Arrow: “Beyond Redemption” Season 4 Episode 4 Review

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A whole lot of “Beyond Redemption” feels like a path we’ve already taken. The Lance family melodrama was in full force this week. But instead of further indulging itself, the show looks to be righting its own wrongs, making for a less soapy Arrow moving forward.

This episode was the most lived-in entry of the season so far. The season four dynamics have settled into a groove, and now it’s time to play with them. A lot of it was centered around a scene that really needed to happen, Oliver and Detective Lance loudly airing everything out. Mayoral candidate Oliver Queen needs to have the police captain on his side if he’s going to succeed in cleaning up Star City. So while we’ve been watching these two yell at each other about what’s best for the city going on four years now, there was a finality to this conversation that looks to set things right. Lance is going to be important, especially with cops turning their back on the city to become vigilantes of their own.

“Beyond Redemption” introduced us to Liz Warner, known as Lady Cop in the comics. She’s living proof that after three major attacks on the city, there is no trust left in town. As Lance confirms, she and her band of deserters are trained cops, armed with the weapons of Lance’s own anti-vigilante task force. Team Arrow is a pretty even match for them, but it ends up being Lance’s ideals and values that put them over the edge to beat the bad guys. It’s a powerful image. Liz has her knife inches from Green Arrow’s spine, and Lance saves him by appealing to the reasons she became a cop, the very foundation of who she is. It shows us that Lance is ready to save himself and the city.

At first, he thinks that means turning himself in for working with Damien Darhk, but Oliver has another idea: having him close to a villain they can’t seem to touch. This is the first season where the main villain has been out in the open from the beginning, forcing a slower burn than we’re used to. So far, they’re pulling it off pretty well. Grade: B+

Some Other Thought Bubbles:

  • As if Detective Lance doesn’t have enough troubles this week, he’s also dealing with Sara’s return. This whole subplot still doesn’t sit well with me, and for a lot of the same reasons that Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s subplots didn’t work either. All this setup for expanding the universe only does damage to the product the universe is delivering at that very moment.
  • At this point, I like that Oliver is running for mayor, as ridiculous as it is. My hope for the eventual outcome is that his ideals inspire someone more capable of running a city who actually gets to become mayor. I’m not ready Arrow to become a show about politics.
  • After this episode, I no longer think it’s Lance’s grave Oliver was brooding at six months from now in the premiere. My new guess is any one of the other superheroes on the team. We’ll narrow that prediction down as the season progresses.

By Matt Dougherty


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