It’s hard to be a parent in comics. Your kids lie to you, your spouse is often a mole, a clone, or Doctor Octopus, and when you die you never, ever come back. But on last night’s Arrow, some DCU parents finally have something good happen to them.
What’s great about this episode, “Lost Souls,” is that it can be told nearly entirely from the point of view of the comic relief characters, and Arrow has been absolutely nailing those for this entire season. We’ll start with Curtis, who observes that Felicity is three quarters of the way to developing an unattractive eye tic, and since that would be the first unattractive thing about her since the hair she wore to Dig’s wedding (What was that? It looked like she was trying to recruit people to join her sorority for future dead-eyed political wives.) he tries to stop her. But Felicity is obsessed with finding and helping Ray.
And Curtis is soon distracted, because Ollie walks in the room. One look has Curtis muttering to himself, “You’re married, he’s straight. You’re married, he’s straight.” And while Ollie’s no Barrowman, I get it. Curtis next launches into a out-loud consideration of whether Ollie is the Green Arrow. It hasn’t been too long since Ollie rewarded such leaps of insight with a broken neck, so watch it! Fortunately Curtis decides Ollie doesn’t have the jawline. (Thank goodness he wasn’t looking for extravagantly visible moles right next to the mouth, am I right? How does no one get this?)
Felicity finally gets somewhere with compiling a backtrace code, and Ray appears on her computer, looking as disheveled as anyone ever allows a CW actor to look, which is not very. He reveals his suit works too well, someone wants it, and he’s being kept somewhere against his will. Then we pull back to the best visual so far—teeny little Ray is being kept in a small clear box on someone’s desk. This could only get better if we saw him eat a tiny burrito, like that viral hamster video. Or, and no judging, if he had to squat in a corner to take an itty-bitty little poop.
Especially since that desk belongs to Darhk. Who threatens Felicity, and when Ray threatens him back tells him, “Don’t make empty threats. It’s . . . small.” I was on the fence about Darhk. Up until now he just seemed too much like a stock serio-comic villain. But the relish with which he puns made my decision for me. I’m going Dahrk.
Felicity is giving Ollie the serious cold shoulder, so he decides to call in Donna. And there was much rejoicing, though not by Felicity. Donna Smoak brings out the best in everyone, even if it manifests itself in bickering between Ollie and Felicity about the realization that Ollie and Donna have been texting. (She’s going to Mrs. Robinson him, Felicity. And honestly, how much can you blame him? This is a woman in her forties who is wearing a dress I’d put on a kindergartner, both style-wise and size-wise, and she totally pulls it off.)
Oh, and Felicity gives Ollie the nickname Chatty Kathy.
When Ollie finally collapses under the weight of Felicity’s peevishness, Donna picks up on it right away, and all but runs out of the apartment, but not before whispering to Felicity, “The best part about arguing is the make-up sex.” She’s glorious. Watching her is like staring at the sun, but without pain.
Oh, and it turns out that Felicity is peevish because she blames herself for Ray being in trouble. She follows up with some nonsense about how she’s freaked out that she’s getting entirely wrapped up in Ollie—but remember how her last boyfriend got her to hack into a bank in order to commit a felony?
When make-up sex doesn’t materialize, Donna provides more counseling. (In platform-heel house slippers. My god, I love this woman.) “You’ll find yourself in each other. Trust me, you’ll never find a guy that hot who cooks.” Ollie and Felicity do have that make-up sex, in front of many unshuttered windows. I’m willing to bet that the price of property facing those windows has sky-rocketed. Also the price of telescopes. And tissues.
The team locates Darhk’s lair. And Curtis joins the rescue effort, which makes what might otherwise be a typical end-of-episode action scene sparkling and fun. He and Felicity base-jump into a building (Curtis: “I really have too many hobbies.”) while Ollie sets himself up as a fake captive, Dig gets inside by being the one who captures him, and the Canaries distract people. (Oh, and Sara’s killing people and this is bad and she goes off on a road trip at the end of the episode. Sure. Why not?)
Palmer makes it out, but is he a Darhk mole? Is he not? At the very least, Darhk has some “dwarf star” alloy, so it appears that Ray cooperated a bit.
Mister Ace Magician seemingly forgot something last week when he walked off with the grimoire. In the cave where Constantine found his grimoire, there is an ancient writing (visible only via the orb that he deliberately left behind) and it leads to a site that needs to be excavated. You know? I’m liking this. After years of weird political plots, Arrow is going straight-up Raiders. We even get to see Ollie be funny when the guy who has been reasonably, correctly, and fruitlessly pointing out that he’s a mole says that “this isn’t over, you and me,” and Ollie deadpans, “I’m so glad.”
Then the guy does something mystical or drug-based to one of the prisoners. (EDIT: Or, as readers pointed out, he just bribed the prisoner with the promise of better treatment.) The prisoner freaks out and tries to drown Ollie, and Ollie kills the prisoner. Hmmmmm. I am intrigued.
Quentin Lance and Donna Smoak meet up at a bar. They seem to hit it off. Because no matter what sad character deaths they throw at us, the people behind Arrow love us, really. Oh Arrow, let’s never fight again!