TV Review: Arrow - Season 4 Episode 5 "Haunted"
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 5: "Haunted"
Synopsis: 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.
Review: John Diggle says it best in tonight's mystical hour of Arrow: "Just when I was getting used to the idea of meta-humans...". With Damien Darhk's powers on display and the use of the Lazarus Pit integral to the story arcs for Thea Queen and Sara Lance, Arrow has gone full tilt into the world of magic and mysticism begun with the League of Assassins and coming to a head with the appearance of John Constantine (Matt Ryan). While his NBC series may be over, Constantine's role this week definitely makes a case for him to make return appearances on Arrow. We also get a wrap-up for the return of Sara Lance and some closure for Diggle in regards to his brother's death.
After escaping from her shackles last week, Sara Lance goes on a rampage through Star City, killing multiple people who are within close proximity to women who bear a striking resemblance to Thea. Since Thea was the one who killed Sara, they deduce that she must avenge her death to find peace. This, of course, means that Oliver now knows that Thea and Laurel lied to him about where they went two episodes ago. Oliver is not mad though and decides they need to find a way to help Sara. So, Oliver calls in an old favor from John Constantine. This ties in with a flashback to Lian Yu where Oliver first met Constantine as he searched for a mystical object on the island.
Constantine brings Team Arrow together along with Captain Lance to perform a restitutionism, the opposite of an exorcism, where they will travel to another realm to reclaim Sara's soul. The team experience some of the strange necessities for Constantine to perform his ceremony, including a unique use for a peacock feather. Oliver and Laurel accompany Constantine to the other realm where they fight white-eyed members of The League and rescue Sara from the Lazarus Pit. The entire sequence is fairly short and a bit too easy, but it definitely does the trick in introducing magic to the Arrowverse. As Constantine leaves, proclaiming them even, Oliver promises to be there for his friend if he ever needs it, leaving the door open for a return appearance. Constantine also warns Oliver that anything they just experienced is easy compared to what Damien Darhk is capable of.
The flashback to Lian Yu is once again contrived and a waste of time on the episode. Constantine's appearance in search of a magical spell seemed a bit too coincidental to make much sense, nor was Reiter's allowance for Oliver to accompany the mysterious visitor to find the mystical object. Conklin, who shows Reiter Oliver's ARGUS knapsack, is quickly pushed aside despite evidence showing Oliver is not who he says he is. Once again, this series needs to stop with the stupid flashbacks. After retrieving the object, Constantine shows Oliver some magic and transfers a tattoo of Chinese characters from his forearm to Oliver's torso. This explains one of Oliver's many tattoos which Constantine says will come in handy when he fights Darhk, but doesn't explain how or why.
In other subplots, Diggle accompanies Captain Lance on a mission to erase military records from a base outside of Star City. Lance explains how he came into Darhk's employ and after spotting Diggle's brother in the erased records asks the HIVE leader about what he knows. Darhk reveals that Diggle's brother was involved in the drug trade in Afghanistan. Lance provides Diggle with a classified folder about his brother which he appreciates as it gives him closure on why HIVE wanted him dead. Also, Felicity and Curtis are able to decode Ray Palmer's final message which reveals that he is still alive and in trouble. Oh boy, here comes another Legends of Tomorrow origin story!
The culmination of Sara's return was well executed if not a bit rushed and could have stood for more involvement from Constantine, but I am overall very happy with this hour as it deviated from the villain of the week format we have seen recently and told a story different from what the Arrowverse has had to offer. The mystical side of things being explored definitely changes the realistic dynamic of the series and offers a unique alternative to the meta-humans on The Flash. I would love for Constantine to become a regular on this show and they would have more time if they just got rid of the useless flashbacks. Hopefully next week's Ray Palmer story will end these origin tales and let the show get back on track.
Next on ARROW: "Lost Souls" airs November 11th: Felicity is frantic when she learns that Ray is alive and being held by Damien Darhk. Felicity's guilt over not finding Ray sooner causes tension between her and Oliver. Meanwhile, Sara joins Laurel, Theaand the team on a rescue mission for Ray. However, the effects of the Lazarus Pit take over and threaten to jeopardize the entire operation.Donna Smoak returns to Star City.