ARROW Season 4 Episode 4 [Review]

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While most seasons of TV shows tend to be sluggish in the early episodes, Arrow season 4 has been anything but, having consistently delivered exciting and action-packed episodes that punch with story development. At this point, the only concern is that the story may be moving along too fast, but this itself is exciting as it leaves viewers unable to guess where things go next.

“Beyond Redemption” is the fourth episode of the season 4 and the episode’s main goal is to get Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) back on the same team. For the most part, the main story is a procedural mystery that sees Team Arrow taking on a team of bad cops who are stealing drugs and money from the city. The interesting twist is that the team are members of an anti-vigilante task force and therefor have special weapons and training. The two subplots of the episode deal with Oliver announcing his run for Mayor, and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) revealing to her father that her sister Sara (Caity Lotz) is alive.

Keeping Up With The Lances

Laurel is a fascinating heroine, yet her portrayal in the show is one of the major weak points of the narrative. She is consistently shown making major blunders and has been from season 1 until now. Though she’s been a masked hero for close to a season and a half, Laurel is still one of the least developed characters on the show.

Arrow gives audiences no reason to cheer for her. As a reviewer, I’m always hoping for a reason to like Laurel and cheer her on, yet each week I’m disappointed. As others have already pointed out, I find myself wishing for drunken and angry Laurel Lance from season 2, at least then her character was showing progress.


After nearly a season of being bitter and angry, Lance has made a tentative truce with Oliver and Team Arrow in order to fight Damian Darhk (Neal McDonough). It was interesting to see Lance – once the most righteous of Star City’s defenders – had now fallen to Darhk’s power  and was in need of redemption. This will be a very fascinating story to follow, seeing one of the white hats humbled and in need of forgiveness from one he used to hate.

This was a very Lance family-centric episode, and for the most part “Beyond Redemptions” was successful in reintroducing the family as a driving point of the show. With the end of the episode showing that Sara had escaped from her bounds and was running free, it has set the stage for the arrival of John Constantine in next week’s episode “Haunted”; a perfect Halloween episode tinged with horror and magic that will help to further expand the Arrow universe.

Rating 3

Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8pm/9c on The CW.

About Byron Lafayette

One thought on “ARROW Season 4 Episode 4 [Review]

  1. It occurred to me after I finished my own episode guide entry for this episode that Laurel is the most selfish, inconsiderate bint on the planet. And I’m almost certain she’s the character who is doomed to die at the half season mark because the writers don’t seem to be spending ANY effort on making her emotional arc realistic because, screw it, Katie Cassidy will have the same expression of dull surprise no matter what we give her.

    Consider this – your dad is under a lot of stress at work, due to having most of his co-workers get killed, no budget, rising crime and – oh yeah – your ex, the vigilante, who he blames for getting your sister killed by proxy and you becoming a vigilante yourself, is back in town, claiming he’s going to save the city – something that worked out so well the LAST three times he tried that. This is probably aggravating his heart condition, which is severe enough it bumped him from active duty to a desk job – like managing the city is so much less stressful than getting shot at at this point. But I digress.

    Now, you bring your sister back from the dead, using a magic hot tub against the advice of everyone who has any experience working with said magic hot tub, and the wishes of your roommate, who is currently coping with having to become a serial killer in order to avoid going completely insane. And your sister – while technically alive – is not showing any signs of knowing who she is or responding to any stimulus except to try killing people. But you’re certain that, given time, it will all come back to her and things will be sunshine and lollipops. Even though everyone who has any knowledge or experience with this situation says – uh, no. Not going to happen.

    So you decide that what your stressed out dad with the heart condition really needs right now is to know that the daughter he’s mourned and moved on past is alive. Only she’s not really her. Oh, and she’s randomly homicidal. And I’ve got her chained in the basement of my apartment building like an animal. (Hope the super doesn’t go down there to check the water heaters!)

    Now, you MIGHT think that it would be much better to, say, wait until your sister is back to normal before springing the bombshells on your dad that…

    A) Your daughter is alive.
    B) Magic exists.
    C) Everything you know about reality is a lie.

    You would think that. But Laurel doesn’t think.

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