Midseason Report Card: Damien Darhk lifts ‘Arrow’ season 4, but by how much?

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If you will recall, we weren’t much of a fan of “Arrow” season 3. Ra’s al Ghul didn’t really go to any interesting places as a villain, other than making Oliver Queen go extremely dark for a while and nearly have Diggle’s wife Lyla killed. There was a promise to lighten things up for season 4, and as a whole, we’d say that this was successful.

Does this mean that the show is by any means perfect? At the moment, we’d say it has a ways to go. Take a look below at the latest entry in our Midseason Report Card series for more insight.

What worked – First and foremost, Damien Darhk. Neal McDonough is a great actor, and it was smart to get such an interesting, maniacal villain on the show who really seems to relish being the bad guy. This is what makes him so different from some of the other foes that we’ve had a chance to see since Malcolm Merlyn; he was the only other one who we’d say really enjoyed it. He’s a formidable foe to Oliver, and we feel like there is still so much stuff that needs to be learned about him.

Also, putting most of this story within the specter of an upcoming death was smart, given that it does create some stakes … provided that the show is not doing what they already did with Sara Lance (or even Oliver after “The Climb”) in finding a way to make sure that they are not actually dead. Almost the entire cast has had a pretty good season for the most part, given that you’ve had Thea Queen struggle to develop more of an identity aside from being Speedy while Diggle tries to find some sort of redemption with his brother.

What didn’t – This is the part we regret to mention, mostly because it’s coming from someone who was the biggest Olicity ‘shipper out there for the first couple of seasons: The relationship’s just lost its sense of fun. We feel like rather than just having it be a fun extension of Oliver’s hero adventures, he and Felicity have been thrown into constant melodrama. The show hasn’t found a way to keep what we love about both of them in the relationship. It’s almost reminiscent in a way of Nick and Jess, for those of you who watch “New Girl”; we all desperately wanted them together, but then when they were, it wasn’t what we thought it would be.

Also, can we get a little bit more of Laurel at her day job? It feels like a while since we’ve had that.

Overall – A solid season of the show, but one that has some problems keeping it from matching the greatness of “The Flash.” Grade: B.

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