Sorry for the delay in getting this article out, but I didn’t want to give this episode’s Arrow Re-Nocked away because I have a ton to say about it. Episode six in this fourth season of Arrow, titled Lost Souls, really showed us what the show runners were hinting at during the pre-season when they mentioned that Arrow would be lighter and less dark and brooding. When guessing how the fan base felt about this episode there is one dividing factor: Do you like #Olicity or not? You already know that I love the Oliver/Felicity romance in Arrow, so it goes without saying that I loved this episode. But seeing as this episode was a Felicity-centric episode, if you don’t care for Ms. Smoak, you most likely won’t care too much for this episode as others might have. You may have found it exciting if you’re a Ray or Sara fan, but other than that, this was most enjoyed by the Felicity fans.
Warning: SPOILERS will follow!
1. We’ve almost finally finished the pre-Legends of Tomorrow story arcs now that Ray Palmer has been saved! All that’s left is the Hawkgirl story in The Flash before we can finally start to concentrate on Damien Darhk and his evil magics. I was a huge fan of Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer during season three and I was glad to have him back on the show. It was fun getting to fill in the gaps where Ray had been after the explosion and I’m glad that it wasn’t just a “Hey guys I’m alive!” type episode like we had expected… kind of. I still wonder how Ray ate or stayed alive for so long in his smaller form. I’m not informed enough on The Atom to know if he can sustain himself in smaller form or not, but I would have expected Ray to look way worse than he did. He should be dirty, gaunt and have a pile of you know what in the corner of his small glass box, but they didn’t go that far. While it’s not important, I just wish they would have addressed how he actually stayed alive and when during the eight months he was captured by Darhk. All we really got was a quick few lines about how he landed in an abandoned warehouse with cockroaches. I really hope we get at least one good episode of Ray back on Team Arrow but somehow I expect we won’t. He told Felicity that he wasn’t quite ready to come back from the dead yet, which is basically his way of saying… “I have another team to be a part of“.
2. I’m not going to complain about Laurel crying again this episode. I’m also not going to complain about another Roy Raging member of Team Arrow killing a bad guy… again. We got the return of sane Sara Lance this episode, and while I don’t care for Caity Lotz’s acting, it was kind of cool to see both Black Canaries suited up side by side together. While I initially liked Laurel’s Canary look, I think when compared to the comics, Sara’s Canary looks more accurate and in turn looked better when standing beside Laurel. All Laurel needs is some cat ears and a whip and she’d make a great Catwoman though. I thought it was weird that Sara still had her Lazarus Pit blood rage like Thea does after last week’s soul reclamation, but I guess Constantine wasn’t able to remove those side effects. So technically Sara still needs to kill Thea, but she can choose not to now. Like Ray, Sara also gave her reasons why she needed to leave the city and the show. I found her reasons just as lackluster but I was more understanding of Sara’s position than I was with Ray’s. Like Henry Allen leaving Barry immediately when he got freed from prison, Ray’s departure felt too sudden, but Sara’s died twice over the course of this show. If Sara needs to get away from everything, at least she has some pretty good reasons why.
3. The Felicity story arc this episode was very well done in hindsight. At first I thought she was being a bit unreasonable and rude to everyone around her that was trying to help. The initial reason that came to my mind was that she still had feelings for Ray that came out of nowhere, but later you realize that she was angry that she left Star City and left her life to go run off with Oliver. It was a real interesting situation to watch unfold, because Felicity was obviously projecting her anger and blame onto everyone but herself. For the first time in the Olicity relationship we saw Felicity actually question their relationship (well they had some questions before they started actually dating). While in my eyes Oliver did everything he knew to do to try and fix the problem, Felicity just wouldn’t see that he was trying to figure out some way to break through the defenses she built up after finding out Ray is alive. Through an incredibly well acted scene between Emily Bett Rickards and Charlotte Ross who played her mother, we finally get to see Felicity realize how much Oliver has been trying to do for her and how she hasn’t been allowing him in. It’s completely understandable that she’d blame him for taking her away from her normal life in Star City to live a dream life in Coast City, but it’s also completely understandable for Ollie not to see that as the reason she’s acting out. When Ray died there was no question that he was dead (to these characters at least). Felicity’s reasoning that if she hadn’t left Star City, she would have gotten Ray’s messages earlier were unreasonable to me. Not only would she not have had Curtis helping her back then (he did 95% of the work in decoding that message), but she didn’t seem to think too much of her phone malfunctions in the first place. There’s no saying whether or not she would have rescued him earlier, and if Darhk had already taken him back then, they would have been in a hell of a lot worse situation as fractured Team Arrow than they are now. In the end Felicity saw the reality of the situation and forgave Oliver, giving us another sweet, sweet lovin’ scene. These are the scenes that will make Olicity fans go back and edit their Olicity dedication videos on YouTube just to add even more of the good stuff to it.
