Sara’s soul crushing affairs. 

In the highly anticipated episode wherein ‘Arrow’ features a guest appearance from John Constantine (from the cancelled NBC series), we see a lot of forward momentum for our characters, and finally bring a little light into the Lance family.

Starting with the happenings in Oliver’s mayoral campaign, we learn that Thea has hired a political strategist, Alex Young, for Oliver’s campaign, but despite the fact that she brought him onto the team, Thea does not like his initials thoughts on Oliver’s run. Alex wants to see Oliver distance himself from the Lances, Laurel in particular, due to all of the drama and skeletons in Oliver’s past that are associated with her family. Oliver is unsure, and Thea reminds him that his campaign slogan is “United,” which does not work if he starts pushing his friends away.

Meanwhile, we see Sara begin to go on a rampage throughout Star City, going after and killing criminals and muggers all while seeming to protect young women, though she also attacked at least one of the women she was there to protect. Later, while discussing the Laurel situation over a sparring match, Oliver comments to Thea that she seems more focused in her fighting since her “spa vacation,” though the workout is interrupted by Felicity playing God over the new HQ intercom system. Apparently, the blonde woman that has been killing criminals has already found her way onto the Quiver Crew radar, though Thea and Laurel have yet to tell the rest that it might be the newly resurrected Sara. Felicity announces the woman is at a nightclub in the city, and Oliver heads over to deal with the enemy, arriving to see Canary already there, and spotting Sara for the first time. Sara escapes, and the cat is out of the bag, but I must admit, that despite his slightly judge-y face, Oliver is not nearly as hard on Laurel and Thea as he might once have been. He seems more resolved to deal with the issue at hand at the moment, though it is clear he does have some words for Laurel, especially in regards to the blatant lie about the “spa’ weekend.

In the flashbacks this week, Oliver and the head guard return to the base, where Oliver is accused of owning the backpack with the ARGUS communication device, but he dodges the attack and claims he has no idea where that bag came from. They are brought before Reiter who is currently interrogating a new visitor to the island, none other than John Constantine himself. (and anyone who did not see that coming needs to start paying attention to how this show works, of course they were going to introduce Constantine in the flashbacks first, that way he is already associated with Oliver when he is needed in the present). Constantine escapes by holding a gun to Oliver’s head, and keeping him hostage as he flees the camp, bringing Oliver along because Oliver knows the island and a location on the map that Constantine needs to get to. They find the spot, and Oliver watches Constantine use a spell to reveal a trap-door, leading them to a bunker below the island. Constantine informs Oliver that the island is a nexus of magic and evil, and that the mercenaries are not there solely for drugs. He locks Oliver down with handcuffs and proceeds forward to find his magical prize, only for Oliver to rejoin him, having easily escaped the cuffs, just in time to save Constantine from a booby-trap that would have crushed his skull. Oliver reveals that he’s not a bad guy, and Constantine says he owes Oliver a favor, and they part ways amicably, Constantine taking the magical artifact back to his boat to escape, Oliver taking a piece of the artifact back as proof. Constantine also gives Oliver a new magical tattoo that he says can be used by Oliver in the future, as well as a parting punch to make his escape more believable.

In the present, Damien Darhk summons Captain Lance and gives him a USB device, informing him he needs to break into a facility and plug in the hardware. Lance brings it to the Arrow Cave, but Felicity says there is so much encryption that by the time she has cracked it Darhk will be suspicious that nothing has happened yet. So Oliver sends Dig with Lance for the mission,  and while Dig is angry that Lance was working with Darhk and HIVE, he reveals his brother’s story to the Captain, who understands Dig’s plight. They break into the facility and upload the device, which happens to have a virus to wipe records of military personnel, and while it is deleting, Diggle spots his brother’s name. While he tries to make the computer go back so he can see the information, they are spotted by guards. Luckily, Captain Lance is quick on his feet, knocking out Dig and waiving his badge, claiming he was there on police business to arrest the “Hacker.”  Their mission a success, Lance returns to Darhk and gives him back to device, but not before demanding to know why Darhk was deleting military records, and asking specifically about Andrew Diggle. Darhk reveals that Andrew Diggle was a drug lord in the middle east, who HIVE took out as they do not like competition.

Felicity and Oliver meanwhile, while examining the women Sara has been spotted saving and attacking, realize that they all have one thing in common, they look like Thea (which makes perfect sense, Merlyn did say last week that Thea would only be healed if she killed the one who killed her, aka Ras Al Ghul. Since Thea killed Sara, it makes sense that Sara is now trying to find and kill Thea). They attempt to call Speedy, but she does not answer her phone, a choice she will immediately rue as she is attacked at home by Sara, who has finally found her. Sara’s attack is relentless, and Thea only survives through luck and trickery, landing herself in the hospital. While there, she reveals to Oliver what she learned about the bloodlust from Merlyn in Nanda Parbat, and that he had her kill two men to sate her own bloodlust. She also tells Oliver that Sara will not be healed until she kills Thea, just as Thea will not heal until she kill Ras, which is of course impossible now. Oliver and Laurel have it out in the hallway outside Thea’s room, as Laurel accuses Oliver of not seeing her as his equal, especially not in the hero game, and of it not being fair that Oliver would do anything to save his sister, but kept the Lazarus Pit from Laurel, not allowing Laurel to do everything possible to save her sister.

