Review: ‘Arrow’ S04E04 – ‘Beyond Redemption’

By October 29, 2015

On this week’s episode of Arrow, we learned that secret lairs are easy to come by, maybe people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and that sometimes, the dead should just stay dead. Let’s take a closer look at ‘Beyond Redemption,’ shall we?

Even though Captain Lance doesn’t trust Oliver and the gang, he has them look into the murder of 2 police officers. His department is sadly lacking the resources they need, so it’s up to team Arrow to figure out what’s going on. Turns out that members of the anti-vigilante task force, led by Liza Warner, have taken it upon themselves to do a little extracurricular work. They steal drugs from the criminals and then sell them back to other criminals for a tidy profit. In a bit of bizarre logic, they don’t consider themselves criminals, they’re just doing desperate things. Apparently the murder of the two cops in the opening sequence was justifiable, because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Umm, yeah, okay. That makes perfect sense.

In the meantime, Laurel, refusing to keep secrets from her dad any longer, takes Lance to the basement of her building to see Sara. Sara is still feral and looking to destroy, so she still needs to be chained up. Laurel is convinced that her sister just needs more time, that she will remember her old life and go back to normal, but Lance isn’t so sure, especially when Sara tries to strangle Laurel with one of her chains.

Team Arrow let’s Captain Lance in on what they found and he insists on being part of the takedown. After all, they are his cops who are doing the deed. They set a trap for the corrupt cops, but basically get their asses handed to them. While searching for clues back at the new and improved Arrow Cave, (I mean, seriously, how many secret lairs are there in this city? At least this one is a second chance one. It used to belong to Sebastian Blood) Oliver runs across a video of Lance meeting with big bad, Damien Darhk. In one of the best scenes of the episode, Oliver confronts Lance about this hypocritical turn of events, but Lance explains that his relationship with Darhk had started out innocently enough and once it changed, it was too late to back out. I’ve got to say, I love the quiet moments between Stephen Amell and Paul Blackthorne. They have a tendency to bring out the best in each other on screen.

In the most powerful scene of the episode, Lance returns to the basement, ready to put a bullet in Sara. The main reason he met with Darhk was to gain insight into the Lazarus Pits and their powers. Darhk explained that it was a miracle that the pit worked at all, but that even though she may look like Sara, the Sara that everyone knew was gone. What was brought back was not Sara and would never be Sara again. Darhk also explained that the best thing Lance could do was kill her and let her rest in peace. Laurel walks in as Lance breaks down, unable to pull the trigger.

Liza and her group kidnap Lance and use him to break into the SCPD drug disposal warehouse. Their plan is to make one last huge score and then disappear. Team Arrow comes to the rescue, but Liza manages to get the upper hand on Oliver. Lance gives her an impassioned speech about good versus evil and why she became a cop and she decides to turn herself in. Lance also makes the decision to turn himself in, for his work with Darhk, but Oliver asks that he doesn’t. That he instead becomes a mole inside Darhk’s operation. The episode ends with Oliver announcing his candidacy for mayor and Laurel finding empty chains in the basement.

arrow beyond redemption body imageSo, this was a pretty spectacular episode. It was full of amazing performances and a lot of really good stuff. Not the most action packed, that’s for sure, but that’s okay. This episode was all about the feels and it didn’t disappoint. As I said, I love Paul Blackthorne during the quiet moments and think that he was pretty spectacular in this episode. I may not always agree with the stance that Captain Lance takes, but he always makes me feel something. And that scene where he was going to kill Sara? Absolutely breathtaking… and did I mention heartbreaking? Excellent on all accounts.

I like the idea of Ollie running for mayor and think that it will being a new dynamic to the team, as well as the show. It’s an interesting side story that feels much more organic than the forced flashbacks. While I’m glad that Oliver finally made his way back to Lian Yu at the beginning of the season, I’m just not feeling this whole drug/military thing. If the flashbacks were to just disappear, I don’t think I would be the only one to not miss them. They were amazing during the first couple of seasons, but as of late have felt tacked on because they have to.

And let’s not forget about the Ray Palmer stuff. I liked the idea of Felicity not wanting to hear Ray’s last words and all, but this ATOM stuff is just dragging on and on. Get to it already and find Ray so that he can go off into the sunset and reappear on Legends Of Tomorrow next year. Then we’ll be able to put all of this Legends set up, on both Arrow and The Flash, behind us and move on with the story telling. That being said, I am really excited to see what happens with this new Sara and her eventual transformation into the White Canary. That should be pretty interesting.

Overall, this was a really great episode and I am looking forward to seeing what else is in store for us this season.

Arrow 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.