Arrow: Beyond Redemption Review

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

 

“Beyond Redemption” was a great hour of Arrow that showcased Captain Lance and Oliver’s run for mayor.

 

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

 

Lance and his portrayer, Paul Blackthorne, were hands down the stars of this episode. The character went through a wide array of emotions in the hour and it was impressive to watch Blackthorne navigate through them.

 

Lance hasn’t had much to do so far this season, so it was about time he got in on the action. It was revealed in the season premiere he was working for Damien Darhk and besides that, nothing really came of it. To be fair they really haven’t had time to deal with the Captain’s corruption, but this was the episode where it all came crashing down.

 

I admire the series for not introducing a shiny new villain-of-the-week. Instead, the series had fun playing with the characters already on the canvas. Those are some of my personal favorite episodes, when a series relies solely on the main characters. The series has built a world and when they take a step back and just let the characters interact, the scenes are magical.

 

The Lance and Oliver scenes were fantastic. The best one was their initial confrontation in Lance’s apartment. For the first time in the series, Oliver sat in judgment of Lance. Usually Lance sits and judges Oliver and Laurel for their questionable decisions. It was an emotional scene. Watching Oliver express how much he wanted to prove what kind of man he was was heartbreaking. He was never good enough for Lance, especially when he dated Laurel, so to see how much that always gnawed on him was terrific.

 

Having Lance work as a double agent for Team Arrow in Darhk’s organization was a brilliant idea by the writers. It gets the character involved in the main storyline of the season. Usually he’s off to the side just trying to catch The Vigilante, The Hood, or The Arrow. Now, he’s more front and center.

 

The Lance family had an awkward reunion. The Captain’s interactions with Sara were another episode highlight. Lance has had so much heartbreak over Sara throughout the course of the series. At this point, it feels like the writers are torturing the poor guy. Not only that, he has a heart condition and everyone was scaring him this week. How he didn’t have a heart attack when he saw Sara for the first time or when Oliver scared him (both times) while waiting in his apartment is beyond me.

 

Oliver’s run for mayor was ignored in the previous episode, but “Beyond Redemption” dove right into Oliver’s campaign. The initial reaction from Team Arrow was hilarious. And using the old Brother Blood political offices was a smart use for a secret lair. Well, I don’t know how secret it is now that Lance knows where it is. Aesthetically it’s very pleasing, especially with the pops of bright green. I liked that they had glitches with the computers. It gave it a work in progress feel.

 

Thea really has grown up. Watching Thea tell Diggle how much the drugs reminded her of high school was a wakeup call. It’s hard to believe that three seasons ago, she was a hard-partying high school kid. The leaps and bounds the character has made are astonishing. And politics looks good on Thea. Besides the crime fighting, she might have found her calling.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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