It’s apt that the Wednesday, Nov. 11 episode of “Arrow” is titled “Lost Souls” because feeling or being lost is a bit of a theme in it. Ray is physically lost, relying on the others to find him and save him from Damien Darhk. Felicity feels like she’s losing herself in Oliver. Sara is still finding her way after being resurrected and is dealing with the bloodlust from the Pit. Oliver is lost as to how to deal with the situation he’s in with Felicity. And in a sense, even Thea is lost trying to figure out how to handle her complicated life and just think about fitting in dating (in this case, the political strategist for Oliver’s campaign).
Six months ago, in the “Arrow” season 3 finale, Ray was working on his suit and performing that miniaturization test when the explosion happened. In the present day, Felicity’s working (but failing) to try to trace the message from six days ago, and when Oliver shows up at Palmer Tech because she misses a meeting about the finances for his campaign, she plays him that message. But it’s not until Ray shows up on Felicity’s computer that they find out whoever has him wants the tech of his suit, though it’s useless in his current condition: small, as it in the size of a tater tot, as Felicity describes him.
Felicity becomes so focused on saving Ray that not only does Oliver have to drag her home – as she tells Curtis, she’s dozed off for about two minutes, which is not a break – but she also snaps at him when he offers to help her and Curtis build the machine they need to resize Ray. When the last piece of tech they need for it is in Kord Industries (Palmer Tech’s competitor, so asking to borrow is it out), the team has to go in and steal it. The retrieval itself is successful, but the mission isn’t without its problems on a more personal front for the team. (More about that later.) And back in the Arrow Cave, when Ray comes back on the video feed, Felicity sees that Damien Darhk is the one who has him before it cuts out. What’s worse (and what she and the others don’t know yet) is that he heard Ray’s message to her and it wasn’t hard for him to figure out just who Felicity is (given that she’s now running his company).
In a way, it’s to the team’s advantage that Damien has Ray because they have Lance, who sets up a meet with Darhk only so that Diggle can then follow his car. With Ray being held in a ridiculously secure building, they could use his help getting out once they’re in, so that means Curtis is joining them in the field to resize him as soon as they find him. And so as the mission begins, it’s a bit too obvious that the ghost catching Oliver on the roof has to be part of the plan because there’s no way Oliver could be that careless – and it is. That “ghost” is actually Diggle, so that when he chains the Green Arrow up for Darhk, Oliver breaks free just as the other man is reaching to confirm his suspicions as to his identity. Damien, of course, uses magic to try to stop him and to get a chain around his neck, but Oliver outsmarts him and escapes. After all, he is the Green Arrow and there’s no way that they’d let him be in Damien’s clutches, even if it’s part of the mission, without multiple escape plans.
Elsewhere in the building, Laurel, Sara and Thea take on the ghosts, while Diggle gets Felicity and Curtis – who base-jump in because Curtis is an accomplished base-jumper – to Ray, and working together, they manage to not only free him from his cube prison but resize him as well. After Oliver takes care of a ghost approaching the four, it’s time to get out of there. Once back in the Arrow Cave, Ray tells them about Damien knowing who Felicity is, but she figured she’d be a target and assures Oliver that she can handle it. And while Ray may be human size again, until he decides to come back from the dead, it’s still Felicity’s company. (And since he’s going off to “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”…)
Though Damien didn’t truly get his hands on the Green Arrow and Ray refused to help him with his tech, he didn’t come out of this empty-handed. One of his guys managed to get some residual energy/power source/something from Ray’s suit, and Damien wants him to test it on the map/schematic/blueprint/whatever that is lining the inside of that box.
