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.

zap2it.com
zap2it.com

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.

Original Team Arrow Arrow -- "Three Ghosts" -- Image AR209b_0397b -- Pictured (L-R): David Ramsey as John Diggle, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2013 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Original Team Arrow
Arrow — “Three Ghosts” — Image AR209b_0397b — Pictured (L-R): David Ramsey as John Diggle, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2013 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

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.

http://amellynation.com/
http://amellynation.com/

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.

Arrow -- "Restoration" -- Image AR403A_0101b.jpg -- Pictured: Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak -- Photo: Diyah Pera /The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow — “Restoration” — Image AR403A_0101b.jpg — Pictured: Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak — Photo: Diyah Pera /The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Curtis escapes with a bump on the head and an invitation to contribute his talents to the greater good.

Arrow -- "Restoration" -- Image AR403A_0138b.jpg -- Pictured: Echo Kellum as Curtis Holt -- Photo: Diyah Pera /The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow — “Restoration” — Image AR403A_0138b.jpg — Pictured: Echo Kellum as Curtis Holt — Photo: Diyah Pera /The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Nyssa http://www.greenarrowtv.com/
Nyssa
http://www.greenarrowtv.com/

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.

Leonard "Captain Cold" Snart and Lewis Snart, The Flash www.bustle.com
Leonard “Captain Cold” Snart and Lewis Snart, The Flash
http://www.bustle.com

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.

Arrow -- "Restoration" -- Image AR403B_0170b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance and John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn -- Photo: Diyah Pera /The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow — “Restoration” — Image AR403B_0170b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance and John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn — Photo: Diyah Pera /The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.

4 Comments »

  1. You said almost everything I was feeling while watching this episode. Felicity playing mediator was wonderful to see and it was a nice to see the Original Team back together and laughing again.

    This next part I will preface first by saying that I love Laurel and ,even though I haven’t always agreed with how quickly she became the Black Canary, I am glad she has taken on that role. However, her decision to resurrect Sara has been on of the most selfish, stupid things I have ever seen on this show. I know Sara had to be brought back because she is on Legends of Tomorrow but it still doesn’t excuse Laurel’s decision. I understand the longing to want a loved one back. I understand the concept of doing anything for family but she made this choice and did all this without consulting any of Sara’s other loved ones. She (Laurel) made their decisions for them and figured she knew what was best, in this case, for everyone. That was SELFISH. I have debated with so fans about this on Twitter and other social media sites. Their argument always is…well how is it any different than when Oliver subjected Thea to the pit? One, Thea wasn’t dead….Sara has been gone for close to a year. Two, Oliver had no physical evidence of what the Pit actual does to people but rather he just had Malcolm’s word. And we all know how much credence Malcolm’s word holds. Laurel has seen the negative effects on Thea and how much she is struggling with it and still made the choice to force these effects on her sister. I get Laurel fans defending Laurel against other fans who blindly hate her but glossing over the fact that this was a giant error in judgment on Laurel’s part is very short-sighted and wrong, in my opinion. What are your thoughts?

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    • I agree with everything you have written here. There is no logical reason why Laurel would want to put her sister through the effects of the pit. The writers are using Laurel as a catalyst for Sara’s story line. I really think they could have come up with some other way to bring Sara back.

      We also need to take a moment and think about what it means to dig up the body of a beloved sister, to open the grave and look at her shriveled body and then transport that body across the globe. Yuck. Those acts alone suggest that either Laurel has an iron stomach or she is pretty disturbed herself. Whatever happens to Sara, Laurel will be blamed for it. Nyssa flat out told her that at the end of the episode. How is the character supposed to recover from that kind of blame? What do the writers hope to do with Laurel next? The entire thing feels plot-driven to me rather than character-driven. Like Laurel or not, the character we have come to know would not torture Sara by tossing her body in that pit. The fact that Laurel did just that feels really off to me.

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      • Yeah I can agree with the idea that this is more plot-driven than character-driven. Maybe I am being too critical or too harsh on Laurel in this instance. But I have always felt that Laurel has been on the more naive characters on the show. In S1-2 she didn’t seem to grasp how dangerous it was to take on criminals through courtroom. In S3 she didn’t seem to grasp how hard and dangerous it was to be a vigilante. She didn’t seem to grasp how dangerous the LoA and Ra’s was. Now this season she doesn’t seem to grasp how serious it was to use the Pit to raise Sara and the consequences of that action. And you couple that with this righteous indignation she always has when people question her actions…it just infuriates me at times as much as I love the character. Maybe I am just reading too much into things.

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      • Laurel has never been one of my favorites, but I have always thought that she loved her family. She would do anything for her father and sister. Unfortunately, “anything” in this case will hurt not help her family. She does not fit easily into the narrative anymore. She is close to Thea and I applaud that relationship, but she cannot understand what Thea is going through if she turns around and subjects her sister to the very same thing. At this point, I am not sure what appealing qualities Laurel has left.

        Of course you are reading too much into things, but that’s the point, right? Why watch television if you are not going to critique it. That’s half the fun!

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