Arrow Review: “Haunted”

John Constantine works with Team Arrow to save Sara’s soul. Brandon Routh makes a small appearance.

This week’s review ends with some challenging questions.

Title: “Haunted”

Cast and Crew
Director: John Badham
Writer: Oscar Balderrama

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen / Green Arrow
Matt Ryan as John Constantine
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance / Black Canary
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle / What’s my sobriquet?
Willa Holland as Thea Queen / Speedy / Red Arrow
Caity Lotz as Sara Lance / Some Other Colour Canary
Echo Kellum as Curtis Holt / The Future Mr. Terrific
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance
Neal McDonough as Damian Darhk
Jimmy Akingbola as Baron Reiter
Parker Young as Alex Davis
Brandon Routh as the voice of Ray Palmer / The Atom

Full cast and crew may be found here.

Premise

During his second session on the island, Ollie encountered John Constantine and the demon-hunter owes him a favor. Ollie calls him on that in order to solve the dilemma of an increasingly dangerous Sara.

High Points

The flashbacks actually served an important purpose this week, and Ryan brings a unique presence as Constantine. It’s fascinating to see how far Arrow has come from its gritty, sort-of-real-world origins.

Low Point

I’ll take at least one more week to harp about the absurdity of showing Ollie run a campaign, under close public scrutiny, during the day, while being a vigilante at night.

The public handler won’t make the premise any more plausible.

Also, I really don’t want to watch Mayorrow.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 We’re seeing things in this episode Arrow, at least, has not shown us before.

Effects: 5/6

Acting: 5/6 This episode receives a boost from Matt Ryan. Neal McDonough, meanwhile, begins to hit his stride as Damian Darhk.

Story: 5/6 The story felt coherent this week; even the flashbacks served an immediate purpose.

Emotional Response: 5/6 Arrow had fun with this week’s premise, without sacrificing the usual Heavy Emoting. I don’t know how I feel about the soul business, however. I would have found it more powerful if Sara was simply completely disconnected by her experience, and needed time to adjust. However, with the inclusion of Constantine in the growing WBDC-verse, it made sense to take this particular route.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 Considering this belated Halloween ep restores an existing character to life with the help of a character from a previously unrelated cancelled series, in order to kickstart yet another series, it works surprisingly well.

In total, “Haunted” receives 33/42

Lingering Questions

Does an apparently re-ensouled individual have legal responsibilities for the crimes of her soulless body? Making the mystic real opens all kinds of questions.

Does the final reveal, that Ray Palmer remains alive, constitute the least-surprising twist in TV history? Or is there another?

4 replies on “Arrow Review: “Haunted””

  1. Fez says:

    I loved the heck out of this episode, mostly because of Constantine. I’m not sure if it’s the difference in writers, environment, or what but he seemed even better here than on his own show. They need to work him in more somehow, either with his own show or by latching him into another show in this universe. I suspect there are legal issues to doing that though.

    The dead peacock feather bit was a good dig at NBC.

    • JD DeLuzio says:

      The stranger the character, the more that character thrives in contrast to the others. In another show, Constantine brings something new to the table.

      It’s something like that, I suspect.

  2. Jethro says:

    I’ve never watched Constantine. Should I?

    I thought the character/actor did well, but I too feel that all the Magic stuff seems really out of place on this show.

    Also, Thea is a more than competent fighter. I didn’t really buy that pseudo-zombie Sara could kick her ass so severely and so easily.

    • Fez says:

      NBC didn’t do very right by it. I found it enjoyable but others found it dull. Do not judge it by the pilot, they changed it up after. It was interesting, but knowing it was doomed didn’t help. I have a feeling the network had too strong of a hand in its direction.

      It really needed to be on a network were it could be darker and where they weren’t holding him back with dumb things like not letting him smoke. I’d love to see him in the role more, but they’d probably have to reboot it and make it a new show with him still there.

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