“Lost Souls” – aired 11/11/2015 – ***** stars
Written by Beth Schwartz & Emilio Ortega Aldrich
Directed by Antonio Negret
*Spoilers contained within*
Six months ago, in real and Arrowverse time, there was an explosion at Palmer Technologies and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) was believed to be dead. Palmer wasn’t actually killed and instead he had shrunk down to the size of an atom. This is something fans have known about for a while, especially considering we’ve all seen the previews for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. It’s possibly been one of Arrow‘s worst kept secrets right up there with the return of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz). Yet, with all that said, Ray Palmer is back, he’s alive, and he’s also in trouble.
Brandon Routh is a terrific addition to the cast of Arrow and it’s nice seeing Warner Bros. use him within the DC Universe, especially after he played Clark Kent/Superman in the 2006 film Superman Returns. As Ray Palmer, he’s aloof as much as he’s brilliant, and despite being presented as a somewhat naive version of Marvel’s Tony Stark, he never comes across as a poor man’s version of the popular Iron Man. During “Lost Souls”, Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) and Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) finally crack the encrypted message she received and learn that Palmer is alive. While he isn’t in the episode all that much, it’s him still being alive that drives Team Arrow throughout “Lost Souls.” Felicity communicates with Palmer and it’s revealed that Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) has him trapped in a sealed cube on a desk and wants his technology. It comes across a little like an issue (or the movie) of Ant-Man, but works so well because the special effects never look hokey. Of course, Team Arrow rescues Palmer by the end, and he lives to become an eventual member of the Legends of Tomorrow.
Arrow has found a way to balance itself in tone and thematic content each week in an exciting way. So far this season has primarily focused on magic and mysticism and after last week’s “Haunted” with Matt Ryan as Constantine, that takes an atom sized break during “Lost Souls.” While we do get to see Darhk fight the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), with magic, we see more of Felicity and Oliver’s relationship evolve, along with his friendship with Diggle (David Ramsey), and the restored Sara deal with the blood lust.
The always welcome Caity Lotz gets to suit up as Canary, alongside Katie Cassidy’s Black Canary. It’s great seeing her back in the black leather and mask, but fans should not get too attached to seeing Lotz as The Canary, considering she’ll be appearing as the White Canary in Legends of Tomorrow. While out with Team Arrow, she brutally attacks a security guard at Kord Industries, along with snapping another guard’s neck when they make their effort to save Palmer. By the end of “Lost Souls”, its apparent that despite having hers restored by “the British guy”, she’s still lost and needs to sideline herself. Sara tells her sister Laurel and friend Thea (Willa Holland) that she wants to start over and hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later that was see Caity Lotz return.
There were two great lines during Arrow “Lost Souls” that I’d like to mention:
- “Don’t make empty threats. It’s small.” – Damien Darhk to Ray Palmer in his miniaturized state.
- “Like Spectre?” Palmer to Team Arrow when they inform him about Darhk and HIVE.
Oh, and will we be getting a Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and Donna Smoak (Charlotte Ross) romance sometime in the future?
Arrow airs Wednesday nights, 8 PM ET on The CW. Check your local listings.