Season 4 of The CW’s Arrow has had its fair share of ups and downs, and “Haunted” on Nov. 4 was no different. The fifth episode of the fourth season, “Haunted” revisited some past dynamics while exploring new relationships. The episode raised more questions than it answered, and fans must now consider all of the places that Arrow might be going next. Of course, some of these places make more sense than others. So, here is a look at what absolutely needs to happen next on Arrow after the events of “Haunted.”
Laurel needs to be held accountable for the fact that she dug up her dead sister, probably had to check the coffin at the airport, tossed her in a pit of resurrecting waters that she did not understand against the advice of those who did know what they were talking about, and then dragged Sara back to Star City without her soul. Everything working out to the best possible outcome doesn’t take away from the fact that people died and the fallout really should have been much worse. Laurel got lucky, and that should not be rewarded.
Sure, the only people who died were bad guys, but the Lances sans Sara from the beginning have been the ones arguing that no vigilante should be be judge, jury, and executioner. Bad guys or not, Sara killed people, and those deaths are absolutely on Laurel. Laurel needs to realize that everything is not going to work out perfectly every time that she makes a decision based on emotion rather than logic.
Everybody needs to not enable Laurel when she does make decisions based on emotion rather than logic. Appeasing her when she starts yelling about secret identities in the middle of a hospital hallway may seem like a good idea at the time, but catering to her tantrums in moments of high emotion will do nobody any good.
Arrow needs to stop deliberately comparing Oliver and Laurel as vigilantes. Oliver shouldn’t see Laurel as his equal on Team Arrow 3.0 because she isn’t his equal. If Oliver decided to pick up a briefcase and start spending his days at the courthouse like an attorney, he wouldn’t be Laurel’s equal in the law. Vigilantism is and has been Oliver’s profession for years now; the plot needs to not require him to dilute his own skills to make Laurel feel better about her amateur status. All of the characters have their flaws, and Laurel’s biggest is that she can be a loose cannon that needs to have a wet blanket thrown on her from time to time. It just shouldn’t come at the cost of the hero’s reputation.
The show needs to be open to bringing Constantine back. He’s not a character that should be around full time, but he was a bright spot in “Haunted.” With magic, mysticism, and matters of the soul now existing within Arrow canon, there’s no reason why a friendly expert in all things supernatural can’t come back from time to time. Matt Ryan was great in his reprisal of the role of John Constantine, and Arrow would benefit from another three-dimensional recurring guest star.
Felicity needs to have a plot beyond discovering the secrets of her ex-boyfriend. She spent far too much of her time in Season 3 marooned on what amounted to a Palmer Island, and the Arrow pre-req to bring Ray back into the Flarrow-verse for spinoff Legends of Tomorrow should not be at the cost of a fresh arc for Felicity. Palmer Tech, Team Arrow, and Oliver are enough to start Felicity on a journey in a new direction, and leaving her languishing in an old plot that was never really her own is no fun for anybody.
More scenes need to be shot in the Loft o’ Love. Formerly known as Thea’s Loft, the apartment is a gorgeous set that has been built for the show, and it seems a waste not to use it more. Besides, those fires seem to be burning 24/7. It’s not terribly green of the series not to show Oliver and Felicity at least enjoying them more often.
The Andy Diggle plot needs to continue developing. As delightful as it was to see Damien Darhk asking if Captain Lance was waiting for a reward cupcake after the conclusion of the mission to erase names from the federal database, “Haunted” gave far too quick a resolution to a plot that has been simmering for three seasons. Darhk did have a peculiar look on his face when Lance brought up the name Diggle; Andy being alive and one of the ghosts would not be the worst twist in the world. Besides, now that Ray is officially alive, John Diggle is pretty much the only character without a character resurrection to his name. Andy has been John’s most personal plot from the very beginning; there needs to be much more than what came in “Haunted.”
There needs to be some tension between Oliver and Felicity when it comes to Ray Palmer. A living, present, non-villainous ex-boyfriend is not something that Oliver has ever had to deal with when it comes to Felicity, and he wasn’t behaving particularly well even back when he thought that Cooper was just Felicity’s college boyfriend. An engagement between Oliver and Felicity was never going to ring true or have real depth if all we ever saw of their relationship was them being adorable; Ray suddenly being alive and in their lives is a source of tension that could work realistically and be resolved quickly enough. Besides, turnabout is fair play. Felicity has been privy to the tales of enough of his exes over the years that he should have to deal with one of hers.
More needs to happen in the flashbacks. Admittedly, “Haunted” with Constantine had the most exciting flashbacks thus far in Season 4, but those were a novelty departure from the past plot for the sake of incorporating Constantine as a character in the present. Reiter was apparently invested enough in Oliver that he was willing to let Constantine go rather than risk Constantine killing Oliver; there needs to be a reason why Reiter wants to keep Oliver alive beyond contrivance.
Finally, Arrow needs to spare some effort toward establishing its own storylines for the rest of the season after Legends is launched. Both Arrow and The Flash have been suffering in their fourth and second seasons as their plots are rerouted to set up the spinoff, and the void after the spinoff has been spun could be painful if there’s not sustainable plot already in place outside of Legends.
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.