Review: Arrow Season 4 Ep 3 “Restoration”

by Paul DePaola
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Team Arrow is in disarray.  Laurel and Thea have gone off to Nanda Parbat in an effort to help Thea deal with her violent outbursts and to convince Malcolm Merlin to bring Sara back from the dead using the Lazarus Pit.  Oliver and Diggle are working together to keep Star City under control, but they are anything but a team.  To make matters worse, Damien Darhk has brought in an assassin to stop Green Arrow.

The Positive

Diggle really is coming into his own as a proper hero.  In previous seasons, he would always feel just a little out of place for me when fighting alongside Arrow and the others, but this season he has a mask and the producers are giving him more to do than just shoot the bad guys.  He has more non-lethal skills and toys.  In this episode, he takes a much more central role to the story.  He is not only tracking down those responsible for his brother’s death, but Oliver is forcing him to deal with their damaged relationship.  There is one moment when a Ghost seems to hesitate on killing Diggle in the beginning that makes me think there is a larger connection between HIVE and Diggle.

Restoration 1In Nanda Parbat, Laurel and Thea have shown up unannounced and demanded Malcolm bring Sara back from the dead, regardless of the consequences.  Everyone is telling Laurel how this is a terrible idea and they shouldn’t do it, but she stands firm and isn’t going to take no for an answer.  Malcolm attempts to help Thea, but his advice for her is not what she wants to hear.  The only way to control the bloodlust, he says, is to indulge it.  A life must be paid for the life she was given.  I really liked Thea standing firm and refusing to believe that she has to be a killer, it would’ve been easy to write her off as a killer after how she acted in the last few episodes.

Oliver is having to deal with no backup and a metahuman assassin, Jeremy Tell aka Double Down, has been brought in to take Green Arrow out.  Double Down was a good villain here.  His power doesn’t seem like one that would translate well to the screen, but it never feels cheap or silly.  The character design is good, he looks like somebody you would see in a dangerous card game.  Arrow doesn’t use many metahumans and Double Down felt like a credible threat to everyone, but not so powerful that it felt cheap when they stopped him.

Restoration 2

The Negative

Felicity continues to be as much fun as always, but her story felt a bit lacking here.  She spends most of the episode with Curtis Holt who has yet to really impress me, especially if we are to view him as a potential future hero.  She manages to fend off Double Down, but it feels more like luck than skill.

The Verdict

Three episodes into this season and I’m really enjoying the new lighter direction for Oliver and Team Arrow.  Damien Darhk continues to loom large in the background, not needing much screen time to be felt throughout.  The destruction of the Lazarus Pit was a good choice as that can too easily become a crutch or give us a story where death no longer holds any meaning, especially considering what we have seen is coming by the end of the season.

This was a good episode, the story built up the mysteries and gave us some great character moments.


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