Miss Smoak Knows Best
Arrow restores harmony to Original Team Arrow in an episode titled, “Restoration” – a state which does not refer to Sara who emerges from the Lazarus Pit as a cross between a walker and a rabid dog. Laurel resurrects her sister despite flashing neon signs that scream, “Stop! No! Turn Back!” This selfish decision –“You’re thinking only of yourself” – further differentiates her from Felicity. “Restoration” showcases Miss Smoak’s leadership and confidence as she compels the men who orbit her to find their better selves.
Felicity has had it up to here with Diggle and Oliver’s nonsense. Each man went into the field without the other, resulting in near-lethal consequences. She sits them down together and threatens them with her loud voice, telling them that it is time to forgive and move on. Since the two men are more afraid of her than they are angry with each other, they agree to talk.
Diggle confesses that he wants to forgive Oliver for kidnapping Lyla, but does not know how. Oliver professes his regret and Diggle, as “the more evolved” of the two, cautiously takes the first step toward reconciliation. He shares his notebook (Hey, Dig has a notebook just like Oliver’s!) about Andy’s death and its connection to H.I.V.E. They are only able to fully mend their relationship after Double Down attacks Felicity and Curtis at Palmer Technologies. Both men love Felicity and both take offense to the attack. Dig forgives Oliver when his friend steps in front of the “meta-human tattoo playing card” that was meant for him. Oliver and Dig’s shared love for Felicity allows the two men to renew their trust in one another.
Despite Felicity’s quip, Oliver has evolved into a better person and a stronger hero, almost entirely due to her influence. He smiles often, forgives more easily, knows how to take a joke, and appears at peace with his life’s purpose. The most noticeable difference between Felicity and Oliver together and Felicity and Oliver apart is Oliver’s demeanor. Oliver and Felicity’s interactions have barely changed since their romance began. She yells, “Oliver, Oliver!” into the coms after he has taken a hit in the same way she did before they became a couple, while he barrels into a bullet-strewn lair calling “Felicity!” with the same urgency heard when Helena kidnapped her way back in Season One. This constancy illustrates the duo’s authenticity and inevitability as a couple.
Felicity brings Curtis into her crime-fighting circle, trusting him to investigate Jeremy Tell’s super-cool card tattoo. The card works as a homing device, and when Double Down shows up to find the Green Arrow, he runs into Felicity and Curtis instead. Felicity acting as the bad ass we always knew her to be escapes to the lair with Curtis, picks up a machine gun and sprays bullets aimlessly until she eventually hits her target. Amazingly, she does so wearing leopard print pumps and a stunning fit-and-flare maroon number, known forevermore as the machine-gun dress. This is not a woman in need of rescue.
Curtis escapes with a bump on the head and an invitation to contribute his talents to the greater good.
All of this self-improvement takes place far from Nanda Parbat where Nyssa represents the only voice of reason in a den of lunacy. She begs Malcolm, Thea and especially Laurel to let Sara rest in peace.
Laurel desperately wants to bring Sara back from the dead while Thea, suffering from the effects of the very same pit in which Laurel wants to drop Sara, just wants to kill a lot of people. Malcolm nurtures his daughter’s “blood lust” by handing over two of his minions for Thea to slaughter, thus proving once again that he is the world’s worst father. To be fair, Lewis Snart, a man who thinks putting a bomb inside his daughter’s head qualifies as fatherly love, comes in a close second.
By the way, who are these fools who line up to work for Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk? Both villains have an endless supply of nameless storm troopers eager to commit suicide by sword or cyanide capsule to prove their allegiance. Can these men honestly say that no one but two homicidal maniacs is doing any hiring? With the holidays fast approaching, I find this hard to believe.
Thea begs her father to be normal in some way so he pacifies her by agreeing to resurrect Sara. This act will supposedly ease Thea’s conscience since she killed Sara in the first place. Seconds before lowering Sara into the Lazarus Pit, Thea looks at Laurel and asks, “You sure you wanna do this?” Against all reason, Laurel goes for it. Sara spends a few seconds in the pit, leaps out, lands at Nyssa’s feet and then immediately turns to attack Laurel as if she knows who to blame for disturbing her peace. Clueless Laurel says, “Dad is gonna be so happy when he sees you.” That seems unlikely.
By the end of “Restoration” Sara might not be intact, but O.T.A. is back thanks to Felicity’s tenacity and leadership. She shines in this episode by empowering Curtis and convincing Oliver and Diggle to make amends. All three men find themselves in better places, because they listened to Felicity. Soon enough our Miss Smoak will reach out and help one more man – that little ATOM stuck in her phone.