Arrow: Is Sara Too Far Gone To Be Saved?

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Arrow’s Lance Family Reunion Isn’t All Smiles & Hugs—Can Undead Sara Be Saved?.

Can someone you know be so deceptive, behave so out of character, that they’re beyond redemption? “Arrow’s” Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) is back from the dead, at least in body — but like everyone who takes a dip in the Lazarus Pit, she’s been irrevocably changed by the experience.’s fourth Season 4 episode – entitled “Beyond Redemption” – saw more than one character who may be past the point of no return, but the most obvious qualifier is Sara Lance.It’s unfair to think of Arrow itself as “Beyond Redemption,” even as the more promising improvements of Season 4 have all felt stifled by the burden of Legends of Tomorrow setup.“Beyond Redemption” focuses on the ambiguity of “spirit of the people who protect Star City” so as to set up Oliver’s campaign for mayor, but the episode is gelled together by Captain Lance’s involvement with Darhk, and the resurrection of Sara from last week.

“Beyond Redemption” was a return of many things to the “Arrow” universe: Sara Lance, the salmon ladder and the compelling themes and character moments that once made this show so great.The men of The CW’s Arrow brought their A-game in the emotional department on tonight’s episode while the ladies continued to kick all kinds of ass. That’s one of the questions facing Oliver and the gang on tonight’s Arrow, which forces Quentin into one of the worst situations a father could imagine (though it’s doubtful any dad could even fathom what Quentin faces).

In this week’s episode, “Beyond Redemption,” everyone will have to deal with the repercussions of Sara’s return, especially her sister, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and father, Captain Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Namely: Dad considering putting his undead daughter down. “He’s obviously very happy his daughter is back, as peculiar as that might be, but…something is remiss.

She spent the majority of the episode chained to a post in Laurel’s basement, snapping and grunting and being almost certainly very uncomfortable in the leather corset that she’d died in a year ago. The series has been through something of a chrysalis, attempting to shake the vestige of its five-year Batman Begins inspiration toward something more colorfully unique, even if its main narrative lost focus in the process. Laurel and Thea have brought Sara back from Nanda Parbat, but she’s still in feral mode, so Laurel has chained her sister up in the basement and begun to treat her like a rabid pet. Without her soul, and being impervious to Laurel’s dubious attempts to cure her via a pictographic trip down memory lane, Sara was very nearly put down by her father.

While this hour opted for more grounded and realistic villains than meta-humans or magic-wielders, the decision actually allowed a long-brewing conflict between male leads to play out in earnest, though it might not be the one you expected. News. “He clearly sees the pain and suffering she’s going through, which makes him ask himself whether that really is good for her or not.” But could Lance really pull the trigger on that gun we saw him aiming at Sara in last week’s trailer? “Obviously, it would be a terrible situation for any father. EW has the scoop from Blackthorne on what’s next: PAUL BLACKTHORNE: We’ll find that out specifically on Wednesday, but of course the family is looking out for each other.

Oliver’s bid for mayor still doesn’t come across as a practical concept for the series overall, rightfully eliciting the team’s initial disbelief in the announcement, but granted a smaller prism like Oliver’s relationship with Captain Lance, it becomes a much more effective storytelling engine. The man earned them this week with his portrayal of a Quentin Lance on the edge, as a man asked to encompass the larger theme of this entire episode (and arguably the season): that this city, and its residents, are not beyond redemption. Before we get into the drama of tonight’s episode, let’s take a brief look into Oliver’s past as we once again visit the cursed island of Lian Yu. But given that she seems to be devoid of soul, spirit and that she seems to be suffering incredibly—you can clearly see the pain she’s in—it’s something that he has to entertain for the sake of putting her out of her misery,” he says. “It’s a ‘taking the dog down to the vet’ sort of moment…It’s a bit desperate.” Something tells us Sara will survive the hour (she does have a mid-season spinoff to get to, after all), but will she back to her old self by episode’s end? Obviously Laurel knows an awful lot about what’s been going on with Sara, so it’s fair to say that she’s probably got something to do with how Lance finds out.

