“Beyond Redemption” focuses on the ambiguity of “spirit of the people who protect Star City” so as to set up Oliver’s campaign for mayor, but the episode is gelled together by Captain Lance’s involvement with Darhk, and the resurrection of Sara from last week. The episode opens with a heist of some kind in which people in SCPD uniforms murder two detectives for a case filled with who-knows-what. I was convinced through the entire episode that I was right, and Oliver was wrong and dumb. As it turns out, the twist was kind of dumb, but I also was being dumb.
Our concurrent theme for this episode is Oliver’s efforts to kickstart his campaign to run for Mayor of Star City. In addition to buying the new office with PlamerTech money, the team gets a fancy new lair courtesy of Star Labs (also paid for by PalmerTech money). If it wasn’t enough that Oliver’s idea to run for Mayor wasn’t taken 100% seriously be any of Team Arrow, he brings the news to Lance, who is about as snarky on the subject as you’d expect. However, Captain Lance does present new evidence to further the plot of the supposed crooked cops, as the two are forced to align throughout “Beyond Redemption” for the ultimate mutual goal of keeping the city from falling into any more despair than it already has.
Despite the episode coming around to focus on Oliver and his campaign, the weight of both plots in this episode depend on Paul Blackthorne’s performance as Captain Lance, and it all weaves together in a symbiotic way. Not only is Blackthorne engaging in his banter, and ultimate shouting spat with Oliver about lies, deception and redemption when he’s caught on a surveillance feed talking to Damien Darhk, but also is heartbreaking to see suffer through Darhk’s advice to put Post-Pit-Sara down like a dog, convinced that whatever he saw isn’t truly his daughter. Admittedly, the emotional weight of the scene where he acts on this advice is a little jarring when, immediately following, he’s thrown into action by the appearance the week’s antagonists. Probably one of the more poignant moments of the episode is when Oliver admits to Lance after the revealed alliance with Darhk, “Part of me has always wanted you to see what kind of man I really am.” A lot of the relationship between these two characters has been based on continuous, faulty decisions that Oliver made in the past, and how deeply personally they have impacted Lance several times over, and I genuinely forgot that strong dynamic between these two until it was orchestrated this week in a way that I, personally, found to be quite effective, and in a way that progressed the season’s plot by more steps than I anticipated.
In Felicity’s case this week, her interactions with Holt continue to get even better, but it’s this week that the mysterious texts she’s received are remnant of Ray Palmer. Holt, after delving into his own losses, helps her come to terms with being grateful that she has anything left of Ray in this way. Whatever he had to say in said audio file, I guess, will be revealed later.
My gripes throughout “Beyond Redemption” are minor, but there is one on Laurel’s part that I found hysterical. Laurel is continuously trying to give Sara pictures, memory jogging lessons, and sandwiches, but if she want to convince people that she know this person is really her sister and that she just needs “time,” maybe she can spend some of that time not chained up to a cement pillar in a dark basement! Just a suggestion.
–> FLASHBACK NOTES 4.4 <–
→) Teaches the woman how to light a fire. He’s gonna make her do something unpleasant to convince the Mirakuru soldiers – did he just knock her out?
→) Mercs get suspicious of Oliver since two of their guys suddenly die of land mines.
→) Oliver is a “dark bastard.”
→) Shows off the girl’s “body.” Why does Oliver not use his crazy effective ninja skills he learned and used on Lian-Yu when in Star City? The Mirakuru guy finds Oliver’s War Games radio.
Arrow 4×04 “Beyond Redemption” (9/10)
Are you a fan of Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl? Check out Ally’s review of this week’s other episode in the DCTV Universe!
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