Series Issues: Arrow 4×05 – Haunted

Spoilers will be restored to their former selves. Too darhk?

Arrow -- "Haunted" -- Image AR404B_0027b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R) Matt Ryan as Constantine, Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance, Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance -- Photo: Cate Cameron/ The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

(Photo: Cate Cameron/ The CW)

Arrow 4×05: Haunted was a far more engaging episode that I expected it to be. This back and forth with Sara finally reaches its climax. Sara is after one thing and one thing only. Clubs. Women. A particular haircut. It took Oliver a little more time than I was comfortable for him to notice. Sara is going after her killer, Thea Queen. Yes, she was under the influence of the Mirakuru drug back then and now she’s got her own Lazarus-Pit-side-effect bloodlust going, but Sara’s soul is no longer with her.

How exactly they determine that is… Unclear. Sorry to quote Boston but we need more than a feeling here. Anyhow, let’s move the plot. Which for the first time kinda moves in two timelines at once. In the flashback, John Constantine (Matt Ryan) shows up at the camp. Oliver helps him out (ok initially at gunpoint, but he does save him from a nasty trap). Now would be the time to call in a favor. And he actually does in the present.

The scene that actually makes this show is not Constantine. Not even Sara, for that matter. It’s a conversation that has been long overdue between the emerald archer and Laurel Lance. We finally say it out in the open. The reason why Ollie kept Laurel in the dark about so many things. The reason why he’s been judgemental although he was the first to bring his own sister to the pit. The reason why Oliver keeps Laurel at a distance. Oliver does not consider her his equal. This is a very raw statement, and bravo to Katie Cassidy for her delivery and to the show’s writers for having the nerve to put it out there and giving the character of Laurel her just cause.

Yes, the day is saved. Sara returns thanks to some hocus pocus by John Constantine where Oliver and Laurel must fight in a dreamworld to retrieve Sara from the Lazarus Pit. It’s done and she’s saved. Oliver apologizes to Laurel. Laurel apologizes to Thea. Hell, even Quentin finds out about John Diggle’s brother Andrew and gives him a file he gets from Damien Darhk (again, Darhk is understanding in this episode again).

Still, a great episode not because of the action scenes but the development. The main plot is still Sara’s soul quest and setting up both her and Constantine for Legends of Tomorrow, but although that’s what the script called for they did take it one step further and admitted to the similarities between Oliver’s and Laurel’s actions.

Highs/Lows/Canaries:

  • A big move here is the fact that the world of Arrow finally has to admit there are things beyond their world. They’ve kept things more mystical than superhuman, but still this episode did have enough of the supernatural to break that gritty-realistic feel.
  • I could almost start and end with that scene. Laurel and Oliver have always seem to exist in two different planes. And that encounter just put it all in perspective. Equal ground. Between the Lance family and the Queen family. After all, both families are just as invested in this city. Personally, it’s about time Laurel stands up to Oliver. That’s not because I wanted to see them fight, but because they need to address stuff and move on. They will both make the team stronger if they do.
  • I know that the situations for Thea and Sara had different circumstances, but the motivation and the reaction are the same. I know some people will fight tooth and nail over the timing. Thea was dying. Sara was dead. Oliver reacted. Laurel planned and plotted. Even if you give Oliver the moral ground here, it’s like delivering judgement to a sinking boat from one that is barely above water. You know what I mean.
  • John Diggle gets some answers, but not the ones he was looking for. Yes, HIVE killed Andrew Diggle. But Andrew Diggle, it seems, was not an angel. Quentin seems to make it true by assuring John that he’s sure. Is this enough to end this revenge backstory?

That will do for now.

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