Felicity meanwhile (she’s a busy one this episode, seemingly having a hand in everyone’s storyline, including her own), visits Curtis and lets him know she listen to Ray’s final message, but felt there was more to it being blocked by strange artifacting. He begrudgingly takes on the assignment to clean up the message (giving up his precious gym time, which we learn is something he does enjoy, especially after competing in the Beijing Olympics a few year ago), and Felicity leaves him to his task. Back at the hospital, Sara has managed to slip past both Oliver and Laurel and enter Thea’s room. Thea tells Sara to kill her, and Sara begin strangling her, but Oliver and Laurel quickly interrupt and Sara flees. Oliver informs the group that the problem with Sara is that her body came back from the dead, but not her soul.

The team decides to use Thea as bait, and they set a trap for Sara at Verdant (do they not own the nightclub anymore? Did it go under when Thea “died” ). Sara shows up right on time, and though Laurel seems ready to kill her, aiming a gun at her head, Oliver has other plans. He shoots Sara with a tranq dart and they take her back to Headquarters, where Oliver calls in an old favor from John Constantine. Constantine arrives at HQ, marveling at all the lovely women Oliver has surrounded himself with, before giving a list to Felicity of all the tools he will need to bring back Sara’s soul (which includes a dead peacock feather, which perplexes Felicity until she sees him use it to scratch his back). Constantine informs them that he needs two of them to go with him into the other realm to save her soul, and Oliver and Laurel volunteer, while Captain Lance watches silently, clearly not quite a believer (though after his experiences with Darhk, he knows there is something to this mystical stuff). The other “realm” looks like Nanda Parbat, though without guidance it is an endless room with no exits. Luckily Constantine is with them, and he casts another spell to lead them to a room with a Lazarus Pit, the contents of which are responsible for entrapping Sara’s soul (there is a quick comment from Constantine that all of this is just a construct of the human mind, which I believe is a way for the show to explain why the magical realm just looks like they are reusing the Nanda Parbat sets). As Oliver and Laurel free Sara’s soul from the pit, Constantine takes down the huge sword-wielding guard. With Sara free, they return to the real world, where Sara finally seems to be whole again.

In the episode aftermath, as Constantine heads out of the Arrow Cave, he warns Oliver about Damien Darhk, telling him to leave town instead of trying to deal with him, confirming for us just how powerful Darhk really is, if someone like Constantine is afraid of him. Lance visits Diggle and gives him a file on his brother, confirming everything he learned from Darhk about Diggle’s brother being a drug mogul in the Middle East. Diggle takes it hard, but seems glad to finally know why HIVE went after his brother. Oliver invites Laurel to his next campaign speech, much to the chagrin of Alex, but to the liking of Thea. Oliver promises Laurel that he will attempt to be a better friend from now on. Felicity visits a VERY caffeinated (way too many energy drinks) Curtis who has finally fixed the message from Ray, and he and Felicity listen to a plea from Ray Palmer apologizing for putting himself into the position he is now in. He goes on to confirm that he is alive, but in trouble.


* I wonder how long we will have to wait before we see Oliver use the tattoo Constantine gave him to escape whatever situation he finds himself in. Can he still use those tattoos now? Or was the power in them a one time thing?
* New theory, could Captain Lance be the one in the grave from the season premiere? Now that he’s all buddy buddy with Oliver again, and we know Oliver looks up to him, and he’s a mole in Darhk’s organization, all of which completely makes him a target. I could definitely see Lance dying to save his city/daughters or even Oliver. Only sad part is that I like the character, and think the show would be very different without him. Only thing to negate this theory is that neither Laurel nor Sara are at the grave with Oliver. If their father died, I assume they would be the last ones to leave his grave.
* So Ray is now confirmed alive, I’m guessing he’s stuck somewhere in microscopic form?
* Was this the last time we will see Constantine? With the Quiver Crew facing a mystical big bad, wouldn’t it be smart to keep Constantine around if for nothing else than just advice on dealing with magic?
Pretty good episode, though I felt the Constantine bits felt a little shoe-horned into the episode, not as organic as they could have been. I like the character and the actor, but it felt like the show was trying really hard to make him relevant, and for a one time appearance, I felt they could have done much more. Here’s hoping this is not the last we see of John Constantine!