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A lot of what happened in “Lost in the Flood” didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Team Arrow, thanks once again to the great work by Felicity and the Calculator (with a solid assist from Curtis), foiled Darhk’s immediate plans for destroying the world. Thea managed to get drugged and then overcome the drugs incredibly quickly (a plot point that only served to give us a nifty hand-to-hand fight between her and Oliver). And various returning villains enacted evil plans only to be foiled at the last minute. If two interesting plot points hadn’t happened, I would just write the episode off as filler leading up to next week’s finale.
The first intriguing element of the episode was Felicity’s reveal to Donna that she has been a member of Team Arrow for the last three years. I’ve really grown to like the character of Donna after her less than stellar introduction, and giving her this pertinent piece of information can only serve to add complexity to her relationship with her daughter (and, almost certainly, her relationship with Oliver once she is let in on the major secret of Team Arrow). Donna has proven her complete and total love of Felicity throughout her short time on the series. While she may be misguided in how she expresses her love at times, there is absolutely no doubt that she wants the best for Felicity.
Now that Donna knows Felicity was able to keep her involvement in Team Arrow secret for years, I wonder how that will impact their relationship. Donna’s number one requirement for those around her is honesty. Felicity has shown that she can keep parts of herself away from those she holds closest (her hacker past, her relationship with her father, her role on Team Arrow). Although, we also learned that Donna can keep her own secrets (the real truth behind the end of her marriage), so perhaps there won’t be much fallout from Donna being slowly brought into Team Arrow. I do have to say, I cannot wait to see Donna find out the truth about Oliver. That should be a hoot.
The other major plot point of the episode was the death of Ruvé Darhk. For a character with so much potential, the writers really squandered their opportunity to turn her into a great super villain. Sure, Damien has the mystical power, but Ruvé had the brains and the charisma to really pull off their plan. I suspect she was the one making the sales pitch to the families that moved into the underground bunker. I was constantly waiting for the writers to really give her some solid motivation for wanting to destroy the world (same for Darhk), but week after week we were given nothing beyond a general desire to remake the world to their design. I suppose comic villains don’t traditionally need much more of a reason, but it would have been nice to know there was something more personal or a particular reason Ruvé wanted to change the world beyond just a general dislike of its current state.
But removing Ruvé and her planning ability from the game board at this point does have a major impact on the mental state of Damien. And that is what makes her death a major plot development. At this point, Damien doesn’t know his daughter is alive, but he absolutely knows Ruvé is dead. And that, as we saw at the close of the episode, was the tipping point in Damien finally throwing aside any pretext of rebuilding the world in favor of simply destroying it full stop. Again, I’m not a big fan of villains who simply want to destroy the world with no context, but I can understand that experiencing such a massive loss could send an already psychotic individual like Darhk over the edge. I assume that Felicity, Donna, and Curtis will all get out of their encounter with Darhk alive, but I am intrigued to see how that encounter goes down.
— So, Curtis was in town and totally could have helped them break into Palmer Tech last week? Great. They absolutely could have stopped the missile from impacting.
— I’m glad Thea got her own mini-adventure away from the team the past two weeks, but I’m also glad she’s out of her purgatory and able to help Team Arrow in the final battle.
— I love John Barrowman, but Malcolm Merlyn has become a character with absolutely no purpose. All he ever does is show up, remind Thea she’s his daughter, remind Oliver he can’t kill him, and then wander away. The writers need to reinvent the character next year or cut him loose.