Arrow “Restoration” Review (Season 4, Episode 3)

Arrow "Restoration" Season 4 Episode 3 (13)

In Greek mythology, the phoenix is a bird that seemingly never dies. It lives for a certain span of time and then bursts into flames leaving nothing but a pile of ashes. From those ashes, the phoenix is reborn with all of its strength and beauty restored. Over and over again, the phoenix must burn away his past, leave the ashes, and rise to face his new life. It seems that some of the folks on Arrow should take a lesson from the phoenix.

In my experience, guys generally don’t sit down and have a heart to heart when they have a problem with a friend. Either they’ll be mad for a couple of days and then move on or they’ll duke it out and then move on. That being said, talking it out is the better (and healthier) way to handle relationship issues, so that’s exactly what Felicity forced Dig and Oliver to do. Oliver and Diggle’s relationship suffered the most from Oliver’s choices last season, and up until this episode, there didn’t seem to be much hope of recovery. Diggle was (justifiably) furious with Oliver for putting Lila and Sara in danger. Oliver was totally wrong for involving Diggle’s family in his war, and Oliver has accepted responsibility for it. So Oliver has been giving Dig time and space to forgive him in the hopes that he can earn Dig’s trust again. Apparently, none of Oliver’s apologies or attempts to atone have made any difference since Dig hadn’t budged. I don’t know how long it would take me to forgive someone I considered a brother betraying my trust in the worst kind of way, so I’m going to forgo judging Dig for holding on to his anger for so long. But the truth of the matter is, the longer and tighter you hold on to your anger, the harder it becomes to let it go. I’m not saying Dig should’ve let Oliver off with an ‘I’m sorry’ and a promise never to do it again. But I do believe that if Dig loves Oliver as much as I believe he does, Dig should’ve at least given Oliver a chance to prove himself again. Which is exactly what Oliver asked for. Dig finally decided to give Oliver a shot, and it looks like some steps were taken down the road to forgiveness. I’m not saying that it’s going to be a short journey or that there won’t be potholes along the way, but at least Dig and Oliver have taken some steps in that direction. Perhaps their relationship can rise from the ashes after all.

While Dig and Oliver were working through things in Starling City, Laurel and Thea went to Nanda Parbat to demand that Ras al Gul aka Malcolm Merlyn bring Sara back. It was pretty presumptuous of Laurel to roll up into Merlyn’s domain and demand that he bring Sara back. Not only did she have absolutely nothing to bring to the table, she’s actually the one in need of a favor. When you want someone to do something for you, showing up and disrespecting them (in their own home no less) isn’t going to get you what you want. Beyond Laurel’s arrogance and disrespect, though, it was disturbing how she completely disregarded what Malcolm, Nyssa, and even Thea had to say about bringing Sara back. Even if Laurel hadn’t seen with her own eyes how messed up Thea is, the fact that Nyssa was unwilling to use the Lazarus Pit on Sara should have at least given Laurel pause. Malcolm is not to be trusted at all, but Nyssa was in love with Sara. She defied her father for Sara. There is no doubt in my mind that if Nyssa thought the Lazarus Pit would bring Sara back, she would’ve taken her there immediately. So if Nyssa was begging Laurel not to attempt to restore Sara, that’s something Laurel should’ve at least considered. Nyssa immediately recognized that Laurel was driven by grief, and she called Laurel on it. Still, Laurel ignored all the warnings and pleas. I get that she wants to believe that she’ll be able to reach whatever good was in Sara, but the evidence doesn’t bear that out. Even though I completely understand her desire to bring her sister back, Laurel’s actions were reckless and selfish.

It doesn’t look like there’s any reversing the effects of the Pit, and if Malcolm is to be believed, the only way for Thea not to go completely off the reservation is to kill a few people every few weeks. That’s problematic. Based upon Nyssa’s reaction to using the Pit on Sara, I’m inclined to believe Malcolm that there’s no other way for Thea. Although, we must remember that Malcolm lies. Constantly. Thea’s relationship with Malcolm has never made sense to me. I’ve always had a hard time with the way that she completely embraced him as her father while dismissing Robert. It takes a whole lot more than blood to make a man a father, and Malcolm Merlyn ain’t exactly father material. Malcolm professes to love Thea, but I don’t think he even knows the meaning of the word. Most everything he’s done ever since he found out she’s (biologically) his daughter has been to use and manipulate her for his own purposes. The fact that Thea would believe anything Malcolm has to say is astounding. But I suppose when we’re desperate, we’ll believe anything. Even the tales of a man who is a proven liar. Just as an aside, I really wish Thea would stop trying to appeal to Malcolm’s humanity. He doesn’t have any. I have no doubt that Malcolm has some sort of ulterior motive for bringing Sara back, and it has nothing to do with trying to ease Thea’s conscience. I don’t know what Malcolm’s plan is yet, but I’m sure whatever it is ain’t good.

All in all, pretty solid episode. Watching Felicity save herself and Curtis from Double Down was both hilarious and awesome. One of the things I’ve always loved about Felicity’s character is that she’s very rarely the damsel in distress. But even when she is the damsel in distress, she still usually takes an active part in her own rescue. I’m also beginning to like Curtis. He’s pretty much in the role Felicity was in when Oliver first started his mission to save Starling City. We see how that worked out, so maybe Team Arrow will be getting a new member in the near future. I’m concerned about Damien Darhk’s “phase three.” I have an idea of what it is, but I hope I’m wrong. It also looks like Ray Palmer might not be quite as dead as everyone believes. I don’t really know how I feel about that since I wasn’t really a Ray Palmer fan. I respect what he tried to do and I think he had a good heart, but he just wasn’t my favorite guy. Like I said, I enjoyed this episode and there are a lot of good things happening with the story thus far. I’m hoping we can keep this momentum for the rest of the season. So what did y’all think of this week’s Arrow?