As for how Sara’s handling being back from the dead and the Pit bloodlust, well, it’s not going so well. Back in the field with the team at Kord Industries, she takes subduing a security guard who finds them a bit too far, to the point that Laurel isn’t so sure she should join them on the mission to rescue Ray. And maybe her sister was right, because she kills one of the ghosts even though she doesn’t have to. Because of that, she decides that she needs to deal with these effects in a different way than Thea – namely, by getting away, first to visit her mother and then just, well, elsewhere (a.k.a. “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”). So how does Lance deal with his daughter leaving so soon after getting her back? By heading to a bar for a club soda – where he meets none other than Donna, who has been kicked out of her daughter’s apartment so she can finish her fight with the man she hopes will be her future son-in-law. And since those two only exchange first names, Lance has no reason to think that she’s talking about Felicity and Oliver. (Oh, when he finds out…)
Yes, Donna Smoak is back in town, courtesy of a conversation with Oliver, in which, when she found out her daughter’s been working non-stop, he agreed that a visit from her mother could be what she needs, and Felicity can’t quite believe that not only has he been texting with her mother, but he can’t say no to her even after everything he’s faced. But that’s just one source of conflict for the couple in “Lost Souls,” as Oliver tries to just be the supportive boyfriend – offering up what he can, whether that be support, backrubs or dinner with her mother – while she is preoccupied with finding Ray.
It’s at dinner – a dinner that Oliver set up before he even talked to Felicity about it – that it all boils over after Donna escapes to pick up takeout. Felicity blames herself for what’s happening to Ray because she wasn’t in town to receive his distress calls since she was off traveling the world with Oliver and so swept up in being with him. Yes, that was her choice, and she’s not blaming him for that, but as she puts it, “I lost myself in you. I was never that girl, that girl who just loses herself in a guy.” When Oliver realizes this is about them, not about Ray, he tells her he’ll give her space until she figures out, and both are hurt as he leaves.
Incidentally, while painful and harsh, that does lead to two of the best scenes of the episode, as both get advice from important people in their lives: Oliver from Diggle and Felicity from her mother. When Diggle finds him in the Arrow Cave, Oliver insists that he’s not jealous, but he does wonder if Ivy Town is as good as it gets and why she chose him. Even Oliver Queen is not above feeling a bit insecure in this relationship. But what works on paper doesn’t work in real life, Diggle tells him. Relationships have their ups and downs. He just needs to give it some time. It’s really good to see these two back to being able to have conversations like this rather than how they were in the first couple of episodes of the season.
And without Felicity’s conversation with Donna, her words to Oliver are more than just a little harsh – especially after Oliver’s “I’m just trying to figure out what I’ve done wrong” – but with it, it’s easier to see where she’s coming from. It’s also hard not to then think back to Felicity worried about losing someone important to her back in season 2, the first time she mentioned her father leaving her and her mother, especially with Donna calling upon her relationship with him as she assures her daughter that she is not her and Oliver is not him. She admits that she didn’t send Felicity to space camp when she was a kid because she couldn’t afford it. She embarrassed she didn’t have money, and it wasn’t like her father ever paid for child support. She put everything into him – her love, her trust, her 20s – but Felicity’s relationship with Oliver is not her relationship with her father. No one has ever looked at Donna like Oliver looks at Felicity, she insists. However, that’s where the problem is; Oliver is wonderful in so many ways that it’s too easy for Felicity to lose herself in him. But that’s how it’s supposed to feel when you love someone, her mother tells her, and he’s lost himself in her as well. They’ll find themselves in each other, but don’t ruin something most people never get.
Felicity takes her mother’s advice when she joins Oliver in their bedroom at the end of the day, thanking him for helping save Ray and being so understanding while she freaked out. In turn, he apologizes for not being the best listener, but this is all new to him. It’s the same for her. Still, while neither grew up with the best example of a normal, healthy relationship, it looks like they’ve found themselves in one because they’re actually talking about this and clearly both want to make this work. That’s why they’ve made it this far. And Felicity knows they’ll be fine because, recalling Donna’s words, “we found ourselves in each other.” And as her mother told her, the best part about arguing is the makeup sex, and what better way to kick that off than with a yin yang kiss…
Finally, as for the flashbacks, they’re not quite as engaging or seem to fit as well this week as last week (Constantine certainly helped). Oliver shows Conklin and Reiter the chamber Constantine found, and after Reiter reads something about a gift, he sends Oliver – and Conklin, who keeps insisting Oliver’s a mole – to the cove to look for it. While there, Conklin obviously sets Oliver up for a test and has one of the laborers attack him, and Oliver kills him, so of course, he looks like a bad guy like all the other soldiers in the laborers’ eyes.
“Arrow” season 4 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 6 “Lost Souls”?