The CW‘s Arrow Haunted TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 4, Episode 5: Haunted saw old friends reunited, gave us awesome duos, necessary confrontations and a little bit of magic. Many running themes that have been bouncing around since the first episode made their way to the surface. All in all, Team Arrow was pretty solid in Haunted and I think they are finally in a place where they can begin to find a new rhythm.
In this episode, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) was the villain. The only way to stop her… call Constantine (Matt Ryan) to help raise her soul from the depths of the underworld. Sara was a seething, vicious thing on a murder spree in Star City, and, unfortunately, that is how Oliver (Stephen Amell) discovered her new existence. This led to some of the best dialogue I have heard between Oliver and Laurel since, sorry to say it, Season 2, because Laurel finally explained herself without basing her motives in selfish desires. While the revelation of Sara brought up one theme of secrecy among the team, Laurel also confronted Oliver on his hypocrisy – another theme that was bound to be an issue since Green Arrow. Oliver was right to embarrass Laurel with his statement that “she played with forces [she] did not understand” and people were dying because of it. Laurel has been reckless for a while now and Oliver needed to tell her. Tough love, finally. On the other hand, Laurel stung back, calling Oliver a hypocrite about keeping secrets and using the Lazarus Pit. She also accused him of not seeing her as an equal. Now, the equality part I can understand because truth is, Laurel is no where near Oliver’s level – Sara was – but not Laurel.
I saw Oliver go through the same motions I went through trying to understand why his need to revive Thea (Willa Holland) with the pit and Laurel’s need to revive Sara were proportionally different. I really appreciated the intimate conversation he had with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) about how Sara’s resurrection meant more misery and was “not healing anybody”. Still, Laurel made it so clear that Oliver’s need to heal her sister really was not greater than her own. Oliver knew how to bring Sara back to life, and he chose not to reveal that secret to Laurel. This was the second time Oliver refrained from giving the Lance family a chance to be whole and that was completely unfair. So, bravo Cassidy, you finally delivered a speech that was worth something and made Laurel relevant again. Laurel actually sounded like her old reasonable self, like someone the Arrow team could use. Kudos to the writers Brian Ford Sullivan and Oscar Balderrama for pulling from distant memory to make sense of Laurel’s actions. Oliver had to face the fact that he could not be angry with people for keeping secrets when he has been shrouded in secrecy the past few years. All was forgiven.
Two amazing duos were captured in this episode: Capt. Lance (Paul Blackthorne) / Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity / Curtis (Echo Kellum). I tell you I would subscribe to any spin-off created for these pairs. Lance and Diggle’s show would be roughly noir-action-thriller as they go on spy missions into HIVE and beyond. Ramsey and Blackthorne were dramatically interesting as a pair because, whereas Ramsey is usually playing off of Amell‘s moody charm, this time he was playing off of Blackthorne‘s intense, brooding sarcasm that rivaled his own. It was great to see the only two actual law enforcers of the group – a soldier and a cop – working separately from the team going on an errand for Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough). The mission revealed a truth about Diggle’s brother that was hard to ignore. I liked, also, the twist of having Lance be the one that helped Diggle find out the truth about his brother’s assassination when Oliver had been the one who promised to help Diggle do this. This exchange ingratiated Lance to Diggle in an unexpected way. I would actually like to see their relationship develop into more of a friendship.
Felicity and Curtis are hilarious together. They have been since they met. Kindred spirits, their show would obviously have to be a sitcom with dramatic arcs about Felicity’s love life and Curtis’ Olympic-techy pride (Mr. Terrific, the bronze medal decathlete genius!). Felicity enlisted Curtis to help uncover the hidden message in Ray Palmer’s (Brandon Routh) last transmission. After a dozen caffeinated drinks in a row (I am still giggling), Curtis cracked the message: Ray is alive! (Of course). Now, when will this information get to the rest of the team, the company, the world?…Dundundunnnn. I am thinking next week in Lost Souls. Rickards and Kellum riff off of each other like veteran comics on a stage. I was in stitches watching them.
Over all, I really enjoyed this episode. Ryan‘s appearance as Constantine was silly and magical. Constantine’s rough side was shown in the flashback, toting a gun and an arsenal of incantations. He and Oliver became fast friends (plus, we discovered the origin of one of Oliver’s tattoos). Magic usually has a small place in the Arrow universe, so it was a bit off-putting to have magic in the forefront of this episode in two storylines (what the heck was that jeweled dagger? or was it a spear?). Nevertheless, Constantine warned Oliver that Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola) was not only on the island to farm drugs, he was dangerous beyond belief. Honestly, the flashbacks have done little so far to develop Reiter as a character. Oliver seems more dangerous.
In the end, Sara is back, the Lance family is whole again, Ray has finally made contact, and Oliver’s campaign for mayor is in full swing with a shady somewhat arrogant campaign manager, Alex Davis (Parker Young). Seriously, the first thing he tells Oliver to do is to cut his association with Laurel. That was rude! Team Arrow is stronger than that though. Arrow seems to be back in it’s full swing too with a less divided team that is finally rebuilding trust.
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