Why This Week’s Arrow Had An Even Better Cliffhanger Than The Flash

After this week’s Flash and Arrow aired, the Internet exploded with discussion of Zoom’s identity as Jay and celebration of Olicity’s death. One unanimous conclusion, though, rose up on subreddits and blogs alike: The Flash left us with an amazing cliffhanger to think about over the break, and Arrow did not.
Those viewers have failed this fandom. Here’s why.
In The Flash, there is one, single cliffhanger: Jay is Zoom (and may be the man in the helmet, too, according to fans who are experts on Teddy Sears’s neck moles). In Arrow, we have five different, awesome cliffhangers – none of which are related to Jay Garrick!
Darhk’s fate.
darhk-5 The fact that Darhk lost his powers this week makes the Arrow-Darhk struggle all the more fascinating. Will Ruvé (or Malcolm?!) supplant Darhk as the “Big Bad” of this season? Will Darhk somehow outwit Oliver and the crew, even from behind bars? Will he finally show more of the humanity he showed a glimpse of in “Blood Debts,” when his family was in danger? Personally, I was getting bored with Darhk’s whole Darth-Vader-Force-Choke bit. His loss of power isn’t his defeat; instead, it (as Jay would say) “is a complication”. A fascinating one.
Malcolm Merlyn bringing evil back.
Over the course of Arrow, Malcolm has gone from “super terrifying uber-villain” to “that awkward, kind-of-evil dad you’re not sure you want at your birthday party”. (Only Supernatural’s Crowley had it worse, going from “king of Hell” to “Winchesters’ servant”.) With the chilling realization that he didn’t just tell Darhk that Oliver had a son – he actually kidnapped the son himself – he’s flopped back into terrifying territory again. Where will his evil streak lead?
Oliver’s resignation as a mayoral candidate.
The struggle of good guys against bad isn’t only happening on the streets – it’s happening in government offices. So the fact that Ruvé is now the only mayoral candidate means bad, bad news for Star City. What will she do to make sure Oliver doesn’t re-enter the race? Will Oliver take a leaf out of her book, and threaten her daughter to make her drop out? (Hopefully not.) Will we get to see more of the mysterious “plan”? The fallout of Oliver’s resignation is going to be complicated and fascinating.
Felicity’s reasons for breaking it off.
Felicity is generally written as a “perfect” character, much like Flash’s Iris used to be until she made the mistake of ignoring and fighting with her long-lost, terminal mother. Now, Felicity has made a huge mistake, and her perfection is shattered. She broke up with Oliver for concealing the existence of his son, yet she herself lied to Oliver at the beginning of the season when she was helping Laurel and friends behind his back. Those seem like similar-magnitude lies to me, especially since Felicity wasn’t given an ultimatum by anyone to keep the secret. What other interesting character development will we see from Felicity?
Laurel’s reaction to the existence of William.
Laurel was visibly broken when learning that William was conceived during her and Oliver’s relationship. Yes, this reaction could just exist to illustrate Laurel’s relationship with her father, but it probably means more. Does it foreshadow a future relationship between Oliver and Laurel? Will it complicate their friendship? As of late, Laurel (and Thea) have been tossed to the side. Is this interaction a harbinger of Laurel stepping back into the spotlight?
A brand new episode of Arrow airs Wednesday, March 23 on The CW.
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