Wednesday, November 11, 2015

REVIEW: 'Arrow' - Felicity Leads the Search for Ray as Her Mother Returns to Star City in 'Lost Souls'

The CW's Arrow - Episode 4.06 "Lost Souls"

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. Sara joins the team on a rescue mission for May. However, the effects of the Lazarus Pit take over and threaten to jeopardize the entire operation. Donna Smoak returns to Star City.

Felicity is devastated to learn that Ray is still alive. Those emotions don't really come out of any kind of romantic love. But instead, they appear because Ray is a friend who she cares about and she has spent the last six months not questioning whether or not he could have survived the explosion at Palmer Technologies. She just believed the story because she was on the road with Oliver trying to build a new life. Of course, that didn't last long before Felicity started longing for the heroics of Star City. But again, she never questioned the official story regarding Ray. And now that she knows the truth, she doesn't want to waste one more second of him not being safe. This is a fantastic Felicity episode that really showcases just how far she is willing to go to protect her friend who she cares about so deeply.

It is a somewhat chaotic hour for Felicity though as she has to deal with rescuing Ray, tension in her relationship with Oliver and the sudden appearance of her mother. Of course, all of those stories are connected together. Helping Ray is her top priority and that's what is causing the tension in her relationship while her mother shows up to be supportive of her and her new job but ends up giving her the perfect advance on how to find herself in her relationship with Oliver. All of the chaos works because Felicity is such a fantastic character on the show. Sure, it's amusing that she is so dedicated to finding Ray as quickly as possible and thus avoids eating, showering and sleeping. But that dedication shows just how strong this bond of friendship actually is.

Damien Darhk is currently keeping Ray prisoner. He wants to use his nano-technology in order to improve his sinister plans for the city. His team of scientists haven't quite cracked it yet. That's why Ray is still alive - even though he is still miniature. Ray sending distress signals to Felicity puts a target on her back because Damien is able to listen to those messages as well. And yet, none of the ghosts target Felicity in this episode to see what she knows about this technology. That's a good thing because the team has enough to worry about in getting the parts to make the machine that can get Ray back to normal size and then actually break into the facility where Damien is keeping him. Everyone is motivated because Ray is an ally who has been helpful in the past. But this mission can go wrong any number of ways - especially with a new member on the team this week.

The quest to rescue Sara was successful in the last episode. However, she is dealing with the same symptoms from being in the Lazarus Pit as Thea is. That comes out in a particularly nasty way during the episode's two big action set pieces. When it comes to breaking into the rival company to get a crucial (and experimental) piece of technology, she just starts wailing on a security officer and can't stop. When it comes to the later confrontation with the ghosts, she actually kills one of them. Even though he was a bad guy who wanted to kill all of them, she still killed someone. That weighs heavily on her soul. Enough to send her away for a little bit in order to figure out this second chance at life. She loves her family and will continue to check in from time to time. But this journey away (and to the upcoming spinoff Legends of Tomorrow) could do her some good.

It's likely that Ray will be making his way out of town as well. The mission to rescue him and return him to normal size is a success. Curtis was able to assemble the gun that restores his size. Oliver and Diggle are then able to lead the team to safety. As far as the public knows, Ray is still dead. So Felicity is still the CEO of the company. But now, the team knows that he is safe and can go back to living a more normal life. It doesn't seem like this experience has changed him too much. He's still giving way too much information when it comes to the cockroaches that almost killed him when he first shrunk. But he's incredibly grateful for what Felicity and the rest of team did for him. However, they inadvertently gave Damien a part of the technology that he wanted from Ray's suit. That can't be good for the future.

But that's a concern for later on this season. Right now, it's all about Oliver and Felicity dealing with a relationship that has lasted for much longer than they are used to. Felicity doesn't want to loss herself in this relationship. She feared that that was the cause of her not taking Ray's messages seriously until a couple of days again. The two of them fighting doesn't make it easier to find and save Ray. But the two also get some very wonderful advice from Diggle and Donna. It's great that Oliver and Diggle are friends again while Donna is able to provide some value when it comes to being around her daughter. Felicity always treats her mother like a big inconvenience that she has to deal with. She's furious that Oliver invited her here in the first place. But at the end of the day, Donna is the one who tells Felicity it's alright to feel this way with Oliver. It's the sign of true love and something she should cherish. Yes, it is scary but that's what makes it exciting too. Oliver and Felicity could be targeted by Damien and his ghosts at any moment. But they will have each other to love and protect them when that should happen.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Lost Souls" was written by Beth Schwartz & Emilio Ortega Aldrich and directed by Antonio Negret.
  • Has Laurel and Sara's mother always lived in Central City? Or is that just a recent development to help explain why Sara will be so easy to find for Legends of Tomorrow?
  • Thea also wants a chance at a normal life. So she decides to go on a date with Alex, Oliver's campaign manager. That could become tricky when her bloodlust returns. But it's still admirable that she wants a chance with a good and stable guy. He'll be different than anyone she has ever dated before.
  • Diggle, Thea, Laurel and Sara noting that they were all on the line when Oliver and Felicity were fighting about Donna was hilarious. As was Felicity giving Diggle a code name because Curtis was tagging along.
  • Also, Curtis must not have a good enough picture of the Green Arrow because Oliver has one distinctive jaw line.
  • Donna and Captain Lance bump into each other at a bar and hit it off. That's a romantic pairing that could be promising. I can't wait to see how everyone else reacts to it.
  • The flashbacks have gone back to being boring. Oliver is now heading up a new expedition for his new boss while the other soldier is still untrustworthy of him. It gets to the point where he manipulates the various workers into thinking that Oliver is a cruel soldier just like the rest of them.