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TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 4 "Beyond Redemption"

10.29.2015
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Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.

Episode 4: "Beyond Redemption"

Synopsis: Laurel must deal with the repercussions of taking Sara to Nanda Parbat. Meanwhile, Oliver asks Captain Lance for a favor and while he's not surprised at the response, he is surprised at what he finds out next.

Review: The Lance family are almost as prevalent on Arrow as the Queen clan, but this week's episode puts Quentin, Laurel, and the recently resurrected Sara at the focal point for what has turned into spin-off city in recent episodes set in the Arrowverse. This week's episode of The Flash gave us the new Firestorm origin while tonight continues to build on the return of Sara Lance as well as Ray Palmer, assumed dead in the accident in last season's finale.

While Oliver's decision to run for Mayor of Star City waivers back and forth during this episode, he realizes that he needs to balance his career as Green Arrow alongside his political aspirations. With a brand new Team Arrow base located at Sebastian Blood's campaign headquarters. The office upstairs is now Oliver's campaign base while underground is a newly retro-fitted Arrow Cave designed by Felicity with some help from Cisco and STAR Labs. With everyone seemingly on the same page as to the team's goals and why Oliver is running for office, that leaves only two major secrets, both of which come to a head. First, we have Captain Lance's secret alliance with Damien Darhk and second we have the return of Sara.

The foe for Team Arrow is some rogue cops who have decided to take the law into their own hands to steal money from criminals for their own gain. This brings Oliver and Captain Lance together to try and find the corrupt cops. Lance still does not like Oliver even though he knows full well that he is the Green Arrow. But, when Laurel brings her father to see the revived Sara, he breaks down at the prospect of having his little girl back even if she is an animalistic shell of her former self. This sends Lance to meet with Damien Darhk who says there is no way to save Sara and the best thing he could do for her would be to kill her and put her out of her misery. Lance is fully prepared to follow through with it but at the last moment he changes his mind.

Still, the damage has been done. Searching for the corrupt cops via security cameras, Felicity and Oliver stumble across Lance meeting with Darhk. For the first time, the tables have turned between Oliver and Lance. They continue to team up to stop the corrupt cops, after which Lance tells Oliver he is going to turn himself in to the SCPD, but Oliver tells him he would much rather use him as a double agent to try and get close to Damien Darhk and finally bring him and his Genesis plan down. The episode closes with Oliver delivering a rousing campaign speech to Star City and essentially calls Darhk out both as himself and his alter ego. It will be intriguing to see where things go from here.

In regards to Ray Palmer, Felicity deals with some technical issues with the new Arrow Cave and weird text messages she assumes are from Curtis Holt. Holt has discovered some encrypted messages from Palmer that Felicity does not want to hear. While it is not overtly explained, I have a feeling that the explosion that shrunk Palmer and his A.T.O.M. suit are what is causing the technical glitches with the computers. I would expect Palmer's return to happen in an episode soon, but with the feral Sara escaping by episode's end, that is likely the more pressing plot element.

As has been the case since last season, the flashbacks continue to be pointless. Oliver is still undercover on Lian Yu and pretends to have killed one of the prisoners only to have another guard discover his A.R.G.U.S. pack poorly hidden beneath a tree. I think Arrow would be best served to eliminate the flashback device entirely unless it has a direct correlation to the plot. So far, the flashbacks have been the weakest part of every episode and have not done anything useful since the second season. Overall, this episode doesn't really feel like it does much but catch up on plot threads left dangling over the last few episodes. Damien Darhk is still a slow burn of a character but I am hoping that once the Legends of Tomorrow origins are done, we can get this series back on track.

Final Verdict:

Next on ARROW: "Haunted" airs November 4th: When things take a turn for the worse with Sara, Oliver calls in a favor from an old friend who deals in the mystical, John Constantine.

