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Arrow - Restoration - Review

Arrow, “Restoration,” was written by the team of Wendy Mericle and Speed Weed and was directed by Wendey Stanzler. Weed is listed as a co-executive producer from mid-season three, so while this is the first episode Weed has penned for Arrow, he’s not new to the show. Other writing credits include Haven, Law & Order SVU, and NCIS: Los Angeles. This episode sees the end to the Diggle (David Ramsey) and Oliver (Stephen Amell) “feud” as well as setting the stage for Legends of Tomorrow. The Diggle/Oliver bromance is thus restored.

As always, this is an action-packed stunt-filled episode. Two stunts in particular really impressed me – one at the beginning and one at the end. The first was the motorcycle stunt at the beginning and the second was Sara’s (Caity Lotz) leap out of the pit. I always love the wire work on this show! I wouldn’t say that she is really ‘restored’ to her former self.

There is action on three fronts in this episode. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Thea (Willa Holland) arrive in Nanda Parbat with Sara’s body. Malcolm (John Barrowman) maintains that there is no way to bring Sara back and tells Thea that he will take her to a healer in the mountains. Anyone surprised to find out he lied about both? It is, of course, always a joy to have Barrowman in an episode!

Nyssa (Katrina Law) repeatedly warns Laurel not to do it. She tells Laurel that her father paid a dark price for his long life. Laurel insists that she has to try but Nyssa tells her she’s doing it out of grief, not love. There’s a great scene of Nyssa and Malcolm sparring. She makes sure to tell him that she’s not sparring – she’s trying to kill him. Nyssa begs them not to lower Sara into the pit. Afterwards, she destroys the Pit and tells Laurel that she is now responsible for what happens to Sara.

Malcolm initially tries to get Thea to just give in to the impulse, but she refuses, so he makes up the story about the Sage. Then he sends his men into her room while she’s sleeping – so her guard is down – and she easily slips into the bloodlust. Afterwards, Malcolm tells her the only way to actually cure herself is to kill the one who hurt her, but Ra’s is already dead. Thea is appalled he sacrificed his men like that, but Malcolm insists that she’s his daughter and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for her. Malcolm being Malcolm, he thinks this is a good solution – she won’t feel the need to kill for weeks now. In even more twisted logic, Malcolm decides to make it up to Thea and help restore her conscience by putting Sara into the pit, but Thea also has concerns at the last moment.

I liked how initially it doesn’t look like it’s working, and then suddenly Sara is leaping out. Next time we see her, it’s clear she’s the monster Malcolm said she would be. He tells Laurel that they’re in uncharted water and to expect the worst. No doubt that is to come this week…

Meanwhile back in Star City, Diggle and Oliver are continuing not to get along – mainly because Diggle doesn’t want to forgive Oliver. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) tries to get them to connect by suggesting they go for a drink – like old times. Diggle insists he has a family to get home to. He’s met at home by an Argus agent (Kevan Ohtsji) who says he’s fulfilling a favor for Lyla. He tells Diggle that Mina Fayad (Carmen Moore) is responsible for ordering the hit on Andrew.

Meanwhile, Mina is in town with Double Down (JR Bourne) a meta human from Central City who’s good with cards – I really thought his whole ‘deal’ was pretty clever. She’s in town to meet with Damien (Neal McDonough). At first, it certainly seemed like she had the upper hand. McDonough is a great addition this season – he plays the psycho to perfection and even handles the supernatural elements adeptly. I loved the scene in which he kills Mina and terrorizes Double Down.

Naturally, Diggle and Oliver both end up getting into trouble because they are trying to go it alone and not rely on each other. Double Down engages Oliver and manages to “card” him. Meanwhile, Diggle almost gets taken out by Mina’s men. I loved this sequence that cut back and forth between the two fights.

Even better? Felicity reads the two of them the riot act. Possibly my favorite scene… until later in the episode… Diggle tells Oliver that he doesn’t know how to move forward from this. There was a time that he would have taken a bullet for Oliver but Oliver crossed a line. Oliver asks simply for a chance to earn back Diggle’s trust. Ramsey, in particular, is excellent in this scene. He decides he’s going to trust Oliver with the information about Andrew, Hive, and Mina. Felicity traces her phone, but Diggle and Oliver find her already dead – at Damien’s hands.

Meanwhile, back at Palmer Industries… Felicity gets Holt (Echo Kellum) to analyze the playing card that was stuck in Oliver. I love these two together!!! I especially loved that he knew she knew nothing about poker, but mostly let her get away with it. Holt is trying desperately to come up with a new invention, but so far no luck.

Unfortunately, the card actually leads Double Down to Felicity. I loved her going totally badass! She kicks Double Down out of the elevator and brings Holt to Lair 2.0 where she then turns an automatic rifle on Double Down! Love me some super fierce Felicity! Holt is knocked out, but Double Down is shot and has had enough – he’s leaving town.

Holt covers for Felicity, telling her he came to Palmer Technologies to help make the city better. All through the episode, Felicity has been having trouble with her phone in the lab. At the end of the episode, the phone finally manages to type out a message to her. It is, of course, Ray (Brandon Routh) who was atomized but not killed in the blast. It’s simply taken him this long to make contact! So with Caity Lotz back as Sara and the first contact with the Atom, we have the beginnings of the Legends of Tomorrow!

Diggle and Oliver chase Double Down and catch up with him. He refuses to give up, telling them that he’s more afraid of Damien. In the fight, Oliver takes a card for Diggle – and that’s good enough for Diggle. The three original Team Arrow members finally get that drink. Felicity assures them that Holt only knows her secret, but it’s clear that lair 2.0 is no longer a secret. Oliver tells them that it’s ok because he’s already got Lair 3.0 ready to go. Diggle says another secret, and Oliver clarifies it’s a surprise.

Finally, in the flashbacks, we see that the military guys are forcing the others to harvest a narcotic. When some of it goes missing, the punishment is harsh and swift. Oliver convinces Conklin, played by the terrific Ryan Robbins, to let him torture them rather than outright killing them. I’m disappointed to have Robbins join as a bad guy, but I’m definitely going to enjoy having him on the show! When one of the workers (Elysia Rotaru) confesses, Oliver again convinces Conklin not to kill her, but to let him take her away. Oliver once again makes good use of a landmine to elude the mercenary sent with him and allowing him to get the woman to relative safety.

All in all, an action packed episode. There will definitely be fallout from Sara’s resurrection, but it was terrific to see Oliver and Diggle back on the same page. I can’t wait to see Ray return as well. What did you think of the episode? Favorite scene? Do you think Damien will have more visits from Hive? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.
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