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‘Arrow’ Review: ‘Restoration’ Decline

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We’re a few days late this week, but we need to talk about the latest episode of Arrow. For the most part, season four continues to be leaps and bounds more entertaining than its predecessor, but this episode left us with a lot of questions. Too many moments screamed ‘convenient’ and while we all understand television is scripted, it’s not supposed to feel like we’re being led by the hand from Point A to B as the character make questionable choices lacking common sense. However, the biggest question of the hour: Why isn’t Nyssa in charge of everything?

Restoration” brought the return of the former heir to the demon, who apparently still considers herself to be Oliver’s wife (he might want to check into the legality of forced assassin marriages before he presents that ring to Felicity). Nyssa sparred with Malcolm and made sure he knew she planned to kill him one day (told you she’s the smartest) as Laurel and Thea arrived on Nanda Parbat to ask Malcolm for help with Thea’s murderous tendencies and while they were there, could Malcolm also use his pit to bring Sara back?

arrow-403-01Malcolm explained Thea’s bloodlust came from the pit because the souls of everyone who used it over the years stuck around and made the recipients want to kill in order to stay alive. As long as Thea fed her urge, it would disappear for a few weeks at a time. Sure, it makes a twisted kind of sense, but it’s clearly no way to live, something Nyssa attempted to make Laurel see. After all, she never considered bringing her beloved back because she knew whatever came out would not be Sara. And Malcolm didn’t even know if it would work on a fully dead person.

I said this last week and I’ll say it again: I love Laurel and I understand it’s her grief talking, but Nyssa’s right: she’s being selfish. She wants to fix everything and get her sister back and I don’t blame her for that, but she’s not thinking about how much Sara will suffer. Look at Thea! Malcolm sent some of his men for her to kill in order to curb the urge, but no one’s nominating him for excellent parenting skills. What makes it even worse is that he more or less spelled out Sara would return wanting revenge on the person who killed her so in agreeing to bring her back, he put Thea in danger. Where is the logic, people?

And while we’re talking about logic, remember last week when Laurel had no clue Thea went through the restoration process? Once Sara came out alive and lashing out, Laurel assured Thea it was okay because she acted the same way. I know continuity in television is far from flawless, but these episodes aired back to back. Nyssa, once again the bright spot, destroyed the pit to make sure no one else could ever use it and then reminded Malcolm she would kill him. I need someone to explain to me why Katrina Law isn’t a regular on this show or Legends because we need Nyssa around all the time.

arrow-403-02Back in Star City, Original Team Arrow reassembled to guard the homestead. Here’s the thing: I like when shows give a nod to fans and OTA is a label fans use a lot. Having Felicity say it once was cute and meta. Having it be repeated over and over and over again took my head out of the episode because it started to feel insulting to the fans that enjoy the expanded team. The internet gets ugly enough without the writers throwing fuel into the script to add to the never ending fires (and with that, I’m getting off my soapbox).

Dig still refused to play nice with Oliver and Oliver decided he was done apologizing. I’ve been siding with Dig, but I don’t blame Oliver at this point. However, once they both got caught in bad situations AND lost a potential lead, Felicity told them both to shove it and work out their problems. She stopped short of knocking their heads together, but I could tell she wanted to before she headed to Palmer Tech…which was upstairs. I know they were working in Ray’s lab last season, but I had no idea Arrow Cave 2.0 was in the basement.

In a throwback to season one, Felicity gave Curtis terrible excuses about why she needed a tattoo playing card analyzed and he didn’t believe her, but did as she asked anyway. The latest villain, Double Down (I love Cisco naming Arrow villains too), teamed up with Damien Darhk thanks to Mina, the woman connected to Dig’s brother’s shooting (got that?). She ended up dead with a playing card to the neck and Double Down came after Curtis and Felicity inside the not-so-hidden lair. Felicity picked up a machine gun and blindly (seriously, her eyes were closed) shot at him until he made a run for it. Silly, yes, but it worked for me because she looked like she had no clue what she was doing (unlike that nonsense with the ATOM suit last season).

Speaking of the ATOM suit, have my demands been answered? I assume Felicity’s phone scramble is courtesy of Ray trying to communicate. And this brings me to another part of the story I had a problem with: why wouldn’t a tech person like Felicity care more that her phone went crazy? Shouldn’t it make her wonder if a villain is trying to hack her system? These are sinister times and I know she has a lot on her plate, but I think it would have made sense for her to do more than just ignore the phone until it spelled out her name. I appreciate the writers wanting to draw out the suspense, but please make it more believable. Phones are sacred to us mere mortals, let alone a computer savvy soul.

After a bro heart-to-heart, Dig finally told Oliver about HIVE. Of course by the time they found Mina, she was already dead. In a lovely moment, Oliver gave Dig some hope when he pointed out that he’d been investigating alone and now they would do it together and be more successful. We also got a tidbit of information that Damien does not appear to be the highest ranking member of HIVE and there’s something called “Genesis” in progress. Oliver and Dig manage to halt Double Down’s escape and he seems cool with heading to jail rather than facing Darhk (can’t blame him). Oliver, Felicity and Dig celebrate with margaritas and hinted at Arrow Cave 3.0 on the horizon.

(As for the flashbacks, seeing Ryan Robbins reminded me I need to finish watching Continuum. That’s as much interest as I can muster).

Next week, Lance learns his daughter is back from the dead (again) and Oliver discovers Lance is working with Damien.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.