Poor Sara does not deserve the title of “beyond redemption.” She didn’t exactly need to be redeemed back when she was moldering peacefully away in her pine box. Lance in particular spent so much of Season 3 sidelined or vengefully bitter with the team, we lost sight of an almost-father figure dynamic with Oliver himself, let alone his actual daughters. “Beyond Redemption” did well to open that up again, showing how Oliver had misjudged the Captain’s reaction to his mayoral campaign, and later highlighting the piece of Oliver that seeks some fatherly validation for his efforts to save Star City. Recognizing the crooked cops are stealing drug shipments and selling them back to the dealers, Team Arrow has Thea buy some drugs from one of her old dealers to craft a trap. Lance basically pulled a Coach Taylor to stop corrupt cop Liza Warner (Rutina Wesley) from killing Oliver (Stephen Amell) and then convince her to turn herself in.

A father seeing his returned daughter is obviously an amazing moment for him, but at the same time he can immediately sense that something’s completely off with her and is wracked by that and can’t accept that she is truly back — which is pretty horrifying, when you’re seeing her back in the flesh but not really in spirit. In earnest, Paul Blackthorne lit almost every single scene on fire tonight, bringing intensity of every color to Quentin, the kind we haven’t seen in years. He gets her setup in a cave with the bare necessities, but needs her to play dead – assisted by his special set of skills – so that mercenary leader Conklin will buy Oliver’s story. It doesn’t hurt that the place has a secret elevator to what had previously been Blood’s lair because Ollie has, with some generous help from Cisco and S.T.A.R.

Not only does his exposed interaction with Damien Darhk elicit some terrific work between Blackthorne and Stephen Amell, but we also see Lance getting a chance to work with Team Arrow both in and out of their fancy new lair, saving the day by inspiring the bad guys to do better, and all that independent of a reaction to seeing Sara alive again. If it wasn’t enough that Oliver’s idea to run for Mayor wasn’t taken 100% seriously be any of Team Arrow, he brings the news to Lance, who is about as snarky on the subject as you’d expect.

It was a speech about justice, desperation and the choices we make when we think we don’t have any, and it was a great moment in an episode filled with great moments. Laurel didn’t keep Sara’s return a secret from him again, at least, but she also made the questionable choice to resurrect Sara in the first place – how is he dealing with that aspect of it?

However, Captain Lance does present new evidence to further the plot of the supposed crooked cops, as the two are forced to align throughout “Beyond Redemption” for the ultimate mutual goal of keeping the city from falling into any more despair than it already has. The massive superhero playground is a vigilante’s dream, with massive room for strategizing, special cases for costumes (wouldn’t it just be easier to have those things hanging on a rack somewhere?), and more than enough tech to keep Felicity’s fingers working on every case.

As the show moves into that kind of tone, it’s interesting, because obviously the most skeptical person on the planet would be Lance, in regards to any of that mumbo-jumbo, as he’d call it. Fortunately, Oliver apparently managed to bring a rolodex back from his five years in hell with some handy contact information for just this situation. That said, if the writers knew that Paul Blackthorne’s time on the series were at an end, tonight’s abundance of emotional material might have been their way of sending him off in style. Despite the episode coming around to focus on Oliver his campaign, the weight of both plots in this episode depend on Paul Blackthorne’s performance as Captain Lance, and it all weaves together in a symbiotic way.

Problem is, some dirty cops, led by Wesley’s Liza Warner, are causing chaos in the city by killing drug dealers and taking the illicit materials to use for their own gain. Exorcist and demon hunter extraordinaire John Constantine will be making an appearance in Episode 5, “Haunted,” to do what he can with the Sara situation. Not only is Blackthorne engaging in his banter, and ultimate shouting spat with Oliver about lies, deception and redemption when he’s caught on a surveillance feed talking to Damien Darhk, but also is heartbreaking to see suffer through Darhk’s advice to put Post-Pit-Sara down like a dog, convinced that whatever he saw isn’t truly his daughter.

The action too seemed especially on-point, as the rogue Star City PD crew surprisingly managed to turn the tables on the team with some wonderful toys. Admittedly, the emotional weight of the scene where he acts on this advice is a little jarring when, immediately following, he’s thrown into action by the appearance the week’s antagonists. Though these two characters have spent a lot of time together and we have always known where their dynamic stands, “Beyond Redemption” added a new layer by showing just how much Oliver wants Lance’s approval.

