ARROW Season 4×03 recap, “Restoration”

22 Oct

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Welcome back, Arrowheads! Team Arrow is facing a new enemy in HIVE, led by mystical baddie Damien Darhk, but also faces their own set of troubles, like Ollie and Diggle still being a bit guarded to each other. But there’s the big problem in Team Arrow of Thea having some murderous impulses thanks to her time in the pit. Laurel suggests taking her away for some rest, but what she doesn’t tell everyone else is she’s taking Thea to Nanda Parbat to get help from Thea’s dad. Oh, and to complete the girls’ vacation out, they dig up Sara’s corpse! It’s like Weekend at Bernie’s with super heroines! But since Sara’s corpse is being taken to be resurrected in the Lazarus Pit, its more like Weekend at Bernie’s 2…with super heroines. Sounds fun!

Guard Duty. In the flashbacks this week, Ollie is learning the ropes about managing the slaves in this poppy field (used for making super synthetic drugs) by his new field boss, Conklin. When some of the product goes missing, Conklin lines up the workers for a game of “Who stole our product?”, and starts it off by shooting a random slave in the head. Before Conklin can move on to Random Slave #2, Ollie has a better solution: namely his skills of torture he learned. So later, the slaves get to watch Ollie twist a knife around in a man’s leg, and finally, a lady prisoner confesses to splitting the drugs to ease the pain of her overworked compatriots. Before she can be shot, Ollie tells Conklin it might be better to kill her away from the camp and bury her, lest deal with their boss Reiter about what’s happened. So Ollie and a guard take the woman into the forest, where Ollie’s knowledge of the terrain saves him and her…but not the soldier who gets blown up on a landmine! Ollie promises not to kill her, because he’s going to need her help, which we’ll get to another time…

“Just us. The OGs. The Original Gangstas.”. Now, Ollie and Diggle are chasing down some HIVE goons in a lumber yard, and when the two get separated in the pursuit, Diggle runs into a masked HIVE guy with a gun pointing at his head…who pauses before running off. Weird as that is, then comes Felicity pulling off some techno voodoo to make a crane trap one of the goons between logs. Diggle arrives to pull the goon’s cyanide tooth out and starts asking about HIVE, but is distracted enough that the goon forces his way out of Diggle’s grasp to escape. At Arrow HQ, Felicity is just happy to be back to the old days of season one with the original Team Arrow and suggests some dinner, but Diggle just wants to head home. Ollie is getting tired of trying to give olive branches to fix his and Diggle’s bro-ship, and lamenting how Laurel and Thea are probably having a great spa vacation. If only you knew, man…

Card-Carrying Help. When Diggle gets home, he’s not greeted by his wife & baby, but by an ARGUS agent. The missus and kid are away on non-kidnapped business, but Lyla asked the agent to look into the woman who hired Deadshot to kill Dig’s brother. The agent finally has a name: a woman named Fayad, and a place where she’ll be tomorrow night. But where she is right now? Damien Darhk’s office!

She’s brought along with her a guy with tattoos of poker cards on his body, who she believes will protect her from Team Arrow. What can this guy do? Well, as demonstrated on the captured goon who escaped Team Arrow earlier tonight, he pulls the card tattoos off his skin and throws them like knives into this goon’s chest! Then he offers to kill the Green Arrow, which, bad decision on a lot of fronts.

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Let’s not dwell on how Laurel and Thea got a corpse on a flight to Nanda Parbat, okay?

Spa Treatment. At Nanda Parbat, Malcolm al Ghul and Nyssa are sparring, and we discover she hasn’t forgotten the whole killing Sara thing either and Malcolm has been using the Lazarus Pit to heal himself from this practice. Then he gets three visitors: Laurel, Thea, and Sara’s corpse in a pine coffin. Laurel wants Malcolm to put Laurel in the pit to be resurrected, and he flat out says “no”. It’s not because he’s a egomanical psychopath (he earns that credit later this episode), but because while it healed a mortally wounded Thea, healing a body months in the grave is a bit more hazy to the results. Even Nyssa doesn’t want this, because she fears the monster Sara might become, like worse than Thea. We’ll get to Thea’s problems in a second, but first…

Playing Different Games. At Arrow HQ the next day, Ollie is checking in with Felicity a out that cyanide tooth and if it can lead them to HIVE (short answer: no) when an APB is called at an auto shop. Ollie wants to check it out, and after failing to contact Diggle, decides to go alone on this. What he discovers when he gets there is a trap laid out by the mystery card tattoo man, Mr. Tell, to hit the Green Arrow. Tell fails on that end, even with putting one of his cards into Ollie’s arm. Ow.

And Diggle is not there to help because he’s stalking Fayad as she heads into a hotel. But her paranoia saves her because she had more security than Dig thought, and he gets away, spooking Fayad. So both Fayad and Tell meet in Darhk’s office, and he’s irritated how they both have nothing to show for the night. So Darhk suggests an odd idea: that Tell fling a card at him. Spoilers: Darhk stops it in mid-air. After giving a monologue about how even his men think his mystical powers are some sleight of hand, he sends the card into Fayad’s jugular, killing her, then threatens Tell with the bloody floating card to not fail him this next time.

