ARROW Review Felicity Says Goodbye to Ray in “Lost Souls”
By Justin Carter
Last year’s season of Arrow wasn’t the show’s best, and one of the reasons was Mr. Ray Palmer. Brandon Routh was fine in the role, but the show wasn’t entirely sure what to do with him. He was either a less-dickish Tony Stark (emphasis on “less”) or a roadblock in the show to setting up Oliver and Felicity’s relationship. At the end of last year’s finale, he was messing around with his suit and ended up causing an explosion that left him labeled as dead. But Ray’s also going to be a leading member in Legends of Tomorrow, and being dead doesn’t make a main star role unless you’re on iZombie. Arrow’s task for the week is to bring Ray back in time for him to stand around like an eager little kid while Victor Garber and Wentworth Miller trade barbs in January, and while it’s blatantly a bridge to Tomorrow, “Lost Souls” ends up being a lot of fun.
Turns out that Ray’s tampering ended up shrinking him down to microscopic size, and he spent the past few months in a cage courtesy of Damien Darhk. Darhk wants to help him get back to normal size, but he also wants his suit for some nefarious purposes. Now that Felicity’s finally learned that he’s alive and well, albeit the size of a penny, the question is less “will Ray be brought back?” and more “what does his return mean for Felicity and Oliver’s relationship?” It’s thankfully not in the way I or others were expecting–don’t think I could’ve handled two love triangles in a row–and it actually makes some amount of sense.
Felicity had moved on with Oliver following Ray’s accident, and grieving was out of the question because being with him was something she wanted for quite a while. She’s determined like mad to rescue Ray to even things out, as it were. Oliver, meanwhile, just keeps striking out when trying to help his girlfriend; inviting Felicity’s mom (the consistently great Charlotte Ross) into town doesn’t do anything, and even trying to make dinner is a bust. The show maybe dumps on Oliver too hard during these moments since he’s honestly trying to help the best he can, but it’s compelling enough in spite of that just because he’s doing the best he can and screwing everything up. That, combined with him and Diggle finally getting some time together to hash this out and talk to each other like friends, goes a long way towards making his and Felicity’s resolution at the end of the episode that much sweeter.
It’s not all sunshine and love for other members of Team Arrow. With Sara brought back, it was only natural that she’d end up getting the bloodlust Thea got, and it came in full force with her beating a security guard to near death and neck snapping a Ghost. She feels guilty about both of these, although I’m not so sure she should about the second one, given that this was one of multiple guys who was shooting at her and her sister with the intent to kill. Even discounting that, it’s weird how Constantine didn’t give her or Thea any pointers on how to deal with that when he showed up last week, because surely he (or anyone else) could have predicted that this would be an issue. That said, it is pretty interesting, flaws and all, and Sara’s departure with those two kills off her belt does make her entrance into Legends interesting. And hey, she’ll be heading to Central City, which means we may see her on Flash in the next few weeks!
Thankfully, we get to see Sara in action one more time before she (and Ray) leave the show, and it’s great to see her kick ass alongside Thea and her sister. The team (and Curtis!) pull off a “heist” to save Ray, and the enacting of the plan is entertaining even before the face punching kicks off. The action is well shot, choreography is great, and everyone is given their time in the spotlight. There’s strength in numbers, as the old saying goes, and even with a heavy hitter and support player leaving their ranks, both Team Arrow and the show itself are able to turn those losses into successes.
- Curtis’ “You’re married, he’s straight, you’re married, he’s straight” mantra when he first sees Oliver is hilarious. He almost thought Oliver was Green Arrow too, but his jaw’s just wrong. Ah, well.
- Diggle’s given a temporary codename Spartan, which actually doesn’t sound so bad. Maybe it’ll stick around.
- Felicity’s mom doesn’t entirely get her due here, but the show makes the most of her when they can. She closes things out by having a drink with Lance, and that pairing is…interesting.
- “You took on Mirakuru soldiers and the League of Assassins, but you couldn’t say no to my mother?!” “She sent me the little emoji with the one tear on its face…” Poor Oliver.