However, as things do move along through the season, there is more of this element that takes place in front of Lance’s eyes and it is starting to shift his world that maybe there is some supernatural element to it, but at this stage, it almost seems ridiculous that this could be the case. Resurrection always comes at a price; considering none of the major characters are likely to die in the fifth episode, it’s likely that Sara will ultimately be footing the bill. “Haunted” should hopefully at least rehabilitate Sara enough that she will not try to choke her sister to death as her first course of action in a given situation. That was True Blood and Hannibal vet Rutina Wesley as Liza Warner, or DC’s “Lady Cop,” by the way, and while I remembered the announcement, it’s a shame that Legends, Constantine and all the flashier aspects pull focus in promos.

He’s really the only father figure Oliver has left — someone who knew him when he was Ollie, someone who he’s always looked up to and been (sometimes, justifiably) found lacking by. Though Ollie’s private campaign announcement doesn’t go over as well as he expected with his team, his reveal of the new Arrow Cave goes a bit better. Whether by Alexander’s direction or Rutina’s particular intensity, this rogue squadron quickly cemented themselves as some of the more dynamic, formidable one-off villains in years.

In Felicity’s case this week, her interactions with Holt continue to get even better, but it’s this week that the mysterious texts she’s received are remnant of Ray Palmer. Oliver finding out that Lance has been working with Darhk is that moment when you realize your parents are people who make mistakes, and your whole world view becomes changed by it. As much as marketing spotlights Sara’s continued journey into Tomorrow, “Beyond Redemption” had surprisingly little for the character to do, apart from reminding Quentin of his painful past, or the same terrible cost of taking shortcuts that keeps him bound in Damien Darhk’s employ.

The same could be said of the hour’s C-story pushing Felicity into hearing Ray’s “final” message, an outlier intent on pushing its way into the narrative, but not one that serves any real purpose here. However, if she appears to be in a pained and in a terrible state, like how you’d have to put your dog down at some point, it might be the best thing to do, so that’s the choice you have to make.

We’ll have to wait and see what Constantine can do for Sara next week and whether or not the woman in white who will be joining the crew on Legends will ever have the same light in her that pre-Pit Sara had even at her darkest days. This was probably the first time since Season 2 that Arrow truly felt like Arrow, putting the strengths of its characters above all, and angling for hope in an ever-bleak city. In other Damien Darhk news, Lance has agreed to turn double agent for Team Arrow. (Can we start calling him Sydney Bristow, please?) Frankly, it didn’t take much convincing.

The group, which is later revealed to be using equipment for the once-defunct, now-reactivated vigilante task force is armed and trained well enough to fend off the group of, well, vigilantes. At this point, Lance would try anything, and if there is such a thing as magic or supernatural power going on out there, supernatural elements, I think any father would try anything to bring the spirit of their daughter back.

He’s gonna make her do something unpleasant to convince the Mirakuru soldiers – did he just knock her out? →) Shows off the girl’s “body.” Why does Oliver not use his crazy effective ninja skills he learned and used on Lian-Yu when in Star City? But that’s what’s so tragic about this situation, he knows he can’t connect with her, because he knows she’s not truly there to be connected with. Liza believes they are not criminals (despite the whole multiple murders thing), and doesn’t want them to kill Quentin, instead hoping to make him a solution.

How does it feel for Lance to have to cede the moral high ground to Oliver after years of judging him for his actions, once Oliver finds out Lance is working with Damien Darhk? You can join the conversation with us every week on Twitter @EvGriff42 @AllysonAJ and @TYFOfficial Boston, Massachusetts: Evan is a 23 year old college graduate with a degree in English and Journalism. What is this?” Obviously that takes some reconciling between the two of them as well. “Bring her back, but just bring her back properly next time, please, Laurel. Never forget that time a police officer completely had Oliver at her mercy, and a sharp enough knife to puncture whatever new material Oliver is sporting.

Later, Lance is kidnapped by the task force; they have him open up the contraband disposal center so they can steal all the drugs SCPD has taken and skip town. The corrupt cops have better training than the run-of-the-mill SCPD officers and they’re prepared for a fight against the vigilantes, as evidenced by them negating Canary’s cry and Green Arrow’s arsenal.

