Arrow season 4 is coming to a close, and like any DC Comics series on The CW, the finale promises to be packed with action, and to feature at least one monumental showdown between the good and the bad guys. This season has seen Oliver Queen try to take the fight against evil into the light, to do battle with his season-long nemesis of Damien Darhk using skills he's not normally associated with – in either one of his identities. So far, that hasn't worked out too well for Ollie or for the surviving members of Team Arrow (emphasis on surviving).
It has been a rough journey for the Green Arrow and his merry band of vigilantes, as Damien Darhk and HIVE have proven to be formidable enemies with abilities and resources the heroes have little defense against. Despite the overwhelming odds and the fact that Darhk's magical powers have risen from dangerous parlor trick all the way to David-Copperfield-must-be-envious levels, Green Arrow has persevered and even dealt his enemy a few setbacks along the way.
As villains are wont to do, though, Darhk had a secret plan all along; one that involved nuclear Armageddon as a means by which he could hit the reset button on humanity. Stymied again by Team Arrow, Darhk used his personal and professional setbacks to give him reason to act more like a classic supervillain: by using a loved one to goad the hero into a climactic confrontation.
As seen in the trailer for 'Schism,' Darhk challenges what's left of Team Arrow to a street fight, one that involves the denizens of Star City, who at this point have had enough of masked types engaging in the annual city-leveling brawls and would like in on the action themselves. Given the emphasis the season has put on Darhk's magical powers, the thought of him going toe-to-toe with his arrow-wielding adversary might seem a little out of character for a guy whose whole shtick is magic. But that's all part of the intrigue, as the season 4 finale promises not only a climactic showdown, but, according to Stephen Amell, will also serve to hook viewers in for season 5.
While speaking with EW about the season-ender, Amell had this to say:
"I can tease that there is an ultimate showdown, and that ultimate showdown takes place on a level playing field. And I know the hook from the last episode made it feel like the whole episode would be about rescuing Felicity, and that’s really not the case at all. We solve that problem pretty early on."
"It calls back a little bit of our premiere from this year, which I think is always a fun technique. We get some resolution. Not just for Oliver, not just for Darhk, but for most of our core cast members."
The "level playing field" Amell mentions might be the answer as to why Darhk is throwing punches when in 'Lost in the Flood' he was making pointy projectiles go poof and throwing Green Arrow and Spartan around without breaking a sweat. Whatever transpires between where the penultimate episode left off and when the two throngs of combatants face-off, perhaps it means that Darhk's power levels are depleted enough that he's a more manageable opponent.
This being a season finale, though, there will no doubt be questions as to what's next for Oliver and Team Arrow. As Amell puts it, 'Schism' includes an angle that will entice viewers to tune in when the series returns for season 5 in the fall, but it will steer clear of offering up the identity of the primary villain that will be causing problems for Ollie.
"There’s nothing we really do in the finale that introduces a big bad for next year. We do throw a little hook in there that will very much excite people for season 5, but it does not have to do with the big bad."
"Last year, there was just a ton of mystery [in the finale] — the team was staying, Oliver and Felicity were going. In this finale it feels very similar because it's almost the opposite."
Amell's final comment seems to shed some light on the finale's title. Given all that has transpired throughout the season, it wouldn't come as much of a surprise to see Team Arrow go their separate ways (at least temporarily). For Amell to say, "it's almost the opposite" to the season 4 finale is revealing in that it suggests the Green Arrow will be committed to protecting Star City as his team vacates, but will he be doing so with the help of Felicity (or Overwatch)? At any rate, it sounds as though there will be much more to the Arrow season 4 finale than just seeing Damien Darhk and the Green Arrow square off.
Arrow will conclude season 4 with 'Schism' @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below: