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[TV Review] ‘Arrow’ Episode 4.03 – “Restoration”

Damien Darhk doubles down on his efforts to kill Green Arrow as the stakes are raised overseas during Thea & Laurel’s journey to Nanda Parbat.  Alright, alright, alright.  I’ll stop with the the poker puns.  Jokes aside, this week saw Darhk hiring the ink-gifted metahuman Jeremy Tell (J.R. Bourne)…aka Double Down…as an assassin meant to take out Team Arrow.  Did he succeeded or did the house win?

Yep, I did it again.  Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.  Anyway, of course they took him down and added him to the ever-growing metahuman prisoner collection at Iron Heights Prison.  Still, the fun is in the journey, not the outcome.  After a rather tame episode last week, this episode upped the fun factor a bit.  Metahumans might be par for the course in Central City (though still fun), but they still throw our team on this side of the DC TV Universe for a loop.

Darhk was back in fine form this week, calmly dishing out death to his inept employees, both the goons and the higher-ups.  Poor Hive must have a high turnover rate as an organization, but I guess like the fast food industry, success is measured by profits over career sustainability.  Diggle finally opened up to Oliver about Hive’s involvement in his brother’s death, ending not only that separate sideplot, but also the long-standing rift between two of our main characters.  Booyah!  The longer this show draws out secrets and subplots, the more it stumbles, so putting a fork in both of these this early on is nothing but a good thing.  It shows that many a lesson was learned after the creative pitfalls of last season.

Back to Nanda Parbat, Thea learned once again that she absolutely cannot trust her biological father, Malcolm Merlyn, even when it comes to dishing out information that could easily be relayed in a single sentence.  The reigning Ra’s al Ghul seems to be enjoying his position as leader of the League of Assassins, even if the previous Ra’s daughter, Nyssa, still wants his head separated from the rest of his body.

None of the three agree with Laurel’s desire to resurrect her sister Sara through use of the Lazarus Pit, but Laurel and her dumb ideas will not be stopped!  Laurel’s stupidity wills it, so it shall be done!  Sara is resurrected after her drying corpse is placed into the waters and what comes out seems rather monstrous, at least in terms of attitude.  While I’m happy to see Caity Lotz return to the DCTVU, having a resurrection hot tub for infinite use isn’t the best thing for a long-running series (this sucker is gonna make it to 10 years, mark my words), let alone when an expanded universe is involved.  Luckily for me, Nyssa agrees and ends up sabotaging the pit after her former lover’s return from the grave.  No more resurrection baths!

Quentin Lance and Jessica Danforth sit this week out, as does Oliver’s designs on running for mayor.  I’m not too bummed about the former, but I would have at least liked the latter to be touched on a little.  Perhaps next week?  The other big move this week is that Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) is now in the know when it comes to Felicity’s night gig as Team Arrow’s favorite dispatch operator.  That’s one step towards his destiny as superhero Mr. Terrific.  Another is the fact that he’s already kinda-sorta invented his trademark T-spheres (albeit by accident).  How soon will he be dawning his own snazzy get-up?  Who knows, but I like having him around and am curious to see how he interacts with the rest of the crew when the time comes.

Next week looks as though it will delve further into the problem that is undead Sara and Team Arrow’s discovery that Quentin Lance is connected to Damien Darhk and Hive.  I can’t imagine either reveal will go over well with our characters, so some drama is sure to be had all around.  Three episodes in and things are finally starting to pick up.  Here’s hoping it only gets better (especially the still-meandering flashback storyline)!

Other highlights…

  • Double Down in general is a good bit of fun.  This is absolutely Berlanti calling Marvel’s gambit and raising them a tattooed maniac.  Sorry, I did it again! (Not sorry)
  • I wonder if Thea has realized she’s been used twice over by Laurel in one fell swoop, both in utilizing her rich girl jet access and playing off of her father’s (twisted) love for her?  That’s gotta burn a bit.
  • Thea’s Merlyn-approved wake-up call.  You’ve gotta love how the mind of a sociopath works even when it comes to the simplest things.
  • Felicity snarking on Cisco’s supervillain naming skills.  Also, the fact that Cisco doesn’t even appear and he still manages to name our latest metahuman threat.
  • “You took a bullet for me, Oliver.”  “It was a metahuman tattoo playing card.”  “Still counts.”  Cheesy and cliched as hell, but it still worked.
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