I’ve gone on record with stating how much I despise transitional episodes. I know they are a necessary evil that has to be handled on occasion, but I don’t have to like them. This week’s episode of Arrow, titled “Lost Souls,” is such an episode. That’s not to say that the episode is without value. It has action. It has levity. It has a big ol’ dose of heart (I knew “Valentine’s Day in November” was going to be a thing) in all the right places. But, the episode still felt like little more than set up for better episodes to come.
Oh, and a set up for Legends of Tomorrow.
The central storyline of this week’s episode is the search for the not-dead Ray Palmer. Felicity is obsessed with finding Ray. She is shutting out “distractions,” namely Ollie. She is cranky, mainly with Ollie. She is bickering over an open communications channel at–you got it–Ollie.
The problem is that Felicity blames herself for Ray’s current predicament. Felicity didn’t respond to Ray’s distress signals because she was caught up in romancing the Ollie. Now her former boss and former lover is in Damien Darhk’s evil clutches.
Ollie realizes that Felicity’s dilemma isn’t about Ray, it’s about their relationship. He gives Felicity her space while heading back to the Arrow Cave to see if he can figure out how to turn on a computer monitor. (Aside: “The file is in the computer!” Ten points to you if you recognize the reference and post it in the comments below.) Diggle shows up and reinforces that his relationship with Ollie is the heart that moves the show from one plot beat to another. I didn’t realize how much I had missed this in the earlier part of this season until this episode.
With Ray rescued by episode’s end (and heading off to wherever Legends go until their mid-season premier), and with a little motherly advice, Felicity realizes that the apprehension she has been feeling about her relationship with Ollie was her fear of falling in love. Of losing her “single girl” identity and creating a new identity as one half of a couple. We leave the two flawed lovebirds closer than ever… but for how long? Remember, there’s a grave a-waitin’ someone between now and the season’s end.
Don’t think for a moment that Oliver and Felicity were the only ones trying to find their ways this episode.
Thea is out from under the effects of the bloodlust she picked up in the Lazarus Pit (again, for how long?), but is still having a tough time finding her groove. I can’t imagine she gets much sleep between spending her days helping run Ollie’s mayoral campaign and her nights tagging along with Laurel and fighting crime. Alex–the Tim Tebow-looking guy that Thea hired to run Ollie’s campaign–asks Thea to dinner, but she shuts him down. Mostly. By episode’s end, Thea has decided it might be nice to try the whole “normal life” thing and asks Alex out for a drink. Next week’s episode may or may not be titled “How Thea Got Her Groove Back.”
To round out our November Valentines, it might just be a piece of conversation over a drink (club soda for him, thanks), but is there something bubbling between Laurel and Sara’s dad and Felicity’s mom? I hope so! I really hope we get more of these two together. I can’t wait for the scene where Quentin and Donna invite Laurel, Felicity, and Ollie over for a family sit-down… just don’t let Donna cook the meal.
Speaking of the Lance family, Sara’s back, but Laurel is still in denial about the fact that those who swim in the Lazarus Pit come out of the waters with an itch that can only be scratched by breaking necks and slicing fools in half. In a raid on Kord Industries, Sara gets a little overzealous and pummels a Kord security guard. In her defense, the guards at Kord came in shooting, for some reason.
Later, during “Operation: Save Ray,” Sara kills a HIVE gunman. While she might regret killing a man, she feels much better. Sara wraps up her role in this episode by telling Laurel that to make a fresh start, she has to leave Star City and learn how to handle the bloodlust on her own. Sara heads off to visit their mother in Central City, and now we know where Legends go to lay low.
There are some obvious benefits to Sara being in Central City. First, should the need arise, she’ll be on the spot to help out during some major event–say a December crossover and unofficial Legends pilot–take place and the heroes need a little extra muscle. Second, and perhaps more importantly, she can satiate her bloodlust by killing all the breachers popping up in Central City that she wants to. It’s not like the lives of people from a different Earth have any value.
While we’re touching on the team from Central City, let’s talk about Curtis Holt. With Felicity’s role evolving over the seasons, Holt has become some sort of Cisco Ramon-Felicity Smoak hybrid. Making cool tech? Check. Talking really fast and loose? Check. Yet, Holt retains his own unique charm. I don’t recall Cisco being an Olympian or Felicity being an experienced base-jumper. Holt’s character has been a “terrific” addition to the cast. Yes, pun intended.
Ray Palmer is shrunk and trapped in a plexiglass box. Then the team saves him. So, now he’s not in the box, but he is not ready to let the public know that he’s alive yet. I think he said something about taking a little time off in Central City until after the holidays, but I may have misheard (or completely made up) that part.
Why was Ray in a box? Remember that package that was delivered to Damien Darhk a few episodes ago? The one just sitting in his odd-shaped office (seriously, did he stop in the hallway on the way to his assigned office and say, “You know, I think I’ll just make this my office”?) for the past couple of weeks. Turns out the box contained a set of panels. Inscribed on the panels is some sort of blueprint, circuit, or map. My first thought was map, but now I’m leaning toward “magical circuit doodad.” The HIVE scientists have enough of what they needed from Ray’s suit to create a power source to activate whatever is etched on the panels.
Also, while trapped, Ray calls Felicity for help. Darhk threatens Felicity. Green Arrow and company show up and rescue Ray. How long do you think it is going to take Darhk to piece all of this together? How long until he makes good on his threat against Felicity?
Finally, in the flashbacks to Ollie’s time on the island that is not the same island as the one on LOST, Reiter uses the blacklight embedded in the crystal from the top of the Eye of Horus that Constantine gave Ollie last week to uncover the secret code that “the ancients” wrote in lemon juice on the walls of the hatch. It’s a treasure hunt! I love secret codes and obscure maps found in hatches on mysterious islands! So totally not LOST!
Arrow fans, have your thoughts on who ends up in the grave by season’s end changed at all? Are you just glad that Laurel and Ollie stayed apart for the bulk of this episode? Have you heard that there’s going to be this cool new show called Legends of Tomorrow on The CW?
Check out Arrow season four on Same Geek Channel:
Episode 4.01: Green Arrow
Episode 4.02: The Candidate
Episode 4.03: Restoration
Special Edition: Arrow Death Watch
Episode 4.04: Beyond Redemption
Episode 4.05: Haunted