Spoilers might appear miniaturized. Watch your step.
Arrow 4×06: Lost Souls starts with a rare sweet moment. Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), having talked to her poor mother, is having some family time with Quentin and Laurel. There’s some short moments of them that were enjoyable, which really made me hope they’d dedicate the episode more to their reunion before they ended up going their own ways. But I digress.
This episode finally brings back Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh). Relax, the Lazarus Pit remains out of order. This time it’s another case of not looking hard enough and just assuming someone’s dead without actually finding the body. The former multimillionaire has suffered a case of too much success. Or too little, if you prefer. His suit has given him the ability to miniaturize. Ray appears without the suit, trapped in some sort of transparent cage made of material his suit can’t breach. Fortunately he’s able to contact Felicity, who’s feeling guilty of not having picked up on his communication attempts while she was living the good life with Oliver.
We have a little couple drama to go along this story line. It can’t be all kittens and rainbows in Oliver’s and Felicity’s relationship. Listen, I get that Felicity is feeling she’s losing herself in Oliver. Completely valid complaint. I just would’ve liked if Oliver himself also had issues of his own. Say for example, jealousy over Ray Palmer. When Oliver just walks away giving Felicity “space to figure it out” it sounded more like he was running away. Like Felicity has something to fix of herself and Olivier is just fine… It really felt a bit patronizing to hear that. Am I nitpicking? Yes. Also, Felicity’s mother, Donna, is back. Guess they did wanted to add some levity to the episode.
But it doesn’t need it, really. The whole plan to bust out Ray hinges on breaking the compound of his cage. Which Ray has already found a solution for, except that the laser-like tool/rifle/thingamajig is the classic “find all the components to form this item” kind of quest. The challenge is that they need to break into Kord Industries to get one of the harder-to-find components. That name should ring a bell with comic book readers. Ted Kord is another millionaire-genius and superhero Blue Beetle, but I doubt we’re going that far with that reference for this storyline.
Oh yeah, the man holding The Atom prisoner, because I think it is time we should start calling him by his codename, is Damien Darhk. Goddamit, ground this character in one incarnation already. Sometime he flies off the handle, sometimes he’s a condescending prick, sometimes he’s cool as a cucumber and other times he wants to help others. All. Over. The. Place. Team Arrow uses Captain Lance to bring him to a meeting for some excuse. To his credit, Quentin plays his cards well, using his daughter Sara as an excuse without any hesitation. Actually, it’s a real question he chooses to ask. He gets dismissed because for some reason it’s Arrogant Damien this week and he doesn’t like being summoned (they why did you show up?).
The main quest then begins. Liberating Ray. But it’s not a straight arrow to get into the highly secure building he’s in. They need a plan, and it’s actually not bad. Green Arrow himself is captured by a henchman. A henchman that is Diggle in disguise. Oliver puts himself in a very dangerous position, but he does keep Darhk distracted. Of course it’s a ruse, but Darhk is not easy prey because of his mystical skills. However a flash bomb seems to be enough for Oliver to get away, although I dare say he could’ve easily gotten caught for good.
The Canaries, Speedy and Digg- actually, Felicity codenames him Spartan to avoid compromising him. Not only Felicity is rappelling into battle this time, but also Curtis Hold. He’s along for the ride to help with the high-tech rifle that will free Ray. It works. Also, Ray is suited up again. Why was he without the suit when he called Felicity… Perhaps it was explained and I missed it, but the anyhow the cage is breached and Ray is free, returning back to his regular size.
The other main quest that I wished would have had more prevalence, is the Canaries. Sara and Laurel Lance have some very sweet but short moments in this episode in which we’ll finally say goodbye to Sara. I wished they’d had an episode to themselves. Or at least, we could’ve cut out the unnecessary break-in-to-Kord-Industries side quest and have more moments with the Lance family.
There were quite a few things I enjoyed of this episode, although I did have issues with it too. It’s a mixed bag that I dare say has a positive outcome.
- I wanted the Canaries to have more screen time. They’re back and fighting together, while Sara is working through some of the remaining bloodlust issues from the pit. I felt it was not sufficiently explored. Sara decides she needs to get away from all the superhero antics for a while. The two Lance sisters did share a couple of moments (too short) that were sweet. In the end, of course Sara has to join Legends Of Tomorrow, so we knew from the moment that her comeback was possible that she was headed out.
- The mission to save Ray Palmer was nice. The whole extra mission to get that component needed to build the device had a bit of a filler taste. That’s because it was. I would’ve rather had more challenges in breaking into the main compound or better yet, let the Canaries have that time for some family moments.
- I did like how they distracted Darhk with Ollie, that made it seem a little more plausible. I still don’t quite like the way that Darhk is defined, or rather how blurry of a character he is. Brutal or sophisticated? Charismatic or hateful? Cool headed or loose cannon? Make up your mind about it.
- Felicity’s mother Donna. Did we really needed to put one more character in an already growing cast that has a lot of things to do? I get it, she’s comedy relief and advise dispenser in one. Still, very much unneeded in this episode.
- The flashback story this time is about… Err. I really didn’t care. It seems to be developing at such a slower pace.
- Felicity and Oliver reconcile. The one thing nagging at me is that in this issue it all seemed to be on Felicity’s part. Oliver simply gives her space. Sorry, but that felt a bit patronizing. They’re having couple problems and it felt like Oliver left Felicity alone as if she was the one with the problem. Nope nope nope. Say something a little bit more supportive like “do you think we need some space”. Big difference. Am I reading too much into this one?
- Ray. Miniaturized. Yeah, that’s the Atom. That’s his actual signature power. It feels like people should be just a tad more freaked out that he can do that. Yes, nitpicking city population one here.
- John Diggle gets a codename. Spartan. I like it. The only Spartan that I know in DC Comics comes from Wildstorm. He was an android, later a made with Kherubim technology, that was the leader of the Wild C.A.T.S. Safe to say, they’re not using that backstory. I still want John to keep it. It has a certain ring to it that fits him.
- We get a light moment in which Quentin is having soda water and ends up meeting Donna Smoak. Unless I’m mistaken, someone already predicted this one could happen. In a world where all the parents of the young heros are either dead or divorced, it’s nice to see there’s a chance for romance.
That will do for now.