Review: ‘Arrow’ S04E02 – ‘The Candidate’

By October 15, 2015

On this week’s episode of Arrow, we learned that politics in Star City is a serious business, that even the bad guy has limits and Laurel always seems to make stupid choices. Let’s take a closer look at “The Candidate,” shall we?

This episode was all about set-up, and that’s okay, because it actually appears that the series has some sort of direction. Jessica Danforth (the ever gorgeous Jeri Ryan), an old Queen family friend, arrives in town with her daughter. She reveals to Oliver and Thea that she intends to run for mayor, despite the fact that everyone with a modicum of power in the city has ended up dead.

At the press conference to announce her candidacy, an attempt is made on her life. What everyone assumes is a Ghost attack, turns out not to be and we are introduced to a new player in town. One that has possible ties to HIVE. Lonnie Machin, aka Anarky, who is typically a Batman villain (surprise, surprise!) has been hired by Darhk to make sure that chaos reigns in the city. When he doesn’t get the results he desires from Danforth, who refuses to back down, he goes to the old kidnap-your-daughter-so-that-you’ll-do-what-I-want trope. Green Arrow and Speedy manage to save Maddie, but Thea completely loses it during the fight and almost kills Anarky. This prompts Oliver to come clean with her about what actually happened in Nanda Parbat and to promise that he’ll help her through whatever is going on with her.

A barely alive and badly burned Anarky is rushed to the hospital, but he never makes it there. Along the way, he manages to kill the paramedics and his guards and flee, but not before painting his symbol in blood on the ambulance wall. So, in other words, this won’t be the last we see of this guy.

Diggle admits to Laurel that he’s still mighty pissed at Oliver (although really, give it up dude! You know why he did it, and nothing happened, so move on!) and that HIVE was responsible for his brother’s death. So, basically, he’s out for revenge. Laurel has her own scheme set, when Thea confides in her what Ollie told her about Nanda Parbat and her coming back from the dead and all. In the guise of a spa weekend, Laurel convinces Thea that they need to go to the League and find answers. But not before digging up the desiccated body of Sara and dragging it with them. Umm, cause this isn’t going to end badly or anything. You would really think that someone would be suspicious of all the freshly turned earth around Sara’s grave. How many times has it been dug up now?

Felicity has her own set of problems, the least of which is that she doesn’t have a cool code name. As the CEO of Palmer Tech, she’s tasked with firing a good chunk of the staff in order to keep things afloat. Turns out that things haven’t been going so well since Ray’s death. She ends up getting a six month reprieve when she lies to the board about exciting new technology that’s being developed. To top it all off, Oliver, whose having a bit of an identity crisis announces that he’s running for mayor. To his reasoning, he’ll be able to help the people of Star City in two ways, both in the light and in the dark.


Okay, so I actually liked this episode, although, like with The Flash, I’m getting a little tired of the villain of the week thing they’ve got going on. Neal McDonough is so charismatic and amazing that I would prefer to see him in all his villainous glory. I get that he’s being set up for bigger and badder things later on in the season, it’s just that I’m not exceptionally patient.

As to this whole Lazarus Pits thing, I didn’t think that it would work since Sara’s been dead for, oh, you know, a year or so! My Batman lore isn’t all that great, so I could totally be wrong, but it just doesn’t really make sense. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled that Sara is making a comeback, as I was really bummed when she was killed off last season. (It would have been slightly more dramatic if we didn’t know that she would be back and appearing on Legends Of Tomorrow, however!) Although, I am anticipating the changes we should see in her character. A deadly, crazy White Canary is intriguing. And seriously, how disappointing was it to see Jeri Ryan come and go so quickly? How badly did I want to see her don a costume and be a kick ass hero? How epic would that have been? Overall, this was an interesting episode in that it’s totally setting up the season. As I said, I’m just happy that it appears that they’ve got a solid direction they’re heading in this time around.

Arrow currently airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.

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Erin Parisien
Erin is a writer, a comic-book geek, a movie nerd and a pop culture junkie... all long before it was cool! She's the senior Editor and a writer over at and can always be found behind a keyboard, because it's all about the words. Follow her @erin_the_novel over on twitter.