Arrow – Haunted recap S4, Ep. 5

Not even John Constantine could conjure up enough spells to make “Haunted” completely fix all the issues with Season 4 of “Arrow.” Thankfully, the magic man’s appearance did bring some much needed excitement to the lumbering main story line.

This week’s episode of “The Flash” let all the “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” set up relax for a week resulting in one of the best episodes in the series. “Arrow” has a number of potentially great story lines to delve into, but they keep getting sidetracked to focus on “Legends” at the expense of this season.

Sara’s escaped and is on the loose in Star City going after women that look like Thea, which is a shock to Oliver as he didn’t realize the vigilante woman was his ex-flame. After Sara ambushes Thea and hospitalizes her, Oliver rightly chews out Laurel for this idiotic plan.

HauntedSomehow, Laurel turns Oliver’s argument around and throws herself a pity party because Season 4 Laurel is just an over the top selfish character who refuses to take responsibility for her actions.  I hate how the “Legends” setup has so thoroughly unraveled all the positive work into making Laurel a compelling character last season.

During all this guilt tossing, Sara busts in to Thea’s room to finish the job. The hospital encounter was kinda goofy as Sara finally had Thea vulnerable, but instead of killing her, posed and postured. An offhand remark that Sara’s memories are holding her back from killing her former friend would have explained that somewhat.

Arrow - Haunted - Matt Ryan as John ConstantineFinally convinced her sister is beyond the point of redemption besides everyone telling her resurrecting Sara was an awful idea, Laurel goes to kill her, but Oliver has a friend that can help.

Through the flashbacks, we learn Constantine made a pit stop at the island and teamed with Oliver to retrieve the Orb of Horus before it fell in the wrong hands. And to further link the two, Constantine transfers a tattoo spell of protection over Oliver.  Now, Oliver is ready to call in that favor.

NBC’s needless loss is CW’s gain as Matt Ryan reprised his role from the gone way too soon “Constantine” series. Hopefully this was just the first of many more appearances of Constantine in the CW TV sandbox as Ryan quickly shows how much fun he’d be in this universe.

Arrow - Haunted - Constantine, Sara and LaurelThrow him in “The Flash” and let him help tangle with Abra Kadabra and a story arc on “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” seems like a no-brainer since it already includes magical connected characters in Hawkman and Hawkgirl.

While it would have been puzzling for viewers who never watched “Constantine,” I would have loved to hear Constantine offhandedly address the lingering issues from his show as it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger.

Constantine is his typical snarky self, prompting a great line from Diggle questioning if Oliver found him at the Luxor. After casting a spell and a little help from Laurel and Oliver, Constantine is able to get Sara’s mind restored. Why Oliver didn’t ask Constantine to cure Thea’s bloodlust if it’s that easy was odd. Constantine is familiar with Darhk and warns Oliver to get out of Star City.Arrow - Haunted - Constantine, Oliver and Sara

Despite showing a trace of remorse, albeit way too late, in the end Laurel’s actions proved fully justified. Sara’s fine, Thea’s OK and she and Oliver are stronger than ever. It’s all too pat and there needed to be greater consequences for this ill-advised action.

On a rare subplot that actually will have longer repercussions beyond the “Legends” setup, Diggle helps Lance break into a federal building to delete files for Damien Darhk. The pairing of Lance and Diggle is one we haven’t seen nearly enough of in the series. As the purge continues, Diggle spots his brother, Andy, on the list, but can’t recover the file in time.

Neal McDonough has been a lot of fun this season if for no other reason than he’s playing Darhk atypical than the regular comic book villain. When Lance questions why HIVE had Andy Diggle killed, Darhk sarcastically questions why Lance cares about a drug lord.

Turns out Andy wasn’t all that virtuous and was running a crime empire that was making waves for HIVE, which is why they ordered his assassination. Lance breaking the news to Diggle was a great moment.Arrow - Haunted -Green Arrow, Constantine and Laurel

In our other subplot of some significance, Curtis tackles Felicity’s light work and tries to analyze the file with Ray’s message.

Felicity’s reliance on Curtis to tackle computer issues still seems silly especially for such a personal matter as deciphering Ray’s message. I get the writers want to make Curtis prominent so his transition to Mr. Terrific doesn’t come out of nowhere, but it’s so forced that I’m not a fan.

They learn that Ray is actually still alive and needs help so at least one more episode will primarily be focused on “Legends” foundation work.

Rating: 7 out of 10

This episode needed more Constantine, more Diggle/Lance and less attention on the core characters for “Legends.” Season 4 has the story lines in place to turn things around, but that won’t occur until Green Arrow once again takes center stage on “Arrow.”