This isn’t Sara, and she’s only causing him more pain when he knows this cannot end well. (Paul Blackthorne sure knows how to deliver the heartbreak, mixing all of Quentin’s fury, sadness, shock, and maybe even a sliver of happiness to create a few potent, powerful moments. You can’t blame him, can you? “Alright Oliver, I’ll let you have this one – I messed up, I’m sorry!” It’s reasonable that he takes this one on the chin for Oliver, but in true “Arrow” fashion, these things take their various twists and turns and turn out in a rather interesting way. A living movie quotation machine, and obsessively analytical, Evan will always give an honest and fair opinion with an insertion of wit where appropriate. (Who are you kidding? Related ItemsArrowArrow Season 4CWDavid RamseydcDCTVEmily Bett RickardsFeaturedGreen Arrowjohn barrowmanKatie CassidyNeal McDonoughOliver QueenPaul BlackthorneStephen AmellsuperheroThe FlashTYF DC DebriefWilla Holland Lance, though, talks her down. “I gotta believe we’re not beyond redemption,” he tells her, dropping the episode title appealing to her belief in justice and honor.

He’s trying to hold the city together with a depleted police force full of corrupt cops, no leadership from city politicians, mercenaries running wild in the streets, and a mystical madman named Damien Darhk pulling his strings. So the status of one daughter is dubious at best, and the closest thing he’s had to a son who he now harbors great rage for, Oliver, is lying in wait at his apartment. Darhk, I know you’re a rather dastardly villain, but would you mind doing me a favor?” Like with the Oliver and Lance scene, this is another scene where relationships are turned on their head.

There’s the dynamic that’s existed so far between Darhk and Lance, where Lance is trying to resist Darhk, but on this occasion, he’s aware that if this supernatural world is something that is going on, this is the man who might be able to help him. So again, having to eat a little humble pie and go to him and ask “please, how do you deal with this stuff?” was another strange moment for Lance. In the Arrow’s absence during the hiatus, this was a huge thing for Lance, for somebody to help the city after the biological attack in the season 3 finale. Now that Oliver has evidence that Quentin has been meeting with the despicable and dangerous Darhk, he rightfully takes Lance to task for his decisions. Also, of course, when he realizes that Darhk is actually particularly dark and not exactly the person he suggested he was going to be, then he’s threatening Laurel, so Lance is pushed into a corner and has to keep working with him to keep his daughter alive.

The revelation that even someone as righteous as Quentin Lance has fallen to working with villains suggests to Oliver that Star City is beyond saving, that running for Mayor would be futile; Thea attempts to talk him out of it. While Holt is busy trying to guess who is behind the Green Arrow’s hood, Felicity asks for his help in figuring out what is making her phone act so screwy. He discovers a final recorded voice message from Palmer moments before his presumed death, and after an episode’s worth of wheedling and cajoling by Holt, Felicity finally gives up the necessary password. He’s stunned by the outpouring of support from his newly arranged team of interns (thanks to Thea) and prepares to give his announcement speech (thanks to Thea).

Just as Quentin is brought face-to-face with a loved one he thought dead, so, too, is Felicity forced to reconcile a similar, albeit digital, situation. In those first few episodes, Lance was actually cajoling Oliver to stand up. “This city needs someone is the light, not someone lurking around in the shadows.” I tried to play it in such a way that he wasn’t giving him grief about it, he was actually encouraging him in a subtle way. Curtis has been hard at work at the office, not just trying to determine who the Green Arrow is, but also looking into the odd code on Felicity’s phone. It was off-set by Lance’s big secret with Darhk, but he was making up for it by urging Oliver to do it the right way, the way the city needs, to step up into the light. He lost his brother six years ago, and he would give just about anything to hear something new from someone he thought long lost. (ASIDE: I would just like to take this moment to say Echo Kellum has been a phenomenal addition to the cast.

Thea: “I know this is a trap and all, but something about the drugs, the club … makes me feel like I’m back in high school again.” Diggle: “I worry about raising a daughter in this city.” Quentin: “She’s my baby girl.” Darhk: “She may look like your daughter but she doesn’t contain her soul. END ASIDE) Felicity eventually gives in and reveals the password to him, which means when she returns to Palmer Tech she will have quite the audio message waiting for her. Oliver frees the woman he was instructed to punish last week, but one of his fellow soldiers doesn’t quite trust Oliver’s assertions that he killed the woman.

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