Since this week’s flashback directly influences the present day events of the episode, I’ll open the recap with the flashback to avoid as much confusion as possible.
Conklin, after confronting Oliver with the A.R.G.U.S. gear he found in the last episode, takes him to Reiter to accuse Oliver of sabotage (because let’s face it Oliver wasn’t really hiding it that well). At the moment though, Reiter is more interested is getting some answers from a guy that was caught spying in the fields. The man turns out to be John Constantine (Matt Ryan).
Constantine escapes shortly afterward and takes Oliver hostage to help him find something on the island. Oliver takes him to the location he’s looking for which is revealed to be a secret tunnel. Constantine finds what he’s looking for (a staff called the Orb of Horus) but not without triggering a booby trap, which Oliver saves him from. Constantine thanks Oliver for his help, saying that he owes him one and warns him that Reiter is on the island for more than drugs. He offers to help Oliver escape the island but Oliver turns it down saying he still has a job to do. Oliver points out though that he can’t come back to the camp empty-handed since Conklin is already suspicious enough about him as it is. To help Oliver out, Constantine breaks off the orb from the staff for Oliver to bring back to camp. He also performs some kind of spell which puts a mysterious tattoo on Oliver for “insurance.” To further sell Constantine’s escape, Oliver also has Constantine punch him in the face before he leaves.
Thea introduces Oliver to their new political strategist, Alex Davis. Oliver briefly wonders why he needs a political strategist since he’s currently running unopposed, though Alex lightly reminds him that his would-be tenure as mayor will run smoother if he can get the people behind him. Alex is also concerned that Oliver’s past with Laurel and Sara will serve as a reminder to the public about his old playboy lifestyle, therefore damaging his campaign and that it might be best if he distances himself from Laurel.
Meanwhile, both Team Arrow and the SCPD are investigating a series of attacks in Pennytown. Over the last week, a blonde woman has killed several criminals and has come close to murdering at least a couple more women. Laurel and Captain Lance know that the still rabid Sara is the one responsible but Laurel has still (quite stupidly) left Team Arrow in the dark about Sara’s resurrection. That proves to not matter much since Oliver witnesses one of Sara’s attacks not long afterwards.
It doesn’t take long for Oliver to put the pieces together about what really happened during Laurel and Thea’s “spa weekend.” When he asks Laurel why she didn’t come to him about the Sara situation sooner, she says that she didn’t want to see him give her another judgmental look, though Oliver points out this particular “judgmental look” is well earned considering her decision not to tell him has now gotten several people killed.
Oliver and Felicity try looking for a pattern in Sara’s attacks and realize that the women she almost killed look like Thea. This realization comes a little too late since Sara brutally attacks Thea at her apartment shortly afterwards. Thea is able to escape with her life but ends up hospitalized. This leaves Oliver even more pissed at Laurel, though she manages to turn things around on Oliver since he went seven months without telling her what happened to Thea and accuses him of not trusting her or seeing her as an equal.
Afterwards, at Arrow HQ, Oliver comes to the conclusion that while the Lazarus Pits brought Sara back to life physically, she still needs to have her soul restored. Team Arrow is able to capture and tranquilize Sara and Oliver enlists Constantine’s help to with the restoring of her soul. Constantine performs a ritual and takes Oliver and Laurel with him inside Sara’s mind but warns them whatever has Sara’s soul locked away won’t let it go without a fight. After a couple of slightly underwhelming fight scenes, the ritual proves to be a success and Sara is finally back to normal.
Afterwards, Oliver thanks Constantine for his help and that if he needs him he’ll be there to return the favor (presumably to keep the door open for future crossovers). Oliver mentions his current situation with Damien, which has Constantine visibly worried (seriously his face looks a character in The Usual Suspects hearing the name Keyser Soze). Before leaving, he warns Oliver that the best thing he can do is leave town while he still can.
The next day, Oliver is preparing for an sit down interview about his candidacy, though he makes it clear to Alex that he has no intention of cutting Laurel out of his life. Alex isn’t thrilled about this but lets it go saying it’s Oliver’s campaign and he gets paid either way.
Diggle and Captain Lance
Damien orders Lance to break into a nearby federal server farm and insert a flash drive for him. Lance goes to Oliver and Felicity to figure out what’s on the flash drive and Felicity discovers that it’s a computer virus used to erase specific pieces of data. Unfortunately, Felicity has no way of knowing what data it’s meant to erase without possibly tipping their hand to Damien and blowing Lance’s cover leaving Lance with no choice but to do his errand for Damien.
However, Oliver refuses to let Lance go without backup, leading Lance to team-up with Diggle. The two are able to install the virus without much incident but Diggle suddenly notices that one of the files being erased is about his brother Andy. He’s not left much time to ponder what was on the file before a couple security guards show up to investigate what they’re doing. Lance is able to save their cover by pretending he caught Diggle breaking in and “arrests” him.
Lance reports back to Damien about the job being done but wants to know why Andrew Diggle’s file was among those erased. Damien tells him that while Andy was in Afghanistan he worked in drug and weapons trafficking and that H.I.V.E. had him killed to get rid of the competition. Lance in turn reveals this information to Diggle and while he finally knows why his brother was killed, the news is understandably bittersweet (personally though, my guess is that later on down the road, we’ll find out that Andy was being used by somebody as a patsy).
Felicity and Holt
After listening to the message left behind by Ray, Felicity still thinks there’s something off about it and asks for Holt’s help in figuring out what is is. It takes Holt some time (and a lot of energy drinks) to figure it out but he’s finally able to complete Ray’s message. The message ends with Ray saying “I’m alive and I’m in trouble.”
Obviously, the big thing that warrants mentioning is Constantine. First, I’m going to start by saying that I know very little about Constantine as a character. I’ve never seen the Keanu Reeves movie nor did I watch the short lived NBC series that made tonight’s crossover possible. That being said, Constantine was an undoubtedly fun character to watch and I wouldn’t mind seeing him again, even if it doesn’t feel like he quite fits in with the Arrow/Flash universe. I’m also tempted into looking for a way to watch the NBC show, even if it means getting another Firefly-like experience out of it.
The problem with his presence in the episode though is the effect it has on the Sara story line. Sara’s death and resurrection has been a rather important story arc since the beginning of last season and Constantine’s ritual felt like a disappointingly easy (not to mention rushed) solution to a problem that’s plagued our characters for almost a year and half. To be fair though, it probably didn’t help that the episode also crammed in the Diggle and Ray subplots even though I get the feeling that either one of these could’ve easily been pushed back into a later episode.
Tune in next week as Team Arrow works to rescue their friend Ray Palmer in ‘Lost Souls.’