TV Show Review

TV Review: ARROW: Season 4, Episode 4: Beyond Redemption [The CW]

Paul Blackthorne Arrow Beyond Redemption

The CW‘s Arrow Beyond Redemption TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 4, Episode 4: Beyond Redemption unveiled the new lair and it is glorious! There were many developments in this installment. Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) announced his candidacy for Mayor. Thea (Willa Holland) and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) have returned from Nanda Parbat with a completely feral Sara (Caity Lotz). Oliver and Capt. Lance (Paul Blackthorne) have a reckoning. There was a beautiful spotlight on Lance in Beyond Redemption. Blackthorne‘s seamless portrayal of Lance from beleaguered police captain to emotionally disturbed father to supplicating citizen really gave this episode gravitas.

At the start, Oliver reveals his intent to run for mayor and the new secret lair. It is tricked out in green and white lights and steel…just beautiful. There are individual stations for each hero and, of course, the beloved salmon ladder has its own special nook. I am excited to see the team navigate the new crib. Although, I do not know how secret it is since Lance has already been for a visit and I am pretty sure that the “glitches” are caused by a “certain someone” hacking the network.

The major antagonist in this episode was actually a band of rogue cops! Liza Warner (Rutina Wesley) and the rest of her team from the reinstated Anti-Vigilante Task Force are mixing in the drug market in Star City. As if Star City did not have enough problems, the police force has deteriorated as well.  It was a nice surprise seeing Wesley appearing in the DC Universe after her phenomenal run on True Blood as the iconic Tara Thornton and her arc in Hannibal. Her arc here was interesting as she played Warner who considered herself a righteous human being, but she was ruthless in her pursuit of a blood-money retirement fund to help ease her exit from the dying city. Warner’s feelings affected Lance’s own feelings of guilt about his agreement with Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough).

Oliver and Lance had a heated exchange after Oliver discovered Lance’s involvement with Darhk. The argument between these two men unleashed a long-standing amount of resentment on both sides, and in some ways, it was cathartic for both, and probably for the audience. I know it was for me. Lance’s self-righteousness and hypocrisy demanded a worthy confrontation, and I think we got one. Lance’s explanation that he was only involved with Darhk out of desperation was not enough for Oliver. Oliver was hopeful about running for mayor primarily because he could create the opportunity to earn Lance’s respect again. So, discovering Lance’s partnership with Darhk really damaged Oliver’s resolve. Trust was broken, which is something Oliver understands too well since not too long ago he was begging Diggle (David Ramsey) for a chance to regain trust. There simply must be room for redemption in Star City. Now, Lance must try to redeem himself by using his relationship with Darhk to help save Star City. Hopefully, Lance will be there when Darhk’s plans are revealed, especially since we saw Darhk receive a mysterious box.

Lance went through a rollercoaster this episode after Laurel revealed her secret to him: Sara is alive…and chained in the apartment building’s basement?! Sara does not recognize anyone, does not resemble her former self, does not know her own name. Lance moved from denial, to gratefulness, to regret in the space of a minute, and continued to struggle through these same emotions throughout the hour. He even went to Darhk for advice on how to handle Sara. Darhk told him to “put her down.” What father could kill his own child? (Oh wait… Thea’s father…) Anyway, it seems issues with Sara have only just begun because she got loose! What did they expect? They had Sara chained up in the basement like a dog, she felt threatened, of course she would want to get free. Laurel, Lance, and Thea will have to come clean pretty soon, and I am certain that conversation will not be pretty. Between Warner’s story, Lance’s story and Sara’s story perhaps this episode’s title was actually a question: are Warner, Lance, Sara, Star City really Beyond Redemption? Despite the somewhat hopeful ending with Oliver’s announcement the road ahead still looks a bit rough.

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About the author


I am ...a lover of all things film ...a published poet with a law degree from Howard University School of Law ...a D.C. native, who frequents local and international film festivals ...a self-professed couch potato who can usually be caught watching anything produced by Joss and Jed Whedon. My favorite TV shows include the Buffy & Angel Series, Sons of Anarchy, Oz, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and The Shield. Still, I am open to everything on TV and Netflix, which is doing big things.

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