Oliver queen is in a tight spot. He’s running for Mayor, but his campaign adviser is advising him to keep his distance from Laurel Lance, because she could serve as a reminder to the media that Oliver once absconded with her younger sister, Sara, getting her killed in a shipwreck.
Only Sara didn’t die in a shipwreck. She actually died when Oliver’s mind controlled younger sister shot her with an arrow, but nobody even knows about that. Either way, the queens are surrounded by Lance family scandals. Especially now that Laurel brought Sara back from the dead via a Lazarus pit and she’s running rampant all over Star City. That’s the kind of thing that can kill a Mayoral campaign!
Sara is not possessed by her own soul. Captain Lance tried to put her out of her misery last episode, but he couldn’t do it. Upon capturing her this episode, Laurel puts a gun to Sara’s head, only to be stopped by Oliver who has a better idea.
Enter the flashback. Only this time it’s something new. The flashbacks are relevant, engaging, well paced, and entertaining, albeit we’re bordering on retcon territory. It turns out, Lian Yu is a mystical nexus, which attracts John Constantine.
Matt Ryan brings a fresh flair to the show as John Constantine that has been missing since Ray Palmer’s (seemingly temporary) exit. His fast and loose style plays very well of of the often rigid Oliver in a way that made the flashbacks one of the more entertaining parts of the show for the first time in several seasons.
It is a little convenient for Constantine to be introduced in the flashbacks at this point, considering Team Arrow is dealing with a soulless back from the dead Sara Lance, but considering it works, I won’t turn my nose up at it!
Back in the normal timeline, Oliver calls in Constantine to help with Sara. Constantine takes Oliver and Laurel into another realm (read: recycled Nanda Parbat set and League of Assassins costumes), where they reclaim Sara’s soul, returning it to her body.
We have yet to see if that’s the end of Sara’s woes, or if she’ll still have a blood lust (specifically for Thea, considering she’s the one that killed Sara), but at least her soul and body are back together!
While this is all happening, Damien Darhk asks Captain Lance to go to a federal server farm and plug in a device. Ignoring questions of why the police captain from a nearby city has security access to a government server farm, Lance and Diggle go together, and it turns out the device is deleting records of people. One of which is Diggle’s brother.
Obviously, Diggle wants to get to the bottom of his brother’s assassination, so he gets Lance to acquire information about it from Darhk, who reveals that Andy Diggle was (supposedly) involved in some shady activities in Afghanistan, and that is what lead to his eventual assassination by Deadshot.
And while we’re making big reveals, Curtis manages to decrypt an audio recording from Ray Palmer, in which he reveals to Felicity that he’s still alive, which gets that plot thread moving once again.
At the end of the day, Arrow still has most of the same flaws that have prevented the last two seasons from truly succeeding, but thanks to the infusion of some fresh blood in John Constantine (who we’ll hopefully see some more of) and some big plot developments, the show seems to be back on the rails in a very entertaining (and still flawed) direction.