All Aboard the Ark in Our Recap of Arrow’s Penultimate Episode of Season 4

Good news and bad news. The bad news: Damien Darhk is more powerful than ever. And the good news? I lied, there is no good news. Darhk uses his powers to “pull the oxygen” from Oliver and Diggle’s bodies, but once he leaves the collapsing Nexus Chamber they seem fine and escape. In the Ark, Thea mourns Alex’s death but is quickly rounded up by Merlyn and some ghosts and forced to take the mind-control pills. Meanwhile at the loft, Felicity and her father have to figure out how to get Rubicon offline, and a gift from above in the form of Curtis Holt arrives (who briefly geeks out about Felicity’s father being a most wanted hacker). Once they get started, Felicity gets a text from Thea (how?) regarding her location and heads to the Arrow Cave.

In the Ark control room, Darhk has enlisted the help of another former villain, Cooper Sheldon, aka Brother Eye, to get everything back on track. In the Arrow Cave, they trace Thea’s location to somewhere in The Glades. Oliver and Diggle head to the location and don’t find anything until they notice a suspicious sewer access point. Once they leap down the tunnel and wander inside, they discover the ark. Unfortunately they’ve been spotted by security. In an Island flashback, Oliver and Taiana run and both get shot, but the magic is entrenched in her and she shrugs off the bullets like they’re nothing.

Felicity returns to the loft where her parents are arguing (one curious bit, her father makes the claim he ‘didn’t have a choice’ about leaving before) and she’s forced to explain to her mother that not only has she been working with the Green Arrow for three years but that the world is on the brink of nuclear apocalypse. It goes surprisingly well. Back in the Ark, Oliver and Diggle split up and Ollie quickly finds the dead Alex and a tied-up Thea. He sets her free but Merlyn has her like a little puppet, and she points a gun at him. Merlyn and the ghosts return but Diggle arrives just in time to start a fire fight and gunfire chase through Suburbia. The pair make to another nearby house and hold up, only to find a family still inside. As if things couldn’t get worse, Ruve appears on the TV and announces to the people of the Ark that they should kill the intruders.

On the island, Taiana claims to know why Reiter searched for this power, especially since after his village died. She decideds she could use it herself to free her home, but Oliver isn’t wild about that idea. Elsewhere in the ark, Anarky has snuck inside the building. Sidenote: He’s probably the best villain they’ve ever had. The right amount of over-the-top, but also with a mission that’s not entirely outlandish. Anyway, Curtis comes up with the idea of “bricking” Rubicon by flooding it with access requests, which would work, but Cooper has taken control over their consoles and is surging it with electricity. Curtis gets to work though and somehow sends the attack back to Cooper (sending him flying across the room in a hilarious bit) but also shutting down Rubicon. That was easy!

Oliver and Diggle hide out and try to talk to the family who they assume are brainwashed. The catch of course is they want to be there, Damien Darhk gives them hope. Heaven help them. Back on the Island, Taiana scares away soldiers long enough for Oliver to lead some of the prisoners to safety. They come across one who won’t make it and Taiana wants to kill him to gain more power. Felicity asks Mama Smoak what her father meant when he said he didn’t have a choice when he left, and she reveals she kicked him out of the house. She knew he wouldn’t change and didn’t want him around. It’s reasonable, Mama Smoak.

Back on the Ark, Oliver is having a mini-crisis over how Darhk could inspire hope in these people. No time for love now though as the Ghosts have arrived. Diggle holds them off for Oliver to find Thea, who makes it easy by appearing out of nowhere. The Queen siblings spar, and Thea comes out on top, only for Oliver to talk sense into her mind-controlled brain and bring her back to reality. Merlyn enters the house and gets cornered by Team Arrow. The TVs turn on, but it’s not Ruve this time, now it’s Anarky: and he’s got Ruve hostage. He also has a message for Damien, he’s going to kill someone in 20 minutes unless he gives up, and then he’ll blow up the facility. Oliver decides to go after him and tells Merlyn to get the survivors out. It might be futile because of the bombs, but no one in the ark knows what’s going on with all that anyway. Once more to the island, the idol is warping Taiana’s mind.

Ruve and Anarky briefly banter, only for him to take an arrow to the knee. Before Oliver gets off another shot, he explains the whole place is powered by a Dwarf Star Alloy (like the ATOM suit) and one stray shot could send it all up. Oliver of course hears this as directoins and lets one loose, setting off a series of explosions. Anarky uses the confusion to stab Ruve before fighting off the whole team. Honestly, why isn’t he the main villain? He runs out of the building (to fight another day!) and Team Arrow rescues Darhk’s daughter as Ruve dies in the rubble. They, along with Merlyn and many others, manage to escape before the entire ark is a crater in The Glades. Felicity gets in contact and Oliver brings the good news: they’re alive, and the city is safe. The bad news is people still need saving.

In the final Island flashback, Oliver gives Taiana the ultimatum that she’ll have to kill him to get the idol. The king of timing, Reiter appears and promises to kill both of them to get it back. Damien Darhk stares down the blue screen of death in the Ark control room, and doesn’t take it well when Merlyn reveals Ruve has died. He wants to regain control of Rubicon and turn the world to ash, no matter that there’s no place to hide. At the loft, Mama Smoak asks Noah to leave and never come back (again). He’s still dangerous to their daughter. Inside, Curtis draws some comparisons to Oliver and Felicity regarding her parents, but I don’t think she’ ready for that just yet. Donna goes back inside, only for Damien Darhk to bust down the door and demand a favor.

You can watch a preview for the season finale below!