After five years on a deserted island, Oliver Queen returned to save his city. And he did. But retirement only lasted a few months when Oliver was called back to help with a mysterious gang known as The Ghosts. Learning they were lead by the enigmatic Damien Dahrk, Oliver chose to stay, but to inspire his city, he had to become something else: the Green Arrow. Striving to unite his city under a hopeful banner, Oliver is now running for Mayor of Star City. Meanwhile, Laurel has revived her dead sister Sarah using the Lazarus Pit, but all is not as it seems, and now a deranged Sarah cuts a bloody swath through Star City.
I’ve been looking forward to this episode for a long while, mostly because John Constantine showing up is a big deal. I really enjoyed Matt Ryan’s take as Constantine and wish his series had gotten a better time slot. And promotion. And network.
Here Constantine is shoehorned into the flashback to explain how Oliver and John know each other so that he can show up in the third act during the present day, making his debut on a
poorly disguised sound stage smokey London street.
Constantine is a relatively minor part of the plot, which sees Oliver finally learn about Laurel and Thea’s secret trip to Nanda Parbat, where Sarah was resurrected and Thea was tricked into murder. The plot instead focuses on the issues of trust on Team Arrow and their relationships. It’s more of the same we’ve seen this season so far, and this and the Constantine appearances could make for some really nice stuff.
Unfortunately, the show is still hampered by last season. With Legends of Tomorrow looming on the horizon, both Arrow and The Flash are hurting right now as they undo plotlines, establish new faces and resurrect dead allies so they can all be in place for the mid-season time travel series. Constantine isn’t really here to take part in much of the adventure, which is a shame; I’d hoped to see Constantine and Green Arrow yucking it up as they searched for Sarah, but instead he’s just here to take them into a mystical landscape to free Sarah’s soul.
Still, Matt Ryan is a treat as Constantine. He’s written a bit more smug and smarmy here than he was in his own series, but he really is a joy to see in this character. It’s already been confirmed that this is the Hellblazer’s only appearance this season, but producers haven’t ruled out future appearances down the road, an opportunity that may have even been hinted at last night.
As for the rest of the characters, they’re still growing and moving along, which is nice to see rather than the show falling into the old Smallville trap of no one really growing beyond their initial character until the season finale. Though it’s still held back by last year’s weird hijinks and supposed multiple deaths, it’s off to a much stronger start. Hopefully, after the return of Ray Palmer next week, the show can stop focusing on bringing back dead characters and start worry about Damien Dahrk more.