Earning Trust. Ollie and Diggle tend to wounds at Arrow HQ, where Felicity reads them the riot act about both of them fixing this trust problem with each other, and “grounds” them until they iron it out, or when she gets back from Palmer Tech when she figures out more about these death cards. Both Ollie and Dig want to trust each other, but they just can’t seem to want to, at least until Ollie mentions that Tell mentioned his boss Fayad, and Dig decides to tell him what his investigation into his brother’s death. At Palmer Tech, Felicity is hearing about Curtis’ new inventions (like ultra-expensive HD contact lenses), and besides dealing with an odd glitch on her phone, asks him to investigate the card, which makes him suspicious of what his boss is up to.

Later, Ollie and Dig arrive at Fayad’s last known location and find her corpse propped up on display. Diggle feels responsible for not trusting Ollie earlier because they may have lost that lead to HIVE, but Ollie tells him to not feel that, because now, he’s got help in finding his brother’s killer. Bro-ship renewed!

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“Sorry about betraying you to this horrible fate, Thea, but hey, just wait a few more minutes, and I’ll do it again. I love you, daughter.”

Quenching the Bloodlust. Back at Nanda Parbat, Daddy al Ghul is talking to Thea about her bloodlust problem, and suggests the solution most people have when dealing with vampires: kill someone to cure the itch. “Oh great advice, psycho dad”, says Thea, so Malcolm offers to take her to a shaman to try and cure her problem. Then in the middle of the night, she’s attacked in her bed and kills the two assailants…who are League goons! Turns out Malcolm was lying about the shaman and sent two of his men to die at Thea’s hand. She immediately wants to leave because she’s not into murdering people on a regular basis, so Malcolm decides to cave in and agree to Laurel’s request to revive Sara. Not sure how that patches up Thea’s new broken trust issue with Malcolm, but who cares? To the Pit!

Lab Visit In The Cards. While Ollie and Dig are discovering the dead Fayad, Curtis has some great news to share with Felicity in the lab: the cards are made of organic material, they may have come from a meta-human, and they can be used like a locator to find the creator of them. Then they both realize it can work both ways, and then Tell shows up, looking for Green Arrow. Felicity and Curtis flee in a secret elevator, where Felicity has to confirm some of Curtis’ suspicions to keep him thinking straight, like she works with the Green Arrow (but she doesn’t say who he is). They make it down to Arrow HQ (which is a floor at Palmer Tech, which who knew?) where Tell follows because, duh, he left a card in the elevator. Felicity gets a machine gun and makes a clumsy first attempt at firing one, which ends with Curtis knocked out and Tell wounded and fleeing. It worked out in the end.

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“Get ready to face Gambit! Um, I mean, Bullseye! Um, I mean, DAMMIT! Hold on, I need to think of a better code name!”

Double Up on Double Down. Ollie and Dig arrive back at the bullet riddled HQ to find out Felicity defended the place and even sent Curtis to the hospital to get checked out. Even better news, she’s got a bead on Tell leaving town. So the boys cut Tell off on his drive out, and try to get him to talk, but he’s more afraid of Darhk than them. He then tries to fling a card a Diggle, and Ollie gets in front of it, taking it in his vest. Bro-mance restored! Afterwards, they grab some food and just try to relax.

The next day, Felicity is welcoming Curtis back to his lab, and being the cool terrific dude he is, is fine with lying about the whole Green Arrow thing. Also, Felicity’s phone starts showing “Felicity” on it? What’s happening here?

Poison Pit. While our Team is healing wounds, Sara’s corpse is being lowered into the Lazarus Pit, while Nyssa registers her concern about this. At first, it doesn’t seem to work, but after a bit, she jumps out like Thea, starts trying to attack people like Thea, and has to be subdued like Thea. ARE WE ALL SEEING A PATTERN HERE? HELLO?

Later, Laurel’s all content to see her sister alive, if understanding its taking way longer to recover from her being dead for so long. But we all have to take a break from chained up Sara to contend with something else, like the Lazarus Pit being ruined by Nyssa! Her dad put together a way to destroy the pit, and guess what she just did? Now she boasts Malcolm won’t be able to use it anymore, and gets locked up for it. And she also tells Laurel as she’s being dragged off that whatever Sara does because of this resurrection will be on Laurel’s head. Pretty sure this is not the worst thing Laurel has done…isn’t it?

–Comic book connections: Mr. Tell, aka Double Down, is naturally, another baddie taken from the DCU. And then there’s Curtis’ robot balls, which are deeply connected to Mr. Terrific, Curtis’ hero identity in the comics.

–So did that problem with Felicity’s phone set up a return of Ray Palmer? Well we know him and Sara will be in the midseason Legends of Tomorrow, so hey, it probably is that.

–Malcolm says that the Pit’s aftereffects can be quelled in a person by killing the one that mortally injured them. Thea can’t kill Ra’s al Ghul because he’s dead, but what death would quell Sara’s likely bloodlust? Thea? Malcolm? PLEASE LET IT BE MALCOLM PLEASE LET IT BE MALCOLM PLEASE LET IT BE MALCOLM

–They couldn’t resurrect Sara in anything but that Canary bustier, huh? Ok, I’ll play along.

–Felicity with machine gun action figure. Just saying it better be coming.

–“You took a bullet for me, Oliver.” “Meta human tattoo playing card.”

–“Don’t you have anything remotely normal to offer me?”

–“Still wishing you were a dental hygienist?”

–“Since when are you a badass?” “Since always!”

So that’s it for now, but leave your comments below and join us next week for the recap of “Beyond Redemption”…

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