Arrow: Now With Soul! (S4 E5 RECAP)
Previously on Arrow: Oliver is running for mayor of Star City, Curtis unlocked Ray’s last words, Thea has some unquenchable bloodlust side effects from the Lazarus Pit, Sara was revived in the Lazarus Pit, Quentin failed to kill the soulless Sara, and Sara escaped from the basement where Laurel had her lovingly chained to a pipe.
A waitress takes a couple bags of trash out back of a restaurant, sighing when one of the bags splits open, spilling trash all over the street. That isn’t her biggest problem, though, as she’s immediately attacked by two men, who shove her against the dumpster. Turns out, they aren’t her biggest problem, either, because Sara leaps down to attack them, quickly killing the men and turning on her. A police car pulls up, flashing its lights, and Sara flees before she can choke the waitress to death.
At the Queen campaign headquarters, Thea has hired a new political strategist named Alex Davis. Oliver isn’t sure he needs a political strategist – he doesn’t have an opponent – but Alex points out that he could win with 10% of the vote or 90%, and that will matter going forward. He immediately brings up Sara’s “death” 8 years ago and has an early suggestion: Oliver needs to distance himself from Laurel to avoid reminding the public of his past as a rich playboy.
Island Time. Head Soldier — whom I was trying to avoid having to name, but it’s Conklin — drives up to Oliver and immediately confronts him with the backpack he found last episode. Oliver easily plays dumb, and Conklin hauls him to the boss. Baron Reiter is in the middle of an interrogation, and he’s not impressed with the interruption, especially when Conklin has zero actual evidence that the bag is Oliver’s. Besides, he’s got this spy to deal with. The spy, though, just wants a cigarette: of course he does, it’s John Constantine from the cancelled NBC series! (Comic check: John Constantine is a trenchcoat-wearing, messy-tie-clad, scruffy, bisexual, magical detective; Castiel from Supernatural is cosplaying him.)
At the scene of the alley murders, Quentin takes the statement from the waitress, who says the blonde girl who killed her attackers spoke some Middle Eastern language, so Quentin is pretty sure he knows who it is. Laurel swears she’s looking for her and it doesn’t help that Quentin only thinks of her as a thing, but Quentin points out that maybe if he’d been able to pull the trigger last episode, a lot of people would still be alive.
Felicity catches Curtis on his way to a workout, which she seems amused by because he’s a “tech guy,” but turns out he won a bronze medal in the decathlon in the Beijing Olympics. Nice! (Or should I say terrific?) But she has something to lure him away from his gym time: Ray’s recording. She thinks there’s more to it than just the part we heard, and Curtis goes to work trying to clean it up.
Damien places a knife at his creepy altar as Quentin comes to visit. Damien is somewhat amused that Quentin has doubled the daughters Damien now can hold over his head, but he also has a job for Quentin. He gives him a drive and tells him to plug it into a computer at a federal server farm near Star City. It swears it won’t destroy the city, so it’s probably fine.
Oliver and Thea are sparring with escrima sticks in the Cave, and Oliver thinks the spa weekend with Laurel helped her because she seems more clear-headed. She blandly agrees, and he goes on to say the political strategist was a good call, too. Thea isn’t so sure, though—she doesn’t think that distancing themselves from their friends is very united, but obviously public distancing and actual distancing are two different things. Felicity interrupts them, though, with reports of a blonde woman at a nightclub terrorizing people, and so Oliver and Thea suit up to check it out.
Canary gets there first, though, stopping Sara from attacking a young club-goer with her club around Sara’s neck. Sara easily fights her off, but Oliver shoots the club from her hand before she can hit Laurel. He pauses when he sees who it is, though, and Sara escapes again.
As you might expect, Oliver is not pleased with this development, though he seems more resigned than angry that Laurel and Thea took their spa weekend in Nanda Parbat. He asks Laurel why she didn’t come to him sooner, and she huffs about him being judgmental. He gives the obvious reply: he could’ve helped find Sara before she hurt more people.
