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Team Arrow after Damian Darhk crashes holiday party

Holiday Madness By Darhk: Arrow Season 4 Winter Finale Review

StarCityBFFs StarCityBFFs SHE SAID YES! I'm surprised Oliver Queen's campaign staff didn't post a photo on Instagram. (Alex and Thea were so busy applauding, they missed a golden PR opp.)

Oliver Queen & Felicity Smoak
Oliver Queen & Felicity Smoak

A public proposal of marriage - at the Christmas tree lighting on the waterfront, the site of the recent city tragedy, basically punching every dramatic ticket there is - takes away any doubts Felicity may have had about Oliver's commitment to their lifetime partnership.

Watching her put two and two together about the interrupted proposal with the souffl├ęs in the season 4 premiere was hilarious. (Thanks, Curtis!) Even funnier that she immediately ran to tell her mother. Those two have really bonded over this Oliver Queen business.

Charlotte Ross/Mama Smoak & Emily Bett Rickards/Felicity Smo
Charlotte Ross/Mama Smoak & Emily Bett Rickards/Felicity Smoak

In case you were wondering, I'm the self-appointed campaign manager for getting Charlotte Ross a full-time gig on Arrow.

While I'm disappointed by how few scenes she was in, Mama Smoak made the most of lighting up every room, even more than the menorah. But if her only purpose for visiting was to find the engagement ring - of course she knew exactly what cut, carat, and clarity the diamond was, she's worked the Vegas casinos for years, people - I would've been fine with it.

Felicity's heritage represented at Queen holiday party
Felicity's heritage represented at Queen holiday party

That she also adoringly ensured Felicity's faith was properly represented at the Queen holiday party, all while wearing a Santa hat, and told the world Quentin Lance was her boyfriend after being caught by Felicity smooching on the dance floor, were Christmas bonuses.

Mama Smoak & Captain Lance
Mama Smoak & Captain Lance

Which was before Damian Darhk and his ghosts literally crashed the party.

Which brings us to the gas chamber.

Some of the Arrow writers, particularly Marc Guggenheim, have often commented on their Jewish heritage. That they would go there in the script and actually show the gas chamber in action - WOW. That's a personally costly piece of television. I had a visceral reaction to that scene, which I'm sure was their point.

Damian, you freak. I like you more each week.

Neal McDonough broke character just a little, though, when he went home to his TV wife, daughter, and Christmas tree after his night of holiday mayhem and murder. He's well known in an industry that punishes this kind of thing for being a loving, devoted husband and father of 5.

Neal McDonough & Echo Kellum on set
Neal McDonough & Echo Kellum on set

So now we know Damian's secret. Why he gave Captain Lance the advice he did about returning Sara to her final rest, rather than seeing her suffer. Why he knows the best way to hurt Oliver Queen is to hurt his extended family.

Oliver Queen at bay drone attack
Oliver Queen at bay drone attack
Mayoral candidate Oliver Queen gives press interviews after
Mayoral candidate Oliver Queen gives press interviews after bay attack

(Arrow has now ruined limo rides and "Little Drummer Boy" for us forever, but can I give an unsolicited plug to the best version of that carol, which I already hated before this episode aired? Pentatonix goo.gl/CrmvDq)

Now that Oliver knows he has a son, would he ever use Damian's family against him? No. The old Oliver would've seen family as a weakness and capitalized on it. The Green Arrow knows that family is strength, to be protected at all costs, even if it's not your family.

Laurel Lance & Felicity Smoak with Star City kids at bay cle
Laurel Lance & Felicity Smoak with Star City kids at bay cleanup

So, for once the Black Canary cry came in handy, as did Malcolm in the Green Arrow suit. How many times is it now, in 4 seasons, that Oliver and Malcolm have threatened to kill each other, then saved each other's lives?

(It's always fun when they try to speak Arabic on Arrow. We speak Arabic and we assure you, Malcolm, that your name is not "Raysh." Every time you say that, I'm putting 1 Euro in the swearing jar. At the end of the season, I'll ask John Barrowman to what charity I should send these donations.)

The Arrow fandom has a much better idea now what Damian Darhk is after, and what he means by a mankind "reset." I also had a flash during the flashbacks: what if the Baron is looking for a mystical artifact that will make Lian Yu a prototype utopia, much like Darhk is doing with Genesis?

Maybe that's how Oliver will recognize Damian's objective: he's seen it before. More importantly, he's seen it fail.

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Arrow season 4 returns on January 20, with episode 10, "Blood Debts."

Arrow 4x10 Promo "Blood Debts"

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