Arrow: Lost Souls review

Mama Smoak returns in a lighter episode that still got a lot of heavy lifting done. Here's the latest Arrow review...

This Arrow review contains spoilers.

Arrow Season 4 Episode 6

As you may or may not know, I’ve had a tough time getting into Arrow season 4. It’s been a little aimless. I was getting worried.

In fact, I was especially worried after last night’s ridiculously good episode of The Flash. How could Arrow, which has been struggling all season long possibly compare to the spectacle of “Enter Zoom?”

Well, it turns out, it didn’t have to. It just had to relax, let the characters be the characters, and have a little fun. “Lost Souls” might be just what Dr. Palmer ordered.

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I had issues when I first heard the early details of this episode. Donna Smoak is fun, but a Donna Smoak diversion didn’t seem like what the show needed when it’s been trying to find its identity this year. Turns out I was being dumb. I wasn’t thrilled about Oliver’s Mayoral campaign, but so far, so good. I don’t mind being wrong.

“Lost Souls” may also go down in history as “the episode of withering looks,” most of them coming from Felicity. I’ve never seen so many “I’m just going to stop talking now” faces after a quick, hard stare. Even the “important” or “touching” mother/daughter moments never had time to become cloying. Everyone’s timing (and that absolutely credits the writers and director, too) was on point this week. 

I never doubted that Oliver and Felicity would work things out quickly. But seeing proof that Oliver and Diggle are totally cool again also helps tremendously with the overall relaxed vibe of the show. I’m not saying that everyone on Team Arrow always has to get along, but when you think about it (other than poor Sara, of course) this episode might have just given us not only the largest active team, but also the least dysfunctional. That was also a really stellar action sequence at the end with everyone getting down to it.

It looks like we’re nearing the end of the Legends of Tomorrow set-up, and that’s a good thing. I imagine Arrow will feel like it’s been unshackled once everyone is “back from the dead” and sent off to do timey-wimey things with Rip Hunter and pals. To be fair, so much more of this had to fall on Arrow‘s shoulders than Flash‘s just because of where these characters were introduced, but it’s time to move beyond some of this. We get it, Sara has violence issues, but her wailing on a Kord security guard was just too reminiscent of stuff we saw with Thea just a few weeks ago.

As for my other minor issue, while I still have absolutely no clue what the hell Damien Darhk wants, Neal McDonough still makes for such a fun, powerful presence, that I don’t mind as much. There’s plenty of time for all that to be revealed.

It took about two minutes for me to get those good Arrow vibes off “Lost Souls.” I never lost them. This isn’t an all-time classic episode, but it was the right one at the right time. All I needed this week was to feel thoroughly entertained and be reminded why I’ve grown attached to most of these characters. Mission accomplished.

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Meanwhile…On an Island…

Holy moley, I can’t believe it, but I’m actually paying attention to the flashbacks again! All it took was John Constantine to show up last week and set things right, and here we are.

It’s no surprise, I guess, that Reiter is more than just some drug lord. But the only mystery on the island for me up until recently was “why are they still sticking with this format?” Now, I’m intrigued.

That was a fairly elegant/different cliffhanger for these sequences, too. Ollie is obviously never in any danger, but this was a genuine, “okay, clever move by a bad guy…how does Ollie get out of it?”

And no, I don’t know what a “Heart of Water” is, either.

DC Universe Watchtower

– “It is Wednesday.” I get a ridiculously stupid little OCD charge out of every acknowledgment that not only do these shows happen in real time, but on the nights they air. I know, I know…I’m pathetic.

– Any time we hang out in or around anything related to Kord Industries, I just find mysef counting all the blue items around. They’re killing me. You have no idea how badly I need to see the Ted Kord Blue Beetle done properly in live action.

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– 4587 has come up before, hasn’t it? 

– When Ray is small and in his little prison, with Damien looming over him…that’s such a classic Brainiac/Superman image to me. Superman Returns was flawed, but I still wish Routh got one more chance at Supes, preferrably taking on Brainiac. This brought a little smile to my face.

– This is no hidden thing at all, but I really dig the Atom “undersuit” or whatever it is he was wearing at the end there. In fact, I dig it a LOT more than the armor. A little headgear, and that’s a far cooler, far more practical superhero costume than the full suit.

– It’s been pointed out that the Orb of Horus could have a connection to Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and that’s certainly sensible enough. Using it to uncover a “message from the ancients” this week sure isn’t hurting that little theory.

– The over-caffeinated Felicity pounding away on a keyboard with no regard for her health or humanity is…ummmm…dangerously close to how I live my life all the time. Something something “spirit animal” something. See also: “I’m alive, and I’m in trouble.”

You know the drill, Leaguers. Hit me up with what I missed, either here or on Twitter. Thanks for reading…

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4 out of 5