bites Back: John was tortured by his cold-hearted brother and threatened his family, in turn Andy gets a bullet in his chest and dies.
  • Thicker Than Water: Averted by Andy, who would not only kill his brother and sister-in-law, but also his baby niece.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Thea decides to take a much needed vacation, only to discover that she's one of the first inhabitants of the Genesis Ark. Thanks to its central location in the plot and given that it neatly positions her to help the main cast, this averts Trapped by Mountain Lions despite her not being in touch with the rest of the cast for the next few episodes.
  • Wham Shot: Thea running around the suburb only to hit a wall, and the camera zooms out to reveal a giant glass dome.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lyla lets John have it for going after Andy by himself.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Andy and Darhk would most definitely. Darhk even says that he will have fun killing baby Sara.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Felicity tries to convince Oliver that he does have more light than dark inside of him when he fails Esrin Fortuna's training, which he rejects. When he faces down Darhk, Oliver discovers that she was right.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Darhk kills off Armitage and Nixon both for betraying him by letting him rot in jail and the fact that he really doesn't need them around if he was able to break out of prison without their help.
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