There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

This episode had some very powerful show downs and great acting, and that made me happy. It didn’t need to include a new shiny supervillain. No, this was a lot more about Team Arrow itself, Oliver’s new future, and about the Lances. And also Star City and how people are always having to save it. Why do they still want to save it? Because it used to be better, apparently. This reminds me a great deal of Gotham, and I think it works for this show that it’s struggling so much this way. We are headed down the path of Legends of Tomorrow with Sara’s eventual recovery, and that means JOHN CONSTANTINE IN THE NEXT EPISODE. Scream. Previously on Arrow, Oliver decided to run for Mayor so he can be a public figure people can trust as well as the hero. Laurel and Thea convinced Merlyn to put Sara in the Lazarus Pit, but she’s mostly a Frankenstein at the moment. Lance has been working with Darhk. Felicity is trying to save Ray’s company, and everyone still thinks he’s dead. But he’s not. As we all know. Because he’s also going to Legends of Tomorrow. Are both seasons really just about setting up for that show? I’m okay with it since it does feel natural to the storyline as well.

The real emotional weight of this story comes down to Quentin and Oliver. I am impressed again that they are letting Oliver become such a more open and emotional character. In season one his reaction to the reveal about Quentin working for Darhk would have been completely different. Hell last season it would have been. Instead of keeping the secret or fuming, Oliver directly confronts him. And it gets very good acting out of both of them. Oliver calls him out on his moral superiority and how he’s always privately wanted to impress Quentin, even lately by deciding to run for Mayor. He points out that there’s always a choice and protecting Laurel isn’t a good enough one for what he’s doing. It really was what needed to be said, and it led to good resolution for these two characters who have been at odds for years. Quentin saves Oliver’s life later on when the villain of the week, a former cop named Liza (Rutina Wesley), gets the drop on him. He tells her that they have to do better for the city and believe the city can recover, and she turns herself in. This inspires Oliver again not only to forgive Quentin, but to run for Mayor officially. His speech is a great way to show how far he’s come. Very happy with everyone this week.

Arrow -- "Beyond Redemption" -- Image AR405B_0300b.jpg -- Pictured: Caity Lotz as Sara Lance -- Photo: Dean Buscher/ The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Quentin’s also struggling because Laurel shows him Sara and he doesn’t believe she’s his daughter. He knows she’s barely in there. I think the problem with us knowing that Sara’s going to be fine is that the characters on the show don’t. So why is Laurel being so selfish here? She’s not being painted in a nice light here considering every single other character on the show goes WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Obviously she’ll be vindicated since we do get Sara back, but Quentin almost killed her this episode. He’ll be relieved once she’s back to herself, but I wonder why she’ll be moving to the other show. Needing space? Maybe. I do have to shout out to Paul Blackthorne for this episode. His acting is superb between Oliver’s confrontation, his break down sobbing at Sara, and talking Liza down at the end. This only feeds into my suspicion that it’s his death we are preparing for in the future. He’s getting good emotional beats and it might be time to wrap up the character. The flashbacks are annoying this season since they mean nothing, but apparently John Constantine will be in those as well to explain why Oliver knows him. And Darhk is a magic user so it’ll be a good show down for the two of them that way. I’m just so excited this crossover. For people who don’t know, Stephen Amell campaigned hard to save Constantine and to persuade the CW to even keep the show. Instead he ended up with this guest spot, but maybe it there’s a clamor for more, the CW will consider spinning off the show again. Crossing fingers.

Most of the story was about Oliver and his Mayorship, with Thea supporting him by getting a bunch of interns to work for them. Also they have a brand new Arrow cave that Cisco helped design, and Felicity paid for with Palmer Tech. I’m sure they’ll love to know how she’s spending their money, jeez. The cave looked fantastic though, I grinned like an idiot when I saw it. Felicity finally listened to Ray’s last message, but they’ve been getting suspicious e-mails from that location. They haven’t figured out yet that Ray’s actually alive, just tiny. I wonder when that’s going to be fixed, and if Mister Terrific will be the one who puts it together. Because Ray needs to be out in time for – everyone echo it – Legends of Tomorrow! This season of Arrow has been consistently solid and I’m loving the way they’re putting the Oliver Queen for Mayor storyline in here.


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