Arrow Re-Nocked: Haunted (4×05)
Let’s be honest… everyone was excited for episode five titled Haunted purely because Matt Ryan was reprising his role as John Constantine again. If not everyone than surely I wasn’t the only one, because let me say that he was the best part of this episode. Sadly, he only got about twenty minutes of the screen time and while the episode overall was good, the parts lacking Constantine were pretty lame and at some points laughable. This episode is here to do two things: a) Give us fans Constantine at least one more time and b) finally finish off Sara’s Legends of Tomorrow prep.
Warning: SPOILERS will follow!
1. I’m going to start from the worst to best this article and begin with the killer blonde going around murdering Thea look-alikes… Zombie Sara. This episode was basically a zombie episode that was done pretty poorly, because as you’re thinking currently, Sara wasn’t an actual zombie she was just a really crazy person. I kept wondering if there were even cops in Star City during this episode (other than Lance), because if there is a string of attacks and murders being perpetrated by a blonde woman, I’m pretty sure she would have been caught if the cops were worth anything. I assume since Sara has lost her soul and pretty much her whole self that she wouldn’t remember all of her training and ass-kickery so she wouldn’t really be smart enough to avoid police. The scene that made me laugh though was when Thea slashed Sara’s cheek with a shard of glass making her actually look like an actual zombie. I know I’m hard on Caity Lotz in this column but I chuckled every time she let out one of her “primal screams” during her scenes. I’m mostly glad this is over and I need Sara to get off Arrow and over into Legends of Tomorrow, because I think she’ll be a much better character when she’s just another member of the team and not attached in any way to the other characters.
2. If Laurel can go one episode without tearing up I may actually allow myself to be sad when she winds up in the grave we saw during the premiere. Laurel was just an emotional mess this episode while still dealing with the consequences of Nanda Parbat. She really goes off on Oliver in the hospital after her psycho sister almost murdered Thea, telling him that she wished he would care about her family as much as she did about his. This scene just didn’t come off well with me because she claims that Oliver has never seen her as an equal and the fact is Oliver hasn’t ever trusted her. The whole argument made Laurel come off as selfish. She feels so sorry for her own situation that she isn’t thinking about all of the people Sara is harming or killing because of her resurrecting Sara and not being able to securely keep Sara locked up. Oliver really has plenty of reasons not to trust Laurel, but I think it’s unfair of Laurel to say that Oliver doesn’t care for his family, because we all know he does. In the end the pay off was Oliver and Laurel going into the netherworld to save Sara’s soul together. While I like Laurel’s Black Canary I just can’t stand her alter ego. I’m glad they were able to save Sara because maybe now the writers can start writers to take Laurel down a better story path.
3. The Diggle/Lance storyline this episode was interesting but poorly done. I really enjoy Diggle’s quest to avenge his brother and love that it’s one of the only storylines that has been going on for four whole seasons now. I really loved Diggle confronting Lance on his allegiance with H.I.V.E. and it brought about a fairly eye opening history on how Lance became involved with Damien Darhk in the first place. While I find it hard to believe that Darhk is actually trusting Lance with his errands without keeping an eye on him, I think Lance isn’t taking the situation as seriously as he should be. When Diggle and Lance break into whatever facility the broke into and get caught by the guards, Lance’s ruse to trick the facility guards was just absolutely poorly written. Hell not just that, but the fact that both the security guards listened to a cop (who shouldn’t be in the facility even if he’s a cop), when the cop tells them to go get help. These have to have been the dumbest security guards in Star City. Honestly they’re so dumb and unbelievable that when they get fired for letting Diggle and Lance escape, they should only be able to find a job with all of the other dumb guards at S.T.A.R. Labs.
4. Oh my gosh it’s John Constantine! I wasn’t sure where Constantine was going to show up in this episode, but when he showed up in the flashback sequences I got really excited. The flashbacks have been some of the best parts of season four so far, so adding Matt Ryan’s Constantine to those scenes would only make it better. The only bit I had a problem with in the flashbacks was that Baron Reiter actually cared whether or not Oliver got killed or not. I felt like John and Oliver’s escape was way too easy considering that once they left Reiter’s tent there was probably twenty more armed men out there that could have stopped them. That being said, I really loved that they didn’t explain how Constantine got to the CWU, whether or not his old show or Arrow‘s world was the same, or even if this was the same Constantine from the NBC series. This could be another Earth-Prime/Earth-whatever thing like Supergirl! Either way I really loved how this flashback became a mini episode of Constantine. Oliver was forced to lead John to a magical tomb that held an artifact of Horus. Not only did we get just some awesomely fun Constantine goodness, but we got to see Oliver save his life. If you were a fan of the NBC series, you no doubt loved this scene as much as I did.
5. Oh my gosh it’s John Constantine again! I knew last week that they were going to shoe horn in Constantine as the only means to saving Sara’s soul (or excorise a demon like I had originally thought), so I knew when Oliver saved John’s life in the flashback that this is how the debt was going to be repaid. Even though this scene was quick, I was so pumped to see some downright real magic being brought into the CWU outside Damien Darhk’s methods. The minute that John, Oliver and Laurel got teleported to whatever netherworld they wound up in, I was so excited that I didn’t even care that Oliver and Laurel weren’t trying to save Sara for half of the scene after John had told them to. I particularly enjoyed watching Constantine fight an assassin-demon using his brand of combat. This wasn’t the same type of martial-arts that ninety percent of the show uses, this was more like a bar fight that ended in Constantine using magic to freeze his attacker in mid air so that he could thrust his sword through it. Pure awesomeness. I really hope that the apparent spike in viewership that Arrow received thanks to the Constantine fans was noticed and noted by the CW, because we need way more Constantine in both Arrow and The Flash.
6. Lastly we’re leading up into the next episode’s main plot, which is again another Legends of Tomorrow prep story. Felicity and the energy drink induced hyper Curtis Holt followed up on Ray’s secret message that came about last week. This was a very short plot line this episode, but I really enjoyed the scenes anyways. I am actually excited that Ray is going to be coming back for at least one more episode of Arrow before running off in time with his new show, mainly because I really enjoyed Brandon Routh throughout all of last season. This was a fun cliffhanger that we all knew was coming.
The first 30 minutes of this episode was going to be rated around a 4 or 5 by me (besides the flashback stuff), mainly because I thought it was sloppy and felt like a huge filler of an episode compared to what’s happening over with The Flash in Central City. Luckily Constantine was so damn good in my opinion that he alone raised the score of the entire episode up 2 or 3 points. Honestly I just enjoyed his involvement and this crossover so much. All I ask for now is a Tom Welling cameo. We left off with a few interesting things this episode, mainly the file on Andrew Diggle. If you pause and read the file you can see that Diggle’s brother was involved in some illegal weapons trafficking while in the Middle East and is involved with the Pittson Syndicate. I’m not sure how Diggle is going to take that, but it doesn’t sound like his brother was the perfect little soldier we were told he was. Also, I wonder how Oliver is going to handle Thea’s bloodlust when it returns now that he knows it will make her better? Finally, how will flashback Ollie go back to camp once again and lie about what happened? I guess we’ll find out next week!
This week in the competition between The Flash and Arrow, I couldn’t pick one over the other, so this week the shows split the point! You can check out my The Flash column The Flash Zoom-In here! It came down to the date with Patty Spivot vs John Constantine on Arrow and it was impossible for me to decide. Which did you like more? Let me know and why down in the comments!