Arrow: Haunted


“Haunted” is an event that some fans have been looking forward to for some time. Arrow gets a special guest star from elsewhere in the DC Televison-verse. It also marks a somewhat different milestone for the Flash/Arrow world, but I’ll get to that later.

In Star City, a waitress gets attacked in an alleyway after taking stuff to the Dumpster. This random street crime is a staple of vigilante shows, but this one has something of a twist to it. The attackers are, in turn, attacked by a very feral Sara, still reeling from her recent resurrection. Before we can think that this wild version of Sara is still acting as a hero, she then turns on the waitress. We hear later there have been five attacks like this so far.

Over at Oliver’s campaign headquarters, Thea has hired a political strategist, Alex Davis. Davis has some suggestions that aren’t really welcomed, such as Oliver not spending time with Laurel Lance. This is, to me, one of the more glaring plot holes this season. A few episodes ago, the big problem facing the city was that no one was running for mayor. No one was willing to take the risk. Oliver finally decided to do that, and we haven’t heard anything about anyone else stepping up. What does it matter how bad Oliver’s past might look, if no one is running against him? If no one opposes him, and he votes for himself, he wins. And I suspect the rest of Team Arrow would vote for him, too, even if no one else does.

Back at Palmer Tech, Felicity captures Holt before he can go work out. Curtis tells her he was an Olympic athlete in the past- another similarity with Michael Holt, Mr. Terrific. Felicity and he go to work on Ray’s message they found, and gradually uncover more to it than they suspected.

Captain Lance gets another unpleasant assignment from Damian Darhk. Darhk gives him a piece of computer equipment and orders him to install it in a Federal server farm. After consulting with Felicity, they determine this is going to erase certain data from the machines. To keep his cover, the team urges him to go through with it, and Diggle even agrees to help.

Oliver is in for a few unpleasant surprises, which seems to keep happening to him this season. He and Thea are training with sticks in the lair when Felicity calls them to tell them the blond woman is going after another victim. Green Arrow and Black Canary arrive, and this is how Oliver learns that Sara is back from the dead. He and Laurel disagree about this off and on throughout the episode.

Felicity and Oliver talk about the strange attacks, and what it would mean to get back people they have lost. They finally work out the pattern in the victims, and call Thea to share the news. Thea, deciding Oliver is going to give her a lecture, doesn’t take the call, and then finds out that was a mistake as she is attacked by the enraged Sara. It’s an ugly fight that Thea barely makes it out of. After a lot of chaos and arguing, they manage to finally capture Sara. What do you do with a woman suffering from a not-quite successful resurrection? Well, Oliver’s little black book includes John Constantine, as it turns out. Constantine starred in his own show on NBC that was sadly cancelled after only one season. Now, he’s back.

While Diggle and Lance go on their espionage mission, the rest of the team works with Constantine to set up a ritual. Constantine can bring two people over to the spirit realm with him, and, after a bit of debate, Oliver and Laurel go. There’s a lot of fighting as they symbolically pull Sara out of the Lazarus Pit. It was a nicely done scene with some of Constantine’s trademark snark. They also leave the door open for Constantine to possibly return in the future.

Diggle and Lance get the computer bug planted. They nearly get caught, having to rely on Lance’s credentials to bluff them out of the mess. They also find out that one of the people Darhk is purging from the Federal system is Diggle’s brother, killed by Deadshot on HIVE’s orders a few years ago. Lance and Diggle get some bonding moments, which would be a good thing. Both of them could use more friends.

The show wraps back at Palmer Tech with Holt guzzling energy drinks as he works on Felicity’s project about Ray. Isn’t this the kind of thing Felicity is supposed to be good at? After a joke about the energy drinks giving Curtis a heart attack, he moves on to his news- as far as he can tell, Ray is alive after all, and needs help.

Flashback Theater tells the story of how Oliver and Constantine met, back on Lian Yu (really, who hasn’t been there at this point? Captain Lance and Ray?). Ryder, the man leading the mercenary group on the island, has more interests than drugs and money, and Constantine shows up on his own quest. Oliver and John end up working together after Oliver gets away from the rest of the mercenaries there. John has come to collect a dangerous artefact, calling the island a nexus that draws people to it. Constantine even hints that the item he came after is going back to the mill house he was using as a base on his own show. Constantine leaves after giving Oliver some kind of “insurance” against dark magic. I suspect that will be part of Oliver’s big showdown with Darhk at the end of the season.

What I liked: This is the first time out and out magic has been part of the show. Darhk’s abilities until now could have been dismissed as something else, but now we have actual magic in the Arrow/Flash world, which I really like. Oliver mentioned it before, but this beyond one character’s word now.That is one thing that DC seems to be handling better than Marvel so far in their video projects, although that may change with the upcoming Dr. Strange movie. I loved seeing Matt Ryan again as Constantine. Diggle’s revelation about his brother will likely influence future episodes. I liked the Diggle and Lance scenes. The Holt and Felicity scenes were amusing, and I liked the reveal about Ray.

What I didn’t: I mentioned my issues with Oliver’s campaign above. Thea and Laurel are so busy being defensive about their secret with Sara that they are ignoring the fact that people are in danger from what they did. I still don’t get why they are making Curtis so close to Mr. Terrific, but keeping him a different character. So far, it doesn’t really make sense.

I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5. Some big events happened, and, well.  Constantine. I hope he’ll be back. We’ll see what happens with the Darhk/Diggle situation as time passes.