Island Time. Constantine introduces himself, and Reiter holds up the map he took from him. Oliver recognizes the landmarks, which he readily admits, and Reiter assigns him to go find whatever it is John was looking for. Conklin whines about it, so Reiter tells him to follow Oliver. John, meanwhile, utters an incantation to quickly get him out of his cuffs, then he takes down Conklin and holds his gun on Oliver to get Reiter to give up. Guess John’s got a new tour guide!
Quinten brings his little dilemma to Oliver – not Sara, the drive Damien gave him. Felicity quickly identifies it as a vicious virus, but it’s too encrypted for her to tell immediately what it does. Quinten doesn’t have that much time to complete his errand, but Oliver isn’t sending him in without backup — namely, Digg, who is not amused to find out Quentin’s in league with Damien and HIVE. But he can deal with it as long as Quentin helps take them down.
Felicity sits down with Oliver, finally expressing some disbelief over the return of Sara. Oliver just says that the world is bigger and stranger than they can really imagine, but that Sara isn’t back and she isn’t healing the grief of Quinten and Laurel—just making it worse. Felicity wonders why she attacked the waitress and the girl at the club, and they finally make the connection that both victims bear a striking resemblance to Thea.
Thea is far too busy drinking wine on the couch to take a call from Oliver, but answering wouldn’t have made much difference anyway because Sara bursts in immediately. How did she find Thea? Does she have a TPS? If so, why was she relying on visual cues for her initial victims? We will not find out the answer, but she and Thea fight, or at least she does. Thea doesn’t get much of a chance to fight back as Sara tosses her around, but she does finally get away long enough to flee/fall down the steps. She sends Sara the wrong way by opening a door along her way, and Sara takes the bait with a frustrated little scream while Thea hides a floor down.
Thea wakes up in the hospital with Felicity and Oliver keeping watch. She’s okay, but she knows Sara isn’t. She finally confesses to Oliver about the bloodlust and how Malcolm engineered her killing two guys in Nanda Parbat to keep it at bay. So he’s not happy when Laurel arrives. She’s sick of his hypocrisy, on account of he did literally the same thing to save Thea, damn the consequences. Even though Oliver protests that Thea was still clinging to life, not actually desiccated in the ground, Laurel doesn’t think he sees her as an equal even still (wholly fair).
Island time. Oliver takes Constantine to the spot indicated on the map, while wondering who exactly he is. Constantine mostly just says he’s not a bad guy, but that Reiter is. Oliver says he knows, he’s making drugs, but Constantine insinuates the Reiter has a decidedly more sinister agenda. He gathers up a handful of plant matter, murmurs an incantation, blows the leaf litter into the wind, and uncovers a door and a ladder underground. Down they go!
Quentin and Digg make it to the server facility, which appears to be abandoned, and Quentin plugs in the virus. He can tell it’s deleting records on people, but it’s unclear why or if there’s any reason to the targeted folks. As the names scroll by, Digg sees his brother’s — but it’s deleted before he can do anything. Of course, alarms start blaring right about then, and guards quickly approach. Quentin knocks Digg in the head with his gun and pretends he was there arresting the dangerous hacker. When the guards go for backup, they escape.
Laurel is waiting in Thea’s hospital room for her to wake up, to apologize. Thea of course says there’s no need; she’s the one who killed Sara in the first place. She tells Laurel that her bloodlust is centered on Ra’s; unquenchable since he’s already dead. But Sara’s fixated on her, and Thea thinks if Sara kills her, she’ll be okay. Laurel does not think that’s a workable solution.
Next person up to visit Thea is a little less friendly. Sara glowers creepily at her, and Thea starts awake. She tells Sara it’s okay, and Sara starts to choke her again. Laurel and Oliver are alerted by the IV pole knocking over, and when they burst in, Sara tosses Thea aside and jumps out the window.
