This was easily the best episode of the season. Not because it had the best action moments (and it had plenty of those), but because it delved deep into the characters of the show, and proved that they have learned from what has happened to them in the past three seasons of the show.
So obviously, the big story this week was the reveal (thanks for the spoiler previews!!!!) that Andy Diggle was not only alive, but under the control of Damien Darhk. This sparked a whole new twist on Darhk’s organization, which was already on top of the twist that Andy was apparently dirty before getting captured/killed.
What really sold this episode was David Ramsey, who played a wide range of emotions with incredible believeability. From the shock of seeing Andy alive, to the struggle of what it mean that he WAS alive, to the pain of knowing that his brother may have been better off dead knowing what he knows, it was all masterful. What was even more fun though was seeing how the others reacted to it all. From Ollie’s “we need to know the truth” stance, to Laurel’s “I know a thing or two about resurrected siblings” and the others willingness to say Andy, even if Dig didn’t want him saved, was great.
I liked that Ollie was bent on proving that Andy might innocent in full, and Diggle rightfully called out that he’s always had a blindspot for family, where as Dig is a man of facts and action. These two styles collided many times in this episode, and that’s not a bad thing at all!
But Dig wasn’t the only one in the spotlight, Ollie made a bold move by openly (to those who knew) opposing Darhk, who had tried to convince Ollie (who he doesn’t know is the Green Arrow if you recall) that he could “help save the city”. This led to Ollie wanting to infiltrate the HIVE by aligning with Darhk. Sound familiar? The others thought so too! As they noted this is what got him in trouble with Ra’s, and that the mayoral campaign wasn’t about stopping evil, it was about saving Star City. I liked that this was called out, and that the resolution set up a lot of fun possibilities.
Thea was a surprise in this episode, as her bloodlust is returning, and she’s having trouble controlling it. The big shock was that Damien can’t use his “Poison Palm” on her, I suspect it’s because she was brought back by the pit. And with her and Malcolm now wanting to use Damien to cure her, even MORE possibilities are now open. My problem though is…how did she not get arrested for almost killing that guy? Also, that whole interaction was so cheesy, I thought Malcolm had staged it. Sadly…not the case.
Ray Palmer’s “rebirth” had a fun detour as he’s still not wanting to reinsert himself in his own life. No doubt this desire to “find new purpose” will lead him to Legends of Tomorrow.
The flashbacks are still dragging, but we did get a glimpse of Baron’s magical connection, and he divined the truth about what happened with the prisoner from last week. It needs to pick up soon, cause it’s honestly becoming a bit tedious at this point.
It’s almost (ALMOST!) a pity that the next episode of Arrow is the crossover, because it means (most likely) that many of these storylines will get pushed back. However, that does mean it’ll be great to see how they’re expanded upon when they return.