Arrow, S4 Ep05 – Haunted

While last week’s episode of Arrow helped further the story of Sara Lance’s resurrection, it was definitely one of this season’s weakest episodes so far. “Beyond Redemption” did, however, reveal the current state of Sara to her father, as well as laid the foundation for the beginnings of Ollie’s mayoral campaign. The episode concluded with the animalistic Sara escaping the chains Laurel bound her with and setting herself loose on Star City. “Haunted” picks up right where “Beyond Redemption” left off, as we see Sara out on the street taking lives. While “Haunted” is an important episode that brings us closer to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the real reason for this episode’s significance has to do with a certain guest star: Matt Ryan as John Constantine.

Arrow, S4 Ep05 - Haunted (1)

Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Constantine 🙂

I usually gloss over the flashback scenes when talking about Arrow, mostly because typically the flashback story doesn’t usually get interesting until the final few episodes of a season. This time the flashback scenes were interesting, although not for the A.R.G.U.S.-related, secret mission story being told. The flashback scenes in “Haunted” were enjoyable because it told the story of how Oliver Queen met John Constantine.

While their meeting wasn’t anything special, it was great to see Matt Ryan’s portrayal of Constantine back on the small screen. He’s just as we remembered him from his short-lived series on NBC, and is now in search of an ancient artifact on the island of Lian Yu. Much of the interaction between Constantine and Ollie deals with the two not trusting each other, because Ollie is pretending to be a soldier working for a possible drug kingpin and Constantine just comes off as a crazy person who kidnapped Ollie in order to find the Orb of Horus.

By the end of this subplot not only does Constantine introduce Ollie to a world of magic, but Ollie also saves him from a booby trap placed around the Orb of Horus. Before parting ways we find out that Constantine is the one who gives Ollie a certain tattoo on his stomach, which we now know will help Ollie somehow in the future. I can only imagine that whatever Constantine did to Ollie will serve as a way of assisting in the defeat of Damien Darhk.

The main plot of “Haunted” dealt with Team Arrow trying to capture Sara Lance after she set herself loose on Star City. Once Ollie finds out the truth about how Laurel resurrected Sara using Ra’s al Ghul’s Lazarus Pit, he behaves the way we’ve all come to expect. He is initially very judgmental and doesn’t once consider how Laurel feels during the whole situation. I rather enjoyed seeing Laurel not only successfully defend her actions to Ollie, but call him out on how he acts towards her. She even brings up how she feels he doesn’t treat her as an equal, which let’s face it, he doesn’t.

Sara turns out being pretty easy to find once we find out she is after the person who killed her: Thea Queen. After getting the drop on Thea once, hospitalizing her in the process. they are able to use Thea as bait and capture Sara. Once Sara is captured John Constantine enters the fold, since he did owe Ollie a favor for saving his life five years ago. What followed was some great interactions between Team Arrow and the Hellblazer himself, as he enters the Arrow Cave with the intention of retrieving Sara’s soul.

Arrow -- "Haunted" -- Image AR404B_0406b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Katie Cassidy as Black Canary and Stephen Amell as The Arrow -- Photo: Cate Cameron/ The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Team work

Arrow has delved into magic before with the inclusion of the Lazarus Pit in season three, but seeing the show go all out with the magic in “Haunted” did feel a little out of place and weird, if a good weird. The spell Constantine casts basically brought him, Laurel, and Ollie into Sara’s mind where they fought projections of members of the League of Assassins and pulled Sara out of a Lazarus Pit, which served as metaphor for retrieving her soul. Constantine fights what appears to be a projection of Ra’s al Ghul using magic and a sword. It would have been nice to see Matt Nable reprise his role as Ra’s for this one scene, but I guess it wasn’t entirely necessary. The whole plot sounds goofy in retrospect, but it was definitely a fun watch.

The episode concluded with Constantine leaving and giving Ollie a warning about Damien Darhk. It also ended on a bit of a cliffhanger as we find out Ray Palmer is still alive and needs Felicity’s help. Big surprise, am I right?! Also, there was a subplot with Captain Lance and Diggle, which was unfortunately very uninteresting. I say unfortunately because I find Diggle’s H.I.V.E.-related subplot interesting usually, but didn’t care for it much in this episode.

“Haunted” may have been an important episode in the series, but it wasn’t one of this season’s best. That being said, I really can’t complain because I had a good time watching it. It was great see John Constantine back on the small screen after his series on NBC was unfortunately cancelled after one season. I would like to see him pop up a few more times on Arrow, and maybe even The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Why not?! And who knows, maybe we’ll get to see other magical DC characters make their way into the series eventually. Zatanna and Dr. Fate would make awesome additions to The CW’s DC Universe. Sadly, while “Haunted” was a fun watch that should entertain fans of NBC’s Constantine, it didn’t serve as a resolution to said series. So, if you were hoping for some resolution involving Constantine’s angel friend Manny and the rising darkness, you didn’t get it from here.

Next week Team Arrow set out in search of Ray Palmer who, turns out, has shrunk in size and has been captured by Damien Darhk. Check out The CW’s official promo for “Lost Souls” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Haunted” in the comments.