Let’s start with the villains who appeared this week during “Restoration.” Double Down (J.R. Bourne) made an appearance as a merc for hire, who had the metahuman ability to pull tattoo cards off his body and throw them fast enough to do some real damage. The fight scenes involving Diggle, Green Arrow, and Double Down were the best of the season so far, and seeing Green Arrow deflecting cards as he finds a way to get close left us with a memorable episode in terms of action. While the character depth wasn’t there for Double Down, we didn’t really need it as he was there simply as an assassin to rid Darhk of Team Arrow.
Speaking of Damien, he easily has the best on-screen presence of any Arch-Villain during Arrow’s 4 season run. I’m not going to say he’s the best yet because we still have 19 episodes to go before he tops Deathstroke but Neal McDonough is currently terrifying. His showcase of magical powers culminated in using Double Down’s card to kill Fayad, Diggle’s only lead in his brother’s murder. Fayad brought Double Down to Star City as an insurance policy from Darhk’s associates in H.I.V.E., and he returned the gift by magically tossing a playing card directly into her throat to flex his powers before Double Down. Darhk continues to be menacing, forceful, and deranged.
The rest of the episode broke the team up into a couple different storylines. Thea and Laurel found their way to Nanda Parbat in hopes of using the Lazarus Pits to resurrect Sara Lance, while Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity stayed behind to work out some issues. The episode played on the “Restoration” name as we worked to mend the “OG Team Arrow” relationships, and reanimate Sara Lance.
The Oliver-Diggle trust issues sub-plot finally tied up. Both heroes found themselves in trouble as they ran off on their own. Diggle followed his only lead in Fayad, while Oliver responded to what he believed to be a basic robbery. Both found themselves neck deep as Diggle ended up with a gun pointed to his head, and Oliver found a playing card lodged in his arm. Ultimately they found trust in each other again, after a few cheesy lines, and Oliver’s desire to just have the chance to earn the trust. Felicity also had a little something to say.
Felicity! Felicity unloaded on Dig and Ollie. I mean unloaded. Oliver tried to interrupt as she chastised the guys, and she was having none of it. She laid down the law, and put her foot down as she would no longer stand by and allow these two to continue their internal boxing match. The two almost managed to get themselves killed without each other and they needed to shore up their problems before going back into the field. Felicity also had some interaction with Holt again this week. Ultimately leading to Felicity’s cover being spoiled as Double Down tracked his card and managed to force Felicity and Holt into the Arrow Cave. Speaking of Holt, he handled the reveal perfectly. He didn’t need to know more. He said he joined Palmer Tech to help Star City, and was happy to know his CEO was actually making a difference.
On to Nanda Parbat with Thea and Laurel, which is slightly where the episode fell off a little. While it was cool to be back with the League of Assassins, both Thea and Laurel took steps back as characters.
We found out Thea’s bloodlust is the culmination of shards of souls from every person who has used the pit and the only way to calm the lust is killing. Merlyn tricked Thea by setting some of his men to ambush her forcing her hand to kill in defense. While attempting to leave because of Merlyn’s deception, he finally agreed to resurrect Sara after originally declining just to prove that he loved his daughter.
Laurel rode forward with her wish to resurrect Sara completely ignoring the warnings from Merlyn, Nyssa, and even the signs Thea was showing. Nyssa had a great scene where she explained to Laurel how selfish she was being in this pursuit to bring Sara back. I’m actually a little disappointed in the writers here. Laurel has made strides forward as a character since season 2, where she completely fell apart. Season 4 marked a turn for Laurel and I feel like they took it all away by using her as the scapegoat to bring Sara back for Legends of Tomorrow. Nyssa said it best, “You’re thinking only of yourself…you’re not doing this out of love you’re doing this out of grief.” Nyssa had moved on and as an avid supporter of Laurel during her darkest moments, I was very hopeful that Laurel had too. This is a huge setback for Laurel. As predicted Sara is exhibiting the same signs as Thea after the pits and because she was completely dead, her signs haven’t faded yet.
Things of Note:
-Felicity cell phone displaying her name at the end of the episode – Ray –Palmer?|
-Nyssa destroying the Lazarus Pits to prevent anymore resurrections
-Darhk has associates who are not completely confident in his abilities
-Oliver and Diggle are done fighting
-Fight scenes between Dig, Ollie, and Double Down
-Felicity is such a badass. I’m in love.
-Diggle now has help on his search for H.I.V.E.
-WE SAW THE T-SPHERES!!! (Mr. Terrific’s tech)|
-Also Felicity again, because she is such a badass
-Caity Lotz is great, and although I’m not happy with how it happened, I’m happy she’s back
-Legends of Tomorrow shows small signs between the Arrow and the Flash this week.
-Laurel and all her laurel-decisions. Too many steps backwards for a character who had come so far this season. This has to be the most disappointing
-Thea and all her whining and complain. Too much season 1 Thea.
-Some of Oliver and Diggle’s line were a little cheesy.
While the good was good, and sometimes almost great. The bad was really bad and irritating. Laurel and Thea were very frustrating and remain the weakest part of the show. I’m glad the fighting between Oliver and Diggle is done. Damien Darhk and H.I.V.E remain a terrifying villain.
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