Arrow Review – S4E3 Restoration
So there’s a lot I want to discuss about this episode but there’s one topic that I’ve been debating since the episode aired that I might as well open up with. I think people are way too hard on the character of Laurel. I get it. She wasn’t that great of a character for the first two seasons and it’s really hard to pull a Daisy Johnson/Skye turn around with the fans. Not only was the character not written very well the first two seasons, but with her sister Sara being introduced as the first Canary, Laurel has an impossible ditch to crawl out of. Now in my opinion, I think she has. But I get why a lot of the fanbase just doesn’t like her. However, I get a little annoyed seeing Laurel get hate for things other characters (particularly male characters) do with little reaction. The latest in this is Laurel’s seemingly irrational push to use the Lazarus Pit to bring Sara back to life. Yes, as an audience, it seems stupid that Laurel would ignore all the warnings and selfishly bring her sister back. But let’s remember a few things. First, we as an audience know way more than she does. It wasn’t until Oliver told Thea back in their apartment that Laurel (or anyone else for that matter) found out about the warning of possible side effects. And when you look at Laurel’s face during that conversation, she was clearly tuning everything out past “You were dead/dying and we brought you back.” Laurel’s singular focus is on bringing her sister back and its understandable. Not only because she loves and misses her sister but the tensions between Laurel and her father are because of Sara’s death. Bringing Sara back also means possibly healing an important relationship with her father that has been completely shattered.
Secondly, let’s remember how Oliver handled Thea. He was given repeated warnings by Merlyn (and I believe Nyssa) about the effect the Pit would have on Thea. When she was brought back, she attacked him and was crazy. He saw more reasons to believe there would be an issue than Laurel did. Hell, the man he fought, Ra's, is a product of years of using the Pit. So to say that Laurel had more proof than Oliver of the what could happen is a bit of revisionist history. And yet how did he react? He left Thea to be cared for by Malcolm Merlyn and told no one of the side effects. After defeating Ra’s…he then left Thea AGAIN. This time after giving her his blessing to carry on fighting crime as Speedy. He left to go play family man with Felicity and never really seemed to check in and care. It’s only after he noticed (what the others didn’t) her increased aggression that he decided it was time to open up about the side effects. Oliver handled this way worse than Laurel did. Sure, Laurel is delusional that everything will go back to normal. I think we all would be. She’s never properly grieved for her sister and she’s in deep denial. But I also know that Laurel isn’t going to leave Sara’s side and is going to try to find help for her. Oliver DIDN’T do that with Thea until it was too late. I mean, Oliver really bought the idea that all Thea needed was a Spa vacation with Laurel. I get people not liking Laurel but, let’s admit that Oliver’s been way more irrational than anything Laurel’s done.
While we’re on the topic of Sara/Thea and the Pit; Malcolm Merlyn (I refuse to call him Ra’s) said that Thea’s bloodlust could only be ended if she kills the one who harmed her. Now, Thea assumed this meant the old Ra’s and since he’s dead, then she’s doomed to deal with this. However, in my mind, the one who really harmed Thea is Merlyn. He’s the one that put her in harms way and his death at her hands could release her. The same goes for Sara. Yes, Thea killed Sara but she was under the influence of Merlyn. Merlyn is the common thread for both Sara and Thea. We also know what Nyssa said about eventually getting her revenge on Merlyn. With the Lazarus Pit destroyed, I see a path for Sara & Thea to “cure” themselves and for Nyssa to take her rightful place as leader of the League. That path goes right through Malcolm Merlyn. Honestly, Merlyn reversing course and agreeing to help Laurel was a bigger issue for me than Laurel's selfishness. I can understand her selfishness but I don't understand Merlyn's logic for changing his mind. His "gift" to Thea was to grant Laurel's request to bring back Sara? But how does that help Thea and that wasn't want Thea wanted? The only thing that makes sense to me is that Merlyn knows Thea can only be cured by killing him and so in his mind, restoring Sara might mean she kills Thea and then Merlyn is safe. Now I don't buy that twisted logic for one second because as I stated above, I believe the Malcolm is the person responsible for both Sara and Thea but...who knows. That whole conversation was more odd to me than anything with Laurel this episode.
As I said in my last review, Oliver and Diggle are brothers and would eventually reconcile. Diggle’s reluctance was understandable and I think he made a great point. Oliver’s saying to trust him now but how many times has Oliver said that then reverted back to lying? But Diggle needs Oliver’s help to flush out HIVE and avenge his brother and so as expected, he forgives Oliver so they can work together. This puts Diggle in play in terms of who is in that grave we saw at the end of episode 1. I don’t believe that Original Team Arrow is going to be intact by the end of this season. We also learn that Damon Darhk isn’t the head of HIVE and has “superiors”. I put that in quotes because clearly Darhk doesn’t really respect them. Regardless, it’s going to be interesting seeing just how big HIVE is and what they’re up to. I’m also wondering if these flashbacks of Oliver will tie into HIVE. Right now they don’t seem to be connected but we know that won’t last.
Welcome to the club Curtis. We all know he eventually becomes Mr. Terrific and I can’t wait for that transformation. But I also loved how he told Felicity that he came to work for Palmer Technology because he wanted to make a difference in the city and now he knows his boss is trying to do the same thing. I look forward to seeing more of him. One thing that does stand out. His character really could be a replacement for Felicity. I know my theory is that Diggle is in that grave but I’m not writing anyone off. It could be Felicity and Curtis/Mr. Terrific could be used as the “Tech Guy” for Team Arrow. I know he’s more than that but it could happen.
I enjoyed seeing the metahuman Double Down and his fights with Oliver. Sure, it was a bit ridiculous but…I read comic books, I’ve seen even more ridiculous. I do want to see more metahumans on Arrow or at least more powered individuals like Darhk. One thing that I thought that was brought up and quietly dropped was the DNA on the one Ghost’s tooth. Felicity said that there was something wrong with it and we never really investigated it further. I’m sure that will come up later. Also, a bit of a continuity error. When Sara came out of the Pit, Laurel said it would be okay and it was just taking longer than it did for Thea. But she wasn’t there when Thea came out of the Pit so she wouldn’t know that. Just a bit of an error.
This season is off to a better start than last season. Like The Flash and Agents of SHIELD, I feel like they’re progressing quickly through storylines that would have taken us several episodes last year. That tells me something big is coming. Also, I like how both The Flash and Arrow are seeding Legends of Tomorrow. I think that also adds to why the Laurel/Sara resurrection is progressing so quickly but it doesn’t bother me too much.
Oh and Oliver is working on the Arrow Cave 3.0? Must be nice to have access to money again.
One thing that was in my notes that I forgot to mention. The Ghost that Diggle was chasing at the beginning of the episode could have killed Diggle but instead, decided not to shoot. Why? That has to be important.