We saw two major characters return on Arrow this week or three if you also count the return of Charlotte Ross’s Donna Smoak, Felicity’s mother. After her prolonged resurrection, Sara Lance has finally gotten her soul back and is mostly whole again. The other return is that of Ray Palmer, who served as the paperweight of Damien Darhk’s for the past six months. While it was undoubtedly great to see these familiar faces on our screen and back together, Lost Souls was so far the lowest point of the season because it kind of left us lost.
For weeks now, Felicity’s and Curtis’s shenanigans had seemed separate from the problems that Team Arrow and Ollie had been facing, but finally, these two halves were also brought back together in this episode. This week, the focus was the hunt for Ray and the bonus part was that it also created a little bit of romantic tension between Ollie and Felicity. It was nice to see that these two also have problems because so far, the season has portrayed them as the perfect couple. The only other instances where they seemed off was when Felicity was a bit bored from the domestic bliss. This week, we come to the realization that even these two have some issues that they need to resolve in order to make their relationship work.
At different points of the episode, the romantic tension was shown in varying lights. Initially, it was sort of funny when Felicity and Oliver are bickering and Diggle finds himself in the middle of it. It was a relief to see Diggle get some laughs because he has been rather down this season, first because of his anger towards Ollie and then because of the things he found out about his brother. In addition, it was also great to see Diggle and Oliver return to their original friendship status quo as they shared a drink and pondered over the stressful and strange nature of being a vigilante dressed in a costume and dealing with girl problems too.
However, the tension was also shown with a dramatic and serious touch, which was also quite effective. Felicity had been a bit hostile towards Ollie, which hinted that there was a possible return of the love triangle that was Ray, Oliver and Felicity. However, this misconception was soon cleared when we found out that our girl was just feeling guilty. She believes herself responsible for Ray spending half a year in his tiny form because she had been traveling the world with Oliver and hadn’t heard Ray’s calls of distress. This helped us understand her reactions.
Eventually, we saw some strong scenes between Oliver and Felicity where they tried to work out their baggage and this made them even stronger. Even though the show wasn’t actually lacking in subplot, Donna’s return was undeniably welcome and it was fun to see how she enters her daughter’s life again. We saw a nice balance with the heart-to-heart between the two in this episode. Also, it would be interesting to see if the Quentin and Donna thing works out. They will probably end up driving each other crazy within a week.
Unfortunately, Sara’s storyline turned out to be a big flop. The end of last week’s episode had been weird enough as we didn’t get to see Quentin and Laurel’s reaction to watching Sara come back to life again, almost whole and hearty. The emotion continued to lack in this week’s episode as well. It seemed as if no one is bothered and pleased by the fact that Sara has just returned from the dead, especially when we see the bizarre phone call to her mother. Even the writers didn’t express much enthusiasm on her return. She just went along with Team Arrow for some missions and hit some bad guys. The revelation that she is murderous and angry after her resurrection is just a repeat of the Thea episode, which was boring in itself because that was also a repeat of Roy’s days as the Red Arrow when he was always angry.
The worst part was that both Ray and Sara left the show in weird ways. It was like. “Hey, I am back and now I have to go. Bye-bye”. What was the point of bringing these characters back if they were just going to vanish without bringing any change? Obviously, the answer is that they are just getting ready for Legends of Tomorrow. However, it begs to be said that both The Flash and Arrow are putting in a little too much effort in setting up the spinoff and it is going to take a heavy toll on their own storylines. Regardless, we know that this isn’t the last time we see Sara before Legends of Tomorrow because she will be coming in the Arrow/Flash crossover.
The redeeming point of the episode was that it didn’t push the Arrow’s conflict in the background. Damien Darhk still remained on central stage as we saw a rematch between him and Ollie. As opposed to the showdown between Zoom and Flash, the one between Darhk and Arrow wasn’t as impressive, but it did show that Team Arrow isn’t equipped to take on H.I.V.E. The shootout scene, in particular, was amazing as the three ladies clubbed their enemies in a display of costume power.
As far as the flashbacks are concerned, they are still moving at a very slow pace since John Constantine visited the island. It was good to see Baron Reiter again while he alluded to the tomfoolery that goes on the island. However, we didn’t see these flashbacks make much progress this week. What was the point? The scenes were really short, enough that you would have missed them if you blinked. With Ray and Sara not making any changes to the status quo of the show and the snail’s pace of the flashbacks, the show is in need of some adrenaline boost to get back on track.