Source: JoBlo.com

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10:03AM on 10/29/2015
Overall it was a good episode. I feel that each week leading up to the mid-season break of Flash and Arrow will be focused on cementing the characters for Legends of Tomorrow into the Arrowverse. Although, Arrow seems to be doing a better job of it then Flash IMO. The Captain Cold and Firestorm episodes were just so blatantly obvious as set ups for this other series. Whereas the resurrection of Sara Lance and Ray Palmer feel much more organic. Perhaps because they've been central figures
Overall it was a good episode. I feel that each week leading up to the mid-season break of Flash and Arrow will be focused on cementing the characters for Legends of Tomorrow into the Arrowverse. Although, Arrow seems to be doing a better job of it then Flash IMO. The Captain Cold and Firestorm episodes were just so blatantly obvious as set ups for this other series. Whereas the resurrection of Sara Lance and Ray Palmer feel much more organic. Perhaps because they've been central figures to the story since season 2? Perhaps b/c they're spreading these story arcs out over a few episodes to give it more gravitas? Who knows? But I like it. Now I just wonder if we'll be getting a random episode on either Arrow or Flash that introduces Hawkman and Hawkgirl?

Overall, this season is working pretty well though. Yes, the flashbacks continue to be pointless. But the story itself seems much better than season 3. We have a villain with some type of plan that's all about gaining power - I just never bought into Ra's Al Ghul's plan to invade Star City and discredit Arrow. Why not just ask him to join or kill him? And on top of that, we have an arc that provides some character growth for our characters. Oliver running for mayor makes perfect sense and will add some weight to the dual identity of the show. We have Diggle learning to trust his friend again. We have Thea overcoming the effects of the Lazarus Pit. We have Captain Lance in over his head with Darhk. We have Laurel....still around. Everything seems to be firing on all cylinders. I only hope that after the Legends of Tomorrow is set up, the show starts to become a bit more tightly focused.
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10:26AM on 10/29/2015
Sometimes blatant episodes like that can lead to good things though. The episode of Arrow that introduced Barry/the Flash was the same, kinda came out of nowhere and you could tell they were trying to make the storyline important. The camerawork and effects were elevated, even the music was more cinematic, and out of that, we got a great companion show to Arrow that really stands on its own. I'm just hoping Legends of Tomorrow can do the same. And I agree that this season of Arrow is starting
Sometimes blatant episodes like that can lead to good things though. The episode of Arrow that introduced Barry/the Flash was the same, kinda came out of nowhere and you could tell they were trying to make the storyline important. The camerawork and effects were elevated, even the music was more cinematic, and out of that, we got a great companion show to Arrow that really stands on its own. I'm just hoping Legends of Tomorrow can do the same. And I agree that this season of Arrow is starting off much better than last season.
2:29AM on 10/29/2015
I thought this was a great episode. Its planting the seeds for the Legends of Tomorrow characters from Arrow. but its doing it in a less overt throwaway way. Since Sara has always been so important, as is her entire family, her being the focus of the story doesn't felt forced the way Cold's episode did. Even the Ray Palmer aspects are just wetting the appetite not beating us over the head. I like the idea of Oliver running for mayor, and I like that he and Quentin are more alike than either
I thought this was a great episode. Its planting the seeds for the Legends of Tomorrow characters from Arrow. but its doing it in a less overt throwaway way. Since Sara has always been so important, as is her entire family, her being the focus of the story doesn't felt forced the way Cold's episode did. Even the Ray Palmer aspects are just wetting the appetite not beating us over the head. I like the idea of Oliver running for mayor, and I like that he and Quentin are more alike than either realized until tonight. It's also good to know Quentin hasn't been working with Darhk and Hive for years or decades, that it was just a recent thing.

All I know is next week is CONSTANTINE, and god was it nice to see Ryan back on screen in that jacket. I hope and pray he comes back towards the end of the year as well. After all Darhk has some serious mystical shit going on, and who better to counter that at Oliver's disposal.
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