In the Cave, Oliver says when he looked in Sara’s eyes, there was nothing there. He and Laurel pretty much resign themselves to the fact that the pit brought her body back but not her soul, but they also think Sara has some way to find Thea. Thea thinks that means she can use herself as bait. Naturally, Oliver hates the idea, but he’s outvoted.
Island time. Oliver doesn’t understand, but Constantine says that’s the great thing about magic — you can’t explain it. He also exposits that the island is a nexus for bad energy and it draws bad people to it (which explains Oliver). They come across some rune carvings, and Constantine handcuffs Oliver to a pipe: apparently only the “pure of heart” are allowed in. I’m not sure how that applies to Constantine, but whatever. There’s a shiny red ball thing inside, and as John calls it his “pretty girl,” Oliver wanders in after him, because he can also escape handcuffs. As Constantine pulls out the little scepter, he triggers a large cage falling from above. Oliver tackles him out of the way, and as he offers Constantine a hand up, he claims he’s not a bad guy either.
Quentin returns the drive to Damien, mission accomplished, but he’s bold enough to ask about Digg’s brother’s name on the list. For some reason Damien humors him. He admits that they hired an assassin to kill him because he was a criminal in Afghanistan and he was encroaching on their territory.
Thea wanders down into empty Verdant for her role as bait, and sure enough Sara busts on in immediately. Thea gets away with the help of Arrow and Canary, but Sara is fighting them both very effectively. Laurel pulls a gun on Sara, and she’s ready to do what Quentin couldn’t — but Oliver knocks Sara out with a tranq arrow, first. And despite having not mentioned it the entire episode so far, he seems nonchalant when he tells Laurel they’re going to get Sara’s soul back, and he knows just the man for the job.
Constantine shows up, of course, with a list of requirements he didn’t have time to translate from Aramaic. After he’s pointedly scratched his back with a peacock feather (fuck u nbc!!!11!), he summons his occult-ness and sends himself, Oliver, and Laurel to the “other side.”
They land, inexplicably in uniform now, and Laurel immediately chases after Sara’s voice calling for help, running out a door on one side of the room only to return immediately on the other side. Laurel tries to fall for the same trick two seconds later, but Constantine stops her this time and uses his trademark lighter as an occult compass to guide the way. They find Sara being held down by weird demon hands in the Pit, and Laurel and Oliver work to get her free while Constantine holds off an attacker with a sword. Constantine kills sword-guy just as Oliver and Laurel pull Sara free, and they all come back to the Cave — and so does Sara.
Oliver walks Constantine out, and while John thinks they’re even now, Oliver insists that if Constantine needs him, to just call. He does mention that he’s felt a little off ever since he got to town. Oliver causally name drops Damien and isn’t wholly surprised that Constantine knows of him. Johns’ advice: get the hell out of dodge.
Island time. Constantine is nonchalant as they climb out of the magic hole with his prize, the Orb of Horace, which is apparently a grimoire. Constantine is going to take it somewhere safe, and he offers Oliver a ride off the island on his boat. Oliver can’t, of course, because he can’t leave the workers Reiter has enslaved. He also can’t go back empty-handed, since Conklin suspects him of spying already, so Constantine breaks his grimoire, handing Oliver the sparkly red orb while he keeps the powerful part — which he demonstrates by transferring his tattoo from his right forearm to Oliver’s ribs with it. Neat! He also gets to punch Oliver in the face, so his escape attempt looks realistic.
Quentin stops by to talk to Digg and to bring him a file. It’s a classified report on Andrew Diggle, John’s brother, and it doesn’t say anything good. From what I could read in my screen-shot, he was involved with arms dealers. Quentin is sorry, but Digg is glad to know why HIVE had him killed.
Meanwhile, at Palmer Tech, Curtis is chugging energy drinks, but he’s made progress on Ray’s recording. Through some very fast talking, he finally manages to play the recording, and you already know the gist: the Atom lives!