Arrow Re-Nocked: Restoration (4×03)
Oh man… this whole episode (titled: Restoration) existed to set up Legends of Tomorrow didn’t it? While The Flash has been doing that as well, I kind of feel the same for both shows in that I just can’t wait for the Legends of Tomorrow set ups to be over with so that we can move on. While this episode moved the main plot forward and gave us a silly but well done Meta, it had quite a few flaws in its story as a whole.
Warning: SPOILERS will follow!
1. Let me start with John Barrowman and his version of Ras Al Ghul. Could he have not at least grow a beard or goatee? Almost every incarnation of Ras that I’ve seen (not an avid DC reader mind you) has always had the same facial hair to mark that this is indeed Ras Al Ghul. Malcolm Merlyn didn’t seem in anyway like Ras to me in this episode. He looks like Malcolm wearing a dress. I don’t get why The League of Assassins follows this guy. He literally sends them to their death for the dumbest reasons possible. After seeing who Damien Darhk is and what he can do, Malcolm better hope that Damien doesn’t still want the title of Ras, because he could easily take out Malcolm Al Ghul.
2. So did Malcolm kill Sara or did Thea? I’m confused. Malcolm reveals to Thea that the only way to make the effects of the Lazarus Pit dissipate is to pretty much kill the person who killed you. While Thea’s killer is already dead, Sara’s killer can still be killed thereafter returning her back to regular old Sara and her bad acting (Caity Lotz’s acting doesn’t sit well with me sorry). They implied that her killer was Malcolm, but technically Thea shot the arrow into her. So does this mean that Sara is going to end up trying to kill Thea? Will Laurel want to kill Thea? Did Malcolm not consider that by resurrecting Sara, to show Thea he’s a good father, he may have just endangered her as well? I mean… Sara immediately turns and lunges at Thea after she comes out… So that pretty much confirms it. This was a pretty dumb plot line that existed just because there are too many Caity Lotz shippers out there who begged for her to come back for the third time.
3. My Scene N’ Nerd buddy Sarah Belmont always talks about how Laurel is one of the most inconsistently written characters on TV. After seeing this episode I have to agree. Besides the fact that she spent this whole episode on the brink of tears, the revelation of Thea’s ordeal that sparked Laurel’s zany idea to dig up her sister was basically forgotten about in this episode. We were told Laurel was just now hearing about Thea’s condition last episode, well in this episode Laurel somehow knew that Thea had reacted the same way that Sara did when she jumped out of the pit. Laurel wasn’t even there! Are we to assume that on the flight to Nanda Parbat that Thea was all “Yea when I got resurrected I came out of the pit rabid with a bad case of amnesia” and Laurel was like “Oh I’ll be ready to mention that if it happens to Sara as well”? Ugh, I don’t even want to deal with Laurel’s emotions in the next few episodes. She’ll be all over the place. Maybe we should dip Laurel into the Lazarus Pit to resurrect any remaining character she has left.
4. I know I’m really hammering it hard on this episode but be honest… who didn’t laugh out loud when Diggle said “Oliver! You took a bullet for me!”? This whole plot of Diggle and Oliver this episode was so poorly written and cheesy that it was clear that this episode was written in a hurry to add in the LoT tie-ins. I’m extremely glad that we’re hopefully done with Oliver and Diggle’s drama story, but there are still a few things here that were just lazily done. So Diggle’s wife and baby are gone and he’s cool with it just because a guy claiming he’s from ARGUS shows up and says so? Diggle’s like okay I buy it, I’m going on a solo mission while I have free time! Both Oliver and Diggle have taken on more previously than either of the separate missions they went on in this episode. Diggle was careless in not hiding better and not hearing the guy approaching from behind, and Oliver ran away from a fight he was clearly winning because he got nicked on the arm by a playing card. While it was poorly written I did like the throw backs to the Original Team Arrow (#OTA), and I’m looking forward to Team Arrow actually being a team again.
5. Okay, okay, I’ll say some good things now, because this wasn’t a completely horrible episode. While this Meta’s powers were kind of silly, I really love having a “Bullseye” type bad guy like Double Down facing off against Green Arrow. There is just something about the ‘who’s better?’ or ‘who’s got better accuracy?’ question during the fights that make it more fun than it rightfully should be. I thought that the idea that the show runners would hide where Double Down‘s cards came from during the first scene with Damien Darhk was a bit of a poor attempt at shock. I would fathom that everyone, comic book reader or casual TV goer, knew that the cards came from his tattoos. So when they did the long, close up peel off of a card from his arm during the warehouse encounter with the Green Arrow, I felt pretty much no emotions other than the ones I had been feeling already. So the “Oh my god the cards came from his tattoos!” trick didn’t really work on me. JR Bourne’s acting was probably the main reason I liked this ‘bad guy of the week’. While I haven’t seen him in but a few smaller roles, I really enjoyed his portrayal of the character. I definitely didn’t think it should have taken both Oliver and Diggle to take him out though. The guy should have got something more useful tattooed to his body since he had those powers. Why not a one-hundred dollar bill tattoo? Then he wouldn’t need to be a criminal.
6. Finally the best part of this episode (as per usual for me) was Felicity’s story-line. I was made aware of a lot of reviewers and pundits saying “Felicity is back!” which is really a dumb thing to say. She never went anywhere and she has always been consistently evolving into a stronger character. While she was a bad ass this episode by letting bullets fly when cornered in the Arrow Cave 2.0, don’t forget that she once wore the A.T.O.M. Suit and once stood up to the real Ras Al Ghul. I’m still really enjoying the interaction between Echo Kellum’s Curtis Holt character and Felicity. I loved when Felicity picked up the prototype T-Sphere in Curtis’ lab and seeing how silly she can seem around someone who’s also of genius level intellect. I think this relationship will get even more fun now that Curtis knows that his boss is actually a secret bad ass working with the Green Arrow. Felicity is the glue that holds the whole team together and we saw that this episode. I loved when she let Oliver and Diggle have it and told them not to leave the room until they worked their shit out. While some people complain that this is becoming the Felicity show, I think that focusing on one of the strongest characters in the whole show isn’t that bad of a thing. Also, that’s totally atom-sized Ray Palmer messing with Felicity’s phone!
There was a general consensus that Arrow was pretty poor this week and I’ll have to agree. While I’m a huge Arrow fan and generally enjoyed Season Three as a whole, I also know that the show can have some pretty terrible episodes – especially when the writers are trying to shoehorn in something important to the overall CWU. That being said, there was a good balance of (attempted) drama, exciting action with not only Oliver and Digg but with Felicity and Curtis, and plenty of location changes between Star City, Lian Yu and Nanda Parbat. We got a return of fan favorites like John Barrowman and Caity Lotz, and some mentions of Team Flash to help tie together the CWU. While the flashbacks were pretty uneventful this episode, my absolute favorite scenes though during this episode were the Damian Darhk scenes. He is such a cool bad guy to have and I love that he uses his powers for scaring the shit out of his peons. Bad episodes aside… I can’t wait for this season to continue. Also, what does everyone think of the rumor that Tom Welling may show up in The Flash as Clark Kent/Superman? How would you react to seeing Superman in Arrow? Let us know if you want the rumor to be real or not!
This week during The Flash and Arrow’s best show of the week competition, The Flash took the point handily. You can find my zoom-in on The Flash – Family of Rogues here.