In Review: Arrow, Episode 74 “Haunted”

The return of Constantine to the small screen was enjoyable and necessary for one character.

Arrow, Episode 74 “Haunted” Broadcast November 4, 2015

Written by Brian Ford Sullivan & Oscar Balderama

Directed by John Badham

“Previously on Arrow,” Oliver decides to run for mayor, Curtis believes that Ray Palmer’s last recorded statement could shine some light on how he died, Felicity cries at something on her computer screen, Speedy fights Green Arrow, Malcolm says Thea has to feed her impulse for killing, Sara is resurrected in the Lazarus Pit but comes out a very different individual, Darhk tells Quentin that he has to kill his daughter, and Laurel discovers that Sara has escaped. In the present, a restaurant employee is ambushed by two thugs while taking out the garbage. Sara arrives and knocks one out and kills the other. The employee thanks Sara until the resurrected woman begins to throttle her. The timely arrival of a black and white saves the woman and makes Sara dash off. Cue opening title sequence.

At Oliver’s political headquarters, he’s introduced to his new political strategist. He tells Ollie he’s concerned that he might have skeletons in his closet that will hurt his election possibilities, suggesting he distance himself from Laurel Lance. Flashback to the island, Conklin thinks Oliver is a mole, finding a backpack containing communications equipment. Their leader is not concerned with witch hunts, as he’s interrogating/beating a man: John Constantine. Back in the present, Quentin is at the alley where the employee is being questioned about what occurred. Laurel shows up and father confronts daughter about the killer being Sara. Laurel leaves angry, still upset that she saw him about to kill Sara (in the previous episode). At the Palmer building, Felicity asks Curtis to look at something she hears in Ray’s final recording. He says he’ll see if he can clean it up. At HIVE, Quentin meets with Darhk. Damien wants the corrupt cop to got to a federal server and plug a device into a computer. Back at the Arrow’s headquarters, Thea and Ollie spar and share words about Laurel. “Pretending that you don’t know who your friends are,” she says, “doesn’t feel very ‘united’.” Felicity interrupts their words with a report of a woman going cray-cray at a club. The pair arrive, just as Sara takes down Black Canary. Ollie now knows Sara is alive. Cue first commercial break.

A good story with Constantine being resurrected from cancellation into the mythology of the CW. The way Sullivan and Balderama are able to work Constantine into the Arrow’s story is very smooth, with this being the best flashback I’ve seen on the island. Matt Ryan was awesome and he had some wonderfully pompous and sexist lines that were Constantine gold. It was also good to see Ollie realize he was being hypocritical toward two important people in his life, giving him the opportunity to grow as a character. Thea was a very sympathetic character in this episode, and this made her have another facet that I’d not seen before. The Lance family was pretty one-note: Laurel mad, Quentin angry, and Sara unhinged. Only by the end of the episode had there been a change, and thankfully it was for the positive. It was neat to see a relationship begin with Quentin and another character: this pair worked really well together and I hope this leads to more pairings. Another enjoyable aspect was the return of Constantine’s music; his theme was played whenever he worked his mojo. I miss that music!

The good: The script’s smart and smooth inclusion of Constantine as a needed character to move one Arrow character forward, Matt Ryan, and the Lances moving beyond one emotion.

Fun line: “That is some serious Nicholas Sparks level stuff,” “These aren’t prayers, mate,” “Come on, Alice. Down the rabbit hole you go,” “I can do that trick, too,” “Let’s get it back,” “Trust me when I tell you this will work,” “We need a tour guide,” “A gut punch doesn’t deserve a ‘Thank you’,” and “…I’m alive and I’m in trouble.”

The bad: Difficult to believe that final conversation between Darhk and Quentin. If Darhk didn’t pick up on how odd this was, he deserves to fail, and I can’t believe that Quentin didn’t think his question would out him.

The final line: The return of Constantine to the small screen was enjoyable and necessary for one character. Neat to see the big story moving forward, while bringing in another DC star. Overall grade: A- 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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