4. Even though I’m a huge Olicity shipper, that’s not the reason I loved this episode as much as I did. Felicity usually plays the roll of the upbeat, quirky one who doubles as comedic relief for the majority of the show. No one will argue that Oliver, Diggle, Lance, Laurel and Thea haven’t been the lightest bunch for a good thirty episodes, nor have any of them cracked a joke. When Felicity is the one that is being dark, serious and brooding, you’d think the show would just be down right depressing. But no! The writers did an incredible job bringing back the levity of the show that we enjoyed in the earlier seasons. I laughed out loud when Oliver was sitting in Felicity’s chair trying to figure out her tech. That’s the Oliver I really want to see again. I felt like he was the Ollie from the comics for a second. I want to see an Oliver with a wide range of moods that can make me laugh occasionally. There’s no denying that Ollie is a bad ass, but it’s even more funny to watch a bad ass try and do things completely out of their element. This also brought back the Diggle/Oliver drink time in the Arrow Cave, which was fun to see again. After all of the drama those two had shared, it was refreshing to see them joking and being friends again. All of the cooking jokes and the scenes with Donna Smoak were really fun and entertaining as well. This is the type of episode that I’d want more of Ray in too, because he was hilarious at times last season, but sadly we only got that Ray in a bite sized portion this episode. I really hope Arrow can stick with this more relaxed and light feeling. I think the reason why people clung so hard to The Flash last season was because of how light and fun it was compared to the horrible gloom on season three of Arrow. I get that we need moments or episode arcs where people die and serious stuff goes down, but if this show is going to succeed, we need way more uplifting episodes like this.
5. Lastly, the mission to rescue Ray from the clutches of Damien Darhk was pretty nuts. You might realize that I love to nitpick these shows, so I don’t mean that as a good thing. They basically used Detective Lance as bait for Darhk, who should have figured out what was going on way before he got back into his car. Darhk is supposed to be this super genius who runs a highly capable mercenary group. So that was my first problem. Lance’s bumbling act shouldn’t have fooled him. After that he lets Diggle and team follow his car, which you’d think his driver would have been trained to notice. Then the grand plan they came up with was to let Oliver get captured and chained up with the sole reliance on him being able to escape. I mean Diggle, Felicity and Curtis would have been easily killed if Oliver hadn’t shown up in the end of their rescue, because they got caught totally off guard. The scenes between Green Arrow and Darhk are always cool though and it is always fun to see Darhk use his magical powers, but why couldn’t he just remove Oliver’s mask before he was conscious? Maybe then he wouldn’t have been tricked so easily. Thea, Laurel and Sara did the brunt of the fighting during this scene but lucky for them there were bulletproof couches to hide behind during their tactical plan to run through a wide open room at trained mercs with semi-automatic weapons. I’m glad we got Curtis in this scene though, he was once again doing a lot of the “sciencing” this episode. It makes me wonder if Felicity is being replaced as the tech genius on the show. In the comics Mr. Terrific is one of the smartest people in the DC Universe, so I am okay with him being smarter as long as he doesn’t render Felicity useless.
The flashbacks this episode didn’t really have too much development in them. I liked the short scene where Oliver brings food to the woman he saved in the cave, but other than that, it was just Ollie being almost drowned by a slave who was tricked into it by Conklin. I got to say… Conklin is pretty annoying. They’re doing a good job at making Conklin the clear threat on the island and not Baron Reiter. While Reiter is the big boss, he just seems too obsessed with his mystical objects and will no doubt wind up like an Indiana Jones villain who gets his face melted off because of his own doing. So the questions at the end of this episode are: What will happen now that Darhk intercepted Ray’s messages to Felicity? Will she really be in danger? Could that lead to the grave scene from episode one? Also, what is Ollie’s big plan with the woman in the cave and why is she the only one he’s saved so far? Is it because she’s attractive? Either way I still think she’ll turn out to be the sister or wife of one of the Russian mob bosses. And finally, now that Thea has seen how Sara’s crazy rage killing looks like and how she herself probably looks, what will she do about it? What the hell was that map that Darhk has now? Is that a map to the multiverse? Lots to think about after this episode, but the main hope is that they take the great tone of this episode into the rest of the season.
In the competition between The Flash and Arrow this week, again I couldn’t choose one over the other. While Zoom was terrifying and incredible to witness, he was in less than ten minutes of the episode. Being a huge Olicity nerd and with Arrow‘s incredibly refreshing levity this week, I have to give both shows half a point. For my review on this weeks The Flash, check out my The Flash Zoom-In column here!