ARROW Season 4 Episodes 2 & 3 [Review]

arrow season 4 review poster
ARROW Season 4, Episodes 2 & 3 “The Candidate” & “Resurrection”/ Directed by THOR FREUDENTHAL/ Story by GREG BERLANTI & BETH SCHWARTZ/ Teleplay by MARC GUGGENHEIM & WENDY MERICLE/ Starring STEPHEN AMELL, EMILY BETT RICKARDS, KATIE CASSIDY, DAVID RAMSEY, WILLA HOLLAND and PAUL BLACKTHORNE/ Produced by DC ENTERTAINMENT, WARNER BROS TELEVISION, BERLANTI PRODUCTIONS & BONANZA PRODUCTIONS

As has been stated before, season 4 of Arrow has been shaping up to be a fine season. It has improved in many ways over the poorly rated third season and has so far delivered exciting episodes that show much promise.

Season 3 of Arrow, while having some good moments, felt much like Avengers: Age of Ultron – where a good story was burdened by the need for the franchise’s universe building. Many of the seeds planted in Arrow season 3 are coming to bear now, and dare I say it, but after season 4 is finished, season 3 may not be considered as terrible as it was initially.

The Insanity of Thea Queen

Thea Queen’s (Willa Holland) mental instability played a huge role in both episodes two and three. In “The Candidate,” viewers were treated to a full psychotic episode when she is confronted by Oliver (Stephen Amell), and in response violently attacks her own brother and must be restrained; which in turn makes Oliver feel guilty, knowing she is suffering from these affects from the Lazarus Pit.

Both episodes did a good job in showing the torment Thea is going through, and in “Resurrection,” the hopelessness of her situation was further showcased when Malcolm (John Barrowman) informs Thea that the only way to be rid of the bloodlust is to kill. Thea’s seemingly lack of options has also laid the groundwork John Constantine’s arrival, where he may try and help cure her.

The Lazarus Pit

Another game changer was the revelation by Malcolm that the Lazarus Pit takes a bit of each soul it heals, and when one is healed by its waters, fragments of those souls are joined to the one using it. This is the reason for both Thea’s descent into madness and Sara Lance’s (Caity Lotz) madness after she is resurrected.

Speaking of, Sara’s resurrection was surprisingly dull given that months ago when DC’s Legends of Tomorrow featured it in their trailer the scene played as more a dramatic emergence from the water. What was shown on Arrow was lackluster, with little tension and none of the energy the scene had in the trailer. Hopefully, the overall story of her journey back to sanity will be handled better.

lazarus pit arrow season 4 resurrection review

At the end of “Resurrection,” it is revealed that Nyssa (Katrina Law) has corrupted the waters of the pit, ruining its ability to heal. And it’s interesting to see the fear in Malcolm at that point – he is a deadly warrior, but he is only little better than Nyssa, and without the pit is advantage over her is reduced. With the Lazarus Pit removed from the narrative (at least for now) the stakes have been raised, characters can no longer rush to it to be saved and death is again real in the world of Arrow.

The Villains

One thing Arrow does well is its depiction of the bad guys; the main villains in these episodes are Anarky (Alexander Calvert), a deadly mob enforcer, and Double Down (J.R. Bourne), a meta-human with playing card tattoos he can use as weapons. Both villains are well done and the fight choreography is, of course, excellent.

Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) is continuing to be a stand out as he practically drips menace and is very dangerous. The only thing the writers should be careful of is over using him, maybe not have him behind every crime in Star City. Season 4 would do well to have a few arcs featuring other threats, not unlike season 3’s Brick episodes.

The overall plot of this season is still a mystery, but a tiny clue from “Resurrection” indicates that Darhk is after something called ‘Genesis,’ but little else is revealed. There’s also a lot revolving around Sara and Thea’s recovery, and this thread holds plenty of promise for delving into the rich history that DC has to offer. Season 4 also seems to be leading up to a massive fight between the League of Assassins and H.I.V.E, which should prove interesting. All in all, this season is aiming tie up many loose ends from previous seasons, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the show was heading towards some major change.

Rating 4

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

About Byron Lafayette

One thought on “ARROW Season 4 Episodes 2 & 3 [Review]

  1. Good review and good points, but I think ol’ Con Job is probably going to be brought in to retrieve Sara’s soul rather than help Thea. I could be wrong though.

    I do find it interesting that you got through this review without once mentioning Laurel. As I noted in my episode guide for the show, Laurel’s a total non-entity in Episode 3 and Nyssa’s swearing vengeance on her at the end seems horribly misplaced. Yes, it was Laurel’s idea to put Sara in The Pit, but it never would have happened without Malcolm’s permission. And he was only doing it to try and ease Thea’s conscience, even though she said she’d never inflict what The Pit did to her on another person.

    Personally, I feel like the writers are trying way to hard to pretend that Laurel has some significance to the show and are building her up so that she can be viewed fondly when they kill her off.

    Yes. I’m calling it. That’s Laurel’s grave we see Ollie standing by in the flash forward in episode 401. The only other person I can see it being is Thea and that’s only if she decides to sacrifice herself to free Sara from the bloodlust… assuming Merlyn wasn’t lying about the whole thing where killing the person who killed you will balance the scales.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *